Clara Isabella Harris

HARRIS, Clara Isabella (nee Perry)

Clara Isabella Harris
Clara Isabella Harris Self Portrait.jpg
Clara Isabella Harris, Self Portrait
Clara Isabella Perry

(1887-10-12)October 12, 1887
Known forPainting
Notable work
Malton Road, An Ontario Barn
MovementCanadian Group of Painters

Born: King City, Ontario, October 13, 1887

Died: Toronto, 1975

Biography synopsis

Clara Isabella Perry was born in King City, County of York, Ontario on October 13, 1887 to Richard S. Perry and Elizabeth Hunter[1]. She studied at the Ontario College of Art under J.W. Beatty[2] and Archibald Barnes.  Attended the Art Institute of Chicago and [3] [4] exhibited in the 1907 Nineteenth Annual Exhibition of Water Colors, Pastels and Miniatures by American Artists May 7 – June 16, 1907.[5] She worked in oil, watercolours, and sketched to create landscapes, farm and Maritime scenes, as well as portraits.  She worked on location in Toronto, parts of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, the Maritimes, Maine and Massachusetts [6] [7] travelling with friend and fellow artist Emily Louise Orr Elliott. Many of her works are documented with the date, time of day, location and weather conditions. Her paintings were exhibited at commercial galleries alongside but not limited to Emily Carr, Paraskeva Clark, Kathleen Daly, Mabel May, Kathleen Morris, Anne Savage and Mary Wrinch.[8] She also showed her work at exhibitions of the Ontario Society of Artists with A.A. Innes, Frank Panabaker, Arthur Lismer, Homer Watson[9], A.Y Jackson, J.W Beatty[10], Archibald Barnes, Frank Carmichael, Manly MacDonald and others.[11] At age 31 Clara married Frederick William Harris, a graphic artist age 27.[12][13] They lived at 23 Valleyview Gardens, Toronto where Clara had her studio, sold her art and conducted art classes.

Media Used

  • Painting
  • Watercolours
  • Sculpture
  • Sketching
  • Wood carving


  • Ontario College of Art & Design (formerly Ontario College of Art) College and Summer School (Under J.W. Beatty. G. A. Reid, C.M. Manly, William Cruikshank)[14]
  • The Art Institute of Chicago


Art Institute of Chicago, May 7 - June 16, 1907, Nineteenth Annual Exhibit of Watercolors, Pastels and Miniatures.

Art Gallery of Ontario - Annual Exhibition of the Ontario Society of Artists, March 1933.

Artists Annual Non-Jury Exhibition, Canadian National Exhibition Art Gallery, Toronto, May 1 -15, 1935.

Ontario Society of Artists, Art Gallery of Ontario, March 5 – 29, 1943

Old Mill Inn, Toronto, May 27, 2017, Permanent Exhibit Opened.

Doors Open Toronto, Lambton House and Montgomery’s Inn, May 26 – May 28, 2017, Captured on Canvas and Captured on Camera.

Lambton House, Toronto, April 7, 2018, Cultural Heritage Landscapes, A Revisiting of 20th Century Landscapes Through the Paintings of Clara Harris.

Art Works Art School, Toronto, April 12 – 19, 2018, Spring Salon, Adult Student Work.

Montgomery’s Inn, Toronto, September 6 – October 1, 2018, Not Your Typical Sunday Driver.

Ars Musica, Montgomery’s Inn, October 6 – November 22, 2018, Scenes From Joshua.

Women's Art Association of Canada, April 5 – 14, 2018, BASH, Honouring Exceptional Women of 80 Years of Age or More.

Helson Gallery, April 3 – June 9, 2018, Artists @ Work.

RiverBrink Art Museum, February 26 – September 5, 2020, Clara Harris.

Photos of her work and more can be seen at


  1. ^ Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913
  2. ^ The Collectors Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction, Westbridge publication, c2000, p.36
  3. ^ Certificate: Border Crossings:  From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956.
  4. ^ Certificate: Michigan Passenger and Crew Lists, 1903-1965
  5. ^ Chicago Art Institute 1907 Nineteenth Annual Exhibition of Water Colors by American Artists May 7-16, 1907, p. 52 work #378 “English Shops”.
  6. ^ Canadian Art Sales Index, 1987-88, 1989-90, p. 98.
  7. ^ “Artist Leads Trend Oil Painting Gifts---Not Gold Watches”, The Toronto Telegram, January 3, 1962, p.
  8. ^ “Women Artists in Canada”, Globe and Mail, Oct. 3, 1987, p. C16.
  9. ^ The Art Gallery of Toronto, Grange Park, Catalogue of the Sixty-First Annual Exhibition of the Ontario Society of Artists, 1933, p.7.
  10. ^ Canadian National Exhibition Art Gallery, Toronto, The Artists’ Annual Non-Jury Exhibition, May 1st to 15th, 1935, p. 6.
  11. ^ The Art Gallery of Toronto, Ontario Society of Artists, 71st Annual Spring Exhibition, March 5-29, 1943, p.11.
  12. ^ Certificate: Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928.
  13. ^ The Art Gallery of Toronto, Grange Park, Catalogue, April,1932, p. 15.
  14. ^ The National Gallery of Canada, Library, Ottawa