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I was working on a big totem with heavy woods behind. How badly I want that nameless thing! First there must be an idea, a feeling or whatever you want to call it, the something that interested or inspired you sufficiently to make you desire to express it. Maybe it was an abstract idea that you’ve got to find a symbol for, or maybe it was a concrete form that you have to simplify or distort to meet your ends, but that starting point must pervade the whole. Then you must discover the pervading direction, the pervading rhythm, the dominant, recurring forms, the dominant colour, but always the thing must be top in your thoughts. Everything must lead up to it, cloth it feed it, balance it, tenderly fold it, till it reveals itself in all the beauty of its idea.

Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of Emily Carr 1966

PERIOD / STYLE: Modernism and Late Totems (1927-1932)



1931 Group of Seven Art Gallery of Toronto (Art Gallery of Ontario)

1945 - 1946 Emily Carr: Her Paintings and Sketches collaboration between the Art Gallery of Toronto (Art Gallery of Ontario), and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ottawa travelling to the Art Association of Montreal (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) and the Vancouver Art Gallery (cat. 34)

1949 Memorial Exhibition Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (cat. 15)

1951 Emily Carr Memorial Galleries opening exhibition, Vancouver Art Gallery (cat. 10)

1958 Paintings by Emily Carr in One Hundred Years of B.C. Art Vancouver Art Gallery (cat. 282)

1971 Emily Carr: a centennial exhibition celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of her birth organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery travelling to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (cat. 67)

1974 Contemporaries of Emily Carr in British Columbia Simon Fraser Gallery, Burnaby

1979 Emily Carr: The Mature Years – Les Années de Maturité organized by Canada House, London, England travelling to Centre Culturel Canadien/Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France (cat. 8)

1990 Emily Carr National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

1990 - 1991 The Logic of Ecstasy organized by the London Regional Art and Historical Museums (Museum London) travelling to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Edmonton Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton and the Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax

1999 - 2000 To The Totem Forests: Emily Carr and Contemporaries Interpret Coastal Villages organized by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria travelling to the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Kamloops Art Gallery

2006 - 2008 Emily Carr: New Perspectives on a Canadian Icon collaboration between the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa travelling to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Glenbow Museum, Calgary (cat. 93)

LOCATION: Haida Gwaii map