Item - Betty McArthur fonds

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Betty McArthur fonds

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  • Textual record

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Dates of creation area


  • 1949-2002, nd. (Creation)
    McArthur, Betty

Physical description area

Physical description

approx. 6 cm textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1924 - 1994)

Biographical history

Born in Fort Erie, ON, in 1924, Betty McArthur (nee Moyer) and her family moved to Port Colborne when she was in High School. She attended Port Colborne High School and then later graduated from the Hamilton Normal School (teacher’s college) in 1942. A year later, Betty married Bruce McArthur and they eventually had two children – Jacqueline Lynda (born 1944) and Richard Bruce (born 1947).
In Port Colborne she studied painting under the direction of Anthony J. Sisti, an artist and educator from Buffalo, New York. In the 1950s she would study art at the Doon School of Fine Art and was awarded the Director’s Scholarship, 1950 season.
In 1957 her family moved to Woodstock when her husband accepted a promotion to Office Manager for Canada Cement. Betty would become an art teacher at College Avenue Secondary School and Central Senior Public School. In addition, she was often a lecturer at the Woodstock Art Association and the Oxford County Art Association monthly meetings. Years later she would teach at Ingersoll District High School and the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre.
By 1961, Betty McArthur’s artistic skill was such that one of her works, ‘Abstract Still Life’, was exhibited with the Canadian Group of Painters (this Society was developed from the famous Group of Seven). Another, ‘Winter Scene’, was included in a travelling Royal Canadian Academy show.
In 1973, she opened the Betty McArthur Gallery on Riddell Street. Her Opening Exhibition showed 116 paintings and she would often exhibit not only her work, but occasionally those of others, including her daughter Jacquie Poole. In 1978, she sold the gallery to a family friend, Kevin Fallowfield, and he operated it for another three years. Betty continued to handle art supplies, did framing, and produced several books of her pen and ink sketches, such as those of historic buildings shown in ‘Fine Lines Around Woodstock’. While undertaking private commissions to paint portraits, she also produced many public commissions that were displayed at galleries around the world. She had several solo shows during her career including one in 1962 in the Upstairs Gallery in Toronto, one at the Woodstock Public Library in 1966 and another in 1990 at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre.
Community minded, she helped paint sets for Woodstock Little Theatre and donated paintings to fund-raising events put on by organizations ranging from the Victorian Order of Nurses and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, to AIDS groups. In 1993, she was named “Oxford County Woman of Distinction”.
Betty McArthur passed away at the Woodstock General Hospital on March 1, 1994, in her 71st year, following a brain aneurysm. As a lasting tribute, Dr. G. Robert and Mrs. Catherine Corlett established the Betty McArthur Memorial Fund for a secondary-school graduate in Oxford County who plans on studying art at a recognized post-secondary institute.

Custodial history

The records were created by Betty McArthur and were donated to the Woodstock Museum before being transferred to the County of Oxford Archives in February 2012.

Scope and content

The fonds consist of various materials related to the career of Betty McArthur including reproductions of her pen and ink sketches of scenes of Woodstock and photographs taken by her of Woodstock homes as well as photos of herself painting. In addition, the fond includes several miscellaneous items including copyright for her book “Fine Lines Around Woodstock”, a programme of a 1996 Show at the Woodstock Art Gallery of her work, and newspaper articles.

Notes area

Physical condition

The materials in this collection are mostly in good condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was acquired in February 2012 by the County of Oxford Archives from the Woodstock Museum.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

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Restrictions on access

The fonds is open to publish research. However, please contact the archivist responsible for the records regarding access, as some materials may be too fragile to handle. The Archives will make every effort to supply reference copies where feasible.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.

The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition.

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