Arriving with his young family in newly incorporated Victoria in 1863, Richard Carr purchased 10 acres of land in fashionable James Bay, where he built a gracious home of imported California redwood in the Italianate style. The former Hudson’s Bay Company fort, a trading outpost established by then Chief Factor James Douglas on Vancouver Island in 1843, was the nucleus of what eventually became the city of Victoria. Living across the harbour, Emily found the vistas from nearby Beacon Hill Park particularly accessible, and used the subject of landscape throughout her artistic career.
These views haven't changed dramatically since they were painted - as you can see from the related images from 2007.

Arriving with his young family in newly incorporated Victoria in 1863, Richard Carr purchased 10 acres of land in fashionable James Bay, where he built a gracious home of imported California redwood in the Italianate style. The former Hudson’s Bay Company fort, a trading outpost established by then Chief Factor James Douglas on Vancouver Island in 1843, was the nucleus of what eventually became the city of Victoria. Living across the harbour, Emily found the vistas from nearby Beacon Hill Park particularly accessible, and used the subject of landscape throughout her artistic career.
These views haven't changed dramatically since they were painted - as you can see from the related images from 2007.

© 2007, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.

"Victoria … had hoisted herself from a Hudson's Bay Fort into a little town … Down on Wharf Street, facing the harbour, were the wholesale houses … My father was a wholesale importer … The part of Wharf Street where Father's store stood had only one side. In front of the store was a great hole where the bank of the shoreline had been dug out to build wharves and sheds. You could look over the tops of these to the Songhees Indian Reserve on the opposite side of the Harbour. To one side of the hole stood the Hudson's Bay Company's store - a long, low building of red brick with a verandah. The Indians came across the Harbour in their dugout canoes to trade at the store."1
"Victoria … had hoisted herself from a Hudson's Bay Fort into a little town … Down on Wharf Street, facing the harbour, were the wholesale houses … My father was a wholesale importer … The part of Wharf Street where Father's store stood had only one side. In front of the store was a great hole where the bank of the shoreline had been dug out to build wharves and sheds. You could look over the tops of these to the Songhees Indian Reserve on the opposite side of the Harbour. To one side of the hole stood the Hudson's Bay Company's store - a long, low building of red brick with a verandah. The Indians came across the Harbour in their dugout canoes to trade at the store."1
1Emily Carr, The Book of Small, (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2004), 120-121.
© 2004, Douglas & McIntyre. All rights reserved.

A 1910 watercolour painting of Victoria’s inner harbour with many historic buildings, as seen from the water.

A painting of Victoria’s inner harbour as it was during Emily Carr’s childhood. It depicts a number of historic buildings such as the Custom House, the post office and the Hudson’s Bay Company store.

Emily Carr
In memory of Jennet and Louis Davies, Edith and Oswald Parker and James R. Davies, with thanks to Emily Carr. These works are donated by N. E. Davies, Brian, Bruce and Kevin Davies.
c. 1910
Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA
AGGV 2005.026.003
© 2007, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


A panoramic view of Victoria’s Inner Harbour in the present day compared with Carr’s painting.

A panoramic view of Victoria’s Inner Harbour in the present day compared with Carr’s ‘Victoria Inner Harbour’ painting (location has been highlighted) created nearly 100 years before.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
20th/21st Century
Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA
© 2007, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


A present day panoramic view of the Inner Harbour in Victoria, BC.

A present day panoramic view of the Inner Harbour in Victoria, BC.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
c. 2007
Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA
© 2007, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


"Beacon Hill Park (was) a beautiful piece of wild land given to the people of Victoria by Sir James Douglas … To the west lay the purple hills of Sooke; to the south were the straits of Juan de Fuca, rimmed by the snowy Olympic mountains, whose peaks were always playing in and out among the clouds till you could not tell which was peak and which sky. On the east there were more sea and islands. The town was on the north …"1
"Beacon Hill Park (was) a beautiful piece of wild land given to the people of Victoria by Sir James Douglas … To the west lay the purple hills of Sooke; to the south were the straits of Juan de Fuca, rimmed by the snowy Olympic mountains, whose peaks were always playing in and out among the clouds till you could not tell which was peak and which sky. On the east there were more sea and islands. The town was on the north …"1
1Emily Carr, The Book of Small, (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2004), 102.
© 2004, Douglas & McIntyre. All Rights Reserved.

A 1909 watercolour painting of Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park depicting foliage, windswept trees, the ocean and sky.

A painting of Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park where the same foliage and windswept trees can be seen today.

Emily Carr
In memory of Jennet and Louis Davies, Edith and Oswald Parker and James R. Davies, with thanks to Emily Carr. These works are donated by N. E. Davies, Brian, Bruce and Kevin Davies.
c. 1909
Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA
CANADA Vancouver Island and vicinity, British Columbia, Vancouver Island and vicinity, CANADA
AGGV 2005.025.002
© 2007, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


A panoramic view of present day Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC.

A panoramic view of present day Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC. As you can see the park sets virtually the same scene as it did when Emily Carr went there on her countless sketching trips.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
c. 2007
Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA
© 2007, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Emily Carr House curator Jan Ross tells of the history of the Carr family home and of Emily’s childhood there.

Emily Carr House curator Jan Ross tells of the history of the Carr family home, located in Victoria BC, and of Emily’s childhood there.

