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Appendix: Who Was Emily Carr?

The Life of Emily Carr

Emily Carr was born in 1871 in Victoria, British Columbia. There were seven children in her family. Her parents died when she was young. As a young woman, Carr studied art in San Francisco, England and France, where she learned new ways to make paintings.

Emily Carr was a remarkable woman for her time. She did not marry. She liked to be outdoors in nature and often travelled alone. She had many pets, including cats, dogs, birds, a rat and a monkey named Woo.

When she returned to Canada, she travelled north, up the coast of British Columbia to photograph and sketch in First Nations communities. In her studio in Victoria, she made oil paintings based on her sketches. Later she made paintings of the trees, forests and skies in BC. She painted outdoors, or in her studio, working from sketches.

Emily Carr's art was not well liked until late in her life. She sold few of her paintings, so she had to work hard doing many other things to earn money to live. She rented out rooms in her house, made and sold pottery and rugs, bred and sold sheepdogs, and taught art classes.

When Carr became ill and could no longer paint, she wrote books about her life. She wrote five books in total. Her books were very successful. In 1941, one book, titled Klee Wyck, won the Governor General's Award, Canada's national prize for literature. She died in 1945 at the age of seventy-four.