Robert Hugh Ayre (1900-1980): Art - A Place in the
Community. Reviews at 'The Gazette', Montreal (1935-1937) and at 'The Standard', Montreal
This paper is a study of the development of Robert Hugh
Ayre's art criticism at The Gazette, Montreal (1935-1937) and at The Standard,
Montreal (1938-1942) throughout his mandate at these newspapers. A particular concern of
these writings was the place of art in the community. The role of art in society was
defined on many occasions by Robert Ayre as meaning that art and artists should play an
integral role in society. In Ayre's estimation, it was imperative that society perceive
its artists as essential stewards of social and cultural significance. His contention was
that society should work toward creating a community integrated into the spirit and the
pattern of its culture, with the visual arts a central force.
Ayre's journalistic art reviews at The Standard
and The Gazette, throughout the 1930s and 1940s are the basis of this thesis.
These documents will therefore be analyzed to determine the evolution of Ayre's critical
philosophy. As well, under consideration will be the manner in which he disseminated this
philosophy to his readers.
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