Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
     Home     Artists     Exhibitions     Organizations     Clippings     References    

Charles (Carlos) Sergison Marega

1871 - March 24 1939

Sculptor; Instructor, VSDAA
B.C. Society of Fine Arts (President 1917-18)
B.C. Art League (Organizing Committee 1920)
Vancouver Exhibition
Palette and Chisel Club (President)
Art, Historical and Scientific Association of Vancouver (Member 1931)

Charles Marega was one of Vancouver's most noted sculptors. The legacy of his work remains for our viewing pleasure throughout Vancouver - from the lions of the Lions Gate Bridge to Captains Burrard and Vancouver on the Burrard Bridge. Other public works include the Harding Memorial in Stanley Park, the King George memorial fountain at the Art Gallery, the heroic bronze statue of Captain Vancouver at Vancouver City Hall (with a duplicate in London, England), the Joe Fortes Memorial at English Bay, and the large bust of Oppenheimer on Beach Avenue at the entrance to Stanley Park across from the Parks Board offices.

He was born Carlos Marega in Lucinico, Trieste, Italy, in 1871, and died in Vancouver in March 1939. He arrived in Vancouver in 1910 after artistic training in Trieste and Vienna and travels in Europe and South Africa.


Decorations to the Sun Building


Decorations to the Sun Building - detail

Marega entered sculptures into B.C. Society of Fine Arts (BCSFA) annual exhibitions, including the 1917 show, where he also provided a sculpture by Prof. Novello of Verona, Italy, to the Loan Collection.


Joe Fortes Memorial, photo G. Sim


Detail, Joe Fortes Memorial, photo G. Sim

A short biography of Marega was published in The Gold Stripe, Volume One, printed just before Christmas 1918. Marega also had photographs of his sculpture illustrated on the cover of both that issue and The Gold Stripe, Volume Two in 1919. The biography also had illustrations of his work.

Charles Marega resigned from the BCSFA in 1919 the year after being President of the Society. The BCSFA board expressed their regret, and moved to ask him to "clearly state the reason for this rather extreme action". There is no record of his reply. (information from BCSFA Fond, Vancouver City Archives)

He was involved in the foundation of the B.C. Art League, sitting on the organization committee in 1920.

He was instructor of modelling at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, beginning in the school's first year of operation in 1925. He lectured on sculpture to the B.C. Art League, and published extracts from this lecture in the June 1926 VSDAA annual, known as "The Paint Box." A student Class Report in the annual (page 27) noted that Marega's assistant at the school was Mr. Alfredo Dal Fo.

In 1928 Marega donated a "sculptured replica in white marble of the death mask of Pauline Johnson" to the Art, Historical and Scientific Association of Vancouver. (AHSAV fond, Vancouver City Archives)

Marega exhibited at the Vancouver Exhibition in 1930, representing the Palette and Chisel Club. He also exhibited with the B.C. Society of Fine Arts from 1932 to 1934. Marega was one of only three local artists to display work in The Founders Collection, the first exhibition held at the Vancouver Art Gallery when it opened in October 1931. Marega taught at the Vancouver School of Art literally until his death in 1939 - passing away from a heart attack while teaching his last class. He was a founding instructor at the art school, and Vancouver's most important early sculptor.


Oppenheimer memorial

When Marega was working on the lions at the entrance to the Lion's Gate Bridge, he asked Ross Lort on which side of each lion the tails should go. Lort suggested that the lions each have two tails, one on each side, and that way viewers would see a tail no matter which side they were looking from. Marega apparently did not think this was funny, and the lions have one tail each.


Detail - Hycroft Manor fountain



Detail - Hycroft Manor fireplace

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1909 Oct. - Nov. Vancouver Studio Club Autumn Exhibition (wax figures)
1910 May BCSFA   Third Exhibition Sculpture
1912 Nov. 25 - 30 BCSFA   Annual Exhibition Dr. McLoughlin
Indian Basket-Seller
Caryatids
Mozambique Boy
1915 April BCSFA   Works by Members The Miser
Good-bye
How to get the vote!
Sketch for Pauline Johnston Memorial
The Victor
1917 Sept. 14 - 22 BCSFA   Eleventh Exhibition A Comrade's Last Tribute (sculpture)
Doing Her Bit (sculpture)
1924 Aug. 9 - 16 Vancouver Exhibition   Annual Exhibition The Wounded Soldier
1928 Feb 18 - Mar 18 Palette and Chisel Club Exhibition Mussolini (Mask)
Comic Stories (Grotesques)
Comic Stories (Grotesques)
Fighting Putti
Frances Bursill (Impression)
1930 Aug. 6 - 16 VanExh   Oil Paintings & Water-colours Mussolini - Bronzed Concrete
Squamish Indian, Bronzed Plaster
Christ - Plaster
1931 October 5 - ? Vancouver Art Gallery
The Founder's Collection
T.W. Fripp, Artist (Bronze)
1932 May - July VAG   All Canadian Exhibition The Wounded Soldier
Squamish Indian
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Bernard McEvoy
Goodbye
1933 May 20 - 31 VAG   Palette & Chisel Club Exhibition The Prospector
Indian Totem Pole Carver
Squaw with Papoose
Indian Basket Seller
1933 Sept. 22 - Oct. 15 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual The Day is Done
Il Genio
1934 Sept. 21 - Oct. 14 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual Bas Relief in Bronze (Medallion)
1936 June 26 - July 12 BCSFA   26th Annual Head of Squamish Indian
Totem Pole Carver
Indian Basket Seller
1946 July 2 - 28 VAG   Jubilee Exhibition German Soldier (Caricature)
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual T.W. Fripp

