BIOGRAPHY

This listing includes events and continuing interests and activities in the life of Ramsay Traquair as well as external occurrences that may have influenced him. Inclusive dates indicate the documented period during which Traquair pursued a particular activity

1874
Born 29 March in Edinburgh, Scotland. First child of Ramsay Heatley Traquair (1840-1912) of Perthshire, Scotland and the former Phoebe Anna Moss (1852-1936), daughter of Dr. William Moss of Dublin, Ireland.
1881
Father elected Fellow of the Royal Society, London.
1884-1891
Attended Edinburgh Academy.
1891
Attended Edinburgh University. Began his apprenticeship in the office of Stewart Henbest Capper. Followed courses at the Royal College of Art.
1895
Attended the University of Bonn, Germany. Pierre-Georges Roy began editing the Bulletin des Recherches historiques.
1896
Traquair attended School of Applied Art, Edinburgh. Capper appointed Macdonald Professor of Architecture, McGill University.
1896-1897
Awarded a scholarship under the National Art Survey of Scotland and spent a year in the study of historic buildings of Scotland. (Existant studies include furniture, furnishings and architecture)
1900
Elected Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Travelled with Percy Erskine Nobbs and Cecil Burgess to sketch in Italy, visiting Milan, Verona, Venice, Ravenna and Florence.
1900-1904
Worked for Sir George Washington Browne in Edinburgh and for unidentified architects in London and Dublin.
1903
Nobbs appointed to succeed Capper as Macdonald Professor of Architecture at McGill.
1904
Traquair worked for Robert Lorimer and Sydney Mitchell in Edinburgh.
1904-1913
Lectured in Architecture at the Edinburgh College of Art. Put in charge of the day program in 1908.
1905-1913
In practice as an architect in Edinburgh. Responsible for church buildings for the First Church of Christ Scientist, Edinburgh, in a neo-Romanesque style, and Skirling House, Peeblesshire in the Arts and Crafts manner, for Lord Carmichael of Skirling.
1905
Elected to an architectural studentship at the British School of Archaeology at Athens. Spent the summer in architectural study in Greece and Constantinople.

Bruce J. Home published Old Houses in Edinburgh (First Series).Nobbs published "On the Value of the Study of Old Work" in the Canadian Architect and Builder.

1906
First publication in a professional journal.
1906-
Developed and retained interest in medieval art and architecture, publishing on these subjects to 1923 and lecturing to the public to 1935.
1907
The Quebec Landmark Commission published its first report on the "Preservation of the Heights and Plains of Abraham".
1907-1913
Lectured on a variety of subjects to special interest groups in and around Edinburgh.
1907-
Developed and retained interest in Byzantine architecture, lecturing to the public to 1917 and publishing in 1928.
1907-
Developed and retained interest in the history and development of the architectural profession, lecturing to and publishing for the profession to 1928 and 1933, respectively.
1907-
Developed and retained interest in heraldry, lecturing to the public to 1928 and publishing to 1945.
1908
Nobbs published "State aid to art education in Canada" in Construction.
1909
Elected as a student of the Byzantine Research Fund. Travelled in Greece to study mediaeval antiquities.

First English translation of Benedetto Croce's Aesthetic published. National Parks Branch (Canada) founded.

1910-
Developed and retained interest in lecturing about art in its many aspects and its interaction with everyday life, lecturing to 1940 and publishing from 1912 to 1938.
1911

Lecture presented to Royal College of Art, Edinburgh, published (P9*), clarifying Traquair's philosophy of art just prior to his appointment to McGill. Edmund Morris published Art in Canada: The Early Painters.

1911
Nobbs initiated external student sketching trips to record historic architecture. Traquair would commence systematic study of old Quebec architecture in 1924.
1911-
Developed and retained interest in Boy Scouts. Interests in heraldry and scouting came together in 1937 with publication of The Design of Scout Flags, 1937.
1911-
Developed and retained interest in decorative arts, lecturing to the public to 1939 and publishing to 1943.
1912
Published Byzantine Churches in Constantinople with A. Van Millingen.

Father died, November 22.

1913
Appointed Professor of Architecture, McGill University. Moved to Montreal. Enrollment in School of Architecture at a pre-war high point (53 students).F.S. Baker published Canadian Architecture in JRIBA.
1913-
Elected as member of Arts Club, Montreal, 3 October.
1913-1939
Wrote Annual Report of Department of Architecture, published in the McGill University Annual Report.
1913-1940
Lectured to the public and special interest groups in the community.
1914

Appointed Macdonald Professor of Architecture, McGill University, to succeed Nobbs, who continued as Professor of Design. Nobbs published "Canadian Architecture" in Canada and Its Provinces.

