WHISTLER, BC–A unique 1912 Emily Carr painting, entitled Street, Alert Bay, has been acquired by the Audain Art Museum (AAM) this week courtesy of the Audain Foundation.

The masterpiece, with its brilliant colours and expressive details, is the newest addition to the AAM’s Permanent Collection of British Columbia art and will be placed on public display on Wednesday, December 18.

Director & Amp; Chief Curator, Dr. Curtis Collins and Kiriko Watanabe, Gail & Stephen A. Jarislowsky Curator alongside Emily Carr, ‘Street, Alert Bay’, 1912, oil on canvas, 81.3 x 59.4 cm; 32 x 23 3/8, Audain Art Museum Collection; Purchased with Funds from the Audain Foundation, 2019.

One of Carr’s most historically-important oil on canvas productions, Street, Alert Bay, of 1912 depicts a compelling Kwakwaka’wakw community scene and is based on a 1909 watercolour by Carr entitled Alert Bay, Street Scene with Mother in Foreground.

This major acquisition underlines a radical shift in Emily Carr’s practice following her trip to France from 1910 to 1911, while conveying the Victoria-born artist’s newfound understanding of the European avant-garde.

As such, the 1912 oil on canvas reveals an expression of aesthetic purpose beyond pictorial accuracy, and this same dynamism is fully explored in the Audain Art Museum’s exhibition Emily Carr: Fresh Seeing – French Modernism and the West Coast, currently on view until January 19, 2020.

Following the conclusion of this ambitious show, Street, Alert Bay will be featured in the AAM’s Emily Carr permanent display (Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Gallery), which is among the most significant public collections of her work in Canada.

“The Museum is grateful for the generous support of the Audain Foundation, as Emily Carr’s Street, Alert Bay adds both depth and range to our substantial holding of Canada’s most noteworthy twentieth-century painter,” explained AAM Director & Chief Curator, Dr. Curtis Collins. “It is an iconic piece that reveals the artist’s dramatic use of bold colour following her return from France, which was a formative moment in Carr’s brilliant career, and we are thrilled to share this remarkable painting with the world.”

About the Audain Art Museum
Established in 2016, the Audain Art Museum is a leading arts organization founded upon the major philanthropic gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Located in Whistler, British Columbia and designed by the internationally-renowned firm Patkau Architects, the AAM boasts a comprehensive Permanent Collection of the province’s most celebrated artists. Exemplifying the richness of cultural difference in Canada, the collection takes visitors on a transformative visual journey from the late 18th century to present. Highlights include hereditary Haida Chief James Hart’s The Dance Screen (The Scream Too), an exceptional collection of historical First Nations masks, and key examples of the Vancouver photo conceptualism movement. In addition, the Museum hosts dynamic exhibitions from around the world complemented by a wide variety of educational programs.

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