1937 – 1938

September 01, 1937 – August 31, 1938

Administration

As elected at the second annual meeting in May 1937:

President:  John N. Meagher
Vice-President, New Brunswick:  Stanley Royle
Vice-President, Nova Scotia:  Harry Piers
Vice-President, Prince Edward Island:  Austin Lawrence Wright
Secretary:  Violet Gillett
Treasurer:  C. Gregory McGrath

Ex-officio members of the Executive:
Edith Smith, Dr. Alfred Bailey, Donald McKay, Norman Hesler

Notes
In an open letter to the Members of the Maritime Art Association dated September 1937, new president John Meagher discusses various aspects for the coming exhibition season. The Associations’ accomplishments over a short two year span, the difficulties encountered by different centers, and the necessity for prompt communication are some of the topics the three-page letter covers.  Meagher also favours expanding branch and individual memberships. In addition, Meagher enthusiastically notes Walter Abell’s idea to compile sets of study material and in turn circulate them among the branches of the MAA.

The start of the 1937-1938 Maritime Art Associations exhibition season was delayed as correspondence was exchanged by John Meagher and H.O. McCurry, Assistant Director of the National Gallery of Canada, regarding prices of the exhibitions offered to the MAA.  In response to this situation, it was decided that the annual exhibition of work by Maritime artists would be circulated first in the season.  The National Gallery eventually settled on a “…flat charge of $5.00 for each showing of each exhibition.”  (Letter from McCurry to Meagher October 28, 1937)

Branches of the MAA were slow to return their exhibition engagement forms, thus further holding up the season’s programme.

Membership

Same as in 1936-1937 with the addition of one Individual Member whose name is not found in the documentation at hand.

Seven exhibitions chosen for 1937-1938 exhibition season

Assembled by the Maritime Art Association:

Maritime Art Association’s Third Annual Exhibition:  Paintings by Artists of the Maritime Provinces

In previous years this exhibition would be circulated later in the season.  Due to a late start in fixing the 1937-1938 programme, it was decided to circulate the MAA annual exhibition in advance of those from the National Gallery.  This year’s judges were Martin Baldwin, Peter Haworth, and John Alfred.  The touring itinerary is unknown.

Artists included in the exhibition:
Frank D. Allison                             Jack Humphrey
Mabel Anderson                             Verna M. Josey
Earl Bailly                             Mary Landry
Marion Bond                             Jean Young MacInnis
Miller Brittain                             Donald Cameron MacKay
Ted Campbell                             Mollie Bell MacKay
Peggy Curry                             Mabel McCulloch
Mrs. Thos. J. Coughey                             C. Gregory McGrath
Julia Crawford                             Mary Claire Merchant
Mabel K. Day                             Margaret L. Munro
Francis K. Forbes                             Mrs. F.E. Pearce
Violet A. Gillett                             Edith A. Smith
Kathleen Grant                             Ruth Starr
Gwendolyn Hales                             Carleton Wilson
J.R. Holohan                             Stanley Royle
Richard Howe                             J. Leroy Zwicker

Assembled by the National Gallery of Canada:

Royal Canadian Academy Traveling Exhibition 1938

Exhibition touring itinerary:
Sackville
Wolfville
Halifax
Amherst
Moncton
Saint John
Rothesay

Reproductions of Paintings

Exhibition touring itinerary:
Rothesay
Saint John
Charlottetown

John Brockhurst Etchings

Exhibition touring itinerary:
Sackville
Charlottetown
Wolfville
Sydney
Saint John

The Fourth Canadian International Salon of Photographic Art

Exhibition touring itinerary:
Sackville
Amherst
Wolfville
Fredericton
Saint John
New Glasgow

Facsimiles of Old Masters

Exhibition touring itinerary:
Charlottetown
Saint John

Canadian Water Colours

Exhibition touring itinerary:
Saint John
Newcastle
Moncton
Sackville
Charlottetown
Halifax

Commentary

Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colours commentary by M. Lillian Clarke, price 10¢

Royal Canadian Academy commentary by Stanley Royle, price 10¢

Third Annual Meeting

26-27 May 1938, Harris Memorial Gallery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Chair:  John N. Meagher

26 May  –  7:30  p.m.  Opening session.  Business session.  Reports from member groups.

27 May  – 10:00 a.m.  Second session.

2:30 p.m.  Third session.

