Marie Cecilia Guard, Canadian Artist

Canadian artist Marie Cecilia Guard (1908-2003) attended the Ontario College of Art during the dynamic years of 1928 to 1935 (when she completed a post-graduate year), as well as a further year studying in New York. Her teachers included Emanuel Hahn, J.W. Beatty, and Group of Seven members Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. Macdonald.

While at the College of Art she met and fell in love with fellow artist Ken Phillips. The pair married in New York in 1930.

Marie’s story includes a childhood during a fascinating golden age in Toronto, her studies in New York and her remarkable successes during the Depression years. It also is a story of a rare artist couple who were supportive of and inspired by each others’ work.

It is significant that, at a time when most married women elected to stay home and raise a family, with her husband’s encouragement, she chose to pursue her art as well.

Guard’s goal was to be a figure painter, and perhaps most notable were her powerful, life-sized nudes, pictures of a woman looking at herself.

Although she was trained in the Group of Seven style, she continued to explore and evolve throughout sixty years of work. As part of a couple, she frequently painted the same subjects her husband did, but from different (but complimentary) perspectives. In later years, as well as painting in water color and oil, she taught art, participated in art exhibitions, and made almost yearly sketching trips to Europe in the seventies and eighties.

 For more information about Marie Cecilia Guard contact Peri Phillips McQuay –




3 thoughts on “Marie Cecilia Guard, Canadian Artist

  1. Julie Charbonneau

    Hi! I recently acquired a water Color painting from your mother. It is dated 1974. It is a rural scene with cows in the field.


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