Bruno Bobak, Pender Island B.C., 1950s  (Photo courtesy of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery)

Bruno Bobak, Pender Island B.C., 1950s
(Photo courtesy of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery)

Bruno Bobak,  1923 - 2012

Bronislaw Josephus "Bruno" Bobak was born in 1923 in Wowelowska, Poland, and immigrated with his family to Canada in 1925, they settled in Saskatchewan. 

At thirteen years old, he moved to Toronto and began Saturday morning art classes with Arthur Lismer and later studied with Carl Schaefer at the Central Technical School (1938-1942). 

In 1942 he enlisted in the Canadian Army, and shortly thereafter was appointed an official war artist, the youngest of all the war artists. While on assignment in 1945 in London, England, he met and married Molly Lamb, a fellow Canadian war artist. 

After the war, the Bobaks returned to Ottawa and then Vancouver, along with their first child. Bobak taught at the Vancouver School of Art (1947-57), until he was invited to be the artist-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. This one-year post was extended when he became the director of the Art Centre at the University, he held that position until his retirement (1962-88).  Bobak continued to live in Fredricton until his death in 2012. 

Besides being a skilled painter, Bobak was a printmaker, sculptor and muralist, and worked across a wide range of subject matter and techniques. 

Bobak was also a member of the Canada Group of Painters, Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers, Canadian Society of Graphic Art, Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, British Columbia Society of Artists.

Bobak participated in more than 250 group exhibitions and had more than 80 one-man shows.

1971 - A major exhibition, Humanism, toured the Atlantic Provinces.
1973 - Became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. 
1983 - The Sir George Williams Art Galleries, Concordia University, organized a touring retrospective of his work.  
1996 - He received the Order of Canada.

Selected Collections

The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
The Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, ON
The National Portrait Gallery, Ottawa, ON
The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NB
The University of New Brunswick, Fredricton, NB
Provincial Art Bank, Fredricton, BC
The Feckless Collection, Vancouver, BC