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Selected Collections
Confederation Art Gallery, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, NS
Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NB
Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston, ON
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, ON
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, ON
London Regional Art and Historical Museum, London, ON
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Oakville Galleries Oshawa Art Gallery Polygon Inc.
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB
Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, BC
Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, BC
Penticton Art Gallery, Penticton, BC
Standard Life, Vancouver, BC
The Feckless Collection, Vancouver, BC
University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC

Joe Plaskett, 1918–2014

Joe Plaskett was born in New Westminster, BC. He earned a degree in history from the University of British Columbia and taught the subject for six years. During this time, he took evening life classes at the Vancouver School of Art. He was quite experimental, dabbling in impressionism, expressionism, surrealism and abstraction.

In the summer of 1945, when he was twenty-seven, Plaskett spent six weeks at the Banff School of Fine Arts painting with Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson. In Banff, he caught the attention of members of the Group of Seven.

Lawren Harris nominated Plaskett for the first Emily Carr Scholarship in 1946. The $1000 award changed his life. He used the money to study first at San Francisco’s California School of Fine Art, then with Hans Hoffman in New York City and lastly in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Plaskett credits Hoffman with molding him into an artist.

At the end of his studies, again under the recommendations of Lawren Harris and A.Y. Jackson, he accepted the post as Director of the Winnipeg School of Art, where he taught for two years, along with summer classes at the Banff School of Art.  

By this time, the lure of Europe had became irresistible to the artist and with his money saved from teaching he left for Europe in 1949.

After visiting London, he found Paris the ideal setting for his artistic development. He returned to Canada to teach at the Vancouver School of Art and summer workshops in Emma Lake, Saskatchewan, but his purpose was set. In 1957, he was finally able to make Paris his home, and would live and paint there for the next half century, selling his work at private galleries in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. He exhibited with the Bau-Xi Gallery, both in Vancouver and Toronto, from 1973 till his death.

In 1973, Plaskett inherited the cottage in Suffolk from an old family friend; he made it his spring and summer home, while continuing to spend his autumns and winters in Paris. When Plaskett began to lose his hearing in his seventies, between 2001 and his death in 2014, he lived mostly in Suffolk, England.

Despite living abroad for almost seventy years, Plaskett was still  Canadian, and returned to Canada almost annually to exhibit. In 2001, he was awarded The Order of Canada for excellence in the field of visual art.

Plaskett's health declined rapidly his last year after he was diagnosed with dementia. The celebrated artist died in his sleep in Suffolk, England. He was 96 years old.

The Plaskett Foundation, established  in 2004, aids and supports Canadian visual artists. Each year, the foundation awards $25,000 to a mature Canadian student to enable them to travel and study art in Europe for one year.