Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Vancouver Daily Province Nov. 15 1930

B.C. Society of Fine Arts

     The private view of the exhibition of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts on Saturday evening was a most successful affair. Two things made it so. In the first place, it was pictorially speaking one of the best shows that highly respectable Society has had, and secondly, it was held in far better quarters than they have ever been fortunate enough to secure for their shows. As a charter member of the organization from its inception twenty years ago, I can look back on some weird places in which from year to year, we attempted to show the public that we were alive, if not kicking.
     That the exhibition of Saturday was held in rooms which, compared with those other sordid locations, were palatial, is due to the astonishing surprise which has been sprung upon most local people interested in art by the executive of the B.C. Art League, in securing from the Hudson's Bay Company a spacious and lofty room at 649 Seymour Street which, except for its approach, is superior to anything the league has ever had, and in getting it ready for the opening on Saturday in such a short time that the labor involved must have been of an exceptional and vigorous nature.
     The B.C.S.F.A. has recently had the expert and capable assistance of Mrs. A.J. Pilkington as honourary secretary treasurer, and the society owes much to her in this regard. The catalogues were ready and the arrangements were complete.
     There was a good crowd at the opening, and as a matter of course a "private view" is not the best time to make any detailed examination of the exhibits. But a more or less cursory "once-over" of them revealed that it is equal in interest to any previous show. As it will be open for some weeks, everyone who cares for pictures should make an effort to see this exhibit. No. 649 Seymour Street is at the back of one of the small stores in the rear of the Hudson's Bay premises. Passing through a short corridor, one finds a long flight of stairs, and at the top of these the visitor will find the show.
     Now for some mention of impressions one got at intervals of talking with old friends. I see by counting up the catalogue that there are eight women exhibitors and eight men. On the principle of "ladies first," I may begin by saying that Melita Aitken's flower pictures are very splendid, very striking, and that they show no falling-off in her ability in this line. They are fine examples of what can be done with flowers by means of water color.
     Kate A. Smith (Mrs. F. Hoole) is the most skillful animal-painter in the society. She also has a portrait. She has a very good picture of the head of a young dog, and a covetable one. It is in pastels on dark paper and the animal is alive. Her "Study of a Grey Hunter" is admirably drawn, good in tone, and the bit of landscape thrown in is exactly "right." Her portrait of a girl, in soft, low tones, and the rest of the seven of her examples indicated no diminuition of the ability of this talented artist.
     Grace Judge shows three examples of clever penwork in black and white, delicate in execution, and showing much imagination and study of the fashions of a bygone day.
     Mrs. V.M. Brown-Webster is a painter of still life. She draws well and has a fine sense of color and light.
     Margaret Wake, a vigorous painter and a steadfast member of the society for long, is well represented by a portrait of Miss Ruth Henderson. It is full of color, broadly painted, and it attracted a good deal of notice. Miss Wake has also some flower pieces painted with a dashing brush.
     Miss B.A. Fry's small but choice pastels filled their niche well.
     Miss Frame, a most dependable member of the society, its leader in impressionism, who was commended in New York a long while ago, shows three characteristic examples. To my ( ? ) "Parasols and Lanterns" is much the ( ? ) work as to drawing and decorative effect.
     And now, what to do with the men's exhibition? I fear I must come back to them later when I may be permitted, with a more leisurely eye, to look at their attractive productions. But there were some canvases so interesting both from a psychological and pictorial point of view that I must say something about them now.
     Decidedly the most striking picture from a masculine brush is the large landscape with a wind-tormented tree in the middle and an expanse of snow realistically painted with the afterglow of sunset upon it. It is impressionistic with a sane impressionism and gentle and simple looked at with understanding and delight. This is Charles Scott's. (Editor's note: the painting is actually by W.P. Weston, as corrected in a subsequent notice in the paper.)
     Tom Fripp at his best, with seven of his water colors at astonishingly low prices which in London would fetch double the money, should receive the notice of collectors. His "Near the Head of Pitt Lake, B.C." has the note of grandeur he has attained in his interpretation of our mountains, and so has the other big one.
     Mr. W.P. Weston, always a standby of the society since he came here with fine credentials from London - an academic painter by education who experiments occasionally with modernism by way of recreation - is seen in six canvases which should be studied with the desire to get the artist's point of view, as he is not the man to do things without reason.
     S.P. Judge, foster-father of the society, is seen with good effect in his "B.C. Coast." His sky is well done and his portrayal of the lonely coast excellent. He has also three other pictures.
     Harry Hood has arrived at a style of his own, which is very agreeable, and that he has thus arrived so that his pictures would be known if they were not signed show him to be an authentic artist. Stanley Tytler also is thus known, besides being an honored life member. He shows three pictures. J. Thornton Sharp's sojourn in the Old Country gave him a new start in acquarelles; look at his two pictures.
     Just as I was going to look at the four examples by E. Marett Wilcocks, somebody came up to talk to me about the political situation, so that's that.
             Diogenes


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