Past Exhibitions

Emily Carr in Haida Gwaii

July 20, 2013 to March 9, 2014


Emily Carr
Totem by the Ghost Rock, 1912
oil on canvas
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust


Emily Carr
Totem and Forest, 1931
oil on canvas
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust

Emily Carr made the first of two trips to First Nations villages and old village sites in Haida Gwaii in 1912, during which she produced a number of watercolours and oils on board. She used her field studies as source material for major paintings, and the goal of these works was to capture the forms of the poles and, to a lesser degree, the circumstances of their placement in the landscape or village. Carr's second trip to Haida Gwaii occurred in 1928, when she was fifty-seven years old. These later watercolours are different in execution—more forceful and more fully realized dimensionally—but have links to the works of 1912. Carr's failing health prevented additional trips to Haida Gwaii, but she returned to the totemic subjects toward the end of her career, when she produced two major canvases based on the 1912 sketches made in Skidegate.

Emily Carr in Haida Gwaii, designed to complement both the James Hart: The Dance Screen and Charles Edenshaw exhibitions, presents some of the important oil paintings which resulted from Carr's trips to Haida Gwaii.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Ian Thom, Senior Curator-Historical.


Visionary Partner: Offsite and Permanent Collection Exhibitions
Michael O'Brian Family Foundation