Euphemia (Betty) McNaught AOCA


We are thrilled to present watercolours, block prints and oil paintings by Euphemia McNaught AOCA (1902-2002). Over the last twenty years we have had a number of works by this artist in the gallery. However, we have never had so many at one time. It is tremendous fun!

Primarily known as a painter of the northern Alberta landscape and the built environment of the homesteads, McNaught’s work documenting the construction of the Alaska Highway in the 1940s, with her friend Evy McBryan, has been well recognized. During WWII, the two artists were granted permission for the project from the Prime Minister of Canada, Mackenzie King. She worked in many media beyond painting and drawing: the bronze plaque on the Lars Haukness grave in the Old Banff Cemetery is one of her pieces. McNaught’s love of animals is very evident as she drew, painted and sculpted horses and wildlife throughout her career.

She spent much of her spare time travelling around the Peace Country sketching and painting and established herself as a prominent and much admired artist of that region.

After studies at the Ontario College of Art (graduating in 1929), teaching at Mount Royal College (Calgary) and then the Ontario Ladies College (Whitby, Ontario), in 1936 she returned to her family homestead south of Beaverlodge, Alberta. She continued to teach: University of Alberta Department of Extension courses as well as workshops. She was a founder of the Grande Prairie Art Club, the Beaverlodge Art Club, and was an active member of the Peace Watercolour Society. McNaught was awarded the Alberta Achievement Award of Excellence in Art (1977) and the Sir Frederick Haultain Prize in recognition of a lifetime of service and exceptional accomplishment (1982). In 1985 the Alberta Society of Artists granted her lifetime member status.

Euphemia McNaught's work is found in many private collections in Alberta and around the world and was was exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.