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Emily Carr

Emily Carr was a Canadian artist and writer heavily inspired by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She studied in San Francisco in 1889-95, and travelled to England, where she was involved with the St. Ives group and with Hubert von Herkomer's private school.

One of the first painters in Canada to adopt a modernist and post-impressionist painting style, Carr did not receive widespread recognition for her work until later in her life. 

As she matured, the subject matter of her painting shifted from aboriginal themes to landscapes, and in particular, forest scenes. As a writer, Carr was one of the earliest chroniclers of life in British Columbia. 

Emily Carr studied in San Francisco in 1889-95, and in 1899 she travelled to England, and in 1910 to France where the work of the Fauves influenced the colourism of her work. 

Discouraged by her lack of artistic success, she returned to Victoria where she came close to giving up art altogether.

However, her contact with the Group of Seven in 1930 resurrected her interest in art, and throughout the 1930s she specialized in scenes from the lives and rituals of Native Americans. She also showed her awareness of Canadian native culture through a number of works representing the British Columbian rainforest. She lived among the native Americans to research her subjects. Many of her Expressionistic paintings represent totem poles and other artefacts of Indigenous culture.

Klee Wyck
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

This is the first of the Emily Carr Library, seven books by Emily Carr completely redesigned and dedicated to restoring Carr's text, as originally published. For the first time since 1951, Klee Wyck is available in its entirety and will appear simultaneously in elegant hardcover and trade paperback editions.

The legendary Emily Carr was primarily a painter, but she first gained recognition as a writer. Her first book, published in 1941, was titled Klee Wyck ("Laughing One"), in honour of the name that the Native people fo the west coast gave her as an intrepid young woman. The book was a hit with both critics and the public, won the prestigious Governor Generals' Award and has been in print ever since. 

Emily Carr wrote these twenty-one word sketches after visiting and living with Native people, painting their totem poles and villages, many of them in wild and remote areas. She tells her stories with beauty, pathos and a vivid awareness of the comedy of people and situations. 

A few years after Carr's death, significant deletions were made to her book for an educational edition. This new, beautifully designed keepsake volume restores Klee Wyck to its original published version, making the complete work available for the first time in more than fifty years. In her intriguing introduction, archivist and writer Kathryn Bridge puts Klee Wyck into the context of Emily Carr's life and reveals the story behind the expurgations.

Does contain some stereotyping language.

Suggested Grades: 8-12

Authentic Canadian Content