Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Gertrude Lawson framing label

This is a photograph of one of two exhibition labels on the back of a painting by Gertrude Lawson, titled Morning on Mt. Edith Cavell. David Spencer Ltd. Department Store had a B.C. Artists' Golden Jubilee Exhibition on the occasion of Vancouver's Golden Jubilee in 1936. The exhibition ran from August 18 to 28, in a "specially constructed gallery" in Spencer's Department Store.

Spencer's 1936 Cedar Chest Vancouver Jubilee Time Capsule was opened in 1986, one of the many items in it was a document noted as "August 18, 1936 Report of B. C. Artists' Golden Jubilee Exhibition held at the Store of David Spencer Limited."

I contacted the Vancouver City Archives, who were kind enough to locate that document and send me a scan of it by email. It turns out that it was a major exhibition, there were "about 450 pictures and 15 pieces of statuary" in the show, making it the largest early exhibition in Vancouver, surpassing the 1890 VAA show by over 100 artworks, and the largest exhibition in Vancouver up until, perhaps, the final BC Artists' exhibition in 1968.

Photo courtesy of West Vancouver Archives, from the Lawson fond.


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