This month in our Sarah James Gallery we are honouring the work of artist and friend George Buytendorp. We were saddened to learn of his July 13th passing at the age of 91.
George’s career in the arts began in his birthplace, The Hague, where he studied art and earned a Masters degree in art restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts and Sciences and apprenticed under his father, who was also an artist. Following WWII, in which George was an active member of the Dutch resistance, he settled in Amsterdam and began to build his professional practice as an artist, art restorer, designer and art consultant.
Immigrating to Manitoba with his family in 1951, George played a key role in that province’s developing arts community – painting, restoring artwork, conducting workshops and lecturing at universities. He served on a number of boards – including the Manitoba Design Institute board of directors and the Brandon University Arts Advisory Board – and was a member of the Manitoba Society of Artists. Over the same period, remarkably, he devoted 27 years to his work as a psychiatric nurse.
We were very fortunate to represent George for a portion of his 68-year art practice. His paintings of the prairies and the Canadian Shield captured the richness and diversity of the Canadian landscape in a way that connected on an emotional level with his viewers. As he humbly noted, "I do not bring beauty to people's lives; I, perhaps, draw their attention to beauty which is already there."
George will be remembered by the tremendous legacy of his life in the arts. To his wife Irene, his children and their families, we extend our deepest sympathies.
– Mary and Jeremy Weimer