Emily Carr U.K. Exhibit Expected to Boost VAG Coffers

Emily Carr Painting at Vancouver Art Gallery
Painting by Emily Carr

Largest ever international Emily Carr exhibit expected to boost VAG coffers.

The largest international exhibition of iconic B.C. artist Emily Carr will be on display at one of London’s most prestigious and storied settings.

Following 2012’s Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, the fourth most popular show in its 200-year history (which, according to CBC news, had crowds lined up down the road) Dulwich Picture Gallery is now scheduled to debut the legendary painter and writer in fall 2014.

Michael Audain Donates $5M to Emily Carr Visual Arts School

Businessman, philanthropist and art collector Michael Audain is donating $5 million to the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in order for the school to create the Audain School of Visual Arts at its planned new campus on Great Northern Way.

Audain told the Globe and Mail, “I believe that Emily Carr is one of the world’s leading art schools, and I also think that it’s been a major contributor to Vancouver becoming an important centre for the visual arts.”

According to the Globe report by Marsha Lederman, in January the B.C. government announced $113 million in funding for the new facility, which is predicted to cost $134 million to build. The current facility on Granville Island was designed for 800 students, while the new location on Great Northern Way will accommodate 2,200 students.

The exhibition is expected to involve temporarily exporting 20 to 40 of Carr’s pieces from the Vancouver Art Gallery alone, says senior curator and Carr expert Ian Thom, although he added the VAG is waiting for a formal request.

Thom sees it as an exciting move for Carr at Dulwich, which was the first specifically built public art institution in England. While certainly not the first time Carr will be shown in the country, he adds that it is, by far, the “most sizeable ever going overseas

Only once before has the VAG lent so many Carr works, that time to the National Gallery of Canada in 1990. The Dulwich exhibition follows last year’s notable showing of seven of its Carr pieces at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany.)

“It’s always interesting to have Emily Carr’s work be better known,” says Thom. “I think it will be a major showing of her work in that part of the world and it might mean other people in Europe think about Carr’s work, too.”
While he would not release figures, the significant loan and the merchandise already sold in the Dulwich gift store should be a boon to VAG coffers.

After the success of the other major Canadian show, Thom believes that Dulwich director Ian Dejardin “admires Emily Carr’s work and sees it as another opportunity to have other links with Canada.”

Except to confirm the timing of the show, Dulwich itself declined to discuss further details until the fall.