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He was born in North Vancouver on February 17 1913, although the family lived in Nanaimo. He returned to North Vancouver in 1923, and attended art classes with Mrs. M.O. Verral.
Hughes and Fisher were sharing a studio on the 10th floor of the Bekins Building. They joined in a partnership with Paul Goranson and completed murals for the Malaspina Hotel in Nanaimo, and for the B.C. Pavilion at the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco.
In 1939 Hughes enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery. In 1942 he was appointed as an official Canadian War Artist, and completed many paintings before his demobilization in 1946. He returned to the West Coast and lived in Victoria, B.C. where he continued to paint pictures of the local scenery, steamboats, islands, and ocean. He wasn't making much money from his work after the war, and when the Vancouver Art Gallery asked him for permission to put on a solo exhibition of his work in 1949, he replied that he couldn't afford to even ship his canvasses from Victoria to Vancouver, let alone frame them. The Gallery replied that he should simply roll them up and ship them C.O.D. to the Gallery, where they would be framed at no cost to the artist. Hughes apparently did not take them up on the offer.
He submitted two pencil drawings to the 1949 B.C. Graphic exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, both of them were selected for the exhibition.
He exhibited paintings with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1950, 1968, and 1970.
In the decades since then, Hughes work has increased in value, with auction prices for his large canvasses now reaching over $400,000.00. He lived on Vancouver Island until his death in 2007 at the age of 93, leaving behind a lengthy record of creative vision and achievement.
B.C. Artists at VAG: 1949-52, 1954
|1967||E.J. Hughes Retrospective||Vancouver Art Gallery|
|2003 January 30 - June 8||E.J. Hughes||Vancouver Art Gallery|
|1935 Dec. 6 - 15||VAG Goranson, Hughes, Fisher||(?)|
|1936 Feb. 21 - Mar. 5||PASOVAS Annual Group Show||(drypoints)|
|1936 August 11 - 23||VAG Goranson, Hughes, Fisher||(?)|
|1936 December 8 - 20||VAG Goranson, Hughes, Fisher||Derelict in Coal Harbour|
|Orville and Paul|
|Hopkins Landing, Howe Sound|
|Howe Sound from Gospel Rock|
|On the Beach at Savary Island|
|Trees on Savary Island|
|Low Tide at Granthams Landing|
|"Harbour Princess" in Drydock|
|1937 April 16 - May 1||BCSFA 27th Annual||Near Second Beach|
|The Lighthouse on Prospect Point|
|1937 Dec. 3 - 19||VAG Goranson, Hughes, Fisher: Prints|
|1949 Oct. 8 - 30||VAG B.C. Artists 18th Annual||Farm Near Courtenay|
|1949 Nov. 22 - Dec. 11||VAG First B.C. Graphic||Qualicum Beach|
|Indian Church, North Vancouver|
|1950 June 20 - July 9||VAG First Quarterly Group Exhibition||Indian Church, North Vancouver|
|Houses, Qualicum Beach|
|Steamer Approaching the Wharf, Nanaimo|
|Street Scene, Courtenay|
|Rock Formation, Gabriola Island|
|Courtenay River Landscape|
|1950 Nov. 28 - Dec. 17||VAG B.C. Artists 19th Annual||Tugboats, Ladysmith Harbour|
100 YEARS OF B.C. ART (refer to VAG58)
SUMMER BUBBLE (refer to BAG70)
SCAN: SURVEY OF CANADIAN ART NOW (refer to VAG72)
PRINTMAKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 1889-1983 (refer to AGGV83)
VANCOUVER: ART & ARTISTS 1931 - 1983 (refer to VAG83)
64 - 94 CONTEMPORARY DECADES (refer to ECU94)
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 Vancouver Martime Museum
Exhibition included work by Hughes
A MODERN LIFE: Art and Design in British Columbia 1945-1960 (refer to VAG04)
OUR CHANGING LANDSCAPE (2008) (refer to BAG08)
VISIONS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (refer to VAG09)
SHORE, FOREST AND BEYOND - ART FROM THE AUDAIN COLLECTION (refer to VAG11)
THE ETCHING REVIVAL (1852 - 1936)
Collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Number 8
Not dated, no ISBN; 24 pages; includes Introduction (author not listed)
Brief biographical information on artists including Charles H. Scott and E.J. Hughes
Trees on Savary Island 1936 illustrated
CREATIVE CANADA - VOLUME ONE, by University of Toronto Press
1971; ISBN 0-8020-3262-1
"A biographical dictionary of twentieth-century creative and performing artists."
Includes full column of information about Hughes
HIGH REALISM IN CANADA by Paul Duval
1974, ISBN 0-7720-0697-0, 176 pages, publisher Clarke Irwin
Extensively illustrated in colour and b&w
Includes index of reproduction and general index
Good chapters on Eric Freifeld, E.J. Hughes and Ernest Lindner
THE SHELL CANADA COLLECTION (refer to SHEL77)
VISUAL ARTS BRITISH COLUMBIA (refer to VABC77)
BRITISH COLUMBIA ART COLLECTION 1974-80 (refer to BCAC80)
ROYAL CANADIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS -
EXHIBITIONS & MEMBERS 1880 - 1979 (refer to RCA81)
List 5 paintings by Hughes in 3 exhibitions.
