Herbert Sydney Palmer Title

Listed Canadian Artist: 1881-1970
Coutts Serigraph: Signed, dated and numbered by the artist
Known title: “Repose”
Signed: “H. S. PALMER” in the screen
Image Size: w. 3.75in. by h. 3 in
Condition: original with no condition issues
Framed: Archivally encased using acid-free, rag content materials throughtout

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A Note of Interest: This H.S. Palmer serigraph is one of a series of 43 serigraphs created in 1931 for Coutts Hallmark Christmas cards. Group of Seven member A.Y.Jackson was the driving force behind this project and twenty-six of Canada’s leading artist were asked to contribute to this fund raising venture for needy artists, which became known as the 'Painters of Canada' series Chrismas cards. Unfortunately, due to a drastic downturn in the economy brought on by the 1929 stock market crash, this project soon dwindled and after a few years the cards were removed from the marketplace. So, no one knows what happened to the remaining unsold cards, whether they were stored away or thrown out, nor is anyone quite sure how many of these historic Christmas cards still remain in existance today.

Herbert Sydney Palmer RCA, OSA

About Our Print Framing

H. S. Palmer Framed


Herbert Sydney Palmer Unframed


Palmer Signature in Screen


Ernst Neumann frame corner



H. S. Palmer Bio Title

Herbert was born in Toronto and studied art under F. S. Challener and J. W. Beatty at the Central Ontario School of Art. He later worked for the Canadian War Memorial Fund in 1917.


Herbert Palmer is very well known for his idyllic captivating Ontario landscapes with cattle and sheep.


He held the office of Vice-President and Treasurer of the Ontario Society of Artists and was the Curator of the Fine Art Department of the Canadian National Exhibition and was a founding member of the Arts and Letters Club. He exhibited with the RCA, the AAM, as well as the OSA. His work in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada as well as many other public galleries and private collections in Canada, the USA and Europe.


In 1960, Herbert was the first recipient of the Baxter Art Foundation Award for years of devoted effort to the work of the OSA, RCA and other professional art groups.


Herbert Sidney Palmer passed away in 1970.

Print Ref No: 1OEX12SIM-S/MROX


Edwin Holgate Coutts History Title

The 1931 Christmas cards shown here are from the “Painters of Canada” series that was published by William E. Coutts, the founder of Hallmark Cards Canada. They were all printed by the best in the business, the Sampson-Matthews Company of Toronto.

The series is composed of 46 Christmas cards, 43 of which are serigraphs and three of which are photo mechanical reproductions. Twenty-six notable Canadian artists contributed to this series, among them were several members of the Group of Seven. A key figure in the creation of these cards was A.Y. Jackson, who encouraged William E. Coutts to issue this special series. Jackson envisioned that the production of this series could act as a partial source of income for some of the artists who were experiencing financial difficulties at that time. Coutts also saw it as an opportunity to create artful contemporary Canadian greeting cards that had never been previously presented in this fashion.

The “Painters of Canada” series, that at first promised to be a great success, was unfortunately, created during the Great Depression. So, over just a few short years, the “Painters of Canada” series was designated a financial failure and was relegated to the waste bin of time. Although the actual number of Coutts cards printed is uncertain, it is known that the selling price at that time ranged from $37.50 to $67.50 per box of 100 cards. It is also known that only 25 to 50 boxes of cards were eventually sold and there is no accounting for the remainder of the unsold boxes of cards. It's presumed that they remaining cards were destroyed and are gone forever.

William Coutts was a great supporter of the arts in Canada. Since the founding of the William E. Coutts Company in 1916, he greatly admired and included Canadian artists for greeting card subject matter that illustrated the life and times of Canada in the 1930's. The “Painters of Canada” series began at the very end of the 1920s and even though they weren't around for long, their creation started an on-going tradition for Hallmark Cards Canada, the successor to The William E. Coutts Company. The 1931 series did represent some of the greatest achievements in Coutts' production history with respect to the cards style and presentation, the processes used to create them and the quality of the product itself.

Herbert Sydney Palmer RCA, OSA, Canadian Artist Printmaker

Updated July 5, 2024

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