Collection Highlight

Portrait of Felix Orville Goodman

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A portrait of a dark skinned person with short hair poses with their arms crossed. They wear metal rimmed glasses, and a cream collared sweater over a shirt and brown tie.

Portrait of Felix Orville Goodman

Marjory (Rogers) Donaldson
Untitled, c.1948

oil on board
Collection of the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Felix Orville Goodman (1927 – 2000) came to Sackville in 1946 initially to study business administration in the Commercial College, before beginning his studies at Mount Allison.

In 1951, Orville earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, becoming the first Black student to earn this degree at Mount Allison, and in all of Canada. After graduating, he returned to the United States and worked as an art and music therapist and recreation director at several institutions. He was musically gifted and often performed in theatrical productions in the area around his home.

This portrait of Orville was painted by his friend and fellow student in the Mount Allison Fine Arts program Marjory (Rogers) Donaldson, BFA 1951 while they were students. Classmates in the Fine Arts program would often pose for one another, as portraiture was a key focus of the program. This recent acquisition to the Owens Collection adds to ongoing research about the history of the program and the arts in New Brunswick more widely.

Thank you to Orville’s son, David White, and Orville’s classmate, Lorna (Creelman) Nauss BFA 1951, for confirming the identity of the portrait.

Learn more about Orville on the Mount Allison Libraries and Archives blog.