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Graduate Self-Portraits


12 May 2023 - 2 July 2023


12 May 2023
2 July 2023


Two portraits side by side. Left: In front of a doorway and to the left of a canvas, Mary stands with a paintbrush in-hand. She is wearing a white collared shirt under a brown sweater and a grey skit. Right: Holding a paintbrush in one hand, John stands while holding a board. On either side of him are two easels. One holds a canvas.

Graduate Self-Portraits

About this exhibition

Each year, in celebration of Spring Convocation and Alumni Reunion Weekend, the Owens Art Gallery displays self-portraits from the Graduate Self-Portrait Collection.

From the late 1940s until the mid-1960s, Mount Allison University students in Fine Arts were required to paint a self-portrait in their fourth year, which they then submitted as their “Diploma Piece” before receiving the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. The portraits were to be life-sized, painted in oil on canvas or board, and measure 40 x 30 inches. An important archive of the Fine Arts Department, this collection consists of approximately fifty paintings that are now housed at the Owens Art Gallery.

This year, we are presenting selections from the Classes of 1953, 1958, and 1963.

A group of seven university graduates stand outdoors. Wearing their caps, gowns and hoods, they are smiling while hold their diplomas.
Shirley Rowcliffe
Lorin Mair
Dorothy Ellis
“Bud” Robertson

Fine Arts graduates from the Mount Allison University Class of 1953. Students are identified as, left to right: Shirley Rowcliffe, Raine Leagh, Aileen Clare, Lorin Mair, Dorothy Ellis, R.J. “Bud” Robertson, and Merily Dawn Wood. Mount Allison University Archives. Picture Collection. 2007.07/1417

Top Images: Mary Blackadar (’58), and John Glassey (’58)