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Emily Carr painting to be displayed in Whistler museum after 64 years

An Emily Carr painting, that hasn’t been on public display for over 60 years, is set to be in Whistler’s Audian Art Museum (AAM) in April.

In a release from the AAM, it says the painting, titled “Survival,” was signed by the artist in 1940.

“I’m very happy that this has come back to the coast. It’s actually 64 years ago that this painting was last exhibited,” said Michael Audain, the chairman of the Audain Foundation.

The oil painting debuted, along with three others, at the Venice Biennale Internazionale d’Arte in 1952.

an emily carr painting depicitng greenery and trees

An Emily Carr paining, titled ‘Survival,’ is set to be on display at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. (CityNews Image)


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Audain says that it played an important part in the exhibition.

“This painting is a survivor, a 1940 survivor. It was a painting that represented Canada at the 1952 Venice Biennale. That was the first time Canada was invited to this important international art exhibition,” he said.

But Audain says that although Carr is now among Canada’s most famous painters, she faced many challenges, including a lack of support from her family and sickness.

“She was a very modern woman. She really battled, in so many ways, to establish herself as an artist,” he said.

“Above all, she had a very hard time from the income point of view…she was very poor.”

A painting in exchange for a chicken 

In contrast to what some of her paintings are worth today – sometimes millions of dollars – Audain says Carr sold some of her paintings for only a few dollars.

“She was very pleased to get $10 for a painting,” he said, adding that in one case, she may have traded a painting in return for a chicken.

The museum’s recent purchase was bought in a private sale and is set to be on display at the AAM starting in April.

“Survival brilliantly echoes Carr’s longstanding effort to evoke human emotions through highly charged renderings of B.C.’s forests,” Curtis Collins, the AAM’s director and chief curator said.

“Emily Carr, in other ways, was a very modern woman because she was concerned about ecological matters, she was concerned about industrial logging, as it was called in those days, and, and she depicts that in many of our late works,” Audain added.

The painting will contribute to the museum’s extensive 33 Carr painting collection.

-With files from OMNI News

an emily carr painting depicitng greenery and trees

An Emily Carr paining, titled ‘Survival,’ is set to be on display at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. (CityNews Image)

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