Artists, Architects and Artisans: Canadian Art 1890–1918 was a groundbreaking exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada last year, looking at the interaction among artists, architects, and artisans, as well as critics and collectors from 1890-1918. Deriving their goals from both the Beaux-Arts and Arts & Crafts movements, practitioners of the various arts encouraged an aesthetic that saw art manifest in all aspects of daily life. It was an aesthetic stimulated and enhanced by international art currents.
Painters produced murals and architects designed furniture; clubs formed to bring writers, musicians, artists and architects together; and collectors and governments commissioned paintings, furnishings, and sculpture for public and private buildings. Photography rivaled painting and crafts became applied design. Curator of Canadian Art Emeritus Charles Hill explores how architecture, monumental sculpture, urban planning, mural and decorative painting, graphic design, decorative arts, and photography came together in Canada during these prosperous decades.
Charles Hill began work at the National Gallery of Canada in 1972 and was appointed Curator of Canadian Art in 1980. His exhibitions include Canadian Painting in the Thirties (1975), John Vanderpant Photographs (1977), To Found a National Gallery: The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts 1880- 1913 (1980), Morrice A Gift to the Nation, The G. Blair Laing Collection (1992), William Kurelek (1992), The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation (1995), Tom Thomson (2002), Emily Carr: New Perspectives on a Canadian Icon (2006), and Artists, Architects, & Artisans: Canadian Art 1890-1918 (2013). He has had a consistent interest in the relationships between art and society and in the integration of art in the public and private sphere. Hill was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2000 and received an Honorary Doctorate from Concordia University, Montreal, in 2007.
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Photo: Interior of All Souls’ chapel, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / Source: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
$35 general public / $25 members / $10 students