(Time not noted)   Evening session.

Election of Officers for 1938 -1939

President:  John N. Meagher
Vice-President, New Brunswick:  Christian McKiel
Vice-President, Nova Scotia:  Donald C. MacKay
Vice-President, Prince Edward Island:  Frieda Creelman
Secretary:  Violet Gillett
Treasurer:  C. Gregory McGrath

Ex-officio members of the Executive:
Harry Piers for Nova Scotia, Madeline Coughey for New Brunswick, Austin Lawrence Wright for Prince Edward Island

Delegates outside of Prince Edward Island were:

Mr. and Mrs. Earl T. Coughey of  Saint Andrews, New Brunswick; Lillian Clarke of St. John, New Brunswick;  Madeline Coughey, Saint Andrews, New Brunswick; Mary Hashey of Fredericton, New Brunswick; Mrs. J. Edwin MacDonald of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia; Alice Coughey of Saint Andrews, New Brunswick; Mr. and Mrs. Harry Piers of Halifax, Nova Scotia; Mabel D. Hanson, Sackville, New Brunswick; Mr. & Mrs. Donald C. MacKay of Halifax, Nova Scotia; Violet Gillett of St. John, New Brunswick; Mrs. F.E. Pearce of Sussex, New Brunswick; Elizabeth McLeod of Sackville, New Brunswick; Christian McKiel of Sackville, New Brunswick; Julie Crawford of Saint John, New Brunswick; Mr. and Mrs. John N. Meagher of Halifax, Nova Scotia; Edith A. Smith of Halifax, Nova Scotia; Margaret Irving, Mrs. D.M. Goss, Frieda Creelman,  Mrs. T. Mutch, Austin Lawrence Wright, and James E. Harris, all attending from Charlottetown.

Notes
In his President’s Report John Meagher noted the number of MAA member groups or branches had remained at seventeen, however individual membership had increased to seven.  Five of these members lived in New Brunswick, one in Nova Scotia, and one was a Canadian living in England.

Meagher also informed the delegates that the MAA had received its final grant from the Carnegie Corporation earlier in the year, and that the Association must ensure to keep funds in their treasury for the continuance of their aim to advance the role and appreciation of art in society.  Meagher suggested a Financial Committee be formed in order to oversee this.  The matter was discussed at the 26 May evening session of the annual meeting; the consensus of the gathered delegates was that this “would perhaps duplicate matters during ordinary routine but could be called together from the members of Executive or appointed by them if need arose.”  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1938, p. 1).

In the 1937-1938 exhibition year there were fifty-nine showings of all exhibitions on the calendar compared with fifty-four in the 1936-1937 season.  Meagher stated that the success of a season cannot be judged by this number alone, noting “much depends upon the character of the different showings, number of catalogues and commentaries sold and general interest taken, as reflected in the attendance.”  Taking all of these factors into consideration, Meagher pronounced the 1937-1938 season a successful one for the MAA.(President’s Report 1938, p.2).

Meagher addressed the complaints of several of the MAA branches as to the lack of visiting lecturers provided by the National Gallery of Canada over the last season.  Upon taking up the matter with the NGC, Meagher was informed that the funds for this purpose had been exhausted.  In the second session of the annual meeting held on 27 May it was determined to utilize illustrated lectures available from the NGC.  In addition, it was suggested that “perhaps some type of co-operation could be achieved through contacting the National Council of Education or the Federation of Canadian Clubs.”  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1938, p. 6).

