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M. Bernard  Loates
(1945-    )

Murphy Bernard Loates, prominent Canadian artist, was born in Toronto, Ontario on May 3, 1945, the son of a Toronto commercial artist.

He became a prominent publisher and master lithographer in the manner of the "private press movement" (that is, artisanal publishing with great attention to detail, as opposed to purely commercially publishing). As such he controlled all elements of a publication, from concept, to design, to the final execution. He is best known in the United States for his M.Bernard Loates Edition of John James Audubon's Birds of America. In Canada he is best known for his work with A. J. Casson, the last living member of the artists known in Canada as the "Group of Seven."

He was a fraternal twin (with his brother M. Glen Loates) and the youngest of four boys. Loates and his twin brother met Frederick Henry Brigden, founder of the Canadian Watercolorist Society, at his studio there. Brigden introduced Loates and his brother to the art of watercolors. At that young age they began painting as they explored the wooded area by Brigden's studio.

Loates left school at the age of 14, and held a succession of jobs before being hired by Atomic Energy of Canada, at first as a file clerk and later becoming the lead draughtsman by age 19. It was here that Loates' illustrated his first book, beginning a longstanding relationship with Publisher/Distributor Holt, Rinehart and Winston, as well as, Prentice Hall. Loates left Atomic Energy of Canada to become a full-time publisher. In 1968 he Nature Impressions, a wildly successful publishing business, and published three limited edition prints for his twin brother. In 1975 Loates published his first book under the name Cerebrus Press, Mammals in Profile. A second volume was published in 1979. In 1977, he published his first fine art book, The Art of Glen Loates.

Bernard continued publishing programs with Glen Loates, A.J. Casson, Toni Onley, and Walter J. Phillips amongst others. The publishing programs were in three forms, single print limited editions, trade edition books and limited edition books. Bernard's work brought him to the attention of Pierre Trudeau, and Bernard became a frequent guest to the Prime Minister's residence and various balls where he was introduced to George H.W. Bush, Jean Chrétien, amongst others.

In 1982, through the Prime Minister's Office, a gift was made to the people of the United States by the people of Canada. Bernard Loates, the artist Glen Loates and Allan Gotlieb, Canadian Ambassador to the United States, presented to Ronald Reagan a painting of a bald eagle to commemorate the Year of the Eagle. The presentation was held in the Oval Office at the White House.

In 2010, Loates introduced the White Volume Series™ highlighting upcoming Editions of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. The first release featured Lawren Harris and previewed at the 11th Toronto International Art Fair in 2010.

Loates' original oil entitled "Early Spring Eastern Bluebird," painted expressly for the Wildlife Exposition and commissioned by the New York Audubon Society was also offered as a signed and numbered limited edition print. A portion of the sale of the prints went to benefit wildlife and environmental programs supported by the Society.

Loates has continued his painting career to this day, his work hangs in private collections both throughout North America and internationally.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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