Whistler’s Audain Art Museum has acquired Canadian artist Emily Carr’s 1911 ‘Le Paysage’.

Michael Audain’s family foundation put up just under $1 million for the museum to acquire the picture from a private collector. The Victoria B.C. artist painted the piece in 1911 while studying in Brittany, France under British artist Harry Gibb.

Darrin Martens, the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chief Curator at the Audain says it is the inclusion in a French exhibition that makes this piece important; “What makes this painting phenomenally important in Canadian art history is that it is definitely one of two Carr works that were accepted for the 1911 Salon d’Automne at the Grand Palais,”

The Salon d’Automne is an annual art exhibition that has been held in the French capital since 1903 and became the showpiece of innovation in 20th century art. The exhibition also featured pieces from renowned artists such as Picasso and Braque.

Commenting on the purchase Michael Audain says “It’s amazing to think that a virtually unknown artist from Victoria, B.C. had two paintings accepted by the jury of this prestigious exhibition, particularly given that works by women were so rare”. Carr’s other painting that were included in the French exhibition, ‘Autumn in France’, which accompanied ‘Le Paysage’ has been in the National Gallery of Canada’s collection since 1948.

According to museum curator Martens when Carr returned to Victoria her style “provoked such ridicule that for a decade she virtually gave up painting” says Martens. “Yet, the acceptance of this picture by the Salon d’Automne is a testament that Carr had the potential of becoming an important artist even if she had never returned to our shores”.

The Audain Art Museum houses one of the leading collections of Emily Carr’s works and in 2019 the will mount the first exhibition of Emily Carr’s French work.


Filed under: Art, Audain Art Museum, Emily Carr, Le Paysage, Michael Audain, Sea to Sky, Whistler