To truly appreciate this work, you must see one of these prints in person. Start by looking at the Burnaby Art Gallery, or perhaps the Malaspina Printmakers Society where these prints were produced; they may still have one or two available! Happy Christmas everyone!
In this process, Ken Pattern creates the prints by first drawing an image on a flat piece of limestone. He then brushes a solution of gum arabic and nitric acid over the stone’s surface; the resulting chemical reaction secures the image onto the stone.
To print the image, Ken rolls an oil-based ink onto a rubber roller, which he then rolls onto the stone. Repeating this inking process several times, he uses a sponge between each pass of the roller to keep the stone damp. With the image fully inked, Ken places a piece of paper on the stone, cranking the paper beneath the hard pressure bar to transfer the ink from the stone.
Each colour in the image requires a separate drawing and a separate printing. After each colour is printed, Ken grinds the image off the stone with grit, and then draws the next colour on the stone. Finally, with the printing finished, Ken edits the prints. Only those meeting his standards are included in the edition, and he ten signs and numbers them.
A very early postcard from Vancouver, Christmas, 1887. This card was sent with compliments from Johnston & Tyson.
May Christmas joys flow into your heart, and peace and happiness ever wait on your dear household.
Shown [above] is a trade card from when the city was one year old and the population was only 2,000. The card was chromo-lithographed by Louis Prang of Boston, and overprinted with an 1887 Christmas greeting from Gastown clothiers AG Johnston and AM Tyson.
Johnston and Tyson were located briefly at 2 Carrall Street. According to the 1888 phone book, JC Johnston also had a boot and shoe store on Cordova Street; both JC and AG Johnston were listed with Johnston and Tyson, and the two Johnston’s lived on Westminster Avenue (Main Street). By 1892, AM Tyson had moved his gent’s furnishings store to 200 Carrall Street, and AG Johnston was working as a bookkeeper for John Scuitto on Powell Street.
The deadline for Christmas delivery of lettermail overseas has already past (that was Friday, December 6, 2013); this Friday is the deadline for USA; and cards to Canada can wait as late as December 17, 18, or 19, depending on how far it has to go. But don’t delay too much longer; everyone loves getting mail at Christmas!
Rob Roy Meats, Toban Shoes Columbia Street New West circa 1980’s by Won Kang.
This could conceivably be Vancouver, as there was no Lions Gate Bridge in 1925. I have to admit those mountains are pretty exaggerated though. Back then, standing on Little Mountain, gazing over to North Vancouver probably seemed much further away. All a matter of perspective, I suppose. One of the reasons I think this poster succeeds is because of its unrealistic, imagined depiction of the coast. The travel agent of the day could extol the merits of the Redwood forest, the Oregon coast, the mountains of Washington, the metropolis of Seattle, and of course, you mustn’t forget Vancouver! See this artwork for a remotely similar view by Ron Jackson.
The above poster was created by the Willmarths for the Newman-Monroe Company in Chicago. Jack R. Lundbom notes in the book Master Painter: Warner E. Sallman that Newman-Monroe Co. was a design and illustration firm, which at the time described (1909) was located in the First National Bank Building (now home to the Chase Tower Chicago). After further digging, I believe this would have been the neoclassical structure completed in 1902 by noted architect Daniel Burnham.
Here are a few more travel posters that Newman-Monroe produced, one promoting travel to California, and another to the Far West. Then there’s this majestic 1933 poster celebrating the World’s Fair in Chicago. If these posters are any indication, Newman-Monroe must have been a powerhouse, responsible for a significant amount of early transportation advertising. It makes me wonder what happened to them, and much of their legacy is actually known and remembered today.
About the Willmarths, streamlinermemories.info writes:
I can’t find much information about the Willmarths on line except that William was a watercolorist, while Kenneth specialized in oils. William was born in 1898 and died in Arizona in 1984. While the Travel by Train posters were signed “The Willmarths,” later posters and paintings were just signed “Willmarth,” and many look like watercolors, suggesting they were done by William Willmarth.
Like the Newman-Monroe story, more research into the life work of Kenneth and William Willmarth is warranted! Fantastic work, all around! May this blog post help to solidify their contributions to the art of travel.
Visit the Pacific Northwest Wonderland, circa 1925. New in Vintage Travel Posters. (via Visit the Pacific Northwest Wonderland | Vintagraph)
The Stanley Park Christmas train runs December 5 through January 5, though it is closed Christmas Day. Tickets are available here at Ticketmaster with some reserved at the gates, but I would say advance tickets are a must (the time slots have a tendency to sell out very quickly). More from the City of Vancouver website:
Entrance to the Bright Nights Train Plaza is by donation (you don’t need to purchase train tickets to see the holiday lights)…Train tickets are sold in half-hour time slots. Several trains will depart within each time slot. Avoid the crowds and come out Monday to Thursday in the first two weeks…
Happy Holiday Travels!
…After service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he joined the Province as a reporter and columnist (1952-89) until he suffered a major stroke. A sensitive writer with a broad knowledge of cars, planes, the film industry and Vancouver’s power elite, he was noted for his careful use of language. A peer of fellow journalists Jack Wasserman, Jack Webster, Allan Fotheringham and Pierre Berton, “he moved with ease among politicians and paupers.” Remembered for his rapier wit…
The Marine Building by Peter Ewart, sold via auction in December, 2012. This painting may have been one of those featured in the “Gallery of the Golden Key” exhibition from 1972:
The exhibition includes a number of Vancouver street and harbour scenes as well as several landscapes. All are treated with a strong sense of mood, and a keen appreciation of atmospheric effect.
