C is for…
(Emily) Carr House
Emily Carr (1871-1945) was a painter, and one of the only major female artists of that time (according to The Canadian Encyclopedia). She is probably best known for her paintings depicting the lives of Haida, Gitksan and Tsimshian peoples. You can read about her life and travels at the Canadian Encyclopedia, as well as at many other sites on these there Interwebs. What you may also find interesting, however, are stories of the controversy of her painting, first of all whether she merits the status she has been elevated to, and second for the appropriation of aboriginal images. I will not delve into either of these (or any other) controversies around Emily Carr. I am not a visual art historian, nor do I pretend to have any knowledge of visual art whatsoever (I only know what I like – hee hee hee)
A big chunk of the area of James Bay, and specifically, the area nearer to the Legislature buildings (NOT the Parliament buildings – those are in Ottawa) which I will be posting about another day, down to Beacon Hill Park, was all part of Emily Carr’s family’s 10 acres of land. The house (seen below), her childhood home, is all that remains. It’s a heritage site and a museum open for tourists these days – no one actually lives there anymore.
According to Wikipedia (yeah, yeah, I know…but it’s pithy…)
Built in 1863 for the affluent Carr family,house was originally situated at 44 Carr Street on a large property owned by Emily Carr’s father, Richard. The building was designed in an Italianate style by prominent local architects Wright & Saunders, who also built another Victorian National Historic Site, the Fisgard Lighthouse. The area was the heart of 19th century Victoria, with many other merchants, businessmen, and politicians such as the Dunsmuirs living in the area, many of whom commissioned other important buildings, such as Helmcken House. Structurally, the building is an excellent, and well-preserved, heritage example of the Italianate villa style popular at the time.
Just so you know, Carr Street is now part of Government Street, a main street which starts at Dallas Road down by the ocean, and runs all the way through downtown to Hillside where it merges with Douglas. Doesn’t mean anything to you, does it?!?
The best outline of the history of the house is at the Victoria Heritage Foundation’s site (http://www.victoriaheritagefoundation.ca/HReg/JamesB/Government207.html) The VHF is great! Our house is a designated Heritage house, and the VHF offers all kinds of grant funding for people restoring heritage houses. It’s a wonderful organization!
I have been inside the Emily Carr house once. A friend of mine (hi Darca!) took me to a play, Frankenstein, last year before Hallowe’en. It was set throughout the main floor of the house, with the small audience (couldn’t have fit anyone else in!) following the actors around from room to room, and even outside. It was a lot of fun! I’ve included a link to the description of the play below.
Pictures of the Emily Carr House and Front Yard
- Emily Carr at the Virtual Museum (Vancouver Art Gallery): http://www.museevirtuel.ca/sgc-cms/expositions-exhibitions/emily_carr/en/index.php
- Emily Carr at the Art History Archive: http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/canadian/Emily-Carr.html
- Emily Carr at the Canadian Encyclopedia: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/emily-carr/
- Emily Carr at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Carr
- The Emily Carr house: https://www.emilycarr.com/
- The Emily Carr house from the Victoria Heritage Foundation: http://www.victoriaheritagefoundation.ca/HReg/JamesB/Government207.html
- The Emily Carr house at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Carr_House
- Did Emily Carr Really Record the Art of a Dying Race? http://decodedarts.com/did-emily-carr-really-record-the-art-of-a-dying-race/1024
- Article on Emily Carr: New Perspectives on a Canadian Icon http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2007/02/24/emily_carr.html
- Frankenstein at Emily Carr House: http://www.harbourliving.ca/event/frankenstein-at-emily-carr-house
Part of the April A to Z Challenge.