TOWNSEND Jean (Married Name Townsend-Field)
Born 23 July 1921 in Toronto.
She attended the Ontario College Of Art from 1938 to 1941 after winning a four year scholarship. She studied with Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael and Nicholas Hornyansky. She graduated and in 1942 won the Governor General’s Academic Medal.
It appears she began working at Anglo-American Publishing Ltd. Even while she was still going to OCA. She became good friends with Jean McMaster, and it is from McMaster we learn the details about the legend of Harold Town’s involvement with Anglo-American. Jean was going out with Harold while both were attending the Ontario College of Art, and Townsend suggested to Town that he get a summer job at Anglo-American. He did but his career was quite short as he was fired for “improving” on Captain Marvel.
Jean’s principal love was drawing, painting and sculpture her themes being figures and landscapes. However, she and her husband Saul Field, also developed the Compotina method of printmaking and she achieved international success as a print maker. She was inspired by mythological and literary themes, and illustrated a book of Irish folklore collected by W.B. Yeats and titled Celtic Twilight. It was a reprint published by Colin Smythe in 1981, of the original published in 1893.
She was a teacher and fellow at Calumet College of York University. She cofounded with her husband the Upstairs Gallery and with Archie Arbuckle the Ontario College of Art Alumni Association.
She died 5 January 2006, in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.
Because of Anglo-American’s industrial approach to cartooning and its policy of not acknowledging artists it is impossible to identify any of Jean’s cartooning work. Sufficient to say that Anglo-American provided a vital bridge during the difficult war years for emerging visual artists like Jean Townsend, June Banfield, Patricia Hutchings Jean McMaster, and Doris Slater between learning skills and practicing them.
Globe & Mail, 14 January 2006. “Jean Townsend-Field.”
“Jean Townsend, CPE, CSGA, POC).” Accessed, 18 March. 2021.http://www.fineartandantiques.ca/Gallery%20Pages/Prints%20Pages/gallerytownsend.html
“Hosts of the Air- “Wind Among The Reeds.” Compotina Embossed Etching with Aquatint, 18”x10”1960.