Crabb, John

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Crabb, John

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John Philip Crabb was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Herbert Philip and Doreen Crabb (née Simons) around 1930. A businessman, Crabb married Donna Jean Barker with whom he had three children. He retired from business at the age of 34 to become an art collector. As part of this move, Crabb took on a personal project for Canada’s upcoming 1967 centennial. He sought to collect a print of each woodcut designed by artist Walter J. Phillips. In his search for these prints, Crabb also accumulated etchings, watercolours, engravings and ephemera related to the artist. His collection became the centerpiece for a 1970 exhibit celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Crabb was further successful in showcasing Phillips’ artwork in galleries across North America, consequently increasing the demand for and value of his pieces.

While works by Phillips feature more prominently in his collection, Crabb was also a collector of other artists’ work, including those of Herbert Valentine Fanshaw and Clarence Tillenius As a supporter of the arts, he further donated a studio and centre to the Winnipeg Sketch Club in 1969. In later years, Crabb also donated many works by Phillips to the Assiniboine Park Pavilion Gallery, which is now considered to hold the most extensive collection of the artist’s works.


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Crabb, Herbert Philip (1889-1966)

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Crabb, Herbert Philip

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Crabb, John

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