Frieda Creelman reported for the Art Society of Prince Edward Island.  The group obtained a film and a lecture from a Mr. Chandler of the Carnegie Library at Harvard, which greatly added to the understanding and enjoyment of the exhibition of John Brockhurst etchings.  In addition, a talk on cartooning was given by a Mr. Shenfield of New York.  Demonstrations were given on the use of perspective of shadow and linear perspective.  Group discussions and papers given on such topics as modern art history, Indian pottery, and painting by Old Masters were often enhanced through visual materials (film or slides) obtained through the NGC and other institutions.  The Art Society is active in the community, for example judging a hobby show at the Y.M.C.A.; the group also donated films on art to the Provincial Library.  On another topic, a Miss Irving of this group asked for smaller exhibitions; she also requested that the Executive provide an exhibition to be shown earlier in the season.  President Meagher explained that the complicated logistics of the nation-wide serving NGC in addition to the tardiness of some MAA branches in returning their exhibition requests made her latter request unlikely.

Unable to send a representative, the Acadia University Fine Arts Club reported via letter. The Club, which is made up of students and townspeople, held four exhibitions in the past season.  The Royal Canadian Academy Traveling Exhibition 1938 was deemed the best exhibition the Club has hosted to date.  The Club held a general exhibition at year’s end that included photography, architectural plans and models, with contributions made by those both in and outside of the Club.  The Club was able to engage several speakers throughout the year:  John Eskine of Wolfville spoke on Art and Civilization of the Mayas of Central America; Frances Forbes of Halifax discussed Mural Painting; a Mrs. Bethune talked about Photography as a Hobby, and Felice Herbin of Wolfville lectured on The Making and Performing of Marionettes.  Additional activities enjoyed by Club members included outdoor sketching of the autumn landscape, indoor sketching of still lifes in winter, and being instructed by a Miss Hicker on how to make Christmas cards with a linoleum cut.  The Club also acquired a drawing and a water-colour by Jack Humphrey of St. John.  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1938, p. 2).

The Moncton Society of Art was also unable to send a delegate to the annual meeting; their report was read by the association’s secretary, Violet Gillett.  As in the report of Acadia University Fine Arts Club report, four exhibitions were held in Moncton, with the Royal Canadian Academy Traveling Exhibition 1938 being the most popular.  Lectures and papers were given by various members of the Society, including several by Stanley Royle.  The report notes that “classes are sponsored upon two days each week under the direction of instructors of Mount Allison University.”  The report goes on to state that there is an enrollment of 48 persons ranging for age seven to sixty.  The summary of the annual meeting does not specify the exact content of the course.  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1938, p. 3).

The New Glasgow Arts and Letters Club sponsored a single exhibition, The Fourth Canadian International Salon of Photographic Art. The Club picked the topic of Great Cities of the World as Famous Art Centers as their study subject during the year.  The Club also enjoyed lectures on Lace and Pottery.

Donald McKay reported for the Halifax College of Art, Edith Smith for the Nova Scotia Society of Artists and Harry Piers for the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts; each gave an overview of the aims and goals of their respective member group.  In conjunction with Dalhousie University, these three member groups perform as a unit in any Maritime Art Association undertakings in Halifax. All were satisfied with the performance of the MAA over the past year and were pleased with the choice of exhibitions.  There was the suggestion of exhibitions of a smaller size, and several requests were made for the same. It was also expressed that the member groups hoped guest lecturers of excellence and distinction could be secured for the coming season.

Christian McKiel represented the Sackville Art Association.  She reported that the Association’s membership stood at sixty-nine and that the Association was in good financial standing.  Nine exhibitions were shown in the 1937-1938 season:  five from the MAA and four exhibitions of local artists.  “The Association is greatly strengthened by their close affiliation with Mount Allison University, both through aid and inspiration of the members of the faculty and in the use of the fine Owens Art Museum for the display of exhibits.”  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1938, p. 3).

Madeline Coughey represented the St. Andrews’ Art Club.  This group is getting schoolchildren interested in art by extending special invitations to MAA exhibitions. The Art Club also awards small prizes for work made by students.  The Club chose the topics of china and old furniture for their course of study this past winter.  Store owners and community members obliged with samples for study.