1914-1918
Served as summer instructor at Aldershot Recruit Camp, Kemptville, N.S.
1914-1918
Progressively introduced new curriculum of the five-year program.
1914-1952
Member of St. Paul's Lodge, Montreal, Canada No. 374 E.R. [Freemasons]
1915
Founded Architectural Association, McGill University.
1915-1939
Member of Art Association of Montreal, served on Council from 1917 to 1938.
1917
Elected member of Pen and Pencil Club of Montreal, 17 February. Gordon Home Blackader Memorial Library founded at McGill. Catalogue prepared of all books in the University Library dealing with architecture, the fine arts, and allied subjects.
1917-1918

McGill Annual Reports notes: " The staff of the Department of Architecture is actively collecting drawings and photographs of historic buildings in Canada, with the object eventually of forming a record of the older architecture of the Dominion, and particularly of the Province of Quebec."

Enrollment in School of Architecture at a low point (8 students).

1917-1924
Served as Chairman of Blackader Library Committee and active on Library and Prints Committee of the AAM. Attempted to co-ordinate the two growing collections so that they would supplement each other. In 1919 prepared catalogue of the AAM library, and organized subject classification of A Catalogue of Books on Architecture and the Fine Arts in the Gordon Home Blackader library and in the library of McGill University (1922) and A Catalogue of Books on Art and Architecture in McGill Univesity Library and the Gordon Home Blackader Library of Architecture. 2nd revised edition (1926).
1918

Published first article in local French periodical. Elected Vice-President of Arts Club, Montreal. Obtained Hart collection of old photographs dating from c. 1880. Fernand Préfontaine published "L'Architecture canadienne" in Le Nigog.

1918-1923
Published series of non-academic articles relating art to everyday life.
1918-1925
Actively involved on Council of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild.
1918-1933
Exhibited photographs, watercolours, architectural drawings and woodcuts at the Art Association of Montreal Spring Exhibitions and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Annual Exhibitions.
1918-1949
Published many articles on a variety of subjects including art and architecture as well as broad social issues
1919

Elected President of the Arts Club, Montreal.Gustave Baudouin published "Nos vieilles églises: la désolation des monuments historiques canadiens" in Revue nationale.Canadian Bookman one of several new Canadian publications responding to national needs.

1919-1920
McGill graduate H.E. McEvers awarded travelling scholarship by Province of Quebec Association of Architects for study of the historic architecture of Quebec.
1919-
Generally travelled to Europe during summers. In earlier years bought books for the AAM and the McGill University libraries.
1919-1922
Actively involved as an executive member of the Community Players of Montreal.
1920

Began systematically working on old architecture of Quebec. A.C. Hutchison donated c. 1500 lantern slides to Department of Architecture including a number of views of ancient buildings. Emile Vaillancourt published Une Maîtrise d'Art en Canada (1800-1823).

1920-1921
McGill Library Committee approved the new design for the University bookplate designed in two colours by Traquair.
1921
Elected Fellow of Royal Institute of British Architects.Presented University Flag to McGill.
1921-1938
Arranged annual exhibitions of sessional drawings of students of School of Architecture at Art Association of Montreal.
1921-1949
Ontario Department of Education, Public Libraries Branch published The Canadian Catalogue of Books published in Canada, about Canada as well as those written by Canadians.
1922
École des Beaux Arts de Montréal founded.
1922-1923
150 lantern slides and large number of valuable photographs and drawings added to historic collections including drawings of historic Canadian buildings made by Traquair's students.
1922-1924
Associated with Nobbs on the Pathological Institute project.
1923
Received Honorary M.A. from McGill University. Founding member of McGill Faculty Club.
1923 -1927
Involved in negotiations with the Royal Institute of British Architects for the certification of McGill students.
1923 -1949
Developed and retained interest in publishing articles dealing with broad social issues.
1924
Department of Architecture contributed from its collection of drawings and photographs to exhibition of old architecture of Province of Quebec held by Province of Quebec Association of Architects at Art Association of Montreal, 12 to 24 November. Nobbs published Architecture in Canada
1925
Published first article on "The Old Architecture of the Province of Québec" in JRAIC. Served on the McCord National Museum Committee.First-year curriculum change included the omission of General History, the work to be made up by summer reading.
1925
Pierre-Georges Roy published Les vieilles églises de la province de Québec 1647-1800 and The Old Churches of the Province of Quebec 1647-1800.
1925-1926
Negotiations between the Department of Architecture at McGill and the Department of Mines (responsible for the Victoria Memorial Museum, Ottawa) concerning possible collaboration on the study of the old architecture of the Province of Quebec.

