Historic Art | Emily Carr

Masset queen charlotte islands 1912 15

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Masset, QCI, 1912

Technique: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 14.5x19 in.



Private Collection, Vancouver Island

Private Collection, Ontario

Masset, QCI was painted in 1912 when Carr embarked on a trip that took her to many important Indigenous sites in British Columbia. This piece was painted very soon after Carr had studied in France, the influence of Post-Impressionism quite strong in her colour choices and paint application. The Totem poles that appear on the left side of the canvas distinguish this work as one of significant importance. The works that Carr made during her 1912 trip mark the beginnings of her serious intention to carefully depict Indigenous monuments. Carr’s anthropological treatment of Indigenous art offered documentation to cultural works that were, at the time, disregarded almost entirely by a hegemonic society. Masset, QCI is one of few early canvas works by Carr that remain in private hands, and is an important piece of Canadian art history.

About the Artist


Emily Carr spent most of her life on Vancouver Island, but she also studied for three years at the California School of Design in San Francisco (1890-1893), for five years at the Westminster School of Art in London, England (1899-1904), where she also attended sketching classes at St. Ives in Cornwall, at the Meadows Studio, Bushey and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris for one year (1910). Her work was not well received and she had to supplement her income by farming, running a boarding house, and making pottery. In 1927 she met Lawren Harris, and the Group of Seven encouraged her return to painting. Her work was strongly influenced by an interest in Native Canadian culture. Carr was also known as a writer and published a number of volumes. She had solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario (1937) and at the Vancouver Art Gallery (1938). She was a member of the Canadian Group of Painters (1933). Read Less..

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