Marjory Donaldson

Take virtual tours of her exhibition held in March 2020:


Marjory Eileen Rogers was born in Woodstock NB in March 1926. Marjory spent many summers on her grandfather's farm in Northampton, downriver from Woodstock, where she enjoyed looking after animals. It was in her formative years that she developed a love of art, learning to paint, draw and carve.

Marjory received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University in 1951 (this was the only Fine Arts degree in Canada at the time), and in her years of study she worked among the country’s finest artists, being a student assistant with the UNB Summer School to Pegi Nicol MacLeod and taught by Lawren Harris, Alex Colville, and the like. She also showed great promise, as she won the O’Keefe Award in a national competition for young artists, and her vision and talent have carried themselves throughout her career.

During their time between England, McAdam, Montreal, and Fredericton for Allan’s studies, research and teaching in the 1950s, Marjory continued to flex her artistic muscles as she taught school children art, and studied life drawing and etching & lithography at the City and Guilds of London Art School. During Lucy Jarvis’ leave in 1954-1955, Marjory was the acting director of the UNB Art Centre, and she returned to this position as joint acting director in 1965 with John Corey when Jarvis retired. This marked her lifelong connection with the university’s budding art community and beyond.

A notable point in the growth of Fredericton’s artistic community was in 1962 when Bruno Bobak started his time as the permanent Director of the UNB Art Centre. He expanded the variety of art courses taught, whilst fostering a creative atmosphere of sharing, learning, and thriving. An integral part of this, Marjory was a part-time assistant director with Bruno, she taught drawing and printmaking courses for the UNB Extension Department, served as a UNB representative to the Atlantic Provinces Art Circuit and later the Atlantic Provinces Art Galleries Association, was the Art Editor for the Fiddlehead Magazine, worked full time as the Art Centre curator, was the acting director of the Art Centre during Bruno’s leave of absence, managed a cooperative drawing group for local artists in the Art Centre, worked on several university committees, and she became the director in 1986 until her retirement in 1991. On top of that, for years she held an executive position at the Atlantic Arts Council.

Throughout her life, Marjory was a disciplined and professional artist who created a wide variety of work, and with it, proliferated a culture of printmaking in New Brunswick. Her exhibition history spans across the country, from Edmonton to St. John’s. She has also done commission work, such as portraits of university presidents. With the opening of the NB Sports Hall of Fame in 1970, she spent many years as the artist in charge of painting portraits. She was also a contributor to Bruno Bobak: The Full Palette and was featured in the book Portraits: New Brunswick Painters.

Long-time friends and neighbours would say that Marjory was always humble and unassuming, never bringing the focus of the conversation to her art. Nevertheless, her great contributions to the arts earned her an honorary PhD from St. Thomas University in the 1990s, and in 1991, she received the Award of Merit Citation from the Association of Museums, New Brunswick.