Emily’s father had this house built in 1863 on what was then four acres of land. It was out a good ways from the city and was really a farm at that point in time, in that he’d planted a huge vegetable garden, a big barn was at the back, there were wild lily fields beyond that that Emily tells us about in her writings.

This was a loving and caring home for Emily as she grew up, but it was certainly a strict one. Emily had no doubt a great deal of tension sometimes with her sisters and with her father in particular. But she loved growing up here in Carr House.

As Emily tells us in her Book of Small, when she was a little girl she would walk hand in hand down what became Carr street with her father as he was on his way to work down on Wharf street. After waving goodbye to him she’d rush back up the stairs to the house, open the front door, take a peak in the hallway and see if her mother was in the dining room.

The dining room at Carr House is very special. It is also the first studio that Emily painted in when she came back from studying art in San Francisco. After dinner, the ladies would withdraw from the dining room, and come into the drawing room, or parlor, a beautifully appointed room at the front of the house. We have a special room that houses artifacts, things that have made their way back to the house that once belonged to the family. We call this our people’s gallery, in honour of Emily. We have a sitting room where the father would read the bible and where we now show information and have an archive on Emily and her childhood.

The house itself has been restored to the period when the family lived here as a family, from the 1860s to the turn of the century. We have very carefully restored the wallpaper, the woodwork, the paint colours, but you’re not stepping back exactly into the time that Emily lived here. The furnishings are not original to the house, but what we’re hoping you’ll find when you come to Emily’s house is an interpretive center, for her life, her art and her writings.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Jan Ross, Curator, Emily Carr House
20th/21st Century
Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA
© 2007, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Emily Carr House curator Jan Ross tells of the history of the Carr family home and of Emily’s childhood there.

Emily Carr House curator Jan Ross tells of the history of the Carr family home, located in Victoria BC, and of Emily’s childhood there.

Emily’s father had this house built in 1863 on what was then four acres of land. It was out a good ways from the city and was really a farm at that point in time, in that he’d planted a huge vegetable garden, a big barn was at the back, there were wild lily fields beyond that that Emily tells us about in her writings.

This was a loving and caring home for Emily as she grew up, but it was certainly a strict one. Emily had no doubt a great deal of tension sometimes with her sisters and with her father in particular. But she loved growing up here in Carr House.

As Emily tells us in her Book of Small, when she was a little girl she would walk hand in hand down what became Carr street with her father as he was on his way to work down on Wharf street. After waving goodbye to him she’d rush back up the stairs to the house, open the front door, take a peak in the hallway and see if her mother was in the dining room.

The dining room at Carr House is very special. It is also the first studio that Emily painted in when she came back from studying art in San Francisco. After dinner, the ladies would withdraw from the dining room, and come into the drawing room, or parlor, a beautifully appointed room at the front of the house. We have a special room that houses artifacts, things that have made their way back to the house that once belonged to the family. We call this our people’s gallery, in honour of Emily. We have a sitting room where the father would read the bible and where we now show information and have an archive on Emily and her childhood.

The house itself has been restored to the period when the family lived here as a family, from the 1860s to the turn of the century. We have very carefully restored the wallpaper, the woodwork, the paint colours, but you’re not stepping back exactly into the time that Emily lived here. The furnishings are not original to the house, but what we’re hoping you’ll find when you come to Emily’s house is an interpretive center, for her life, her art and her writings.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Jan Ross, Curator, Emily Carr House
20th/21st Century
Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA
© 2007, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

Curriculum Link (BC) – Social Studies 10/11; English Language Arts 12; Visual Arts 11/12; Geography 12; Information Technology 9/10

Learning Objectives:
· Students will evaluate the impact of interactions between Aboriginal peoples (in this case the Songhees Nation) and the European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815-1914
· Evaluate the interactions between various Aboriginal peoples and stakeholders in the fur trade (e.g. the Hudson’s Bay Company, Northwest Company, voyageurs)
· Identify the influence of immigration on, and the contributions of immigrants to, the development of Canada. Specifically how British immigrants, like Richard Carr, influenced the social fabric of BC and especially Victoria.
· By learning about Fort Victoria, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and Sir James Douglas (Governor of Vancouver Island), students will analyze the political, economic, social, and geographical factors that led to Confederation and to the development of Canada’s provinces and territories.
· With Victoria situated on the harbour, students will analyze how geography influenced the economic activity and settlement patterns in various regions of Canada.
· After reading excerpts from Carr’s The Book of Small – a book written from the perspective of a child (based on Carr herself), students will critique, defend, and appraise the effectiveness of their own and others' use of language and presentation forms relative to the specific purpose and audience.
· After viewing the associated paintings that were created before Carr’s pivotal study in France and as such are mostly representations of what she saw and not what she felt, students will evaluate how content and form influence and are influenced by personal, historical, social, and cultural contexts.
· After viewing the images students understand the concept of place (the physical and human characteristics that make a location unique) and regions (basic units of study that define an area with certain human and physical characteristics).
· After comparing Carr’s paintings of specific locations in Victoria and contemporary photographs of the same sites students will examine human and physical interaction – specifically the way humans depend on, adapt to, and modify the environment.
· This learning object will allow students to demonstrate their ability to use the Internet to access, capture, and store information.
· Students will use information technology tools to gather and organize information and produce documents.
· By interacting with this object students will demonstrate an awareness of the impact of electronic resources on education, careers, and recreation.


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