1909 - 1982
Edward Goodall was born on September 3, 1909, to Mabel and Sydney F. Goodall, barrister, solicitor and Mayor of Wells, Somerset, England. At an early age he showed interest in art but was not encouraged as his father felt it should be left as a hobby. He attended Monmouth College in Wales and while there studied art under the guidance of art master Marcus Holmes. After leaving Monmouth he continued his pursuit of art while his father began guiding him towards a career with the bank. The thought of a banking career did not enthuse Edward so his father took some of his work to Augustus John, whereby John said he had natural talent and should not go to art school but should develop his own style. With this in mind, he began to travel.
In India Goodall got a job as a foreman on a tea plantation and then went on the China and Japan, financing his trip with freelance drawings. He eventually came to Canada and spent the winter cutting ice blocks at Lake Wabamun in Alberta. He continued to draw and sell his work but during the depression years of the 1930's it was tough. He hired on with a cattle drive across Canada and then by ship to Ireland, its final destination. He then returned to Canada and in 1937 married Caroline Puckle on October 30 in Victoria.
When war broke out he enlisted and joined the Royal Engineers, specializing in camouflage of buildings and equipment for the duration. In 1942 he began drawing pen and ink and pencil postcards of Vancouver Island and started the successful "Goodall's Pencil Postcard Series." In 1945 he purchased Inchgarth on Wilmot Place in Oak Bay and built his first studio. By this time orders for cards and commercial drawings where coming in steadily and he traveled around Vancouver Island stopping in at auto courts to meet their owners. In no time he was doing drawings of the business using his artist license. Usually he would sell the original to the owner and then have a small quantity of cards printed.
Two of his first large commissions in the late forties and early fifties were a series of drawings of the pulp mill at Powell River and paintings for the C.P.R. ships. His scenes were always places people would recognize. The Devonshire Hotel in Vancouver ordered a series of old English Inns and he began doing paintings in water colour of private homes. He had a long standing association with Canadian Stevedoring where he prepared a series of pencil drawings every year for their calendar. This continued until his death.
Edward Goodall continued to get out and promote his work for the most part keeping it commercial as that was were the money was. In the early fifties he produced a British Columbia calendar of scenes from the west coast first in pencil drawing but over the years eventually replaced them with paintings. These were very sought after and sold out quickly.
In the mean time he made contact with the Illustrated London News and they quickly commissioned him in 1955 to prepare a series of drawings on the new Aluminum smelter project in Kitimat. This led to many other drawings for the publication including a series on education facilities in Canada, scenes for British Columbia's centennial celebration in 1958 and the Royal Canadian Navy. He was often invited to join the Navy as a guest during exercises which took him to Hawaii and San Francisco.
Edward, or Ted as he was often called, was a member of the Alpine Club of Canada and Chairman of the Vancouver Island section for two years; 1959 and 1960. Some of his ascents were made in company of Phyllis Munday, Rex Gibson, Tom Hind, Joe Kato and Mark Mitchell. He went on a number of ACC summer camps and winter ski camps (Skoki in 1954 and Little Yoho in 1958) in the Canadian Rockies and always made time to make water colour sketches. These subjects inspired him to start production of a calendar of water colour which again was a huge success. It was also at this time that water colour postcards were in demand.
He made personal Christmas cards for dozens of people including the Premier of British Columbia, the Lieutenant Governor, the Captain and crew of the Royal Yacht Britannia, and Harold Elworthy, president of the world famous marine and rescue salvage company Island Tug and Barge. He also designed personalized cheques for many prominent Canadians including timber magnate H.R. MacMillan.
By now he was very well known and besides his art he was also selling his photography of mountain scenes to post card companies. He won a thunderbird at the Brussels World Fair for colour photography and was continually asked to exhibit his work.
Edward was always in good health and very active, always finding time to go hiking and skiing. In the mid 1970's he was approached by John deJong of Canadian Gallery Prints in Port Moody who eventually became his agent and a very successful series of limited addition prints were issued over a number of years. His work usually sold out in no time. In the early 1980's he was flown to specific locations in the mountains by helicopter special orders and enjoyed a comfortable life in semi retirement.
In 1982 a cancerous growth was found in his throat which spread and following surgery he suffered a stroke from a blood clot and died September 12 at the age of seventy-three. Following his wishes, the ashes were scattered on a favourite mountain near Banff, a place where happy holidays were spent with his family.
Although not remembered specifically as a mountaineer, Edward Goodall's art is housed in homes around the world. Sadly, he did not keep a record of all his work or the cards produced and in many cases not even one card was kept. Since 1942, it is estimated that over five hundred scenes were made into post cards.
Goodall, Richard. Personal