David Blackwood

David Lloyd Blackwood CM OOnt RCA (November 7, 1941 – July 2, 2022) was a Canadian artist known chiefly for his intaglio prints, often depicting dramatic historical scenes of Newfoundland outport life and industry, such as shipwrecks, seal hunting, iceberg encounters and resettlement. He also created paintings, drawings and woodcuts.

David Blackwood

David Lloyd Blackwood

(1941-11-07)November 7, 1941
DiedJuly 2, 2022(2022-07-02) (aged 80)
EducationOntario College of Art and Design
Known forgraphic artist

Early lifeEdit

Blackwood was born in Wesleyville, Newfoundland, on November 7, 1941.[1] His family was involved in seafaring, which guided the artwork he later made.[2][3] He opened his first art studio in 1956, and was awarded a scholarship three years later to study at the Ontario College of Art.[3] After graduating in 1963, he remained in Ontario, where he became Art Master at Trinity College School in Port Hope.[1][3]


Blackwood's artwork was exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada by the time he was 23 years old.[2] He worked on a series of fifty etchings titled The Lost Party, depicting a provincial sealing disaster in 1914,[2] throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s. This became one of the most extensive series of thematically-related prints in Canadian history.[2][3] He was also involved in establishing an art gallery at Erindale College (a campus of the University of Toronto). It was consequently called The Blackwood Gallery when it was inaugurated in 1992.[1][3] He ultimately had 90 solo exhibitions and two major retrospective exhibitions.[2] His art was displayed internationally at Windsor Castle as part of the Royal Collection, the National Gallery of Australia, and at the Uffizi in Florence.[2][3]

Blackwood was the focus of a 1976 documentary film, Blackwood, which was produced by the National Film Board of Canada. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject,[4] and earned ten international film awards.[1][3] His work was covered in The Art of David Blackwood, published by William Gough in 1988.[1] It was also the subject of three other key publications: The Wake of the Great Sealers (1973),[3] David Blackwood: Master Printmaker (2001, also by Gough),[5] and Black Ice: David Blackwood Prints of Newfoundland (2011).[6] In 2003, he became the first practicing artist to be named Honorary Chairman of the Art Gallery of Ontario, which maintains a Blackwood Research Centre and a major collection of his work.[1][3] His collection of prints titled Black Ice went on national tour from 2011 to 2012.[3]

Personal life and deathEdit

Blackwood was married to Anita until his death.[7] He resided in Port Hope throughout his later years while keeping a studio in Wesleyville, Newfoundland and Labrador.[3] He was hospitalized for two years during the mid-2010s due to a life-threatening illness.[8]

Blackwood died on July 2, 2022, at his home in Port Hope. He was 80, and suffered from an unspecified long illness prior to his death.[2]

Awards and honoursEdit

Blackwood was an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[9] He was granted an honorary Doctor of Letters by Memorial University of Newfoundland and an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Calgary in 1992.[1] He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in April 1993 and invested ten months later in February of the following year.[10] He later received the Order of Ontario in 2002.[11] Blackwood was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).[12][13] A street in Sarnia, Ontario, David Blackwood Drive, is named in his honour.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Murray, Joan (January 18, 2012). "David Lloyd Blackwood". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hawthorn, Andrew (July 3, 2022). "David Blackwood, iconic Newfoundland artist, dies at 80". CBC News. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "David Blackwood". Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage. Memorial University. July 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  4. ^ "Blackwood". National Film Board of Canada. 1976. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  5. ^ Gough, William (2001). David Blackwood: Master Printmaker. Firefly Books. ISBN 9781552975367.
  6. ^ Blackwood, David; Lochnan, Katharine Aileen; Dault, Gary Michael (2011). Black Ice: David Blackwood : Prints of Newfoundland. Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 9781553657798.
  7. ^ Kloster, Darron (April 29, 2022). "Saanich police seize just over a thousand pieces of art, worth millions of dollars". Times Colonist. Victoria. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  8. ^ "Art as therapy: How painting helped David Blackwood through long hospital stay". CBC News. May 1, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  9. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  10. ^ "Mr. David Lloyd Blackwood". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  11. ^ "Order of Ontario members". Government of Ontario. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  12. ^ "Mr. David Lloyd Blackwood". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  13. ^ "David Lloyd Blackwood". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  14. ^ Evans, Randy; St. Amand, Tom (March 28, 2022). "The Streets of Sarnia Project | What's in a (Street) Name?" (PDF). www.sarnia.ca. City of Sarnia. p. 85. Retrieved July 4, 2022. David Blackwood Drive was named after David Blackwood (born 1941), a Canadian artist best known for his historical drawings and paintings of scenes in Newfoundland.

External linksEdit