Canadian Fine Art Auction

May 26, 2014

LOT 156

Lot 156


Lot 156 Details


coloured pencil and charcoal
signed with initials and titled
18.25 ins x 24 ins; 46.4 cms x 61 cms

Estimate $4,000-$6,000

Realised: $4,720
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report


Private Collection, Ontario


William Kurelek, Lumberjack, Tundra Books, Montreal, 1974, foreword.


Kurelek's first experience with lumber camps was during the summer of 1946 when he was just nineteen. Kurelek was hoping to prove himself to his father, who himself had worked in the bush.

The motivation for the second trip five years later in 1951 was to earn enough money for a trip to Europe to study art. Kurelek was in Montreal at the time.  He recounts: “When I returned to the bush in 1951, I worked nearly a year, first for a month in a French-Canadian camp near La Tuque on the northern Quebec route of the Canadian National Railway then at camp (south of James Bay)."

In Lumberjack, Kurelek laments how little has been written, much less illustrated, of bush life.  In producing his book of stories on "that remarkable life,” Kurelek noted that he "had to depend on my memory -fortunately vivid - and on the few sketches I made then..." His memories were vivid indeed and he writes of the experience: "...I thought I had met some tough lumberjacks in my first camp experience, but nothing, absolutely nothing, prepared me for this experience... I was almost completely isolated socially (Kurelek did not speak French)... On my arrival at the camp the foreman gave me a quick once-over and I recognized the expression in his face. It meant: Nobody who looks like this will ever make it. He decided to speed up the end."

Kurelek did make it, however, and earned enough money to get to Europe. 


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 156

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.