The Department of Anthropology, Victoria Memorial Museum, Ottawa, presented a large number of photographs of buildings in the Province of Quebec to the Department of Architecture at McGill.

1925-1939
McGill University Publications Series XIII (Art and Architecture) nos. 1-41. Twenty-seven deal specifically with Quebec topics.
1925-1947
Published and lectured on regular basis on the old architecture of the Province of Quebec.
1926
Olivier Maurault published "Un Professeur d'Architecture à Québec en 1828" in JRAIC.
1926-1929
Collaboration with Charles Marius Barbeau on published studies of four Ile d'Orléans churches.
1926-1934
Published and lectured on the particular importance of the woodcarving in Quebec.
1927
A special qualifying examination for Associate of Royal Institute of British Architects held in Montreal. Five McGill graduates were examined and qualified. Eric Ross Arthur published Small Houses of the late 18th and the Early 19th centuries in Ontario. J.C. Pouliot published Quebec and the Isle of Orleans: Historical Reminder. Pierre-Georges Roy published Vieux manoirs, vieilles maisons and Old Manors, Old Houses.
1928
Pierre-Georges Roy published L'Ile d'Orléans.
1929
Marcus Adeney published "The National Consciousness Idea: A Criticism" in Canadian Bookman.
1930
Antoine Roy published Les lettres, les sciences et les arts au Canada sous le régime français.
1930-
Developed and retained interest in old Quebec silver, lecturing to the public in 1939 and publishing in 1938 and 1940.
1932-1946
Boy Scout papers concerning activities in the design of badges, banners, and flags. Published in 1937.
1932
Enrollment in School of Architecture at post-war high point (50 students).
1934
Presented first lecture to a French-Canadian group (L'Association Canadienne-française pour l'avancement des sciences) on "The Master Sculptors of French Canada". Considerable response in French press. Elected President of McGill Faculty Club.Gérard Morisset returned to Quebec, having completed studies in Paris. Dom Bellot presented nineteen lectures on the new religious architecture, on his first visit to Quebec.
1935
Gérard Morisset published "Une belle oeuvre du Frère Luc à l'église de la Sainte-Famille, Ile d'Orléans" in Le Canada.
1936
Mother died.

Charles Marius Barbeau published Quebec Where Ancient France Lingers and in the following year the translation into French Québec où survit l'ancienne France.

1937
Published The Design of Scout Flags. Enrollment in School of Architecture at depression pre-war low point (19 students). Nobbs published Design: A Treatise on the Discovery of Form. Eric Arthur published The Early Buildings of Ontario. Milton Smith Osborne published "The Architectural Heritage of Manitoba" in Manitoba Essays.
1939

Presented with award by Province of Quebec Association of Architects. Wilfrid Bovey gave address on "The Buildings and the Spirit of Quebec". Appointed Emeritus Professor of Architecture, McGill University. Presented with early 18th century French Canadian cupboard by past and present students at his retirement party. Portrait painted by Frederick B. Taylor (B. Arch. 1930). Retired from Council of the Art Association of Montreal after more than twenty years of service. Left for home in Guysborough, Nova Scotia.

1940

Published The Old Silver of Quebec under the auspices of the Art Association of Montreal. Barbeau published "Notre ancienne architecture" in Revue du Québec industriel.

1941

Published an article in French in collaboration with Olivier Maurault and Gordon Antoine Neilson appealing for the preservation of Quebec artifacts. Morisset published Coup d'oeil sur les arts en Nouvelle-France, which included section on architecture. Barbeau published several articles concerning architecture.

1942

Traditional Quebec house was theme of "Concours d'architecture du Gouvernement Provincial 1942". Neilson died in April.

1943
Morisset published Évolution d'une pièce d'argenterie.
1944
E.R. Adair published a stinging criticism of Morisset's work in Culture.
1947
Published The Old Architecture of Quebec. Walter Abell published "An Introduction to Canadian Architecture" in Canadian Geographical Journal.
1948
Received Honorary D. ès Litt. from Université de Montréal, 28 May.
1949
Morisset published L'Architecture en Nouvelle-France.
1950
Paul Gouin lectured on "Le Meuble Canadien" at the Art Association of Montreal, 18 January.
1952
Died at Guysborough, Nova Scotia, 26 August. Survived by sister Hilda, Mrs. G.P. Napier of Sidney, British Columbia, and brother, Dr. Harry Moss Traquair of Edinburgh.Left a considerable bequest to Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, including collection of church and domestic silver, carved pine cupboard presented to him in 1939 at McGill, an 18th century chest of drawers from the Province of Quebec, and a carved wood monstrance.

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