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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.
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).
|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|
|1909 April 20 - 28||BCSFA First Annual Exhibition||Wild Lilies|
|Indian Camp, Victoria|
|Big Trees, Stanley Park|
|Indian Village Scene, Alert Bay|
|War Canoes, Alert Bay|
|A Little Old-Fashioned Lady|
|The Tawny Girl|
|1909 June 19 - July 17||Studio Club Exhibition of Pictures||Early Spring, Hope, B.C.|
|The Isle of Warfare|
|The Cathedral, Stanley Park|
|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|
|Calm Evening Off Beacon Hill, Victoria|
|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|
|1928 Sept. 3 - 8||ProvExh 8th Annual Salon||Alert Bay, B.C.|
|1929 Nov. 16 - 30||BCSFA Winter Exhibition||The Raven|
|Indian Village, Skidi.|
|1933 May 20 - 31||VAG Palette & Chisel Club Exhibition||Vanquished|
|1936 June 26 - July 12||BCSFA 26th Annual||Reforestation|
|Shore Line, Victoria|
|1937 April 16 - May 1||BCSFA 27th Annual||Woods Without Man|
|1937 Sept. 17 - Oct. 10||VAG B.C. Artists 6th Annual||Community House, Koskimo|
|1938 April 29 - May 15||BCSFA 28th Annual||My Forest|
|Old and New Forest|
|1938 Sept. 16 - Oct. 9||VAG B.C. Artists 7th Annual||Arbutus Trees|
|1939 Mar. 14 - 26||VAG IACS Vancouver Island Exhibition||British Columbia Wood|
|Rocks and Sea|
|1940 May 17 - June 2||BCSFA 30th Annual||Spring|
|1941 May 10 - June 1||BCSFA 31st Annual||Bent Tree|
|A Tawny Knoll|
|1942 May 15 - 31||BCSFA 32nd Annual||Beach|
|Typically British Columbia|
|1942 July 7 - Sept. 2||VAG B.C. Artists 1st Annual Summer||Quiet|
|1942 Nov. 3 - 15||FCA Red Cross Benefit||(no information available)|
|1943 May 15 - June 6||BCSFA 33rd Annual||Old Cedar Poles|
|At Seaton, B.C.|
|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)|
|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|
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)
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)
"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
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 ...
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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