George Cocayne

Born: 1906  |  Died: 1986

George Cocayne. Sculptor. Woodcarver. Madoc. Ontario.  Active mid 20th century.

A primitive artist; George Cocayne worked with ‘as found’ materials and colors. His favorite theme was spirit masks, highly colored and deeply carved in round blocks of Pine. He also carved  animals and figures; he preferred ‘as found’ materials from the forest such as roots and branches and colours. He was very collected during his life time and well shown in galleries and collections and publications. Examples of his work are in the collections of The Canadian Centre for Folk Lore Studies.

A link to The Marmora Historical Foundation site for a history and images of Cocayne’s work:


Ref: Steven Inglis, The Work of George Cocayne. The National Museum of Canada. 1983.

Ref: Canadian Centre for Folklore Studies. Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Ref: Artists in Canada, Union list of Artist’s files. National Gallery of Canada. 1982.

Ref: Blake McKendry, An Illustrated Companion to Canadian Folk Art (1999).