TABLE OF CONTENTS

Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Processing Information

Preferred Citation

Contact Information

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

Emily Carr fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title:Emily Carr fonds.
Dates:– 1912, 1927-1943.
Quantity: – 1 scrapbook.

Biographical Sketch

Emily Carr was born on December 13, 1871 in Victoria, British Columbia, the daughter of Richard and Emily Carr. Showing talent in art at a young age, Carr received instruction from several local artists while still attending school in Victoria. At the age of nineteen she enrolled at the California School of Design in San Francisco and remained there as a student until December 1893, when she returned to Victoria. Over the next few years Carr taught art to children and saved money to cover the costs of continuing her formal studies abroad. In August 1899 she left Victoria for England, where she studied at the Westminister School of Art in London under William Mouat Loudan (1868-1925) and James Black. In 1901 Carr moved to St. Ives, Cornwall, where she studied plein-air marine and landscape painting with Julius Olsson (1864-1942) and Algernon Talmage (1871-1934). The following year she received instruction from John Whiteley at Meadows Studio, Bushey, outside London, before returning to Canada, where she took a job at the Vancouver Ladies' Art Club.

In 1910 Carr took a second trip abroad, studying at the Colarossi in Paris and under Harry Phelan Gibb (1870-1948), first in the small town of Crécy-en-Brie and later in Saint-Efflam. It was with Gibb that Carr began producing canvases influenced by Fauvism and Cubism. Upon returning to Canada in 1912, Carr held an exhibition of her French paintings in Vancouver, but over the next several years she was forced to earn a living by teaching art to children. It was not until 1927, when she was introduced to Eric Brown, director of the National Gallery of Canada, that her artistic career blossomed. Brown invited Carr to participate in the exhibition Canadian West Coast Art (1927) at the National Gallery with other artists, many of whom would later form the Group of Seven. It was during this period that Carr created the forest interiors and monumental totems for which she is best known. Carr's work was included in the important A Century of Canadian Art exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London, in 1938. The first successful commercial exhibition of her work was organized by Max Stern and held at the Dominion Gallery, Montreal, in 1944. Emily Carr died on March 2, 1945, and is buried in the Carr family plot in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria. A memorial exhibition of Carr's paintings and watercolours was held at the Dominion Gallery in November 1945.

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Scope and Content

The fonds consists of one scrapbook containing newspaper clippings, articles, correspondence, and photographs. The newspaper clippings are mostly reviews of exhibitions in which Carr participated. Articles include one by Carr from 1929 entitled "Modern and Indian Art of the West Coast." Two photographs in the album depict Emily Carr in protective mosquito gear while travelling near the Naas River in northern British Columbia; a third photograph shows an unidentified painting by her. The two letters in the fonds are from Edythe Brand (Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher) to Carr. Brand met Carr in the early 1930s and became a close friend and occasional sketching partner. Both letters date from October 1938 and refer to a current exhibition of Carr's work at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Source of title: Title based on contents of series.

Physical condition: The album's pages and many of the newspaper clippings are brittle and discoloured. A few of the pages have broken away from the binding.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by the Max Stern Estate, 2000.

Terms governing use and reproduction: Written requests for reproduction or publishing of material from the Emily Carr fonds must be made to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

Related groups of records: The Dominion Gallery fonds includes correspondence between Max Stern and Emily Carr, as well as records pertaining to works by Carr that were exhibited or sold by the Dominion Gallery.

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Index Terms

Names:
Brand, Edythe, 1906-
Carr, Emily, 1871-1945
Stern, Max, 1904-1987
Organizations:
Dominion Gallery (Montreal, Quebec)
Document Types:
Clippings.
Correspondence.
Photographs.
Scrapbooks.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The scrapbook was acquired from the Estate of Max Stern in 2000. Max Stern likely obtained the scrapbook in 1944 or 1945, when he organized exhibitions of Carr's work at the Dominion Gallery.

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Philip Dombowsky in 2009.

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], Emily Carr fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

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Contact Information

Cyndie Campbell
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources 
Library and Archives 
National Gallery of Canada 
380 Sussex Drive 
P.O. Box 427, Station A 
Ottawa, Ontario 
K1N 9N4 

T 613-990-0597 
F 613-990-9818 

 
ccampbel@gallery.ca 


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