Biography of Robert Wakeham Pilot


Robert W Pilot Unframed Final

Robert Wakeham Pilot MBE RCA (1898–1967) was a Canadian artist, who worked mainly in oil on canvas or on panel, as an etcher, and as a muralist.

Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, In 1910, his widowed mother married the artist, Maurice Cullen, moving into Cullen's home in Montreal. As a child, Pilot assisted Cullen in his studio, and the two would take sketching trips together.  He also became good friends with A.Y. Jackson, often painting the Quebec countryside with AY. Pilot was also friends with several of the Beaver Hall Painters and helped them to connect with the Group of Seven and their philosophies on art.

 Pilot later studied in Montreal with William Brymner. In 1916 he joined the army, serving as a mortar gunner with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. From 1920 to 1922, he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris and exhibited at the Paris Salon.

 On returning to Canada, he was elected as an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1925, serving as the Academy's president from 1952 to 1954.

 Pilot won  the Jessie Dow Prize in that year and in 1934.

 In 1941, he re-enlisted in the Canadian Military and served as a Captain in The Black Watch. He was mentioned in dispatches while in Italy, resulting in him being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1944. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal in 1953.

 Paintings by Pilot were presented to Winston Churchill and to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Also represented in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada

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