Kenneth “Ken” Saltmarche

Artist, Art Gallery Director

Kenneth “Ken” Saltmarche was born September 29th, 1920 in Cardiff, Wales, U.K. Kenneth "Ken" SaltmarcheSaltmarche was an artist, an art director, and a key figure in Windsor’s art scene. He was also a crucial player in developing the collection of the Art Gallery of Windsor, having been curator of the gallery for several decades. He passed away July 3, 2003 in Toronto.

Saltmarche moved to Windsor, Ontario with his parents in 1924. After attending Walkerville Collegiate, Saltmarche went on to study art at the Cass Technical Institute in Detroit. He also studied under the guidance of Jack Meanwell, an artist who grew up in the Windsor area. In 1945, Saltmarche furthered his education in art at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Saltmarche was in charge of operations of the Art Gallery of Windsor in 1946, which had been based out of Willistead Manor since 1943. By 1960, he was appointed as the director of the Art Gallery of Windsor (or the Willistead Art Gallery of Windsor, as it was known until 1969). Saltmarche also held an honorary law degree that he received from the University of Windsor.

Saltmarche was particularly well known for his portraiture. His image of Reverend E.C. LeBel, the University of Windsor’s first president, is one of his most famous artistic works. Saltmarche was also an instrumental figure in seeing the Art Gallery of Windsor become an independent institution. He worked tirelessly to improve the Art Gallery of Windsor’s collection and often worked with the Detroit Institute of Arts to collect items. By the time he retired in 1985, the art in the collection amounted to a total value of $5 million dollars. Saltmarche has authored several books that consist of collections of his own sketches and those by other artists (such as Caven Atkins, a Canadian artist born in London, Ontario).


Brush up on dates. (2001). The Windsor Star .Retrieved from Proquest..

Gladstone, Bill. (2003). He gave his city artistic merit. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from The Globe and Mail.

Gladstone, Bill. (2011). Obit: Gallery curator Ken Saltmarche (1920-2003). Retrieved October 28, 2016 from

Hornsey, Chris. (2003). Arts community loses visionary; Kenneth Saltmarche dies after long illness. Windsor Star, p. A.4

Saltmarche, Kenneth. (1982). A collection of light-hearted sketches from a personal book of hours – and hours and hours – in hospital. Windsor, ON: Poor Me Products.

Saltmarche, Kenneth. (1980). Art Gallery [sound recording]. In Before we forget – our past, our present, 64. Windsor, Ont.: Windsor Public Library.

Saltmarche, Kenneth and the Art Gallery of Windsor. (1979). A retrospective exhibition of selected works by Caven Atkins spanning fifty years of the artist’s life: Art Gallery of Windsor, September 23 through October 28, 1979. Windsor, ON: Art Gallery of Windsor, ON.

Saltmarche, Kenneth. (n.d). R. L. Bloore, sixteen years : 1958-1974: An exhibition organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Windsor in 1975. Windsor, ON: [s.n.]