Robert Pilot

Robert Wakeham Pilot
Born (1898-10-09)9 October 1898
St John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Died 17 December 1967(1967-12-17) (aged 69)
Montreal General Hospital, Canada
Residence Montreal, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Académie Julian
Occupation Painter

Robert Wakeham Pilot MBE, RCA (1898-1967) was a Canadian artist, who worked mainly in oil on canvas or on panel,[1] and as an etcher[2] and muralist.[3]

Pilot was born on 9 October 1898, at St John's, Newfoundland, to Edward Frederick Pilot and his wife Barbara (née Merchant).[2][2][4] In 1910, his widowed mother married the artist, Maurice Cullen, moving into Cullen's home in Montreal.[3] As a child, Pilot assisted Cullen in his studio, and the two would take sketching trips together.[3] He later studied in Montreal under William Brymner,[3] then, in March 1916, joined the army. He served as a gunner on trench mortars in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Fifth Division Artillery, during World War I.[2] From 1920-1922, he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris.[1][4] In 1922, he exhibited at the Paris Salon.[1] His work took on Impressionist influences after he visited the artists' colony at Concarneau.[1]

On returning to Canada, he was elected as an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1925, serving as the Adcademy's president from 1952-1954.[4]

His first solo show was in 1927, at the Watson Art Galleries.[3] He won the Jessie Dow Prize in that year and in 1934.[2]

He re-enlisted in 1941, during World War II, serving as a Captain in The Black Watch,[5] and was mentioned in dispatches while in Italy, which resulted in him being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1944.[2] He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal in 1953.[3]

Paintings by Pilot were presented to Winston Churchill and to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.[3] Others are in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.[6]

Pilot died at Montreal General Hospital on 17 December 1967,[4][5] and was survived by his wife Patricia (née Dawes) and son, Wakeham.[2] A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1969.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Robert Pilot". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Artist/Maker Name "Pilot, Robert W. (Robert Wakeham)"". Canadian Heritage Information Network. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Robert Pilot R.C.A.". Masters Gallery Ltd. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Robert Wakeham Pilot". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Painter Robert Wakeham Pilot dies at 69". The Montreal Gazette. 19 December 1967.
  6. "Robert Pilot". National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
A. J. Casson
President of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Succeeded by
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