|Birth Day:||December 13, 1871|
|Death Date:||Mar 2, 1945 (age 73)|
|Birth Place:||Victoria, Canada|
As per our current Database, Emily Carr died on Mar 2, 1945 (age 73).
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She attended the San Francisco Art Institute and the Westminster School of Art. She was an unpopular teacher at the Ladies Art Club in Vancouver because she smoked and cursed at the students, leading them to boycott her classes. She left after a month.
Born in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1871, the year British Columbia joined Canada, Emily Carr was the second-youngest of nine children born to English parents Richard and Emily (Saunders) Carr. The Carr home was on Birdcage Walk (now Government Street), in the James Bay district of Victoria, a short distance from the legislative buildings (nicknamed the 'Birdcages') and the town itself.
Carr's mother died in 1886, and her father died in 1888. Her oldest sister Edith Carr became the guardian of the rest of the children.
Carr's father encouraged her artistic inclinations, but it was only in 1890, after her parents' deaths, that Carr pursued her art seriously. She studied at the San Francisco Art Institute for two years (1890–92) before returning to Victoria. In 1899 Carr traveled to London, where she studied at the Westminster School of Art. Carr also visited the Nootka Indian mission at Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1898. She traveled also to a rural art colony in St Ives, Cornwall, returning to British Columbia in 1905. Carr took a teaching position in Vancouver at the 'Ladies Art Club' that she held for no longer than a month – she was unpopular amongst her students due to her rude behavior of smoking and cursing at them in class, and the students began to boycott her courses.
In 1898, at age 27, Carr made the first of several sketching and painting trips to Aboriginal villages. She stayed in a village near Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, home to the Nuu-chah-nulth people, then commonly known to English-speaking people as 'Nootka'. Carr recalled that her time in Ucluelet made "a lasting impression on me". Her interest in Indigenous life was reinforced by a trip to Alaska nine years later with her sister Alice. In 1912, Carr took a sketching trip to First Nations' villages in Haida Gwaii, the Upper Skeena River, and Alert Bay. Even though Carr left the villages of the Pacific Northwest, the impact of the people stayed with her. Carr adopted the Indian name Klee Wyck and she also chose it as the title of one of her works of writings.
Determined to further her knowledge of the age's evolving artistic trends, in 1910 Carr returned to Europe to study at the Académie Colarossi in Paris. In Montparnasse with her sister Alice, Emily Carr met modernist painter Harry Gibb with a letter of introduction. Upon viewing his work, she and her sister were shocked and intrigued by his use of distortion and vibrant color; she wrote: "Mr Gibb's landscapes and still life delighted me — brilliant, luscious, clean. Against the distortion of his nudes I felt revolt." Carr's study with Gibb and his techniques shaped and influenced her style of painting, and she adopted a vibrant color palette rather than continuing with the pastel colors of her earlier British training.
Carr was greatly influenced by the Post-Impressionists and the Fauvists she met and studied with in France. After returning home in 1912, she organized an exhibition in her studio of seventy watercolors and oils representative of her time there. She was the first artist to introduce Fauvism to Vancouver.
In March 1912 Carr opened a studio at 1465 West Broadway in Vancouver. When locals failed to support her radical new style, bold colour palette and lack of detail, she closed the studio and returned to Victoria. In the summer of 1912, Carr again traveled north, to Haida Gwaii and the Skeena River, where she documented the art of the Haida, Gitxsan and Tsimshian. At Cumshewa, a Haida village on Moresby Island, she wrote:
While there was some positive reaction to her work, even in the new 'French' style, Carr perceived that Vancouver's reaction to her work and new style was not positive enough to support her career. She recounted as much in her book Growing Pains. She was determined to give up teaching and working in Vancouver, and in 1913 she returned to Victoria, where several of her sisters still lived.
In 1924 and 1925, Carr exhibited at the Artists of the Pacific Northwest shows in Seattle, Washington. Fellow exhibitor Mark Tobey came to visit her in Victoria in the autumn of 1928 to teach an advanced course in her studio. Working with Tobey, Carr furthered her understanding of contemporary art, experimenting with Tobey's methods of full-on abstraction and Cubism, but she was reluctant to go to Tobey's extremes.
