This magazine cover features
a painting by Rex Woods

He was an extraordinary fine artist, who is more remembered for the magazine covers that he painted rather than his paintings.

Eng­lish-born Rex Woods was one of Canada’s most suc­cess­ful and sought-after illus­tra­tors; his work was often pub­lished on the cov­ers of pop­u­lar mag­a­zines includ­ing Maclean’s and Cana­di­an Home Jour­nal. He was one of the many tal­ent­ed who brought print to life with their art.
He immi­grat­ed to Toron­to, Cana­da in 1920. He grad­u­at­ed from the Ontario Col­lege of Art and began a career as a com­mer­cial artist. He chose to leave the art stu­dio world to work alone some­time after his mar­riage in 1928 to Ethel­dre­da Jeanne Mott, a bal­let dancer with the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Opera Company.

The Roy­al Ontario Muse­um dis­played some of Wood’s work in the win­ter of 2009–2010. It  com­prised 17 works, chiefly Cana­di­an Home Jour­nal cov­er art such as the cov­er above.

The 1934 cov­er above illus­trates a para­graph from Jacques Cartier’s Narrative

“We had a cross made 30 feet high, which was put togeth­er in the pres­ence of a num­ber of Indi­ans — under the cross-bar of which we fixed a shield with three fleur-de-lys in relief, and above it a wood­en board, engraved in large Goth­ic char­ac­ter, where was writ­ten, ‘Long Live the King of France.’ ”.

This group portrait of Canada’s Fathers of Confederation*
was painted by Rex Woods

* Rex Woods  was com­mis­sioned by the insur­ance com­pa­ny, Con­fed­er­a­tion Life Assur­ance, to recre­ate the group por­trait of the Fathers of Con­fed­er­a­tion, paint­ed in 1864  by Robert Har­ris, and which had been destroyed in the fire on Par­lia­ment Hill in 1916. The oil on can­vas paint­ing was donat­ed by Con­fed­er­a­tion Life as a cen­ten­ni­al gift to the coun­try in 1967. It hangs in Parliament.

Rex Woods, also created drawings for leading advertisers,
notably Macdonald’s Tobacco

Woods’ The Mac­don­ald’s Lassie, was used for decades by Mac­don­ald Tobac­co on their Export “A” brand of cigarettes.