Margaret Adelaide Williams

January 6 1902 - February 26 1981

Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts (Diploma 1929)
Scholarship Chouinard School of Art, Los Angeles
Tauber's Puppet Players
B.C. Society of Fine Arts (Member 1936-67, Vice-President 1946, Life Member 1957)
Federation of Canadian Artists (Founding Member 1941)

From 1929 graduating class photo

Margaret A. Williams was born in Fort Qu'Appele, Saskatchewan. She was 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.

Williams started classes at the VSDAA in 1925, while living at 1901 Pendrell Street in Vancouver, and was in the art school's first graduating class in 1929. She later exhibited in the PASOVAS group exhibition at the B.C. Art League gallery in 1930.

1929 Graduating Class

Williams was the Editor of the first issue of The Paint Box, Spring 1926, the VSDAA's school annual, which had a number of her articles, such as " 'Neath Southern Skies", a little anecdote about taking classes at the San Diego Academy of Fine Arts, and a short untitled poem:
      We're a Cosmopolitan, Metropolitan, Neopolitan class,
      An Occidental, Oriental, accidental mass,
      And we endeavour, failing never,
      'Cause we're clever, to succeed,
      Art for Art's sake, Art for Pete's sake,
      Art for my sake is our creed.
She also wrote the Class Report for Class A, a long article about Japanese prints, and another short poem titled "In Memory of a Family Party".

B.C. College of Arts Prospectus 1933

Williams was hired as an assistant instructor at the B.C. College of Arts, founded in 1933 by Frederick Varley and Jock Macdonald. In 1933 she was living in West Vancouver.

In 1934 she had work in the RCA's 55th Annual exhibition, held at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

She exhibited in the Seattle Art Museum's annual Northwest Artists exhibition in 1934.

She joined the B.C. Society of Fine Arts, was listed as a member in exhibition catalogues from at least 1936 to 1967, and exhibited in their annual exhibitions from 1936 to 1951.

Williams was a founding member of the Federation of Canadian Artists in 1941, and founding B.C. Secretary of the group. She donated artwork to an FCA fundraising exhibition for the Canadian Red Cross at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1942.

In 1947 Williams was employed as Assistant to the Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She exhibited work in the annual B.C. Artists exhibitions in 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937. She may have also exhibited work with the Island Arts and Crafts Society in 1925.

Williams viewing Jock Macdonald's entry to the 40th Annual BCSA exhibition.

Williams died in 1981 at the age of 79. She was single, and living at 1840 Robson Street, her occupation noted as "artist" at the Vancouver School of Art.

1930 Nov. 27 - Dec. 7 PASOVAS   Art Club Exhibition Evening, Fraser River
Garibaldi Booklet
Elephant Candlesticks
1932 Sept. 17 - 30 PASOVAS   Club Exhibition Illumination: Persian Poem
Illumination: Day Dream
Illumination: Day Dream
Illumination: Initial Letter
Marionette Designs: "The Miracle"
Page of Commercial Art
Christmas Card Designs
Cariboo Highway Poster
Puppet Poster
Radio Poster
Decorated Box
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Illumination on Vellum
1933 May 3 - 18 VAG   VSAGA 1st Annual Exhibition Beaux Arts Poster
Design for a Ladies' Powder Room
Design of Mask
Silk Mask
1933 Sept. 22 - Oct. 15 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual Log Cabin, Interior
1934 Sept. 21 - Oct. 14 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual The Lone Tree
Rocky Coast
Grey Day, Keats Island
1934 ? - ? VAG   B.C. Artists Edmonton Exhibition Grey Day, Keats Island
1936 Feb. 21 - Mar. 5 PASOVAS Annual Group Show Summer Afternoon, Qu'appelle Valley
1936 June 26 - July 12 BCSFA   26th Annual The Mound, Lynn Valley
Mountains of Lynn
Rocky Coast, Howe Sound
February Day
Cottage Window
1936 Sept. 18 - Oct. 11 VAG   B.C. Artists 5th Annual Westward
Clouds in the East
1936 Oct. 15 - 20 VAG   B.C. Artists Chilliwack Exhibition Cloisonne
Clouds in the East
1937 Sept. 17 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 6th Annual Low Tide, Roberts Creek
1938 April 29 - May 15 BCSFA   28th Annual Afternoon Rest
Sketch, Dahlias
Sandy Cove
Back of Beyond
Farm Doorway
Clouds Over the Gulf
1940 May 17 - June 2 BCSFA   30th Annual Sketch, Lake of the Woods
1942 May 15 - 31 BCSFA   32nd Annual Desert Sketch
Sketch, Nevada Desert
1942 Nov. 3 - 15 FCA   Red Cross Benefit (no information available)
1943 May 15 - June 6 BCSFA   33rd Annual Crescent Island
1943 July 2 - Aug. 25 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual Summer Crescent Island
1945 May 18 - June 10 BCSFA   35th Annual Nevada Landscape
Nevada Desert
Rattlesnake Hill
1945 July 3 - Aug. 26 VAG   B.C. Artists 4th Annual Summer Nevada Landscape
1946 July 2 - 28 VAG   Jubilee Exhibition Desert Landscape
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual Desert Landscape
1951 April 24 - May 13 VAG    BCSA 41st Annual Little Bay (Sketch)
Hilltop Sketch
1951 Summer Park Royal    BCSA Summer Exhibition Little Bay B.C.


