Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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"The Studio Club Autumn Exhibition"

B.C. Saturday Sunset, October 30, 1909
By "Felix Penne"


The glory of the garden has gone, but there is much charm in the glorious tints of autumn foliage, and the pale beauty of the chrysanthemum delights the eye. During the next fortnight, however, lovers of colors, of the beautiful, will find that art can gratify the eye as well as nature, and in cosy snug rooms, in a warm pleasant artistic atmosphere, the autumn show of the Vancouver Studio Club can be enjoyed. This show, held in the Haddon Block, Hastings Street, opened on Wednesday afternoon and will remain open for a fortnight. Mr. H. Abbott, the president, Mrs. A.M. Creery, Mrs. A. Lothian Russell, Mr. Mackintosh Gow, the director, and all concerned, are to be congratulated on again getting together an interesting and excellent collection. Each exhibition seems to mark improvement and progress. At the time of my visit the hanging was not quite completed - so I must apologize for any apparent neglect to notice meritorious work - the fact is that although small, the collection cannot receive justice in one visit. I shall go again - and again. Having in childhood taken my first steps in a sculptor's studio - having been constantly associated with the plastic art all my life - it is particularly pleasant to welcome to Vancouver a sculptor, Mr. C. Mareges, (sic) who is represented by little realistic groups in wax. These have the right feeling, a directness and life which reminds one of Geo. Tinworth, but there is every indication that the sculptor is capable of broader and more ambitious work - which I shall be glad to see. In the last exhibition the only piece of sculpture was a medallion by Noel Bursill - I hoped to see more of that class of work, and it has arrived. Soon Vancouver will not have to propose to get dead sculptors to design memorials - there are and will be living, capable sculptors nearer home than the other bank of the Styx.

Among the paintings are many fine pictures by Mr. F.M. Bell-Smith, R.C.A., including "The Heart of the Empire" and many Old Country views. "A Canal in Bruges" by W.E. Atkinson, A.R.C.A., and other pictures by the same artist are loaned by Mrs. Watkins. Mrs. Banfylde Daniell, R.M.S., is represented by two fine pictures, "The Lake, Metchosin, B.C." and "Across the Lagoon." Mrs. Creery has painted a pretty "Corner of Kitsilano Beach" and other local views. S.P. Judge has also good local views, "Return Through the Narrows" and others distinctly interesting and meritorious. Grace Judge shows some clever black and white work - design for book illustrations - in which a good firm line, deft execution, is united to a pretty inventive fancy. There is little need to dwell upon the work of Alice Blair Thomas, "Silver Birches," "The Old Cedar Tree" and others are well up to her standard. M.E. Carr has also some British Columbia views. These artists are doing good service in preserving the features of a country where changes take place not only day by day but hour by hour.

It is refreshing for a Surrey man - as I am - to come across breezy "Wimbledon Common," by W.P. Weston, but though such pictures are welcome I would rather see the artist's brush employed on the vanishing charms of B.C. Wimbledon Commons, thank Heaven! is safe for all time, but where is the square yard of the country round Vancouver which is not already "staked" and "on the market". Hurry up ye members of the Vancouver club or all the "paintable" bits round the suburbs will be gone.

Mr. J.F. Mackintosh Gow has caught a few of these views very happily. "Burnaby Lake," "The Edge of the Lake," and "On Burrard Inlet" are instances.

I have only space this week to note "Deadman's Island" by C. Bethune, the pictures of L.H Wright, Alfred M. Read, Miss Pigott and W.H. Archer. There are some pictures loaned which have historical merit, but they are welcome.

At this moment I am not aware of the arrangements made for art lectures or "gossips" during the exhibition. I hope there will be several. The lecture on watercolors by Mr. Fripp was both interesting and instructive and such lectures tend to make art something more than a means of "home adornment" - a real factor in the building up of a good fabric of society. Life is short, but art is eternal, and Vancouver, a city in the making, should take care that the art feeling cultivated today is such as will, and should, live through the ages. Happily the Studio Club has grasped its mission and its ambitions are in the right direction.


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