Artist: Emily Carr
About the Artist: Carr is a Canadian artist who has an expressionist, painterly style who specialized in scenes from the lives and rituals of Native Americans. From a young age, she was inspired by the landscape and First Nations cultures of British Columbia and Alaska. Carr was perhaps the most original Canadian painters of the first half of the twentieth century, and was also one of the only major female artists in either North America or Europe of that period.
Birth Place: Vancouver, BC
Life Dates: 1871 – 1945
Mediums: Watercolour, pencil and ink
Style: Expressionist, painterly style. She was one of the first artists to embrace a modernist and post-impressionist painting style. Carr’s work is inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Her subject matter made a switch from aboriginal themes to landscapes (forest themes).
Training: Carr began her training as an artist with a period of study at the California School of Design in San Francisco. Little of her work survives from this period, but she seems to have received basic instruction in oil painting and watercolour and was able, upon her return to Victoria in 1893, to make a living as an art teacher. In the late 1890s she traveled to England to receive further training in London at the Westminster School of Art, and later at private schools in Cornwall. In 1906 she moved to Vancouver where she taught art classes and established herself. In 1907 Carr traveled to Alaska with her sister, and this trip, which exposed her to the poles of the northern First Nations, seems to have changed the focus of her art.
Additional Information: Carr is the second youngest of nine children born to English parents. She did not receive widespread recognition for her work until later in life. Has multiple schools named after her: Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Emily Carr Elementary School in Vancouver, British Columbia, Emily Carr Middle School in Ottawa, Ontario and Emily Carr Public School in London, Ontario are also named after her