Hannah, The Family of Wood Carvers

Born: Active mid-20th century.

The Hannah family of wood carvers. Montreal, Verdun, Quebec. Active from the 1930’s on.

The original family members were born in the borough of Verdun in Montreal, Quebec. The family origins are Scottish-Canadian. The patriarch of the family was married twice and 17 children were born of the two marriages. Among this group were many family members who carved and painted wooden sculptures, mostly figurative, that ranged in size from 5 or 6 inches to 12 inches or more. Generally, the men were carvers, save for one or two exceptions, and the sisters shared the painting of them.

The Hannah carvers worked in the Scandinavian flat plane carving tradition. They learned their art from observation of other artists and from Carl-Johan Trygg (C.J.) who emigrated to Quebec earlier in the 20th century and eventually relocated near Saint-Sauveur, Quebec where he established a wood-carving school. Trygg worked in, and taught, the flat-plane style of carving, a tradition in Northern Europe, and also the ‘caricature’ style of figurative carving that he worked in. It was usually humorous, and tongue in cheek, unlike the more formal Saint-Jean-Port-Joli figurative works that were often carved from life. To many, Pat Hannah was the best carver of the Hannah family. He certainly had more control with his knives and chisels and his carvings were more detailed and with better proportions.

Here is a listing of the various family members who were artists:

*Charles ‘Chas.’ Hannah. Sculptor.

*Gerald ‘Pat’ Hannah. Sculptor.

*Tom Hannah. Sculptor.

*Janet Hannah. (Sister of the three brothers.) Sculptor.

*Elsie Hannah. (Sister of the three brothers.) Painted the carvings of her siblings.

*Duncan Hannah. (Son of Gerald ‘Pat’ Hannah.) Sculptor.

*Mike Hannah. (Son of Allen Hannah, a brother of the three, who was killed in a road accident.) Sculptor.

*Howard Hannah. (Son of Charles Hannah.) Sculptor.

*Pete Hannah. (Son of Gerald ‘Pat’ Hannah ) Sculptor. (Peter R. Hannah?)

*Norma and Judy Hannah. (Daughters of Pat Hannah.) Painted Pat Hannah’s work.


Ref: Mark Zannis, Montreal, Quebec.