ARTISTS IN CANADA 1982 - UNION LIST OF ARTISTS' FILES (refer to AIC82)
MURALS FROM A GREAT CANADIAN TRAIN by Ian Thom
1986, bilingual, published by Art Global / Libre Expression
192 pages, illustrated throughout in colour and black and white
History of the murals commissioned for the Canadian Pacific Railway's Park Cars
Includes works by E.J. Hughes, W.J. Phillips, A.Y. Jackson
ART BANK CATALOGUE (refer to AB87)
MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS -
SPRING EXHIBITIONS 1880 - 1970 (refer to MM88)
THE ALMA MATER SOCIETY ART COLLECTION
University of British Columbia 1948 - 1988
No ISBN, 64 pages, illustrated in colour and b&w
Includes history of the collection, artist biographies
A DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN ARTISTS (refer to M)
VANCOUVER ARTIST: E.J. HUGHES
1997 January; by Michael Clark, Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design.
Visions newsletter, Volume 3 Issue 2, page 6.
One page biography with 2 illustrations of his work.
CANVAS OF WAR - Painting the Canadian Experience 1914 to 1945
2000, by Dean F. Oliver, Laura Brandon; Foreword by J.L. Granatstein
Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., ISBN 1-55054-772-0
178 pages illustrated in colour and b&w
Includes reproductions of Hughes' paintings, biographical information.
ART BC, Masterworks From British Columbia by Ian M. Thom
2000, Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., ISBN 1-55054-808-5
232 pages illustrated in colour and b&w
Includes historical essays, biographical notes, index.
BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA
(refer to BIAC03)
17 references listed for Hughes, including CC1, M, and RCA listed above.
THE BOW - LIVING WITH A RIVER, edited by Gerald T. Conaty
Includes essays by G.T. Conaty, Daryl Betenia, Catharine Mastin
2004; ISBN 1-55263-634-8; Glenbow Museum, published by Key Porter Books Ltd.
160 pages, hardcover; extensively illustrated with artwork and historical photographs
Includes essays, select artist biographies, art and general bibliographies, index
Artwork by western artists includes Hughes
WATERFRONT by James P. Delgado, Executive Director, Vancouver Maritime Museum
"The illustrated maritime story of Greater Vancouver"
Published by Vancouver Maritime Museum and Stanton Atkins & Dosil Publishers
2005, ISBN 0-9732346-5-2, 186 pages hardcover first edition with dust jacket
Includes list of sources, index, credits, acknowledgements
Extensively illustrated in colour and black and white with art and photographs
Artwork reproduced from Atkins Feckless Collection includes print by Hughes
ARTISTS IN THEIR STUDIOS (refer to AIS07)
Vancouver School of Decorative & Applied Arts - List of Students
VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY - B.C. ARTISTS FILES (refer to VPL)
THE FECKLESS COLLECTION (refer to FECK18)
GREATER VANCOUVER ART GALLERIES 1954-2020
(refer to GVAG20)
4 references to Hughes.
"... artists invited to join the club for the exhibition include:
. . . E.J. Hughes . . ."
From "PASOVAS EXHIBIT - Pioneer Art Students' Show" by (unknown)
Daily Province, February 21 1936
"Dry-points are shown by
E.J. Hughes, Paul Goranson
and Orville Fisher, three gifted young men whose
recent exhibition in the Art Gallery will be remembered by visitors."
From "FINE PASOVAS ART EXHIBITION" by (unknown)
Vancouver Sun (?), February 21 1936
"The twin contributions each of E.J. Hughes,
Paul Goranson, and
Orville Fisher, in black and white,
are exceptional." (continues)
From "PASOVAS CLUB - Annual Display on View at Art Gallery" by (unknown)
News-Herald, February 1936
"Orville Fisher, Edward
Hughes, and Paul Goranson became known
all over Canada through their mural paintings in the First United
Church, while their exhibition of Dry Points and Etchings in the
Art Gallery last December were widely praised."
From "GRADUATES IN ART" by Cintra
(unknown newspaper), April 25, 1936
"A PENSIVE CLARITY - E.J. HUGHES" by Anthony Robertson
Essay and six works reproduced (including front cover image)
VANGUARD, "Published by the Vancouver Art Gallery", December 1981/January 1982, pages 10 - 15.
"ART FOR STUDENTS' SAKE" by Robin Laurence
"Begun in 1948, the AMS art collection has grown into a significant repository for Canadian art."
TREK, "The magazine of the University of British Columbia", Fall 2007, pages 24-27
Essay, history of collection and works illustrated incl. Hughes' Abandoned Village, Rivers Inlet.
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