William John Bertram Newcombe

 William John Bertram Newcombe, photo by Harold Sumberg

William John Bertram Newcombe, photo by Harold Sumberg

William John Bertram Newcombe 1907 - 1969

A painter and commercial artist, William John Bertram Newcombe was born in Victoria, British Columbia and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. He lived in Toronto, Ontario (1936 – 1955) and London, England (1955 – 1969), where he died.

His mediums include oil, watercolor, gouache, pen & ink, collage and mixed mediums. His subjects included, faces, figures, landscapes, street scenes, country roads, coastal views, and as an abstractionist – shape, color and texture. His styles included Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, Constructivism, Fauvism and Cubism. He’s considered self taught, however most sources note that he did take some private lessons in Vancouver with Group of Seven icon Frederick Varley.

Newcombe was a member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Art* (c. 1950) and its president and a member of the Cali­fornia Watercolor Society (1947). In addition to the above organizations, he exhibited with the Art Association of Montreal (1933), the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1938, 1947 and 1953), the Ontario Society of Artists (1941), and the American Watercolor Society (1947 and 1948).

His works were also included in a Canadian Women’s Art Association exhibition, Vancouver Art Gallery (1946); “Canadians Abroad”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1958); “Irish Exhibition of Living Art”, Brown Thomas Gallery, Dublin (1958); “Canadian Abstract Art: A Centennial Exhibition”, Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, London, England (1967); and “The 1950s”, Laurentian University Museum (1988).