Over time Carr's work came to the attention of several influential and supportive people, including Marius Barbeau, a prominent ethnologist at the National Museum in Ottawa. Barbeau in turn persuaded Eric Brown, Director of Canada's National Gallery, to visit Carr in 1927. Brown invited Carr to exhibit her work at the National Gallery as part of an exhibition on West Coast Aboriginal art. Carr sent 26 oil paintings east, along with samples of her pottery and rugs with Indigenous designs. The exhibit, which also included works by Edwin Holgate and A.Y. Jackson, traveled to Toronto and Montreal.
It was at the exhibition on West Coast Aboriginal art at the National Gallery in 1927 that Carr first met members of the Group of Seven, at that time Canada's most recognized modern painters. Lawren Harris of the Group became a particularly important support: "You are one of us," he told Carr, welcoming her into the ranks of Canada's leading modernists. The encounter ended the artistic isolation of Carr's previous 15 years, leading to one of her most prolific periods, and the creation of many of her most notable works. Through her extensive correspondence with Harris, Carr also became aware of and studied Northern European symbolism.
Carr's life itself made her a "Canadian icon", according to the Canadian Encyclopedia. As well as being "an artist of stunning originality and strength", she was an exceptionally late bloomer, starting the work for which she is best known at the age of 57 (see Grandma Moses). Carr was also an artist who succeeded against the odds, living in an artistically unadventurous society, and working mostly in seclusion away from major art centers, thus making her "a darling of the women's movement" (see Georgia O'Keeffe, whom she met in 1930 in New York City). Emily Carr brought the north to the south; the west to the east; glimpses of the ancient culture of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas to the most newly arrived Europeans on the continent.
Carr continued to travel throughout the late 1920s and 1930s away from Victoria. Her last trip north was in the summer of 1928, when she visited the Nass and Skeena rivers, as well Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. She also travelled to Friendly Cove and the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, and then up to Lillooet in 1933. Recognition of her work grew steadily, and her work was exhibited in London, Paris, Washington, DC, and Amsterdam, as well as major Canadian cities. Carr held her first solo show in eastern Canada in 1935 at the Women's Art Association of Canada gallery in Toronto.
Carr suffered a heart attack in 1937, and another in 1939, forcing her to move in with her sister Alice to recover. In 1940 Carr suffered a serious stroke, and in 1942 she had another heart attack. With her ability to travel curtailed, Carr's focus shifted from her painting to her writing. The editorial assistance of Carr's friend Ira Dilworth, a professor of English, enabled Carr to see her own first book, Klee Wyck, published in 1941. Carr was awarded the Governor-General's Award for non-fiction the same year for the work.
Emily Carr suffered her last heart attack and died on March 2, 1945, at the James Bay Inn in her hometown of Victoria, British Columbia, shortly before she was to have been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of British Columbia. Carr is buried at Ross Bay Cemetery.
In 1952, works by Emily Carr along with those of David Milne, Goodridge Roberts and Alfred Pellan represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. In the 1960s her works were exhibited at Galerie L'Art français.
On February 12, 1971 Canada Post issued a 6¢ stamp 'Emily Carr, painter, 1871–1945' designed by William Rueter based on Carr's Big Raven (1931), held by the Vancouver Art Gallery. On May 7, 1991, Canada Post issued a 50¢ stamp 'Forest, British Columbia, Emily Carr, 1931–1932' designed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier based on Forest, British Columbia (1931–1932), also from the Vancouver Art Gallery collection.
A complete illustrated artist's biography of Emily Carr emphasising both her life and the development of her art is Emily Carr: A biography by Maria Tippett, Oxford University Press, 1979 ( ISBN 9780887847561). Tippett's biography won the Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction in 1979.
On November 28, 2013, one of Carr's paintings, The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase), sold for $3.39 million at a Toronto art auction. As of the sale, it is a record price for a painting by a Canadian female artist.
Currently, Emily Carr is 149 years, 9 months and 13 days old. Emily Carr will celebrate 150th birthday on a Monday 13th of December 2021.
Find out about Emily Carr birthday activities in timeline view here.