Firstly, I would like to thank all of the pioneer artists of Vancouver and British Columbia. Without them, of course, there would be no art history to write about, no biographies necessary to detail training and travels, no exhibitions to list, and no societies to put on such exhibitions. The West Coast of Canada has had a powerful effect on every person who has seen it, and it has caused literally hundreds of artists to paint thousands of pictures, trying to portray that effect through their work. In doing so, their work has become a visual record of our history, and a very important part of it. This project is a way to honor them, to notice them, to revisit their triumphs, to access their stories more easily, and most of all to thank them.
This project grew out of an extended research project "Looking For Maud", started in 1996. That project - a narrative non-fiction account of my biographical research into the life of B.C. artist Maud Rees Sherman (1900-1976) - continues, somewhat in parallel with work on BC ARTISTS. Information gained in one project often adds to the other.
Many people have been helpful to me during my work, freely giving me their time and their stories, or pointing out avenues of research and giving ideas and suggestions to help me along. Especially important in getting me off to a good start was the late Mrs. Joan Dendys, an old friend of the Sherman family. In addition to having me over for long afternoon teas talking about the 30s and 40s, she unexpectedly donated a large collection of early Vancouver artwork to me, affording me an in-depth look at many historic drawings, paintings, cards, and associated pieces of ephemera.
A special thank you is due to the Vancouver Art Gallery, their Library, and their staff, particularly Cheryl Siegel and Lynn Brockington, the Gallery Librarians. (Lynn has since moved on to work at the West Vancouver Memorial Library) Much of the information compiled here has been freely provided by the Gallery from their records of Gallery exhibitions and activities, continuously compiled since their foundation in 1931. The majority of transcribed BCSFA and BCAL catalogues are from their collection, as well as all of the VAG exhibition records from 1931 to 1950, which include their B.C. Artists annual exhibitions, as well as all shows hosted by them for other groups such as PASOVAS and the VSDAA / VSA.
In the first few years of research, many people were helpful and supportive as I learned how and where to find information. Once my "bona fides" as an earnest researcher were established, folks began to recommend me to other people or sources, and it became easier to find major sources of information. Without this early help I may easily have given up after a few attempts, and I am still reaping the benefits from what they gave me:
Joan Lindsay (deceased)
Daryl Duke ( " )
Prof. Walter Hardwick ( " )
Dr. David Hardwick
Gladys Bloomfield (deceased)
Don Stewart, Macleod's Books, Vancouver
Lance McCaughran, Criterion Books, Vancouver
George Carroll, Carillon Books, North Vancouver
Mr. Neil Wilton, ex-Program Officer, Heritage Conservation Branch
Dr. Jean Barman, History Professor, UBC
Dr. Tony Rogers, retired History Professor, Australia
Dr. Patrick Dunae, History Professor, Vancouver Island University
Dr. Edwin Landale, Savary Island Heritage Society
Charles C. Hill, Curator of Canadian Art, National Gallery of Canada
Michael Clark, Emily Carr University Library
In the past few years of research and collecting, many more people have kindly donated quite a few exhibition catalogues to me for entry into BC ARTISTS. In most cases the catalogues were printed in very small runs, making them difficult if not impossible to find any other way. As well, other folks have been sending me information about BC artists that they know I am interested in, or have been supportive and helpful in other ways, such as sharing personal collections of information about artists in their families. I would like to thank them all (and if I have omitted anyone please accept my apologies) .......
Robert Amos, Victoria Times
Jo Beglo, National Gallery of Canada Library
Chris Brayshaw, pulpfiction books
Judith Copithorne, artist
Paul Crawford, Penticton Art Gallery
Michael de Courcy
Famous Empty Sky, Avenue for/des Arts
Mona Fertig, Mother Tongue Publishing
Kristina Huneault, Concordia University
Bill Jeffries, curator
John David Lawrence, DODA Antiques
Lawrence Lowe, ECU
Bob MacIntyre, Burnaby Art Gallery
Ellen Poole (retired FCA historian)
Sheryl & Kirk Salloum
Randall Faulkner Smith
Jan Westendorp and Robert Sherrin
Glenn Woodsworth, Tricouni Press
Thanks are also due to the staffs of the numerous libraries, archives, special collections, and art galleries that I have visited during the course of the project. These include various divisions of the Vancouver Public Library, including Fine Arts, Periodicals, and North-West Room; Vancouver City Archives; U.B.C. Special Collections and Education Department Rare Book Collection; the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria - especially for the large number of excellent exhibition and survey catalogues produced by the Gallery over the years; and the National Library, Ottawa. The consistent level of professional assistance provided by the staff of all of these facilities has been wonderful to experience.
I would also like to thank all of the antiquarian booksellers who have taken the time to post their stock on-line, respond to my e-mails, and sell me their books, thus allowing me the ability to retrieve early publications from England, Australia, Holland, and all over North America.