Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Donated by Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, VAG 2013.15.1
Emily Carr "Emily and Lizzie"
Emily Carr "Emily and Lizzie" circa 1913, oil on hardboard, 48.5 x 87.5 cm
Vancouver Art Gallery is pleased to announce the latest acquisition for its growing permanent collection. This work by Emily Carr, titled Emily and Lizzie, is generously donated by philanthropists and long-time Gallery supporters Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, making it the fifth Emily Carr portrait in the Gallery’s holdings.
“We are thrilled to receive this extraordinary gift. This painting fills a gap in the Gallery’s representation of Emily Carr’s work as her figurative works are extremely rare,” said Kathleen S. Bartels, the Director of Vancouver Art Gallery, “With such generous help from Michael and Yoshi, we are proud to continue to build Emily Carr’s legacy for our city and province, and our audiences from around the world.”
The Vancouver Art Gallery currently has 254 works by Emily Carr and is proud to hold the world’s most significant collection by this internationally celebrated Canadian painter. Carr’s work has been included consistently in more than 140 exhibitions at the Gallery since 1936, giving her a significant relationship with the institution and its esteemed history. This prized new acquisition, Emily and Lizzie, has already been included in two exhibitions at the Gallery in the past few years.
Painted around 1913 when Emily Carr had re-settled in Victoria, BC, Emily and Lizzie is a rare and intimate self-portrait depicting Carr sharing tea with her eldest sister by a window. In this painting, Carr has her back to the viewers in a dark dress, silhouetted in profile. In contrast, Lizzie is represented in the light, dressed in a white blouse with her hand resting on a bowl. With its vibrant colours, this domestic themed painting is an excellent example of Carr’s practice after her training in France. Though she was unaware of it at the time, Carr’s artistic production had similarities to work being produced by fellow Canadians James Wilson Morrice, David Milne and Lawren Harris.
Emily Carr, born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1871, is one of Canada's most renowned artists and is noted as a landscape painter who brought the then-radical vision of modernism to the wilderness of British Columbia. The most important artist of her generation from this province, she is best known for her attention to the totemic carvings of the First Nations people of British Columbia and the rain forests of Vancouver Island.
Michael Audain is Chairman of Polygon Homes Ltd., one of BC’s leading home builders. He currently serves as the Chair of the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, a leading supporter of the visual arts in British Columbia and a Visionary Partner of the Vancouver Art Gallery. He is Chair of the Vancouver Art Gallery Foundation, a member—and a past Chair—of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Board of Trustees. He is also past Chair of the National Gallery of Canada, former member of the British Columbia Arts Council, and an officer of the Order of Canada.