1938 – 1939

September 01, 1938 – August 31, 1939

Administration

As elected at the third annual meeting in May 1938:

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

Membership

There is mention made of a Mrs. A. Drysdale in the Treasurer’s Report of April 30, 1939.  It is not specified as to whether she became a member this year or during the 1937-1938 season.

Seven exhibitions chosen for 1938-1939 exhibition season

Assembled by the Maritime Art Association:

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

This year’s judges were Edwin Holgate, Albert Cloutier, and Will Ogilvie.

Exhibition touring itinerary (chronology not known):
Acadia University Fine Arts Club
Dalhousie University
Moncton Society of Art
Netherwood School
Nova Scotia College of Art
Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art
Nova Scotia Society of Artists
Normal School, Fredericton
Sackville Art Association
Saint Andrews Art and Study Club
Saint John Art Club
Saint John Vocational School

Artists included in the exhibition:
Frank D. Allison
Mildred Atkinson                                        Margaret Hibbert
Helen D. Beals                                        J.R. Holohan
Mrs. F.H. Beals                                        Richard Howe
John Bishop                                        Jack Humphrey
Marion Bond                                        Helen W. Kinghorn
Miller Brittain                                        Molllie Bell MacKay
Howard D. Callahan                                        Donald Cameron MacKay
Ted Campbell                                        C. Gregory McGrath
Lillian Clarke                                        Janet C. McKean
Julia T. Crawford                                        Lilian F. Putnam
Peggy Curry                                        Edith A. Smith
Frances Forbes                                        Ruth Wainwright
Violet A. Gillett                                        Marguerite Porter Zwicker
Kathleen Grant
Gwendolyn Hales

Reproductions of Contemporary American Artists (loaned by Mount Allison University)

Exhibition touring itinerary (chronology unknown):
Netherwood School
Saint John Vocational School
Saint John Art Club

Assembled by the National Gallery of Canada:

Royal Canadian Academy Traveling Exhibition

Exhibition touring itinerary (chronology not known):
Acadia University Fine Arts Club
Art Society of Prince Edward Island

Fifth Salon of Photographic Art

Exhibition touring itinerary (chronology not known):
Acadia University Fine Arts Club
Art Society of Prince Edward Island
Lord Amherst Chapter of the I.O.D.E.
Moncton Society of Art
Sackville Art Association
Saint John Art Club

This exhibition was recalled by the National Gallery of Canada before the end of its planned circulation in the Maritime Provinces.

Exhibition of Children’s Work

Exhibition touring itinerary (chronology not known):
Acadia University Fine Arts Club
Lord Amherst Chapter of the I.O.D.E.
Moncton Society of Art
Newcastle Art Club
Sackville Art Association
Saint John Art Club
Summer School of Nova Scotia

Scottish Water Colours

Exhibition touring itinerary (chronology not known):
Art Society of Prince Edward Island
Dalhousie University
Louisburg Chapter of the I.O.D.E.
Netherwood School
Nova Scotia College of Art
Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art
Nova Scotia Society of Artists
Normal School, Fredericton
Sackville Art Association
Saint John Art Club
Saint John Vocational School

One Hundred Contemporary British Prints

Exhibition touring itinerary (chronology not known):
Dalhousie University
Moncton Society of Art
Netherwood School
Nova Scotia College of Art
Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art
Nova Scotia Society of Artists
Sackville Art Association
Saint John Art Club
Saint John Vocational School

Notes
In his member group report at the MAA’s annual meeting 26-27 May 1939, Donald McKay mentions The American Exhibition of National Photography as among the exhibitions held by the Nova Scotia College of Art.  A list of member groups and the exhibitions they had requested for the 1938-1939 season itemizes the Nova Scotia College of Art requests as Scottish Water Colours, One Hundred Contemporary British Prints, and Maritime Art Association’s Fourth Annual Exhibition:  Paintings by Artists of the Maritime Provinces only.  As the exhibition title The American Exhibition of National Photography does not appear in any of the information at hand, it is unclear as to which exhibition Donald McKay refers.

