Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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M. (Millie) Emily Carr (Miss)

December 12 1871 - March 2 1945

Vancouver Studio Club and School of Art
Island Arts and Crafts Society (1911 - 1941)
Federation of Canadian Artists (Founding Member 1941)
B.C. Society of Fine Arts (Charter Member 1909)(Life Member)
Canadian Group of Painters
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (Medal 1978)

Emily Carr has probably had the most written about her of any British Columbia artist. This document will simply note her exhibition record, and provide references to further sources.

Emily Carr was born in Victoria, B.C. in 1871. She studied art in California from 1891 - 1893, then moved back to Victoria. She took a trip on the B.C. coast in 1897 which whetted her apetite for west coast scenes. She studied art in London at the Westminster School of Art, and elsewhere in England. Returning to Vancouver she taught children's art classes and spent summers traveling up the coast until 1910.

From 1911 until 1941 she exhibited paintings with the Island Arts and Crafts Society of Victoria.

She was a charter member of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts when it formed in 1908, and exhibited a number of paintings in their First Annual Exhibition in April 1909. She continued to regularly exhibit in the group's annual exhibitions almost up until her death.

In 1909 she also exhibited eight paintings in the Exhibition of Pictures held by the Vancouver Studio Club and School of Art.

Carr took further training in France, even having her work hung in the prestigious Salon D'Automne. She displayed her French work in Vancouver in 1912 with some recognition. However, she then started painting native subjects in her new French style. This proved to be unsuccessful, and she ended up making pottery to sell to tourists and raising sheepdogs in order to make ends meet - in the end spending almost fifteen years without much painting. Finally Marius Barbeau brought the attention of Eric Brown of the National Gallery to Emily's work, which he had been familiar with through his own native work. It was arranged that she loan a large number of paintings to the 1927 traveling native art show organized by the National Gallery.

Much has been written about Emily Carr - biographies both authorized and un-authorized - in addition to Carr's own extensive autobiographical writings. Her connection with artist Mark Tobey is of interest, as was the relationship with her editor Ira Dilworth. In 1929 Carr and Ina Uhthoff sponsored artists master classes given by Tobey.

Dilworth lectured on Carr's work for the Vancouver Institute in 1942. That year Carr donated artwork to an FCA fundraising exhibition for the Canadian Red Cross at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

In Winter 1944-45 Carr was preparing for a solo exhibition of her work at the Vancouver Art Gallery when she fell ill for the last time, went into a care home, and passed away a few weeks later. Preparations for that exhibition were cancelled "owing to the death of Miss Carr", according to information in the Vancouver Art Gallery Archives. The Gallery held a Memorial Exhibition of her work in 1946, with 191 paintings on display.

Carr's paintings have escalated rapidly in value, and recently set a new record price for not only her own work, but for the work of any Canadian woman artist, or any West Coast Canadian artist, when the Heffel Gallery in Vancouver sold "War Canoes, Alert Bay" to an undisclosed purchaser on May 10, 2000 for $925,000.000 CDN plus buyer's premium and taxes, costing the purchaser over one million dollars to take the painting home. The painting had been estimated at $300,000 - $500,000 CDN.

In 2006 a major retrospective of Carr's work was jointly mounted by the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery. The exhibition opened in Ottawa, then toured Vancouver (VAG), Toronto (AGO), Montreal (MMFA), and Calgary (Glenbow).

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION
1938 Oct. 12 - 23 Solo Exhibition (Travelling) VAG
1939 July 4 - 23 Six Local Artists VAG
1939 Nov. 7 - 19 Oil Paintings VAG
1940 Nov. 5 - 17 Solo Exhibition VAG
1941 Oct. 21 - Nov. 2 Solo Exhibition (38 paintings) VAG
1943 June 11 - 24 Paintings & Sketches (27 artworks) VAG
1946 May 1 - (Jan. 1947?) Memorial Exhibition VAG
1946 July 16 - 28 Solo Exhibition (12 paintings) VAG
1946 Aug. 6 - 25 Solo Exhibition (22 paintings) VAG
1948 June 8 - 20 Solo Exhibition (34 works) VAG
1950 July 1 - Sept. 30 VAG Permanent Collection VAG

