Memorable Manitobans: Victor Albert Long (1866-1938)
Born at Fort Erie, Ontario on 24 May 1866, son of Richard and Anne Long, he was educated the St. Catharines College Institute and Trinity College Dublin. He studied painting at Munich, Germany and travelled all over the world, engaged in painting.
He returned to Canada in 1887 and opened a Winnipeg studio at 383 Main Street where he specialized in portraits of anyone, regardless of status. He also approached the city and province offering to paint large portraits of public figures such as mayors, premiers and speakers at a deeply discounted price in exchange for them being prominently displayed. Long soon found that he was able to live on his income as an artist, one of the first in the city to do so.
Hundreds of Long’s portraits hang in legislatures, city halls, universities, and other institutions across the West. His most accessible local works include portraits of a number of Winnipeg’s early mayors in the public gallery of the city council chambers as well as Alexander Carnegie’s portrait and landscapes of Fort Garry and Fort Douglas at the Millennium Library.
On 17 January 1902, he married Alexandria Victoria Hughes at Brandon, with whom he had a son (John) and a daughter (Winifred). In 1910, the family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia but each summer Long would take a train back to Winnipeg, collecting new commissions at stops along the route. He would ship the completed works from his Vancouver studio.
He died at Vancouver on 18 December 1938. His correspondence relating to Manitoba political portraits (1915-1927) is in the Archives of Manitoba.
His portraits in Manitoba included:
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
A portrait of artist Victor Long, West End Dumplings blog.
Artists in Canada: Long, Victor Arthur, Portrait Gallery of Canada.
We thank Rachelle Ross for providing information used here.
Page revised: 22 March 2016
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