Commentary

Paints in Watercolour and Pastel by Artists Residing in the Maritime Provinces commentary by Julia T. Crawford, price 10¢.

The Royal Canadian Travelling Exhibition 1938 commentary by Annie F.N. Beals and Walter Abell, price 10¢.

Scottish Water Colours commentary by Stanley Royle, price 10¢.

Fourth Annual Meeting

26-27 May 1939, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick

Chair:  John N. Meagher

26 May –  9:00  a.m. Opening session.  Treasurer’s Report.  President’s Report.
Recess for lunch

2:30 p.m.   Second session.  Report of Audit Committee.
Reports from Member Groups.
General discussion relative to work of Season.
Recess for dinner.  Evening free.

27 May –  9:30 a.m.  Third session.  New Business.  Selection of place of next
meeting.
Election of Officers.
Recess for lunch.  Afternoon free.

8:00 p.m.  Evening session. Address by Professor Walter Abell,
followed by discussion.

Election of Officers for 1939 -1940

President:  John N. Meagher
Vice-President, New Brunswick:  Norman A. Hesler
Vice-President, Nova Scotia:  Walter Abell
Vice-President, Prince Edward Island:  Frieda Creelman
Secretary:  Margaret Hibbert
Treasurer:  C. Gregory McGrath

Ex-officio members of the Executive:
Donald MacKay for Halifax, Madeline Coughey for St. Andrews, James E. Harris for Charlottetown.

List of delegates:

From the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art, Halifax:  John N. Meagher, Mrs. John N. Meagher, C. Gregory McGrath, Edith Smith, Isabel Brodie.
From the Nova Scotia College of Art, Halifax:  Donald MacKay, Molly Bell MacKay, Margaret C. Hibbert.
From the Nova Scotia Society of Artists, Halifax:  Margaret Semple.
From the Sackville Art Association, Sackville:  Norman A. Hesler, Mrs. T.N. Brunton, Winona Wortman.
From the Moncton Society of Art, Moncton:  Mrs. (R.P.) Cora Dickson, Miss J. Roylson, Gladys Sara Anderson, Fred Pickles.
From Acadia University, Wolfville:  Walter Abell, Annie L. Ricker, Helen D. Beals, Gwendolyn Hales, Ronald Peck.
From the Art and Study Club, Saint Andrews:  Madeline Coughey.
From the Lord Amherst Chapter of the I.O.D.E., Amherst:  Mrs. E.E. Hewson, Regent; Mrs. P.C. Black, Mary Black, Mrs. W.A. Christie.
From Mount Allison University, Sackville:  Stanley Royle.
From the Saint John Art Club, Saint John:  Marjorie Brayley.
From the Art Society of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown:  Frieda Creelman, Bernia M. Huestis, Mrs. J.A. Fraser, Rena Woods, Ena MacLeod, Edith B. Hugh, Jennie W. Turner.
From the Fredericton Art Club, Fredericton:  Jean Anderson, Mrs. Otto Miller,  Mrs. Parker H. Currier.

Notes
After John Meagher formally opened the annual meeting of the MAA, the president of Mount Allison University, Dr. G.J. Trueman spoke to the delegates about the role of the Association in influencing a growing interest in art throughout the region.  Dr. Trueman noted the new curricula being implemented in New Brunswick schools and the importance of bringing art to children.  He enjoined the Association to continue its mandate to “promote a knowledge and appreciation of art” throughout the Maritimes.
(From the Constitution and By-Laws of the Maritime Art Association.)

John Meagher then delivered the President’s Report for the exhibition year 1938-1939.  He began by noting that the relative success of member groups, while important, goes to the success of achieving objectives set out in the MAA’s constitution as a whole.  Meagher suggests some sort of balance of effort among the groups.

