Saturday, April 5, 2014

E = Emily Carr - A to Z Blog Challenge 2014

ART: Artists, Art Trivia, Art Legends

A glimpse of the ART world, in the manner of an alphabetical mini-art tour. ART focuses on artists and art movements between the 1850's - 1960's. There are exceptions.

Emily Carr as a young woman, PD*-WC

E = Emily Carr
1871 - 1945

Emily was a Canadian artist and writer inspired by the First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She was one of the first painters in Canada to adopt the modernist and Post-Impressionist style of painting she learned while studying in France. Her painting matured as she did, shifting from aboriginal work to landscapes, especially forest scenes.

She wrote about life in British Columbia before many others did. Emily was an strong advocate of preserving aboriginal history in British Columbia and lectured about the history we would lose if we didn't curate the artifacts.

Emily's Art Study in Paris

In 1910, Emily went to study at the Academie Colarossi in Paris. She met and studied with several Post-Impressionists and Fauvists while in France, then returned to British Columbia, Canada to exhibit her French paintings. For the early part of her life, Emily's painting was not given due recognition.

In 1898, Carr had made the first of several sketching and painting trips to aboriginal villages, including Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, not far from Tofino, B.C. In 1912, Carr visited the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Skeena River. She documented the art of several tribes there: She painted a carved raven that later inspired her iconic Big Raven painting.

Emily Carr, Kitwancool, 1928, PD*-WC

Emily also wrote about her early life in Victoria, B.C. and kept journals of her life as a painter. I've read these three books: Klee Wyck, The Book of Small, Hundreds and Thousands. Two of Emily's closest friends were her editor, Ira Dilworth and the artist, Lawren Harris. Harris, a Canadian painter from Ontario, is best known as a member of the Group of Seven (artists).

Carr suffered several heart attacks between 1937 and 1942.  On March 2, 1945, she suffered a fatal attack at the James Bay Inn in Victoria, BC, her hometown. Klee Wyck, published in 1941 with the help of her close friend and editor, was awarded the Governor-General's Award for non-fiction the same year.  The Emily Carr University of Art and Design, in Vancouver, is named after this inspiring woman, artist and writer.


Have you heard of Emily Carr? Would you have traveled to the remote areas and to fishing villages in Victorian times as Emily did?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for stopping by! I'll respond.


Brought to you by the A to Z Blog Challenge 2014 Team and the originator: Lee of Tossing it Out. Click the A to Z list of participants and read on. Hope to see you again throughout the blogfest.


References: Wiki on Emily Carr Emily Carr House and about the artist. Books by Emily Carr.


Image Credits - Images 1 and 2: photo of Emily Carr, and photo of painting, Kitwancool

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