British Columbia Letters Number VII

The Canadian Architect and Builder
Volume 14, Issue 8, 1901
(author not named)

     The Second Annual Exhibition of the Vancouver Arts and Crafts Association was held in the Fairfield Block, from June 28th to July 5th, and though the collection of works of art was probably the best ever brought together in the province, so little interest was taken in the show by the public that it was, financially, a complete failure. In a town of 25,000 inhabitants a collection of paintings, including examples by George Morland, Gerard Dow, George Fripp, Albert Hartland, Knowles, Ferrier and others of greater and lesser note, such a collection remaining open to the public for seven days, attracted an average attendance of 30 per diem. A nigger minstrel show would have drawn five hundred.
     However, if one cannot congratulate the people of Vancouver on their powers of discernment in matters of taste, the officers of the Association must feel that the want of success of the exhibition was certainly not due to any lack of energy or enthusiasm on their part.
     The numbers of and the interest in the works by local members was not equal to the last year's exhibition. Mrs. Marcus Lucas, whose clever painting and well chosen subjects were a notable feature in the show of 1900, was represented by but a few oil paintings surrounded by a draping of black and violet, the Association having been robbed by the Destroyer of this admirable artist and enthusiastic supporter but a short while ago. Mrs. Marcus Lucas will long be remembered and her loss deeply regretted by all lovers of art in this city. Mrs. Ellis' charming work on china was this year represented by but half a dozen pieces, of which we most admired two plates designed by Mr. Jas. Bloomfield. The Misses McLung having left Vancouver just before the opening of the exhibition, were both unrepresented, as also was Miss Marstrand, whose work in black and white was greatly missed as well as her quiet but effective assistance on committee. Others who contributed last season have withdrawn, and consequently the Association has had some difficulty in maintaining the local character of the exhibition. Still, Mrs. Balfour Kerr and Mrs. Lionel Williams were well represented in oil colors, and Messrs. DeForest and Ferris each sent a number of characteristic works in the same medium. Mr. Tom Fripp's "Venetians Threading Beads" is a new departure for him. In water colors, Mr. Ferris showed but four small drawings, while in this class the only other exhibitor was Mr. Tom Fripp whose large drawing "Chill October" is the most important work that artist has shown here. His sketches "Venice" and "Burrard's Inlet," are full of light and atmosphere. In black and white, the same artist was the sole contributor, principally portrait studies in chalk or pencil. In china Mrs. Ellis, Mrs. Harry Burrows, Miss Ede (who gained Mrs. R.B. Ellis's special prize), and Miss Drainie showed some beautiful work. Miss Drainie's fish set, accompanied by the clever designs prepared for this set by Mr. Jas. Bloomfield, is an exceptionally charming piece of keramic (sic) ware. It is good to see that conventional design is receiving much greater attention, though there is still far too much of the mere representation of fruit and flowers with little if any attempt at decorative treatment.
     A screen of water colour sketches by Mr. Francis Caulfield was of very great interest, comprising a wonderfully wide range of subject: "Richmond on Thames" is a distinctly clever piece of difficult perspective; "Hampton Court" is scarcely less so; "The Chestnut Avenue, Bushy Park," is well contrasted with "An Orange Grove, California." Mr. Caulfield again showed his delightful piece of carving in oak, a panel entitled "Dolphins Plunging Through Water," which is full of movement and vigor.
     Mrs. Balfour Kerr and Mrs. Lionel Williams had a screen of embroidery, some of it extremely well designed and executed. It seems somewhat strange that there should be so very few contributors in this most interesting class of work.
     Mr. Harry Burrows chip carving and burnt work was most favorably commented upon, his cabinet and an occasional table being the most excellent examples of his skill. Mrs. Burrows also showed some pretty calfskin cushions with pyrographic decoration. Messrs. Henry Bloomfield & Sons were represented by a couple of stained glass windows, one, of which the motif is gold fish and kelp, being as fine a piece of color and drawing in lead and glass as we have seen for a long time. Mr. Jas. Bloomfield also showed some cartoons and a folio of delightful schemes in leaded glass; judging from some of these it would appear that this artist is finding more and more to interest him in mosaic treatment, some of the designs being for absolute mosaic in glass and lead without painting.

...article continues with discussion of architecture in Vancouver...