Bates, Maxwell Bennett

BATES, Maxwell Bennett (1906-1980), son of William S. Bates, was born in Calgary on 14 December 1906 and articled in his father's office from 1925 to 1928, then worked as his assistant until 1931. He spent three years travelling in Europe and in March, 1934 settled in London, Engl. where he became chief assistant to J. Harold Gibbons, FRIBA, a prominent restoration architect who worked in a Gothic Revival style. He remained with that office until 1939, then enlisted in the British Army and was taken prisoner in 1940, remaining captive for the next five years. He rejoined his father in Calgary in 1946 but his growing interest in painting led him to New York in 1948 where he enrolled in the Brooklyn Museum Arts School. The sudden death of his father in February 1949 required his return to Calgary later that year in order to complete several unfinished projects. From 1951 to 1957 he maintained an architectural office in Calgary in partnership with Alfred W. Hodges and executed his best known work there, St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, 18th Avenue S.W., CALGARY, ALTA., in 1954-57 (Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 97, illus. & descrip.).

After suffering a stroke in 1961 he moved to Victoria B.C. in 1962 where he devoted much of his time to painting. He died there on 14 September 1980 (obit. Times-Colonist [Victoria], 17 Sept. 1980, 15; biog. Canadian Who's Who, 1980, 53). An exhibit catalogue on the architectural career of Maxwell Bates was published by the Nickle Arts Museum at the University of Calgary in 1992. The Special Collections Div. of the University of Calgary Library holds a collection of drawings and manuscript material documenting his career.