The Welcome Man, 1913
oil on cardboard, mounted on masonite
95.3 x 64.8 cm
Gift of Bryan Adams, 2000
National Gallery of Canada (no. 40448)
Carr quickly abandoned the rich colouring of her French paintings for a more sober palette appropriate to her documentary purpose. While always sensitive to the particular local colour, be it the warm brown tones of the inland poles or the pearly grey tones of the sun-bleached and wind-buffeted poles of the islands, Carr’s paintings show a remarkable range of treatment in colour, line, and structure, indicative of the rapidity of her growth as an artist and of her total commitment to her work. In her 1913 lecture on totem poles, Carr stressed the different functions of the poles, such as this figure erected to welcome guests to a potlatch or other ceremony.