George Franklin Arbuckle studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. He taught art at the Northern Vocational School in Toronto, and at Franz Johnston’s Summer School in Georgian Bay. His work is a reflection of his travels, he spent a lot of time traveling the Northwest Territories, the MacKenzie River, and the Yukon.
He is recognized for his knowledge of historical subjects and his execution of landscapes, cityscapes, and figurative paintings. Arbuckle executed major murals and tapestries for the Hamilton City Hall, the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto, and the Chateau Champlain in Montreal.
In addition to painting, Arbuckle was also a well-known commercial artist who contributed many illustrations to accompany articles in Maclean’s magazine. Maclean’s also reproduced his paintings on their covers for many years.
Arbuckle exhibited at the Royal Canadian Academy from 1932 to 1966, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 1946 to 1967. Between 1960 and 1964, he served as the president of the Royal Canadian Academy.