Author: Nick Fonda
Frederick Coburn (1871-1960) was arguably Canada’s best-known painter at the peak of his career. Nick Fonda revisits Coburn’s work providing charming new insight into the painter and his surroundings. His method includes casting an inquisitive gaze on other accomplished artists who have followed quite unusual paths as they responded to the same muse that moved Coburn a century ago, the Eastern Townships. These include Minnie Gill, Denis Palmer, Mary Martin, Stuart Main, France Jodoin, and Keven Sonmor.
Based on interviews with neighbours and Coburn aficionados and Nick Fonda’s own thorough understanding of the milieu in which Coburn grew up, lived, and worked, Hanging Fred and a Few Others is more than a biography of an important artist. It is also a lively and fascinating reflection on the role of place—the Eastern Townships—in an artist’s life.
F.S. Coburn, in addition to being a painter, was an accomplished photographer. Nick Fonda, with the help of Bob Laberge, also presents 14 photos from the family collection, all taken or inspired by Frederick Coburn.