Legh Kilpin was one of many English artists who came to Canada around
the turn of the 19th century in search of new opportunities.
In England, he was among a generation of British artists educated
within a newly established system of art education developed on the
model of the European trades schools. The British National Arts Training
schools, where Kilpin received his teaching certification in the late
1880s, were concerned with training artists who could help industry.
At school, they learned the fundamentals of “good” design:
practical geometry, linear perspective, and the elementary principles
of ornament. These were skills that Kilpin passed on to his students.