Charles Bronfman’s Claridge Collection Auction: Part V: Decorative Arts

April 21, 2015

LOT 118




fiber and cotton
58.5" x 58.25" — 148.6 x 148 cm.
signed and dated 1988 in orange thread

Estimate $500-$700

Realised: $615
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

About artist/note:


“In searching for a means of expression, a wide variety of quilting and embroidery techniques were being explored. While several decades of housework gave me an affinity for fabrics and the material arts, little in my background prepared me for the exciting and creative potential of fabric and fibre … To a graphic designer, quilting with its colour and pattern was a natural adventure.”

- Margaret Stephenson Coole -

Margaret Stephenson Coole was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario in 1933 and graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Honours, in 1955. She worked briefly as a graphic designer and display chief for the Toronto Public Libraries before she married in 1959 and raised a family. She eventually returned to the arts, taking courses on contemporary stitchery under Jane Dams at Sheridan College in 1980.

In 1979, one of Coole’s wall hangings was chosen for the Ontario Crafts Council Permanent Collection, and in the same year she received the Ontario Society of Artists’ Collector’s Choice Award. The following year, she was asked to design the costume for R. Murray Schafer’s epic dance-drama-music pageant, Apocalypsis. Coole continued to win many awards, including the first prize in the King Tut Needleart Contest sponsored by Canadian Living Magazine and the Village by the Grange. One of her works appeared on the covers of Embroidery Canada and the Artisan, and examples have been reproduced in The Second Quiltmakers' Handbook by Michael James, Fibre Arts Design Book II, and the 1985 Calendar of the National Standards Council of American Embroiderers.

Coole received many awards throughout her career, including the Joan Chalmers Award for Quilting in 1981, and the Ontario Crafts Council Design Award in 1987, to name but a few. She exhibited throughout North America, and her works are found in several prominent collections in Canada and the United States. Coole passed away in 2008 in Georgetown, Ontario.

Selected Corporate, Private and Public Collections

Claridge Collection, Montreal, QC
Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, ON
Equicor, Nashville, Tennessee
Mellon Bank, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Ontario Crafts Council
Robert and Ardis James Quilt Collection, NY
Royal Trust Tower, Toronto, ON

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1987 Port Perry Public Library, Port Perry, ON
1986-87 Scarborough Public Library, ON
1985 Gleanings, Toronto, ON
1981 Brampton Public Library and Art Gallery, Brampton, ON

Selected Group Exhibitions

1992 Cold Comfort: Contemporary Canadian Quilt Works, Ontario Crafts Council (International travelling exhibitions)
1991 Quilter’s Summit, Japan (travelling exhibition)
1990-93 Fabric Gardens, Expo ’90, Osaka, Japan (International travelling exhibition)
1990 Quilt Evolutions, the Museum for Textiles, Toronto, ON
1989 Ontario Crafts ’89, The Craft Gallery, Ontario Crafts Council, Toronto, ON
Small Works, Burlington, ON
1988 Economic Summit Collection, Ontario Crafts Council, Toronto, ON
Fibreworks, The Library Gallery, Cambridge, ON
The Artist as Quiltmaker, FAVA, Obertin, Ohio
Cirkus, Galerie Franklin Silverstone, Montreal, QC
Waste Not, Want Not, burlington Cultural Center, Burlington, ON
 Broderie contemporaine, Visual Arts Center, Westmount, QC
1987 Northern Lights, New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts
1987, 1984 Faculty Show, Haliburton School of Fine Arts, Haliburton, ON
1986 Quilts of Another Colour, Rails End Gallery, Haliburton, ON
Image 86, Ontario Society of Artists 113th Annual Juried Exhibition, Toronto, ON
1986, 1982, 1980 Needle Expressions, Council of American Embroiderers (travelling exhibition)
1985 Old Fields/New Paths, Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, ON (International travelling exhibition)
6 x 6 x 6: National Exhibition of Small Scale Fine Craft, Cartwright Gallery, Vancouver, BC
The Uncommon Quilt, The McIntosh Gallery, London, ON
1985, 1983, 1981 Stitchery International, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, PA
1983 Quilt National ’83, Athens, OH (travelling exhibition)

Selected Commissions

1990 Celebration Dance, Meadowvale Theatre, Mississauga, ON
1989 Equifax
1989, 1988, 1986 Private residential commissions
1980 Costumes for Apocalysis by R. Murry Schafer, world premiere, London, Ontario, November 1980

Selected Awards and Grants

1990 Best in Show, Forestry Quilt Exhibition, Sault St. Marie, ON
1989 Tilley of Canada Design Award, Ontario Crafts ’89
Third prize, Small Works 2nd Annual Juried Exhibition
1987 Ontario Crafts Council Design Award
1986 Merit Award, Ontario Society of Artists
1986-1984 Ontario Arts Council grants
1983 Canada Council Travel Grant
1982 Chatelaine Award, Ontario Crafts ’82
1982, 1978 Award of Merit, Embroiderers’ Association of Canada
1981 Joan Chalmers Award for Quilting, Ontario Crafts ’91
1980 Award for Stitchery, Ontario Crafts ’80
1979 Adelaide Merriott Award for Excellence, Ontario Crafts ’79
First Prize, King Tut Needleart Contest, Canadian Living Magazine


Purchased directly from the artist