Art in the Graham Library: K.M. Graham


Image of Arctic IV painting in Graham Library

K.M. Graham original painting, Arctic IV, located in the second floor fireplace room.

Who was K.M. Graham?


There are a number of original art works throughout Graham Library including two by trinity alumna K.M. Graham. Kay Graham was one of Canada’s most successful abstract expressionist artists. She painted landscapes of remote areas of Cape Dorset, Newfoundland and Northern Ontario in a “non-literal” way: rolling lines, fluid shapes, active patterns of colour dabbed and brushed across the canvas.

A late start

KayGraBBorn in 1913, she spent childhood summers in Algonquin Park.Kay attended Trinity College, trekked the wilderness with friends then explored Europe. Somewhat unusually, she began painting at age 50, and despite having no formal training, she became a prolific artist, exhibiting until her final show at age 90. Kay became an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College in 1988.


Browsing Europe’s galleries, she admired Henri Matisse dancing patterns. Back in Ontario, the Group of 7’s daring colours and shapes impressed her, especially the new work of Tom Thompson. As abstract art and expressionism flourished in 1960s Toronto, fellow artist Jack Bush became a great inspiration and source of encouragement.

Find K.M. Graham at the Graham


Discover landscapes straight from the heart and mind of K.M. Graham by searching images online or visiting Graham Library. Two landscapes hang over the fireplaces on the 2nd & 3rd floors. The library retains some of her personal cards, notes, exhibit catalogues and books in Special or Rare Books collections .  Visit the Lampman Room (North end, third floor) to browse a small collection of auction catalogues featuring works of Kay and her contemporaries.



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