     Refer to NWA BC artists by exhibition
     Refer to NWAA BC artists alphabetically

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




FIRST CLASS - Four Graduates From The Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts
      1987, Letia Richardson; The Floating Curatorial Gallery at Women in Focus
      Exhibition catalogue; ISBN 0-921823-03-7
      Includes survey essay of women artists in Vancouver.

88 ARTISTS FROM 88 YEARS (refer to ECU17)

B.C. VITAL STATISTICS ON-LINE (refer to BCVS) death certificate


"Signalizing the close of a most successful year, scholarships and prizes were awarded this afternoon at closing exercises of the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. Winners of scholarships for general proficiency were: Vancouver Exhibition Association scholarship, ... $25, Miss M.A. Williams."
      From "Art School to Stage Exhibit"
      Vancouver Province, June 14 1926

"Prize winners among second year students were: H. Mortimer Lamb for composition, $10, Miss Maud Jensen; Palette and Chisel Club, for modelling, $15, Miss Katherine Harrison; Mrs. Jonathan Rogers, costume design, $15, Miss Margaret Corry; Girls' Apparel Shop, costume design, $10, Miss Beatrice Lennie; bronze medal presented by Vancouver Branch, Canadian Women's Press Club, for Canadian Confederation poster, Miss Margaret Williams."
      From "Prizes Presented to Art Students"
      unknown newspaper, June 1927

"Other contributors include: ... M.A. Williams."
      From "The Paint Box Is Annual of Vancouver Art School"
      unknown newspaper, June 1927

"The committee in charge of arrangements included Miss Margaret Williams, Miss Beatrice Lennie, Miss Frances Gatewood, Miss Phyllis Kirkpatrick, Miss Beatrice Bell-Irving, Miss Ellen Moore, and Mr. Vito Cianci."
      From "Ogopogo Yawns On Gay Crowd At Bal Masque"
      unknown newspaper, October 20 1927

"The illuminated verse from Omar Khayyam by Margaret Williams is very beautiful; The "Marionette" studies admirable, ... "
      From "The Note Book" by Julia W. Henshaw
      Vancouver Sun, October 1 1932

"Margaret Williams and Dorothy Hensman are also represented."
      From "Pasovas Club Has Splendid Annual Show"
      Vancouver Province, November 6 1934

"Margaret Williams, Maud Shearman (sic), and Lilias Farley are well represented in the show ..."
      From "Pasovas Art Show"
      Vancouver Sun, November 6 1934

"... Margaret Williams ... are all represented."
      From "PASOVAS EXHIBIT - Pioneer Art Students' Show"
      Vancouver Province, February 21 1936

"The oils are an interesting group, notably "Summer Afternoon, Qu'appelle Valley," by Margaret Williams ... "
      Vancouver Sun (?), February 21 1936

"Margaret Williams, Irene Hoffar Reid, Maud Sherman, and others, attain that effect which contrasting colors afford ... "
      From "PASOVAS CLUB - Annual Display on View at Art Gallery"
      News Herald, February 1936

" ... and Margaret Williams shows sketches of the Nevada desert."
      From "B.C. Society of Fine Arts Display Sets New High Mark" by Palette
      Vancouver Province, May 16 1942

"The new executive committee is composed of ... M. Williams ..."
      From "B.C. Artists' Display To Calgary For Exhibition" by Palette
      Vancouver Province, May-June 1942

"Among those contibuting paintings and drawings are: ... Margaret Williams ... "
      From "Noted Artists Offer Paintings For Red Cross"
      Vancouver Province (presumed), November 1942

"Gazing at J.W.G. Macdonald's painting ... are: ... Miss Margaret Williams ... "
      From "For and about WOMEN"
      Vancouver Province, April 22 1950