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1909 April 20 - 28 BCSFA   First Annual Exhibition Wild Lilies
Deadman's Island
Indian Camp, Victoria
Big Trees, Stanley Park
Indian Village Scene, Alert Bay
War Canoes, Alert Bay
Old Warriors
A Little Old-Fashioned Lady
The Tawny Girl
Arbutus Trees
Deadman's Island
1909 June 19 - July 17 Studio Club   Exhibition of Pictures Early Spring, Hope, B.C.
The Isle of Warfare
The Field
The Cathedral, Stanley Park
Evening
Lane, Stanley Park
View From Britannia Beach
Indian Village, Victoria
1909 November BCSFA    Second Exhibition The Pool in the Grey Wood
Farmyard, Colwood, B.C.
An Old Garden
The Spit, Campbell River
The Battered Guardian of the Graves
Billy
The Schoolmistress
Out West
Calm Evening Off Beacon Hill, Victoria
Chrysanthemums
1910 May BCSFA   Third Exhibition Indian School, Lytton
An Indian Grandmother
Tommy (Lytton Indian)
The Old Maid's Garden
Two's Company, Three's None
Woods, Campbell River
1928 Feb 18 - Mar 18 Palette and Chisel Club   Exhibition Arbutus Trees
Uplands, Victoria
1928 Sept. 3 - 8 ProvExh   8th Annual Salon Alert Bay, B.C.
1929 Nov. 16 - 30 BCSFA   Winter Exhibition The Raven
Indian Village, Skidi.
Thunderbird
Indian Church
1933 May 20 - 31 VAG   Palette & Chisel Club Exhibition Vanquished
Kispiox Village
1936 June 26 - July 12 BCSFA   26th Annual Reforestation
Shore Line, Victoria
1937 April 16 - May 1 BCSFA   27th Annual Woods Without Man
Metchosin
Aline
1937 Sept. 17 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 6th Annual Community House, Koskimo
1938 April 29 - May 15 BCSFA   28th Annual My Forest
Swirl
Old and New Forest
1938 Sept. 16 - Oct. 9 VAG   B.C. Artists 7th Annual Arbutus Trees
Wood's Edge
Overhead
1939 Mar. 14 - 26 VAG   IACS Vancouver Island Exhibition British Columbia Wood
Rocks and Sea
1940 May 17 - June 2 BCSFA   30th Annual Spring
A Cedar
Vancouver Island
1941 May 10 - June 1 BCSFA   31st Annual Bent Tree
A Tawny Knoll
Sombreness Sun-lit
The Mountain
1942 May 15 - 31 BCSFA   32nd Annual Beach
Logged Lands
Typically British Columbia
Sky
Somewhere
Quiet Sunshine
Young Arbutus
1942 July 7 - Sept. 2 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Summer Quiet
The Clearing
1942 Nov. 3 - 15 FCA   Red Cross Benefit (no information available)
1943 May 15 - June 6 BCSFA   33rd Annual Old Cedar Poles
Cordova Bay
At Seaton, B.C.
Alice
Old Fir Tree
Mrs. Jones' Farm
1943 July 2 - Aug. 25 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual Summer Tree Trunk
Light Swooping Thru'
1944 July 4 - Aug. 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual Summer Alert Bay
1945 May 18 - June 10 BCSFA   35th Annual Painting (A)
Painting (B)
Painting (C)
Painting (D)
Painting (E)
1945 July 3 - Aug. 26 VAG   B.C. Artists 4th Annual Summer Loggers' Culls
1946 July 2 - 28 VAG   Jubilee Exhibition The Little Pine
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual Kitwanga


References - BIBLIOGRAPHY

Refer to BIBLIO.

