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Farquhar McGillivray Knowles and Elizabeth Annie (Beach) McGillivray Knowles
Farquhar McGillivray Knowles and his wife Elizabeth Annie (Beach) McGillivray Knowles were living at the Grinnell in 1918 when both showed paintings in the Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the oldest art museum and school in the United States.
Farquhar McGillivray Knowles was born in Syracuse, NY in 1859; shortly afterwards, his parents moved to Canada, where he spent his formative years. At the coaxing of his grandfather, he returned to the US to attend West Point, but an accident while he was at the military academy ended his military career before it began. He then turned to art, studying with William Merrit Chase in New York and John A. Fraser in Canada. In 1895, after the death of his first wife, McGillivray Knowles married his student Elizabeth Annie Beach, whose uncle was the Canadian painter F.M. Bell-Smith. The couple traveled to Europe for extended study, then returned to Canada where they opened a studio.
After spending 1916 on their yacht in New York Harbor, where McGillibray Knowles concentrated on marine paintings, the couple moved to the Grinnell, living here for perhaps a decade, then relocating to Riverton, NH, where Elizabeth McGillivray Knowles died in 1928. Farquhar McGillivray Knowles died in 1932.
Both painters were member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) and received numerous accolades during their lives. They frequently contributed paintings to annual exhibitions. While both painted a variety of subjects, McGillivray Knowles gained fame for his marine paintings and Elizabeth McGillivray Knowles for her miniatures and garden scenes – particularly for her paintings of fowl.
Farquhar McGilliray Strachan Stewart Knowles probably holds the distinction of having the longest name of any Canadian artist.
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