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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Arthur Shilling



First Name: Arthur

Last Name: Shilling

Full Name: Arthur Shilling       

Date of birth: April 19, 1941

Place of birth: Rama Reserve near Orillia, Ontario

Date of death:  March 4, 1986

Place of death: Rama Reserve near Orillia, Ontario

Community / Heritage: Ojibwe, Anishinaabe community

Sex: Male

Art Media: Oil on masonite/canvas, pastel, watercolour, pencil


Arthur Shilling was born into a family of 13 children at the Rama Reserve near Orillia, Ontario, Canada. Known primarily for his oil portraits of life on the Reserve, Shilling developed a distinctive expressionist style using intense, vivid colours and bold strokes.

Shilling attended the Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford, Ontario. After moving to Toronto as a young man, he enrolled in the Ontario College of Art, but soon found that he preferred to find his own way in the art world. In 1967, when Shilling was only 26 years old, he held his first solo exhibition in Ottawa. The exhibition was a success and his work went on to be shown in galleries in New York, Brazil and across Canada.

In 1970, the after-effects of a childhood bout with rheumatic fever caught up with him and Shilling underwent heart surgery. After the operation, he found that his worldview had shifted, inspiring a move back to the Rama Reserve with his family to build an art gallery next to his home. 

In 1980, he became more interested in landscapes and traveled to paint prairie and mountain scenes.

In 1984, Shilling was in need of further heart surgery. Ignoring medical warnings, he travelled to northern Alberta and spent several weeks teaching on native reserves. He continued to work until his death on March 4, 1986.

Shilling's paintings are held in many private and corporate collections across North America, including the permanent collections of The McMichael Canadian Collection, The National Museum of Civilization, The Royal Ontario Museum and The Canadian Embassy Collection in Washington, D.C.


Solo Exhibitions:

  • 1963-1967: Orillia Public Library, Orillia, Ontario
  • 1966: Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario
  • 1967: Tom Thomson Gallery, Owen Sound, Ontario
  • 1970: McIntosh Gallery, London, Ontario
  • 1978: Nancy Poole's Studio, Toronto
  • 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986: Beckett Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario
  • 1980: Sundance Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1986: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • 1990: Columbus Centre, Toronto
  • 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997: Roberts Gallery, Toronto
  • 2003, 1999  Beckett Fine Art Ltd., Toronto, Ontario

Group Exhibitions:

  • 1967: Indian Hall of Fame, CNE, Toronto
  • 1974, 1978:  Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
  • 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986:  Woodland Indian Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario
  • 1977: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario
  • 1977: Museum of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • 1979: McMichael Canadian Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario
  • 1979: "Kinder Des Nanabush", McMichael Collection for the Museum Fur Volkerkunde, Hamburg, Germany
  • 1983: "Contemporary Indian Art at Rideau Hall, Ottawa
  • 1982: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay
  • 1990: "Two Native Masters-Arthur Shilling & Joseph Jacobs", Beckett Gallery, Hamilton
  • 1993: "Welcome Canada", Budapest
  • 2000: “Perpetual Bundle”, Indian Art Collection,  Indian and Northern Affairs, Ottawa
  • 2000: “Mutual Regard”, Arthur Shilling & David General, Beckett Fine Art, Toronto
  • Contemporary Native Art of Canada-travelling exhibition including R.O.M.



  • In May 1983, Shilling was one of seven Canadian artists invited by Governor General Edward Schreyer to exhibit at Rideau Hall, Ottawa.
  • Shilling attended the New School of Art and the Ontario College of Art and in 1967, was presented with the Canadian Centennial Medal.


Title Last Sold At Auction
BLOND HAIRED GIRL 2007-08 (August 2007)
MILLIE 2007-08 (August 2007)
SELF PORTRAIT 2007-08 (August 2007)
ARTHUR’S MOTHER 2017-03 (March 2017)
BARN 2018-11 (November 2018)
BEWABON SLEEPING (SUNRISE) 2017-03 (March 2017)
BOY IN PARKA 2017-12 (December 2017)
MEDITATION #7 2020-08 (August 2020)
MILLIE 2017-04 (April 2017)
PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG CHILD 2017-10 (October 2017)
PROFILE OF A BENSON BOY 2012-12 (December 2012)
SEATED YOUNG WOMAN 2019-03 (March 2019)
SELF PORTRAIT 2019-03 (March 2019)
SELF-PORTRAIT 2020-11 (November 2020)
SLEEPING CHILD 2018-11 (November 2018)
UNTITLED (FALL SPLENDOUR) 2017-11 (November 2017)
UNTITLED (FIGURE IN FOREST) 2017-10 (October 2017)
UNTITLED (KIDS AT PLAY) 2017-11 (November 2017)
UNTITLED (WOODLAND SHADOWS) 2020-08 (August 2020)
YOUNG GIRL IN THOUGHT 2007-08 (August 2007)

Recent Auction Results

Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: Nov 2020 — Sold For: $1,140
Estimate: 2,200 — 2,500
Sold: Aug 2020 — Sold For: $3,900
Estimate: 2,500 — 3,000
Sold: Aug 2020 — Sold For: $9,000
Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: Mar 2019 — Sold For: $960
Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: Mar 2019 — Sold For: $780
Estimate: 800 — 1,000
Sold: Nov 2018 — Sold For: $660

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