Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Miss Laurencia Alice Frances Ethel Herchmer
(Mrs. Hugh John Casement Rickard)

July 18 1910 - March 12 2007

Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts
P.A.S.O.V.A.S.

Laurencia Herchmer was born in Vancouver in 1910. Her father was Colonel Laurence William Herchmer of the R.C.M.P., her mother Ethel Jane Ashworth. Herchmer became a member of P.A.S.O.V.A.S., the Pioneer Art Students of Vancouver Art School, an artist's group formed in 1930 from the students who entered the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts in its first year and a half of classes in 1925 and 1926.

Herchmer started classes at the VSDAA in 1925, while living at Washington Court, 998 Thurlow Street, Vancouver (still there in 2010). For the Spring 1927 issue of The Paint Box she wrote Lectures on Italian Art. The Prospectus for the 1927 - 1928 session at the art school noted that Herchmer had passed second year in Modelling and Composition.

Vancouver School of Art sculpture class, 1925

The above photograph was taken during the Vancouver art school's first year. Charles Marega is seen wearing a white artist's smock just left of center, looking at the photographer. Laurencia Herchmer is seen to the right of him, with long braided hair. Maud Sherman is behind Laurencia to the right, partly hidden behind the nearest easel. This photograph was published in the Vancouver School Board's Annual Report for 1925.

Herchmer was not listed as a student in the following year's issue of the Paintbox, Volume 3, June 1928. She was, however, listed as a first-year student in the 1930 issue of The Paint Box, but she did not graduate from the art school.

She exhibited in the B.C. Artists annuals at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1934, and from 1936 to 1939. She submitted four works to the 1936 5th Annual B.C. Artists exhibition. Two sculptures were accepted, but two watercolours - "South Shore Savary Island" for $20.00 and "At Savary" for $15.00 - were not displayed.

Laurencia sketching at Savary Island, n.d. Photo courtesy Dulcie Macdonald.

The undated photograph above was taken on the north shore of Savary Island, looking east. The goverment wharf is beyond, with the mainland south of Lund on the horizon.

"Ernest Austin", December 1936, by Laurencia Herchmer, photo courtesy Dulcie Macdonald.

(untitled), dated February 1937, photograph courtesy Dulcie Macdonald.

Laurencia sculpting in San Francisco c1937. Photo courtesy Dulcie Macdonald.

"Dorothy Hebb", n.d., by Laurencia Herchmer, photo courtesy Dulcie Macdonald.

Herchmer attended art school in San Francisco for "at least two years, and one was 1937" according to information received from her daughter.

The portrait head of a negress in the 1938 B.C. Artists exhibition is currently in the collection of the artist's daughter. It is done with a blue glaze. The sculpture of "Nina" in the 1939 B.C. Artists exhibition was a modeled head of Nina Preiswerk, the daughter of Kurt and Peggy Preiswerk.

Herchmer spent time on Savary Island, where her family had a summer cabin. There are numerous references to, and photographs of, the Herchmer family in books by Jim Spilsbury: Spilsbury's Coast and Spilsbury's Album.

Herchmer married Hugh Rickard in Toronto on December 14, 1940. She died in Richmond, B.C. in 2007.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1934 Sept. 21 - Oct. 14 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual Portrait Head, Betty, Daughter of Captain John Muir
Miss Dorothy Bedlington
1935 Sept. 20 - Oct. 13 VAG   B.C. Artists 4th Annual Portrait head - Sandra, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. J. Barter (Honourable mention)
1936 Sept. 18 - Oct. 11 VAG   B.C. Artists 5th Annual Bas-relief
Portrait head - Miss Eileen Vaughan
1937 Sept. 17 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 6th Annual Portrait Head
Bas-Relief
1938 Sept. 16 - Oct. 9 VAG   B.C. Artists 7th Annual Portrait Head, Negress (pottery)
1939 Sept. 15 - Oct. 8 VAG   B.C. Artists 8th Annual Nina (sculpture)
Tralee (sculpture)

References

VANCOUVER CITY SCHOOLS - TRUSTEES ANNUAL REPORT 1925
      23rd Annual Report; Published by the Board of School Trustees, City of Vancouver
      Includes School of Decorative and Applied Arts Report by G.T. Sharp page 95,
      Marega sculpture class photo page 96 shows Herchmer (braided hair) centre right.

Lectures on Italian Art by Laurencia Herchmer, The Paint Box June 1926
      Annual of the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts

PROSPECTUS for the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts
      1927-1928 prospectus contains pass list from 1926 - 1927 school year

WHO'S WHO IN NORTHWEST ART (refer to WWNA41)
      Name and address only listed.

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

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

SUNNY SANDY SAVARY: A History of Savary Island 1792-1992 by Ian Kennedy
      1992, Kennell Publishing, Vancouver; ISBN 0-9696291-0-9
      188 pages, paperback, illustrated black & white; index, bibliography
      Includes references to Maud Sherman, R.S. Sherman, the Herchmer family,
           Frankie Keefer, Helen Griffin, visiting artists, art school students & staff.

A CENTURY OF SCULPTURE (refer to SSBC98)
      Lists Herchmer's appearances in B.C. Artists shows 1934 - 1939 per above.

MAGNETIC ISLE - Gladys Bloomfield's Savary
     2005; ISBN 0-9739209-0-4; 146 pages, illustrated in black and white
     Edited by Conde Landale; published by Savary Island Heritage Society
     Includes references to R.S. Sherman, Maud Rees Sherman, Laurencia Herchmer.

Vancouver School of Decorative & Applied Arts - List of Students

Biographical information received from Dulcie Macdonald, Herchmer's daughter, via email, February 23, 2008.

Clippings

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