FROM THE COLLECTION // The Personal Photo Emily Carr Sent to Her Closest Friends

Emily Carr with her dog Jane, c1930, photographer unknown. Vancouver Art Gallery Library, Emily Carr Collection

FROM THE COLLECTION aims to introduce readers to the inventories of local art galleries, museums and other cultural institutions, not via official exhibition notes but by way of the people that help manage and maintain the collections themselves.

“We now treasure her as an iconic Canadian artist, yet this image provides an intimate view of Emily in her Victoria studio with a beloved pet, a photograph that she shared with her closest friends…”

For this edition of From the Collection, Jane Devine Mejia, Chief Librarian at the Vancouver Art Gallery Library & Archives, shares an image that sheds some intimate light on an artistic giant…

“Inscribed on the back with the dedication “Lawren and Bess, from Emily and Jane with love”, this small photograph was a gift from Emily Carr to her friends and fellow artists Lawren and Bess Harris. It is a testament to the importance of friendship in Emily’s life, particularly in the long years before she achieved recognition. Her first solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery was held in October 1938, when she was 66 years old, and her first book, Klee Wyck, was published in 1941, just four years before her death. 2021 marks the 150th anniversary of Emily Carr’s birth in 1871. We now treasure her as an iconic Canadian artist, yet this image provides an intimate view of Emily in her Victoria studio with a beloved pet, a photograph that she shared with her closest friends. We are fortunate to have it in our collection.”

For more information about the Vancouver Art Gallery Library and Archives, click here.


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