Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment

June 11, 2022 - January 8, 2023

Prudence Heward, At the Theatre, 1928, oil on canvas, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, Photo: MMFA, Christina Guest

Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment is a major exhibition gathering more than 200 works of art by a generation of extraordinary painters, photographers, weavers, bead workers and sculptors. Focusing on the 1920s, 30s and 40s, Uninvited foregrounds the production of women artists from across the country, providing a broad and diverse accounting of female creativity in Canada a century ago. In this monumental exhibition, organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, audiences will see the work of women from all parts of our nation as they respond to a period of dramatic, and sometimes traumatic, change. Rather than pursuing the calling of landscape painting prevalent among their male peers, settler women artists in this period are notable for tackling such themes as human psychology, urbanization, industrialized resource extraction, Indigenous culture and displacement, environment desecration and the immigrant experience.

Uninvited includes artwork by members of the Beaver Hall Group of painters of Montréal, Québec (among them Anne Savage and Lilias Torrance Newton), shown alongside the paintings of artist Emily Carr, from Victoria, British Columbia, and sculptures by Toronto-based artists Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Frances Loring and Florence Wyle.

The exhibition also features the work of a number of Indigenous women from this period, including Attatsiaq of Arviat, Nunavut; Sewinchelwet (Sophie Frank) of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation); Mi’kmaq quillbox maker Bridget Ann Sack of Shubenacadie, NS; and Rose Runner of the Tsuut’ina First Nation, near Calgary, Alberta. The exhibition also includes the contributions of women from immigrant communities, such as the painters Regina Seiden Goldberg and Paraskeva Clark, as well as the work of Canadian expatriates such as avant-garde photographer Margaret Watkins, who left her home in Hamilton, Ontario for the United States and Scotland.

Exhibition Didactics

Organized and circulated by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection with the exceptional support of the National Gallery of Canada and curated by Sarah Milroy

Presenting Sponsor:
Generously supported by:

Lisa and Terrence Turner Jane Irwin and Ross Hill

With additional support from:

Michael and Inna O'Brian Family Foundation Joanie Anderson

Foundation Partner:

The McLean Foundation

Organized and circulated by:
With exceptional support from:
Exclusive transportation provider:
With support from:



Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment

A monument to the talent of Canadian women artists in the interwar period, Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment provides a full and diverse cross-country survey of the art made by women during this pivotal time, incorporating the work of both settler and Indigenous visual artists in a stirring affirmation of the female creative voice.

320 pages
10 x 11 inches
Co-published by Figure 1 Publishing and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 2021