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

B.C. Saturday Sunset, November 6 1909
By "Felix Penne"


As at present announced, the interesting little exhibition arranged by the Vancouver Studio Club will close on November 6th. I advise all who wish to see it to go soon - for wet afternoons may soon spoil the pleasure of a visit. The exhibition is worth seeing - and now that the catalogue - a very neat and handy catalogue - is out I am able to notice a few exhibits with more detail. Talking of catalogues - I hope that ere many years have passed the Vancouver Exhibition will justify an extended catalogue with reproductions - like the "Academy Notes" which my old friend Henry Blackburn made so popular.

Early in the Vancouver list we met with the name A.M. Creery attached to some excellent local views. S.P. Judge has also had local inspiration and "The Old Shack" (15), "Entering The Harbour" (18), and "Golden Evening" (19), are happy bits. Alice Blair Thomas is well-represented in Nos. 33 and 34; her work is too well-known to need eulogium. Mrs. D. Bell-Irving shows two excellent pictures, "Solitude, Jervis Inlet," (35) and "The Lagoon, De Courcy Island" (36).

I have not known the work of M.E. Carr long enough to speak positively of what this artist has done in the past, yet I will venture the opinion that in breadth of treatment, boldness, and "grip" the artist shows much improvement. "Cliffs by Beacon Hill" (38) has the breadth and "go" of a scenic artist. I use that comparison in the best sense. Other pictures by the artist deserve equally favorable mention. W.P. Weston is a new - and a welcome artist in Vancouver. "The North Arm - Summer Evening" (51), is good. J. F Mackintosh Gow has many good pictures and J.M. Kyle, T.W. Fripp, T.V. Wylde, C. Bethune are artists who contribute admirable exhibits. W.H. Archer shows some capital architectural drawings and with the great building activity which is going on I can hope that the Studio Club will encourage this department. There is too much duplicating of the "homes" being erected all around us - let us have a little more originality in future homesteads. Out in the suburbs a working painter has put himself up a home - which takes the shine out of all its neighbours, not because it is expensive - but because he has put original ideas and good taste into his humble dwelling. I am only attempting to call attention to this exhibition so I will merely add that in addition to the exhibits named above, there are examples of the work of W.E. Atkinson, Mrs. Bampfylde Daniell, H. McLachlan, Louise Bridgeman, John Hassall, T. Addis Mayne, Alfred M. Read, F.B. Pigott, S.E. Frame, L.H. Wright, Mrs. Rankin, and others. Surely the list of Vancouver artists is rapidly growing. I have already noticed the sculpture of C. Marego (sic). I must add that there is also a cleverly modelled head by Mr. W.H. Archer.

And now a word on the values of such exhibitions. Going home in the car the other day I got into conversation with one of Vancouver's leading businessmen - accent on the word business please. "Have you seen the Studio Club exhibition?," I asked. "No! Haven't time for pictures and such rubbish. Vancouver wasn't made by artists," was the response.

No! Vancouver was not made by artists. Vancouver is not finished yet, thank God! and in its making - for it is still being made, Vancouver will, in the future, learn something from art. Vancouver has got beyond the stage of satisfying the more primitive wants of humanity. Vessel and argosies come and go to and from her ports laden with food-stuffs, silk and cloths. But there comes also here, and develops in our midst, goods which have not a declared nor an official value, truths which elevate the tastes and the character of our hundred thousand population. Here today - in Vancouver the tongue and the pen, the sculptor's chisel and the artist's brush proclaim an alliance between spirit and matter. There shall be a marriage between that British enterprise which has conquered the world and overspread it "as the waters cover the sea" and that intellect, art and taste which here is young, but is of the people - and which is now manifesting itself in a hundred different ways - all pure, elevating and wise.

Vancouver has her night schools, her musical academies, her literary classes and other agencies, teaching that life without work is crime and life without art may sink into brutality. The Vancouver Studio Club is doing good work - will Vancouver give it the needed encouragement?


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