Meagher noted that larger exhibitions may not be best suited to the exhibition spaces available to some groups, but must be included “in order to obtain outstanding or important exhibitions for our schedule.” There were forty-nine group showings for the exhibition year, three of which were accompanied by “useful and highly instructive commentaries.”  However, the sales of said commentaries did not equal the cost of their production.  Meagher suggests conflating the exhibition catalogue with exhibition commentary, thereby cutting down on the expense.

Addressing the continued want of lecturers, the President stated that he had been informed by the National Gallery of Canada that Mr. J. E. Barton of the Bristol Grammar School might be “engaged as Dominion Art Lecturer for the winter of 1939-1940.  It will be recalled that Mr. Barton made a successful tour in Canada in 1935*.” There also remained the possibility of other lecturers being made available to the MAA. (President’s Report, 1939, p.2)
*J.E. Barton had given a series of radio talks on Modern Art as part of the BBC’s Changing World series in 1932.

Meagher proposed that the MAA become a Chapter Member of the American Federation of Arts, noting potential benefits may come from such a membership.

In the Second Session Annie Louise Ricker supplied the report for the Acadia University Fine Arts Club member group.  The forty-member group meets for discussion regularly.  In addition to exhibitions obtained through the MAA, the Acadia Club held an exhibition of work by Jack Humphrey and another of work done by group members and art students.  Of the latter exhibition, different sub-groups concentrated on water colour painting, weaving, metal work, pottery, leather work, block printing, wood-working; one group focused on the culture of Maritimes, as well as its arts and crafts.  The group as a whole also enjoyed a film obtained through the National Gallery of Canada on tapestry weaving and pottery; several groups of members are involved in working with different crafts.  The group has acquired a painting by Edith Agnes Smith for their permanent collection.

Frieda Creelman gave the report from the single branch of the MAA in Prince Edward Island.  Mount Allison University’s Stanley Royle travelled to Charlottetown to lecture on painting generally and on the Royal Canadian Academy exhibition specifically.   The Scottish Water Colours exhibition was very well received, however members felt the accompanying commentary was somewhat slight.  It was suggested that more comprehensive commentaries would translate to better sales.  The Fifth Salon of Photographic Art became unavailable to the Society due to shipping delays.  Monthly meetings were augmented by presentations and lectures, featuring speakers both from inside and outside the group.  On occasion, slides were obtained through the Carnegie Corporation.  Talks included one on Greek culture accompanied by lantern slides, the evolution of painting accompanied by slides, a talk on architecture given by James E. Harris, and a talk on wood and woodwork illustrated by ninety different specimens of wood.  In addition, there was a demonstration on the making of pottery from Island clay by Mary Allison Doull.  The Art Society of Prince Edward Island also awarded prizes to works in the Arts Section of the Island’s Hobby Show.  Creelman suggested that in order to spark more interest, MAA might think about offering “something different for the coming season’s programme.”  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p. 3)

The Lord Amherst Chapter was represented by Mrs. E.E. Hewson.  The Fifth Salon of Photographic Art was presented in conjunction with the area’s recently formed Camera Club.  The chapter also awards prizes to students of the art classes conducted by Sarah Stewart Hart (the school was holding an exhibition of student work during the time of the MAA’s annual meeting).

Cora Dickson reported that the Moncton Society was “sponsoring classes as well as an Art Gallery” and read a report by the convener of classes, Inga Lawson.  The number of attendees has increased to fifty-nine, offering classes for children and for adults.  Subjects for adult classes include drawing, painting, pottery, and wood carving. Classes were taught by Sarah Stewart under the supervision of Stanley Royle, who provided critical insight as well as lectures.  Hart conducted four classes: one for children, one for intermediate and seniors, a life class and a pottery class. At one of the Society’s regular meetings a display of Maritime-made pottery was accompanied by a talk about an excursion to Mahone Bay to see pottery made by Alice Hagen.  Christian McKiel gave a lecture on graphic art to a substantial number of attendees. One meeting was spent viewing films obtained by Fred Pickles from the National Gallery of Canada; these films were “The Pottery Maker,” “The Evolution of a Poster,” and “ The Making of a Stained Glass Window.”  In addition the Society again oversaw the Art Department section of the Annual Agricultural Exhibition.  In her report Lawson affirms the Moncton society’s aim to promote art appreciation and to foster talent among all ages.  A yearly grant from the city of Moncton greatly assists in keeping fees as low as possible. (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p. 3)

