* 2018 HOURS: May 1st - October 31st - Wednesday - Sunday - 10AM - 1PM, 3PM- 6PM. OR by appointment only *
For many regular visitors to Stratford, a visit to the home and studio of Gerard Brender à Brandis is a tradition. It means a chance to see one of the most picturesque houses in the city and to see the current work of an artist who has been engraving small and intensely detailed wood blocks for over fifty years. Individual framed and unframed prints from his blocks are displayed in the parlour, while work in progress can be seen in the studio. In addition to his handmade books, there are commercially produced books containing reproductions of his wood engravings offered for sale along with a few watercolours and small oil paintings.
Gerard and his sister, the writer Marianne Brandis, are collaborating another book which is about a family farm that has been occupied by the same family since 1854. Gerard is setting the type by hand and printing the sheets on his 1865 Albion printing press using his wooden blocks for the illustrations. He will also bind each copy of the limited edition by hand. The illustration on the right is one of fifteen in the book.
Best known for his botanical engravings, Gerard also has a new landscape in an edition of forty-five impressions, as well as engravings of gladioli (see above), peonies, and other garden favourites, and his two new engravings of native plants which will be included in the "Art of the Plant" exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa from the 10th of May to mid-October will have a place of honour on the wall.
Located less than a block from the Avon/Studio Theatre, Gerard's house is so small that groups of more than eight people are requested to make an arrangement for their visit ahead of time. People with allergies are informed the there is a small resident dog. There is no parking available at the house itself but there is usually some space along Brunswick Street. Visa, Mastercard and Interac are accepted. The entrance is not wheelchair accessible.