References

THE GOLD STRIPE - VOLUME ONE
      1918, Christmas. Published by the Amputation Club of B.C., Vancouver
      216 pages (including text, advertisements and photographs)
      Heavily illustrated by many early Vancouver artists.
      Includes short biography of Marega and illustrations of his work.

VANCOUVER CITY SCHOOLS - TRUSTEES ANNUAL REPORT 1925
      Includes Faculty photo and photo of Marega sculpture class at work.

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

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

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

A GUIDE TO SCULPTURE IN VANCOUVER (refer to GSV80)

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

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

A DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN ARTISTS (refer to M)
      Short biography, eight references

A CENTURY OF SCULPTURE (refer to SSBC98)
      Numerous references to Marega, photographs, etc.

LION'S GATE by Lilia D'Acres & Donald Luxton
      1998, ISBN 0-88922-416-1; 178 pages, published by Talon Books
      Illustrated throughout; good information on Marega and the Lions.

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA (refer to BIAC03)
      2 references cited for Marega: Macdonald and WWNA above.

PUBLIC ART IN VANCOUVER - ANGELS AMONG LIONS (refer to PAV09)

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

CITY & PROVINCIAL DIRECTORIES 1915, 1922, 1925, 1932 (refer to DIR)

Clippings

"Having in childhood taken my first steps in a sculptor's studio - having been constantly associated with the plastic art all my life - it is particularly pleasant to welcome to Vancouver a sculptor, Mr. C. Mareges, (sic) who is represented by little realistic groups in wax. These have the right feeling, a directness and life which reminds one of Geo. Tinworth, but there is every indication that the sculptor is capable of broader and more ambitious work - which I shall be glad to see."
      "The Studio Club Autumn Exhibition"
      B.C. Saturday Sunset, October 30 1909

"Nor though have we spoken chiefly of painting, must we forget the sculptor Marega ..."
      From "Art in British Columbia", by Bernard McEvoy
      Opportunities Magazine, 1910

"There is only one exhibit of sculpture, namely that of Mr. C. Marega who contributes a portrait bust of his wife, remarkable for its vivacity, and said by those who know to be an excellent likeness; and a smaller bust of the late Right Hon. Sir Charles Tupper. Considering the disadvantages under which the artist labored in having to work only from photographs in this latter subject, he must be credited with a very satisfactory measure of success, the characteristics of the distinguished subject being brought out with a masterly vigor."
      From "With The B.C. Artists", by "A Visitor"
      Vancouver Daily Province, September 27, 1916

"Among members who have had the advantage of European training in the continental schools are ... C. Marega (Rome, Florence, and Paris) ..."
      From "Eleventh Annual Exhibition of Fine Arts", Bernard McEvoy
      Studio Magazine. London England, February 15, 1918

"The committees which will be recommended to the League were named as follows: ... C. Marega ..."
      From "B.C. Art League Committees Are Active" by (unknown)
      Western Woman's Weekly, October 9 1920

"The League unanimously expressed its approval of the proposed memorial by Mr. C. Marega, the sculptor, for erection over the grave of E. Pauline Johnson, in Stanley Park."
      "Important Meeting of B.C. Art League"
      Western Woman's Weekly, April 23 1921

"An energetic committee of which Mr. C. Marega is chairman, has the matter to hand ..."
      "Coming Art School"
      The Daily Province, January 13 1925

"Art Vs. Beer In B.C."
      The Province, Jan 28, 1931

"Heroic Bronze By Marega Is Acclaimed"
      Vancouver Sun, Aug. 29 1936

"Lion In The Making"
      Saturday Night, Toronto; Nov. 26, 1938

"Funeral Of Famed Sculptor Tuesday"
      The Province, March 27, 1939


     Home     Copyright 2006 - 2019