Art Studies

Seton’s first formal art education was at the newly formed Ontario School of Art in 1878 and 1979.  (Ontario School of Art, after several location and name changes is now known as OCAD University.

Seton excelled, winning the Gold Medal.  At this proud moment, Seton announced that the next phase of his art education should be in London.

The British Museum

Seton arrived in London in August 1879 and entered  a competition for a spot in the Royal Academy of Art.  He was accepted with a scholarship in December 1880 and began classes in January 1881. Seton made the most of his time in London, spending many hours in the British Museum and the London Zoo. Although the scholarship at the Royal Academy was for seven years, Seton became ill and returned home to Toronto in October 1881.

Stories of his living conditions and poverty while in London are often connected to the story that his father presented him a bill for expenses incurred during his upbringing, a total of $537.50 [~$12,000 today]. Seton decided to leave his father’s house and join two brothers in Manitoba.

Seton spent most of 1882 and 1883 in Manitoba studying wildlife and wilderness rather than homesteading. In late 1883, he moved to  New York City, like many young artists, to seek opportunities to sell his art.  He made many acquaintances and contacts, including his first assignment drawing sketches for the Century Dictionary [e.g., “crowbird” entry].

He took some night classes in early 1984 at the Art Students League, but this did not last long as he returned to Manitoba in late April.

The Art Students League moved into its new location not long after Seton’s time as a student.

In the Fall of 1890, Seton returned to London to resume his studies, but ultimately determined to enroll in Academie Julian in Paris.

It was during thus period that Seton painted his classic works, The Sleeping Wolf and Triumph of the Wolves (also known as Awaited in Vain).

In the summer of 1892, he returned to Canada, going back to Paris in July 1894.  On the voyage, he met Grace Gallatin.  They courted in Paris and finally returned to New York in April 1896, and married on June 1, 1896.