We're Making History...Online
You can now access a big part of Emily Carr's history online.
We were thrilled to receive a grant from the BC History Digitization Program to digitize 83 years of school calendars. By digitizing this collection we're able to broaden access and preserve the physical materials in our archive. This unique collection will be useful to people who are interested in the history of art, design and media education, as well as the administrators, faculty and staff who have made huge contributions to the creative sectors in Vancouver, BC, Canada and around the world. The format and design of the calendars are beautiful, quirky and reflect the culture of this institution as well as being excellent examples of design from different eras.
Illustrating the changes in art education
The courses offered over the past 83 years reflect how studio arts education has changed. Courses taught in 1925-26 included classes on commercial illustration, plaster modelling, costume design and embroidery. 1951-52 included classes on commercial lettering and layout. 1990-91 includes classes on computer graphics, 3-D design studio. Courses on drawing, illustration, ceramics and sculpture have been offered throughout the history of the school.
Many of the instructors and administrators from Emily Carr have made major contributions to art, design and culture in British Columbia. Making this unique history accessible online helps researchers, people interested in local history, or people working in the arts and cultural industries have a better understanding of the past. For example, Burnaby’s Shadbolt Centre for the Arts was named in honour of Jack Shadbolt who was the head of the Drawing and Painting Department in the 40s and 50s. Charles H. Scott was the first principal of the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Art. In addition to serving as the principal for 1926-1952 he was instrumental in establishing the Vancouver Art Gallery. Fred Varley, member of the Group of Seven, and Jock MacDonald, member of the Painters Eleven, also taught at the school. Kate Adeline Smith Hoole and Grace Melvin, both painters, are two of the notable women in the history of the school.
Many of the calendars themselves are unique and beautiful objects. For example, the 1959-60 prospectus was typeset and printed on rag paper, and the cover was silkscreened. The covers of the prospectus from 1961-62 was silkscreened by graphics students (there are at least two designs), and the booklet was printed by offset lithography. The 1961-62 prospectus also contains coloured images, like the one above, that have been tipped in to the pages. The design of the calendars are excellent examples of how communication/graphic design and fonts have changed over the years.
Thank you to the BC History Digitization Program for the generous grant. Special thanks to Monica Duguid and Beki Orr for their work on the metadata and to Mark Jordan and Ian Song at SFU Library for help with CONTENTdm.