Julia Crawford reports the St. John Art Club as thriving, with a membership of over two hundred.  Monthly meetings are well-attended.  A wide variety of topics have been covered, including Pottery and Weaving, Interior Decoration, Indian Art, The Paintings in the St. John Art Club Collection, and The Influence of Oriental Art Upon the Art of the Present Day; the American artist Henry Hensche gave a demonstration on painting.  The Club also “undertook to clean and repair its own collection of paintings, whereupon they were hung in the hall used for Club meetings.”  Some members of the Club formed three small study groups.  Several members commented that the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colours was too large (the Manchester, Robertson and Allison Department Store was used to hang most exhibitions).  Lillian Clarke forwarded the idea of a syndicated weekly Art column.  While it was agreed that more media exposure was desirable, the fact that multiple exhibitions were taking place simultaneously might make a syndicated column impractical.

Violet Gillett read the report of the Saint John Vocational School.  The School presented two exhibitions on its own and two in association with the Saint John Art Club.  The enthusiasm for more lectures in the coming season was again voiced.  The support of the press and of radio was duly noted.  In addition, the program to include creative art instruction within the New Brunswick public school curriculum as proposed by the MAA in 1936 and forwarded to the Minister of Education was discussed.

As Secretary, Violet Gillett also read the report from the Louisburg Chapter of the I.O.D.E., the Sydney, Nova Scotia member group.  The group expressed its view that perhaps more information on the exhibitions available for a season be at hand before member groups had to make their choices.  Additionally, it was thought that prepared publicity for the newspapers should be sent to groups in advance of the exhibition.  John Meagher responded by noting that member groups were supplied with all the materials that were supplied to the MAA from the NGC, but that he would inquire if there were any supplemental materials to be had from the National Gallery.

A discussion arose regarding breaking larger exhibitions down into smaller ones, however delegates were informed that this was strictly against NCG regulations.

In a discussion of types of exhibitions available, several offered by the American Federation of Arts were put forward by delegates.  It was requested that President Meagher approach the NGC about obtaining them for the 1938-1939 MAA season.

It was decided that the 1938-1939 Exhibition of the Work of Maritime Artists would be works in water colour and works in pastel.  It was proposed that a second exhibition of Maritime art consisting of prints of any technique be mounted.  Other exhibition suggestions included the Graphic Art Society of Canada, Oriental Textiles from Mrs. J. Clarence Webster’s collection, Development of Landscape Painting, Development of Painting, and Children’s Art offered by the American Federation.  Christian McKiel, through the offices of Mount Allison University, offered to loan a group of forty-eight framed reproductions (obtained through the Carnegie Foundation), and a collection of engravings by Old Masters to form an exhibition for circulation.  The MAA had not as yet received communication from the NGC as to which exhibitions were available to them for the coming season (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1938, p. 5).

As to the question of judging the annual Maritime Art Association Exhibition, some delegates felt that a local group of artists would be satisfactory in this capacity, but a standing vote proved that judges from outside the community was the preference of the majority of delegates.  It was put forward that H.O. McCurry be consulted about securing judges, who, in the name of change, were other than from Toronto.

It was resolved that a copy of each catalogue and commentary be sent to every branch, regardless as to which exhibitions it was receiving, to enhance that branch’s reference materials.

A telegram was received from H.O. McCurry of the National Gallery listing the exhibitions available for the 1938-1939 season: Eighty-six Scottish Water Colours, Royal Canadian Academy, One Hundred Contemporary British Prints, One Hundred Twenty Contemporary Art Society Modern Prints and Drawings, One Hundred and Fifty Contemporary Polish Prints, Fifth Canadian International Salon of Photographic Art, Theatre Art:  Two Hundred and Fifty British and European Costume Designs, One Hundred Ten Children’s Drawings, and Sixty Canadian Water Colours.  It was left to the executive to choose the exhibitions for the upcoming season.

Frieda Creelman asked that those members of the MAA who practice the art of painting to lend their work for exhibition at the coming Fall Provincial Exhibition.

It was decided that the 1939 Annual Meeting would be held at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

On the last evening of the annual meeting, delegates again gathered at the Harris Memorial Gallery for an open forum on the topic of “Art and Its Relation to the Community.”  Among the guests that evening were His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and Mrs. De Blois, and Sir Francis and Lady Floud.  Lady Floud gave a talk on “The Value of Self-Expression in Art;” Sir Francis then spoke briefly.