William A. Drake
William Alexander Drake was born in Toronto, Ontario. He studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto under George A. Reid, William Cruikshank and Charles M. Manly. After a discussion with Tom Thomson, Drake realized that opportunities were better for an artist in the United States and in 1914 he left Toronto for New York and New Jersey where he painted sets for the New York Opera Company and worked in the motion picture business in New Jersey. In 1918 he returned briefly to the Ontario College of Art* to finish his studies under J.W. Beatty, George A. Reid, Gustav Hahn, Emanuel Hahn and Robert Holmes. Drake graduated from OCA in 1918. He went on to teach at Yale University, he was a scenic artist for live theater in New York City for over 60 years and he was an art director for NBC TV.
Drake was a member of the Architectural League of New York, the United Scenic Arts Union in New York City, the National Society of Mural Painters and the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto. Drake exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, the Ontario Society of Artists, the Art Association of Montreal, the New Jersey State Annual Exhibition, the Montclair Art Museum, the Laguna Beach Art Association, the Salons of America and the Library of Congress. His works were also shown at the British Empire Exhibition in London, the Venice Biennale and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario in the group exhibition “Industrial Strength”.
Drake’s paintings, prints and drawings are in several museum collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Canada.