Rapture, Rhythm and the Tree of Life: Emily Carr and Her Female Contemporaries

December 7, 2019 - January 22, 2021

Emily Carr

Deep Forest, c. 1931

oil on canvas

Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust

Photo: Vancouver Art Gallery

A selection of works from this exhibition have been extended through January 22, 2021.


Drawn primarily from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection, Rapture, Rhythm and the Tree of Life: Emily Carr and Her Female Contemporaries focuses on artwork from the first half of the twentieth century by women artists based in British Columbia, and presents an expanded account of the context in which modernism developed on the Canadian West Coast during the early to mid-1900s.


Born in Victoria, BC, Emily Carr (1871–1945) is widely recognized for her paintings of forested British Columbian landscapes that investigate the shapes, colours and rhythmic changes in nature. In this exhibition, Carr’s images of the forest and the coast are presented alongside work by some of her lesser-known female contemporaries—including Unity Bainbridge, Beatrice Lennie, Nan Lawson Cheney, Irene Hoffar Reid, Grace Wilson Melvin and Vera Weatherbie—together with baskets, cedar hats and cradle boards made at this time by Indigenous women—such as Amy Cooper, Mary Little and Gertrude Dick.


Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art



Published by the Vancouver Art Gallery, 2019

Softcover, 160 pages

Illustrations: approx. 115 colour reproductions

Contributors: Kathleen Bartels, Rochelle Steiner, and Ian M. Thom


The Vancouver Art Gallery is proud to be home to the richest collection of works by the widely renowned British Columbia-based painter Emily Carr (1871–1945). Featuring her works in oil, this catalogue presents over 115 colour reproductions of Carr’s paintings in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection. With text contributions by Ian M. Thom, former Senior Curator–Historical at the Vancouver Art Gallery, this book invites the reader to explore the collection and enjoy Carr’s great legacy in British Columbia.