Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Clarence I. Tillenius (1913-2012)

Artist.

Born at Sandridge on 31 August 1913, he attended Clematis School, Sandridge School and Teulon High School. From an early age, he showed artistic talent, sketching and painting the landscape around his home. During the Great Depression, he lost his right arm in a construction accident, forcing him to learn to paint with his left arm. He is most famous for his scenic dioramas at the Manitoba Museum and the National Museum of Canada. On 4 July 1942, he married teacher Ethel Anna Sankey and they had a son. Tillenius served as the President of the Manitoba Naturalists Society (1954-1956), and was a founding trustee of the Fort Whyte Nature Centre. In 1970, he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Winnipeg and an MHS Centennial Medal. He was inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2003) and Order of Canada (2005). He died at Winnipeg on 22 January 2012.

Sources:

Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“City artist is commissioned to paint Canadian wildlife,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 April 1960. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B12, page 11]

Obituary [Ethel Anna Tillenius], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 December 1989, page 33.

“Four Manitobans to receive Order of Canada,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 2005, page B1.

“The past is presented at rural museum” by Bill Redekop, Winnipeg Free Press, 23 July 2007, page A6.

The Fort Whyte Story: Human. Nature. by Jake MacDonald, Winnipeg: FortWhyte Alive, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9813732-0-1.

“Dean of Canadian wildlife artists” by Kevin Rollason, Winnipeg Free Press, 25 January 2012, page A7.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 March 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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