Sunday, August 30, 2015

George Iliffe Stokes in Canada

[The opening spread to Malcolm Mitchell's The Scenic Art of George Iliffe Stokes,1900-1982 that appeared in the Model Railway Journal, No. 13, 1987.]

He was born to a rich business family in Birmingham in 1900 and was always considered to be the outsider, tending towards the 'arty' life. He was summarily rejected by his father, who, after many family storms, suggested that Canada was a nice place for artists and that George's Bohemian lifestyle would be more socially acceptable there!
Malcolm Mitchell tells us what lead George Stokes to study art at Banff University in Alberta during the early 20th century 

I was rummaging through the back-40 of my magazine shelves and stumbled across this issue of the Model Railway Journal - the only one I own, but for some reason remember quite clearly the day I bought it at the World's Biggest Bookstore, but had completely forgotten about this article. I was delighted to find that it features a 17 page tribute to the work of George Iliffe Stokes. Everything about the article is pleasure: outstanding models and drawings, a well written and thoughtful story, and the page layout is of a high standard not seen today. I was also surprised to learn that he got his early education in Canada, studying art at Banff University in Alberta. Apparently as well as being a master at water colour painting and line drawing, he also learned how to fly, and worked for a time as a lumberjack during those years. 


  1. Great to see the article ! I am married to George's daughter. And she just sent me this link! He also worked as a cowboy in Alberta.

    1. It's great to hear from you Ken and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. He sounds like quite an adventurous man!