Speaking on behalf of the Nova Scotia College of Art, Donald McKay stated that arranged visits of the students to the exhibitions has added to their knowledge as well as sparked their creativity.  The One Hundred Contemporary British Prints exhibition was extended solely for the school’s use and stimulated work in print design.  McKay noted the growing interest in pottery, specifically working with “Nova Scotia clay developed forms of pottery.”  In addition this chapter put up an exhibition of forty portraits, hung chronologically, of men of importance to the province.  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p. 3)

John Meagher reported briefly on the exhibitions held by the Nova Scotia Museum of  Fine Art.  The Exhibition of Children’s Work, Scottish Water Colours, and the Maritime Art Association’s Fourth Annual Exhibition were held at the museum; One Hundred Contemporary British Prints was shown at the Nova Scotia College of Art.

Stanley Royle stated a membership of between forty and fifty in the Sackville Art Association and noted the Association has a craft club and an Art Gallery where jewellery, leather work, and the like are displayed.  The Fifth Salon of Photographic Art exhibition was supplemented with a lecture by a photographer.  Royle suggested the MAA “get better exhibitions” in future, and wondered if “perhaps American prints” could be obtained.  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p. 4)

Mrs. Parker H. Currier reported for the Fredericton Art Club.  The Club has reached its agreed-upon maximum of twenty members.  The group studied American arts over the last year.  There is a burgeoning interest in art by schoolchildren in Fredericton, and the Art Club sponsored an art competition for children and awarded prizes.

The Nova Scotia Society of Artists began their report by stating that they had revised their criteria for membership, raising its standards; in addition the society has compiled the “first artistic record of Nova Scotia artists.”  A non-juried exhibition of small pictures by Society members was held in November and set a record for sales with eighteen pictures sold.  Sale proceeds went directly to the artists.  The Annual Exhibition of the Society  (open to all Nova Scotia artists) was held March 17 – 25.  Sir Wyly Grier, president of the Royal Canadian Academy, officiated the well-attended formal opening featuring ninety-three works in all.  The society will also be showing a small number of works by its members to the King and Queen on their impending visit; the viewing will take place in the Royal Suite at the Nova Scotian Hotel.  A series of “one-man exhibitions” known as “The Exhibition of the Week,” was sponsored by the Society and well-received.  Meetings were well attended and members especially enjoyed illustrated lectures and films on art.  A paper entitled “Methods and Mediums of Painting” was presented at one meeting; at the following meeting members provided works done in different mediums and critiqued them.  Another lecture, “Water Colour Painting in Canada” helped to inform the Society about this part of Canadian Art.  Sir Wyly Grier gave a talk on the RCA, after which he critiqued the works exhibited at that meeting.  Walter Abell read his lecture “Some Canadian Moderns,” augmented with slides of work from the Canadian Modern School.  The film “From Clay to Bronze” was obtained from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This completed the season’s mandate to distil appreciation and understanding of various forms of art, with special emphasis on Canadian Art.  In the coming Fall the Society, in conjunction with a local lending library, hopes to open a Picture Loan Society.  A “loan exhibition  of Modern Canadian Paintings, owned in Halifax” is also being considered. (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p. 6)

