Canadian Society of Graphic Art

The Canadian Society of Graphic Art (CSGA), originally called the Graphic Arts Club, was a non-profit organization of Canadian graphic artists. It was founded in 1904, and formally chartered in 1933. At one time it was one of the larger organizations of Canadian artists.

Canadian Society of Graphic Art
SuccessorPrint and Drawing Council of Canada
Formation1904 (as the Graphic Arts Club)
TypeCrafts association
Legal statusNon-profit organization
Official language
English, French


The Society of Graphic Art, or Graphic Arts Club, was organized in 1904 by the members of the Toronto Art Student's League and the Mahl-stick Club.[1]Charles William Jefferys was one of the founding members.[2] In 1909 the Canadian National Exhibition granted the Society space at its annual fall fair. The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts supported the Society from 1912.[3]Arthur Lismer published a short essay on the Graphic Arts Club of Toronto and its relationship with the Canadian National Exhibition in The Year Book of Canadian Art 1913.[4] The Graphic Arts Club held its first public exhibition in 1924.[5] This exhibition was held in the Art Gallery of Toronto, where most of the annual shows were held until 1963.[3]

The society published The Canadian Graphic Art Year Book in 1931, with 24 pages and 38 illustrations, in a limited edition of five hundred copies. It was meant to showcase the national scope of Canadian graphics artists and the advances that had been made in the medium. The illustrations included bookplates, book illustrations, drawings and Christmas cards.[3] The Society was formally granted a charter in 1933.[3] At that time it changed its name to the Canadian Society of Graphic Art.[6]

The CSGA was exhibiting serigraphs by the mid-1930s.[7] The CSGA was one of the larger of the Canadian artists' organizations by the late 1930s.[8] The CSGA exhibited at the 1939 New York World's Fair.[9] An exhibition was held in the Art Gallery of Toronto in March–April 1950 for the 50th anniversary of the gallery. All the visual art schools, styles and media were represented. The CSGA was among the eight art societies that contributed to the show.[10]

Jo Manning, who made prints between 1960 and 1980, was an executive member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Art and a member of the Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers.[11] In June–August 1971 the two organizations held a joint exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.[12] They merged in 1976 to form the Print and Drawing Council of Canada.[13] Jo Manning was a founding member of the new Council.[11]

Noted membersEdit




  • Belton, Robert James (2001). Sights of Resistance: Approaches to Canadian Visual Culture. University of Calgary Press. ISBN 978-1-55238-011-6. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  • Cochran, Bente Roed (1989-01-01). Printmaking in Alberta, 1945–1985. University of Alberta. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-88864-139-7. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  • "Jo Manning". Westland Gallery. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  • Lerner, Loren R.; Williamson, Mary F. (1991-01-01). Art and Architecture in Canada: A Bibliography and Guide to the Literature. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-5856-0. Retrieved 2014-07-23.