Homer Watson House & Gallery
1754 Old Mill Road, Kitchener, ON N2P 1H7
Phone: 519-748-4377 Fax: 519-748-6808
|Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, Noon - 4:30 pm|
|Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm|
|Managed by the Homer Watson House Foundation|
|Admission: $10.00 | Members, Students, Seniors: $5.00|
The Homer Watson House & Gallery represents both the industrial and the artistic heritage of the village of Lower Doon. The original house, built in the 1830's in the Scottish Gothic style of architecture, was part of an industrial complex constructed by Adam Ferrie Jr. This development was the beginning of village life at the conjunction of Schneider's Creek and the Grand River.
In 1855 Homer Watson, one of Canada's first internationally recognized artists, was born in the village of Upper Doon, in a small house still standing at the corner of Tilt Drive and Doon Village Road. Though there was no art instruction in the village the young Watson developed his skills in drawing and painting at an early age, encouraged by an aunt who gave him a set of paints. Using illustrations in the books of his father's library as teaching examples he learned how to describe the world around him in sketches and in finished oils.
Homer Watson made two important changes to the structure of the house. In 1893 -1894 he added a large studio room, using material from a stone building nearby. He then painted a frieze on the walls of this room and the anteroom in 1895.The names of 13 European artists whom he admired were spelled out in large block letters interspersed with small scenes painted in the manner of the artists so named.
The second major addition was made in 1906. Watson designed and built a large gallery at the front of the house just off the small reception room. This beautiful room with its windowed monitor and fine proportions was a fitting showcase for Watson's work and became an attraction for art lovers from near and far. Connoisseurs, coming from the cities, could disembark at the train station just down the road when visiting the hospitable Watsons.