Madeline Coughey reported for the ten-member St. Andrews Arts Study Club.  The club’s mandate is to study and promote art within the community.  The Club examined the art of tapestry as well as the subject of historical gardens.  In addition, the group has been following a series of articles in the Montreal Standard newspaper, which have been featuring different artists.  The group also endeavours to “review advanced work in Canadian Art.”  Only one exhibition was held during the season, Maritime Art Association’s Fourth Annual Exhibition:  Paintings by Artists of the Maritime Provinces, to great response.  Schoolchildren and their teachers attended; there was also a tea held for parents, the proceeds of which will go to the purchase and addition of several art books to the Public Library.  The Study Club has decided to buy a picture, should it prove to be affordable.(There is no mention of the artist or the work in the files at hand.)  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p.7)

Marjorie Brayley read a report for the Saint John Art Club, noting Julia Crawford, the Club’s president, would provide the official report in the near future.  Official Report as follows:  noting that the Art Club had enjoyed a very active year, Brayley stated that for each of the Club’s eight monthly meetings they were able to obtain speakers on various aspects of art architecture and aesthetics. October 13 – Discussion Group (two History of Art Groups and one Composition Group).  November 10 – “Have Our Lives Been Influenced by Modern Art?” by M. Lillian Clarke.  December 08 – “Colour and Its Use in the Home,” by Walter Fultz.  January 12 – Entertainment Program – Marionettes “The Amateur Hour.”  The piece was directed by Ruth Starr, Stanley Clarke, Jack Bishop and others.  This performance was given to the musical clubs and other organizations.  February 09 – “Domestic Architecture and Remodelling of Homes,” by W. Wallace Alward.  March 09 – “The Art of Photography,” by Harold Ring.  April 14 – “Educational Facilities of the New Brunswick Museum,” by Dr. William MacIntosh; lecture accompanied by art slides.  May 25 – “Art and Its Influence,” by Reverend C.J. St. Clair Jeans.  A short discourse on pictorial composition was also a facet of each monthly meeting, as was the “Pictures We Should Know” series, begun last year.  The latter proved to be both enlightening and infuriating as the Club did not posses a complete set of cards representing the history of art.  The Club took on twenty-five new members and now includes a sub-category, “Junior Members of High School Age.”  This group attends regular monthly meetings and holds special meetings on their own, where pursuits include creative work, the “Pictures We should Know” series, the history of art related to governments, poetry, music, and other activities.  One member of the Club is a part of the Teacher’s Association and provides our information regarding lectures, exhibitions and other activities to schools city-wide.  The Club gave a book on Cezanne to the public library.  They also held an essay contest open to the high school students of Saint John; the prize was $5.00 for the best essay on “Value of Art to a Community.” (“art” included music and poetry.)  The Saint John Art Club has organized a picture Loan Society.  Several members of the Art Club gave talks locally:  Lillian Clarke and Miss Alexander both spoke to groups of children at the library; Lillian Clarke also gave a talk at the Spokes Club.  Marjorie Brayley spoke to the Portland chapter of Canadian Girls In Training and to the Saint Vincent High School.  Julia Crawford gave talks to Saint Stephen High School and the Saint Stephen Kiwanis Club.  The five exhibitions sponsored by the Club were well-received and claimed superior to previous exhibition seasons.  (Though it was remarked in this report that the Exhibition of Children’s Work was perhaps better understood by children.)  Julia Crawford extended an invitation to the MAA to hold its next annual meeting in Saint John, with the Saint John Art Club and the Saint John Vocational School co-hosting.

Delegates requested that “an attractive poster” be forwarded with each exhibition, giving its title and the name of the member group sponsoring the show.  It was also suggested that a “series of short, newsy articles” be made available to the secretary of each branch who in turn could make them available to local press.  It was motioned and seconded that the poster advertising for exhibitions and newspaper write-ups be a local responsibility. (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p.9)

The Third Session began with a discussion of a possible periodical for the MAA, to provide information and news of interest to various groups.  Donald McKay suggested that the periodical’s beginnings be modest – a mimeographed sheet to start, perhaps.

