Cloistered monk who spent his life adorning Mission’s Westminster Abbey dies at 98
Considered by many to be one of Canada’s most original artists, Father Dunstan Massey died on Boxing Day in the infirmary at Westminster Abbey in Mission, aged 98.
Born at St. Paul’s Hospital on April 16, 1924, Massey grew up in East Vancouver, where his mother would give him crayons and drawing paper during his long and recurring bouts of tonsillitis as a boy.
He began by drawing figures from Greek and Roman mythology and chose to study at the Vancouver School of Art, predecessor to Emily Carr University, over high school. In 1940, at 16, he became the youngest artist to host a solo exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and was feted by the likes of modernist Jack Shadbolt and the Group of Seven’s Lawren Harris, as well as moneyed patrons.
“I had barely set foot in high school when I decided (amazingly with parental permission) that I would prefer to study art rather than algebra,” Massey once wrote.
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