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Beatrice Lennie.pdf - 75 Years of Collecting - Vancouver Art Gallery

Beatrice Lennie.pdf - 75 Years of Collecting - Vancouver Art Gallery

Beatrice Lennie The Atom, c.1938 Image source: CBC Times Vancouver 2 (April- May 1945) 75 Years of Collecting Vancouver Art Gallery Artist's Biography Nationality: Canadian Born: 1904-06-17, Nelson Died: 1987-06-01 Edith Beatrice Catherine Lennie was born June 17, 1904, in Nelson, BC and moved with her family to Vancouver when she was a girl. Here she grew up, in the Shaughnessy district, in a large house that had been decorated by Vancouver sculptor Charles Marega, who would later be one of Lennie's instructors. Lennie enrolled in the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts (now the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design), and studied drawing, composition and painting with F. H. Varley; design with J.W.G. (Jock) Macdonald; and modeling, anatomy and sculpture with Charles Marega. Upon graduation in 1929 she traveled to San Francisco to continue her training in sculpture. She enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts, taking advanced life modeling and carving courses with Ralph Stackpole. When Lennie returned to Vancouver she was active in the arts community. She was a founding member of the Pasovas Art Club in 1930. In 1934 she accepted the position Head of Sculpture at the short-lived B.C. College of Art, which Varley and Macdonald had started. Lennie devoted a great deal of her energy and time teaching art and stage crafts to children. She conducted Saturday morning classes at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and from 1943 to 1978 she gave after school art classes at Crofton House School. She also led numerous workshops on puppetry, costume and stage design at the University of British Columbia. In her later life, until her death on June 1, 1987, Lennie continued to paint "in the wilds of Sandy Cove in West Vancouver". In Lennie's work, the viewer sees a mix of symbolic images and modernist techniques. In The Atom, of 1938, Lennie used an abstract painting idiom to explore the ideas of the energy and potential power of atoms. She has placed two opposing orbs of whirling energy radiating spikes of brilliant orange to represent the forces of atomic particles. Painted at the on set of World War II, her painting reveals a contemporary concern with the scientific investigations into atomic power and bombs. Nightflight, of 1939, is a plaster sculpture that was made as a study for a large work she intended to cast in metal. She has painted the plaster black to evoke the night sky and used a sequence of triangular shapes rising up above the swirling mass of clouds to evoke the idea of flight. The plane-like shapes evoke an idea of motion through space and over time as it rises into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Made at the time when commercial trans-continental flights began to operate between Vancouver and Montréal, Lennie was inspired to create this sculpture after hearing a talk by an aviator. One of only a few women working in sculpture in the 1930s and 1940s in Canada, Lennie worked hard to maintain her professional standing. She always called herself a sculptor, rather than a sculptress. In addition to commissions for portraits, Lennie received many commissions for public art projects throughout her career, including bronze work for the Pattulo Bridge (1937) and the Federal Building (1938) at Sinclair Centre. Lennie received commissions in 1932 and 1938 from the Vancouver Hotel for decorative features. The following public relief sculptures are still extant: "Hippocrates" (1951) on the Academy of Medicine Building at 10th and Burrard, Labour Temple Mural (1949) at 307 West Broadway, "Christ and the Children" 2 / 14

Beatrice Lennie The Atom, c.1938 75 Years of Collecting Vancouver Art Gallery (1950) at the Ryerson Memorial Church in Kerrisdale, and her door panels for the main entrance to Shaughnessy Hospital of 1940. Source: unattributed article in Vancouver Art Gallery Library Canadian Artists Files Artistic Context Nationality: Canadian Training: Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts; studied under Charles Marega; California School of Fine Arts Groups: B.C. Society of Artists; Pasovas Art Club; Charter member of Vancouver Art Gallery, Federation of Canadian Artists; sculptor; 20th century Peers: F.H. Varley; Jock Macdonald Provenance: Subject: Other Works in the Vancouver Art Gallery Collection Beatrice Lennie Repose Haddington Island stone Gift of Mrs. Louise Brittain VAG 88.36 Beatrice Lennie Wahine Oamaru stone Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund VAG 88.47 Beatrice Lennie Still Life (Spring Arrangement) oil on canvas Gift of Mrs. Louise Brittain VAG 89.42 Beatrice Lennie Night Flight, 1938 painted plaster Gift of Mrs. Louise Brittain VAG 90.78 Beatrice Lennie Bobby, 18 months plaster Gift of Mrs. Louise Brittain VAG 93.49.1 Beatrice Lennie Confidences plaster Gift of Mrs. Louise Brittain VAG 93.49.2 3 / 14

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