A motion was carried that the MAA would either exchange exhibitions with Newfoundland or assist in providing them with shows (keeping in mind that Newfoundland was not a Canadian province).

It was decided that the MAA would send an exchange exhibition to Vancouver.  Donald MacKay suggested this exhibition be a different one from the annual MAA exhibition; in this way, McKay stated, they would have a better exhibition to send.  Norman Hesler was selected as correspondent to groups across Canada suggesting an exhibition exchange with the MAA

The notion of holding a competitive exhibition in which artists from other parts of the country could enter was also raised.

The majority of delegates voiced the opinion that the annual Maritime Art exhibition be comprised of mixed media, rather than the restriction of an exhibition of oils or an exhibition of watercolours.  A vote of hands carried the motion in favour of a mixed media show, with no more than two pieces being submitted by each artist.  Judging will again take place outside the Maritimes.

A motion was carried that the MAA combine their annual exhibition catalogue and its accompanying commentary.  It would be desirable to have cuts of the artists’ work in the catalogue, providing the artists were willing to pay for them.

It was moved by Stanley Royle and seconded by C. Gregory McGrath that exhibitions be sent first to that location where someone qualified and familiar with the art in that exhibition would write the accompanying commentary.

In addition to the joint invitation from the St. John Vocational School and the Saint John Art Club to hold its next annual meeting in Saint John, the MAA received a second invitation from Acadia University,  offered by Walter Abell.  A standing vote unanimously decided Acadia University as the site of next year’s annual meeting.

Norman Hesler was asked to take the chair for the election of officers for 1939-1940.  John Meagher, Walter Abell, Norman Hesler, and  Stanley Royle were all nominated for president.  Hesler and Royle refused the nomination.  A vote by ballot elected John Meagher as president.  Votes were cast for the remaining officers; the final results were:

President:  John Meagher
Secretary:  Miss Margaret C. Hibbert
Treasurer:  C. Gregory McGrath
Vice-President, New Brunswick:  Norman A. Hesler
Vice-President for Nova Scotia:  Walter H. Abell
Vice-President for Prince Edward Island:  Frieda Creelman

Ex-officio members of the executive:  James E. Harris, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Donald MacKay, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Madeline Coughey, St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

A meeting of the new executive was held in the afternoon and all attended with the exception of James Harris.

The Executive determined that Saint John be the site where the entries for the MAA’s annual exhibition are assembled and shipped off to the judge(s).  Selection of a judge or judges to be conducted by H.O. McCurry of the National Gallery of Canada.   The first showing of the annual exhibition would be in Saint John and the commentary for the exhibition would be written by a local critic.

The discussion concerning the Newfoundland exhibition was cancelled until further notice.  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p.12)

Madeline Coughey and Norman Hesler were asked to contact the Newcastle Art Club to inquire as to whether the Club has reached a consensus about its membership in the MAA; results were to be reported directly to John Meagher.

The Secretary was asked to contact Mabel Day at Yarmouth and Miss Hallisey, the director of art at Truro Normal School, and St. Francis Xavier College at Antigonish to determine the possibility of new member groups or new individual members.  Donald McKay would carry out same for Lunenburg.  The Secretary was instructed to write to Frieda Creelman in Charlottetown, requesting her to inquire about same at Summerside.

A competition to design a crest for the MAA was to be open to all members.  A judging committee would be appointed by John Meagher and a prize of $5.00 was to be awarded to the winner.  Drawings were to be received by Margaret Hibbert no later than June 30, 1939.

No decision was reached regarding a monthly publication and the matter was postponed indefinitely.  (Maritime Art Association Annual Meeting, Sackville, New Brunswick, p.12)

Later that evening, Walter Abell gave his lecture “Recent Trends in World Culture and Their Application to the Maritime Provinces.”  This was followed by a forum around the theme of “Art and Society:  What Can They Give Each Other?”  Many delegates took part in this process, with a keen audience following the discussion.