Emily Carr

Canadian Artist

Emily Carr

She is one of the most recognized artists in Canada. Born in Victoria, BC in 1871, she died on March 2, 1945 in the same city.

The fifth child in a family with six daughters (a boy was born in 1875), she became independent at a young age, criticizing family reading rituals in the Bible, church attendance.She shows an aptitude for drawing when, at nine, she made a sketch of her father in pencil. Encouraged by this successful portrait, Richard Carr arranged for his daughter to receive private lessons.
From 1890 to 1893, she studied at the California School of Design in San Francisco. Emily called monotonous the courses of drawings of old figures and still lifes. Her modesty made her exclude the drawing of nudes. In 1893, the economic recession brought her back to Victoria. Upon her return and under the supervision of her elder sisters, she taught art. En 1899, Emily Carr went to England where she perfected her art in London and in St.Ives, Cornwall. In 1904, she returned to Canada and settled first in Victoria, then in Vancouver where she taught again. In 1907, she went by boat to Alaska to illustrate the monumental art of the West Coast First Nations, believing it her duty to document totem poles and villages before they disappeared. In 1910, she went to France where she was initiated into the work of the Fauves, so called because of their bold use of bright color. In 1912, she returned to Victoria where she rented rooms, cultivated fruit, raised dogs, made pottery and made rugs decorated with Indian motifs for tourists. She began a six-week trip to fifteen indigenous villages.
In 1927 she was invited to participate in an exhibition on Western Canada's art in Ottawa. The exhibition includes thirty-one paintings, as well as pottery and carpets.
She met with members of the Group of Seven, following which she made an ongoing correspondence with Lawren Harris. It was this encounter that had the most influence on her. In 1937, she suffered a heart attack and from that moment, she devoted herself mostly to writing. His first book, Klee Wyck (1941), won the Governor General's Literature Award in 1942. She has solo exhibitions many times in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

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