References - GROUP EXHIBITIONS

SOUVENIR CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITIONS OPENING
THE NEW VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
(refer to VAG51)

100 YEARS OF B.C. ART (refer to VAG58)

B.C. PAINTINGS BURNABY 58 (refer to BAG58)

4th BURNABY NATIONAL PRINT SHOW (refer to BAG67)

CONTEMPORARIES OF EMILY CARR IN BRITISH COLUMBIA (refer to SFU74)

PLANTAE OCCIDENTALIS (refer to UBC79)

KATHARINE EMMA MALTWOOD - ARTIST (refer to UVIC81)

VANCOUVER: ART & ARTISTS 1931 - 1983 (refer to VAG83)

BRITISH COLUMBIA WOMEN ARTISTS 1885-1985 (refer to AGGV85)

BEYOND THE CANVAS - Artists, Stories and the Sea by Jennifer Breckon and James P. Delgado
      Featuring the Mary and Bill Everett Family Collection
      2000, ISBN 0-9695221-4-2; exhibition at the Vancouver Martime Museum; illust. in colour
      Exhibition included work by Emily Carr

VISIONS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (refer to VAG09)

SHORE, FOREST AND BEYOND - ART FROM THE AUDAIN COLLECTION (refer to VAG11)

HOPE AT DAWN: WATERCOLOURS BY EMILY CARR
AND CHARLES JOHN COLLINGS
(refer to VAG12)

SHIFTING MARGINS: EMILY CARR and IRENE HOFFAR REID (refer to BAG13)

EMILY CARR and LANDON MacKENZIE (refer to VAG14)

References - GENERAL

WHO'S WHO IN NORTHWEST ART (refer to WWNA41)

PERMANENT COLLECTION (refer to AGGV64)

THE FINE ARTS IN VANCOUVER, 1886 - 1930 (refer to THOM)

CREATIVE CANADA - VOLUME ONE, by University of Toronto Press
      1971; ISBN 0-8020-3262-1

THE MOUNTAINS AND THE SKY by Lorne E. Render
      1974, Glenbow-Alberta Institute; published by McClelland and Stewart West
      ISBN 0-7712-1001-2; 224 pages, illustrated throughout in colour and b&w
      Includes biographical information on Carr and 8 of her paintings illustrated

ISLAND ARTS AND CRAFTS SOCIETY - List of Exhibitors

ROYAL CANADIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS -
EXHIBITIONS & MEMBERS 1880 - 1979
(refer to RCA81)

ARTISTS IN CANADA 1982 - UNION LIST OF ARTISTS' FILES (refer to AIC82)

A DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN ARTISTS (refer to M)

VANCOUVER ARTIST: Emily Carr
      1997 May; by Michael Clark, Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design.
      Visions newsletter, Volume 3 Issue 3, page 4.
      One page biography with 2 illustrations of her work.

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA (refer to BIAC03)
      30 references listed for Carr.

EMILY CARR, New Perspectives on a Canadian Icon
      Joint publication by National Gallery of Canada & Vancouver Art Gallery
      2006; ISBN-13 978-1-55365-173-4; ISBN-10 1-55365-173-1; 336 pages, hardcover
      Essays by Jay Stewart & Peter Macnair; Johanne Lamoureux; Shirley Bear & Susan Crean;
            Charles C. Hill; Marcia Crosby; Andrew Hunter; Ian M. Thom; Gerta Moray; Steven C. McNeill
      Profusely illustrated in colour and black & white; incl. numerous historic photographs, ephemera, and maps
      Includes extensive notes; list of works; definitive bibliography (20 pages) including Sim Art & Artists in Exhibition.

"A WOMAN'S PLACE", edited by K.A. Finlay
      Art and the Role of Women in the Cultural Formation of Victoria, B.C. 1850s-1920s
      2006; ISBN 1-55058-288-7; 130 pages, softcover, illust. in colour and black and white
      Published by Maltwood Museum and Gallery, University of Victoria
      Includes information on numerous early B.C. women artists including Carr

ARTISTS IN THEIR STUDIOS (refer to AIS07)

OUR CHANGING LANDSCAPE (refer to BAG08)

INDEPENDENT SPIRIT - EARLY CANADIAN WOMEN ARTISTS by A.K. Prakash
      2008; ISBN 978-1-55407-417-4; hardcover, 410 pages
      Published by Firefly Books, Richmond Hills ON. Extensively illustrated
      Includes biographies, index of early Canadian women artists, list of illustrations, index
      Includes information and works illustrated for Emily Carr, Sophie Pemberton, Mary Riter Hamilton.

VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY - B.C. ARTISTS FILES (refer to VPL)

THE GREEN NECKLACE - THE VISION QUEST OF EDWARD MAHON
      By Walter O. Volovsek, 2012, published by Otmar Publishing, Castlegar BC
      ISBN 978-0-9880163-0-9, softcover, 282 pages, illustrated black & white
      Includes extensive biography of Lilette Mahon
      Also references to Carr's art classes & correspondence with Mahon.

CITY & PROVINCIAL DIRECTORIES 1908-10/1913/1927 (refer to DIR)

B.C. VITAL STATISTICS ON-LINE (refer to BCVS)

Clippings

"Vancouverites of the future will be glad that ... M.E. Carr and other Vancouver artists find imagination in local scenes."
      "Vancouver Studio Club Spring Exhibition"
      B.C. Saturday Sunset, July 3 1909

"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."
      From "The Studio Club Autumn Exhibition", by Felix Penne,
      B.C. Saturday Sunset, October 30 1909

"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."
      "Vancouver Studio Club", by Felix Penne
      B.C. Saturday Sunset, November 6 1909

"Miss Amity Carr (sic) is another highly valued member of the B.C.S.F.A. ... "
      From "Art in British Columbia", by Bernard McEvoy
      Opportunities Magazine, 1910

"Emily Carr's Oils Shown" by (unknown)
      Daily Province, October 13 1938

"Art Becomes ART When Expert Can't Decide Which Side Is Up" by Alan Morley
      Vancouver Sun, October 14 1938

"Canada's Most Original Artist Showing Here" by (unknown)
      Daily Province, November 2 1938

"Sedgwick Lauds Woman Painter" by (unknown)
      Vancouver Sun, November 2 1938

"Faculty, Student Review Emily Carr Art Exhibition" by Prof. F.B. Brand
      Ubyssey, November 4 1938

"Examples of Miss Carr's vigorous and original paintings have been shown from time to time...The present exhibition is, however, the first occasion on which we have been priviliged to show a collection of her work, which will include some of her most recent paintings."
      Art Gallery Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 2

"Women Artists Display Work In Two Media" by T.H.W.
      News-Herald, November 8 1939

"Carr Painting is Given To Gallery" by (unknown)
      News-Herald, November 30 1939

"Among leading contributors is Emily Carr with seven paintings ... "
      From "B.C. Society of Fine Arts Display Sets New High Mark," by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, May 16, 1942

" ... Among those contibuting paintings and drawings are: ... Emily Carr ... "
      From "Noted Artists Offer Paintings For Red Cross"
      Vancouver Daily Province (presumed), November 1942

"Paintings by well known artists include ... Emily Carr ... (continues)
      From "Summer Show at Gallery Major Event for Art Lovers," by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, July 7, 1943

"Art in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island has taken on fresh impetus during the past six months. Among individual successes ... Emily Carr has added still more to her fame with her latest volume, "The Book of Small," and an important solo show of paintings at Montreal."
      From "Collection of Eastern Artist Features Art Gallery Display" by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, January 24 1945

"Of the early painters, two at least should be specially mentioned: Emily Carr and Tom Fripp. Both painted the landscape of the country, but in an entirely different manner. Victoria-born Emily Carr skirted the rugged coast line of the Province, entered the forests with tent, dog and paints, and was receptive to the life and customs of the Native Indians with whom she made many contacts. She painted landscape with a technique based on French impressionism which later gave place to an expressionism which was well suited to the spirit-dwelling aspect of her subject matter."
      From "A Short Art History of British Columbia", by Charles H. Scott
      Behind The Palette, June 1947


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