Shirley Brickenden

Other Names: Shirley Jane Sackville Brickenden (née Browne)

Among the first members of the Women’s Committee at what would become Museum London, Shirley Birickenden was well-known for her her large-scale watercolour and acrylic works.

Shirley Brickenden (née Browne) was born in Montreal in 1924. She studied at The Royal Drawing Society of London, England at the age of sixteen, and there received honours in drawing and painting. During the Second World War, Brickenden did classified work for the Women’s Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Operations Room at Eastern Air Command.

In 1945, she married George Brickenden. After their marriage, the couple moved to London, Ontario, where Shirley Brickenden became involved with what is today Museum London. In 1956, she was among the first members of its Women’s Committee, founded by Eleanor Somerville and Josephine Wilcox.

The Brickenden family moved to Montreal in the early 1960s. Brickenden and her daughter Pamela operated Brickpoint Studios Inc, which sold original hand-painted needlepoint canvases, from 1966 to 1972. The business, with locations in both Montreal and Toronto, was the first of its kind in Canada. After selling Brickpoint Studios, Brickenden would study art, locally in Montreal, and at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

In the 1970s, Brickenden’s work was showcased in small exhibitions. Moving to Toronto, Ontario in 1983, she would go on to exhibit her work at the London Regional Art Gallery (now Museum London), The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Nancy Poole Studio in Toronto, and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Shirley Brickenden was well-known for her large-scale acrylic and watercolour works, often depicting people, trees, and flowers. She passed away in 2018 in Toronto, Ontario.

Biography by Natalka Duncan and Luvneet K. Rana


SOURCES “Biography.” Accessed May 1, 2018.

Poole, Nancy Geddes. The Art of London, 1830-1980. London, Ontario: Blackpool Press, 1984.

Humphrey Funeral Home. “Obituary of George and Shirley Brickenden.”

CBC Radio. “’There was no hesitation’: Why a couple married 73 years chose doctor-assisted death together.” The Current. Last modified May 1, 2018.

See also:
Flora Douglas (“Dougie”) Betts; Lenore Crawford; Nancy Geddes Poole; Josephine Wilcox

Timeline Entries:
London, Ontario: The London Art Gallery Establishes a Women’s Committee


McIntosh Gallery, Red Doors (Thumbnail)

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in McIntosh Gallery’s collection

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