How Emily Carr found fame in her fifties: Stories from B.C. Archives’ art collection


The B.C. Archives at the Royal BC Museum houses more than 15,000 pieces of our province’s most important artworks. The vaults contain various styles of work, including a modernist piece from The Group of Seven to the largest collection of Emily Carr paintings.

The curator of art and images at the Royal BC Museum, India Young, displays ‘House at Gitwangak’ painted in 1927. “This is a quintessentially Group of Seven painting by A.Y. Jackson, a founding member of the Group of Seven,” Young says. “[House on Gitwangak] was part of the seminal exhibition that discovered Emily Carr and shared Emily Carr’s works with the world.”

In 1927, Ottawa’s National Gallery sent artists like A.Y. Jackson out West to paint B.C. landscapes in a modernist style. B.C.’s Emily Carr would be included in the resulting art exhibition.

Already in her 50s, Carr would get her first taste of fame as a result of her national exposure at the National Gallery.


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