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The Royal BC Museum has meticulously packed up 25 remarkable paintings and sketches by the iconic Canadian artist and writer Emily Carr, in preparation for a loan to the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, UK.
The Royal BC Museum has the world’s largest collection of artwork by Emily Carr, born in Victoria in 1871. The collection comprises more than 1,100 works of art (paintings and sketches), plus rugs, pottery and archival and library records created by her peers and scholars.
The 25 works on loan to Dulwich include the famous oil painting Tanoo, Q.C.I., recently featured in the Royal BC Museum’s online collection, 100 Objects of Interest. Other works to be loaned include watercolours and graphite sketches on paper that indicate how her initial rough ideas blossomed into large-scale paintings.
“Getting our collections out, working for us abroad, is a major plank of our forward strategy,” said Prof Jack Lohman, CEO of the Royal BC Museum. Before joining the Royal BC Museum in 2012, Prof Lohman was the Director of the Museum of London, just north of Dulwich.
The Dulwich show, entitled From the Forest to the Sea - Emily Carr in British Columbia, will feature original Carrs borrowed from all over the world. The exhibition opens on November 1, 2014, and ends on March 8, 2015.
“Emily Carr’s determined progress as an artist, travelling halfway across the world to San Francisco, London and Paris to improve her considerable skills, makes for an inspiring story of driven creativity, against the odds,” said Ian Dejardin, Sackler Director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery. “Her passionate engagement with both Northwest Coast indigenous culture and European modernism produced a body of work that is unique, rooted in the forests and landscapes of British Columbia. Her story is one of extraordinary determination which we will bring in to view with this show. This exhibition will be a revelation to British and Canadian audiences alike.”
Carr is revered in Canada but is not as well known in much of the rest of the world. The Dulwich show, the first dedicated Emily Carr exhibition in the UK, will provide an opportunity for British audiences to learn about her idiosyncratic life, her intimate knowledge of First Nations coastal communities and how her painting style and subject matter changed over time.
Lending (and borrowing) artifacts, specimens and artwork to other institutions is not a new approach for the Royal BC Museum. This past year alone, the Royal BC Museum made loans to 23 institutions around the world, from Prague to Quingdao. As the Royal BC Museum develops its 2015 feature exhibition, Gold Rush! El Dorado in BC, it has already struck partnerships with museums as far away as Colombia and China to borrow artifacts and send components as a traveling exhibition.
Report courtesy Royal BC Museum.