If anyone knows who acquired this painting, please get in touch with the artist’s daughter, who maintains the website peterewart.ca.
With the lack of development around this iconic building, this is clearly an early depiction of the area; I’m not sure when those classic lamp posts were replaced either. Peter’s daughter Linda estimates the painting may be circa 1968.
The Carrall Street Gas Plant, an illustrated booklet showing the operations of the new Carrall Street gas plant illustrated by KEN and published by BC Electric in 1932. I believe the plant went into service in 1933, and the plant obtained gas from coal until some time in the 1960s? I’m not sure; not much has been written about this former Vancouver landmark. If anyone knows, feel free to comment. The current Georgia Street viaducts were built over top of the site in 1972. This has left something of a toxic legacy, as stated on page 11 of this PDF report on the Georgia Street viaducts.
The activities and wastes associated with this former gas plant have significantly influenced the environmental conditions in the area, and will be an important factor in future remediation planning.
This comment by Alex Mackinnon noted on the Skyscraperpage bulletin board sums up the problem:
I was talking to Andy with Bing Thom at the Viaducts or Viadon’ts event, and according to him, the land underneath the viaduct in 1986 was estimated to cost $180M to rehabilitate due to contamination issues from the coal gas plant that used to occupy the site. CPI adjusted this is $372M in 2012 dollars.
While the industrial waste has left it’s toxic mark in the soil, it also affected the city skyline for many years with this ginormous gasometer jutting out of False Creek. I’ve decided to include a photograph from the Vancouver Archives just to give you an impression of the scale of this structure. You can also see the silo in the top left of the Goranson/Fisher/Hughes mural here. And Tom Carter seems to recall someone - probably Arthur Irving - said the whole city smelled like coal gas while it was being demolished.
KEN illustrated a number of other BC Electric pamphlets and brochures, but I have yet to determine who he actually was. He’s a pretty good draftsman, so I’d like to know more about him! Thanks again to Neil Whaley for contributing this brochure image!
Princess Pat, by David Hornblow, 1984. This hand-pulled serigraph was based on Waterfront images; a series of Vancouver civic banners. You can read the book Waterfront images: a distinguished collection of limited-edition, hand-pulled serigraphs based on the Vancouver civic banners in the Vancouver Archives.
The SS Princess Patricia II was built by Fairfield Co. Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland in 1949. It was retired from cruise service in 1978, but became a cruise ship hotel during Expo 86. This concept was also planned for the 2010 Olympics, but the Norwegian Star was not able to secure enough customers. Cruise Connections were negotiating to provide accommodations for security staff, but that contract fell through. Staff were put up in two ships from Carnival’s Holland America (the MS Statendam and MS Oosterdam) and one from Carnival Cruise Lines (the Carnival Elation).
This print was spotted in 1000 Parker during the latest Culture Crawl, and was offered by Harrison Art Services.
$1.49 Day / 1993 by Ken Pattern, drawn during the final year of the Woodward’s department store. Born in New Westminster, Ken Pattern began his fine art career in Vancouver with a show at the VPL in 1978. His curiosity of the world has taken him around the globe, and he currently lives and works in Indonesia, returning to Vancouver each year to print at the Malaspina Printmakers on Granville Island. I met Ken on the Island this summer, and he graciously gave me a viewing of some of his iconic lithographic prints. He also provided me with a superb artistic artifact from the 1980s - a VanCity calendar from 1985 which I am very much looking forward to featuring in future posts.
His latest show, ON MARINA BAY, opened at Galeri Hadiprana in Jakarta on November 23rd, 2013 and runs to January 4th, 2014.
Aaron Chapman recently came across a piece of vintage Vancouver in his family papers. The print was created by his mother Evadna Chapman, a Vancouver artist in the 1970s and 1980s. About the work, he writes:
[Above is] an old photograph that my late mother took of downtown Vancouver from across the water at Stanley Park, and an illustration she later did. She silk screened the art on a number of hand made greeting cards…
Coal Harbour had been home to an eclectic assortment of squatter shacks and boathouses for many years, until around 1955, when these homes were removed and replaced with the Vancouver Yacht Club Marina. Michael Kluckner talks about this time in his gentrification talk at about 9 minutes 30 seconds here.
Check out Epic Canadiana a new anthology series from Cloudscape Comics. It’s an ebook, only $3. It re-imagines Canadian heroes from the Golden Age by a bevy of talented BC comic creators. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
Thrill to the adventures of Canada’s greatest superheroes! The patriotic Johnny Canuck! The mythic Ikniqpalagaq! The enigmatic Loon! The disturbing Ghost-Woman! The activist Jacques de Canada! The mighty Energy Trader! The dynastic Nite-Flyer and Nitro-Girl! The roguish Gin! From Nazi-ravaged Arctic to modern Montreal to post-apocalyptic Vancouver, nine diverse heroes defend the country against a multitude of foes.
Published in 2013, this book features stories from Bevan Thomas, Cody Andreasen, Kamil Ginatulin, Ksenia Kozhevnikova, Shannon LeClerc, Andrew Macklin, Sydney Parent, Alexander Thomas, Colin Upton, Jayleen Weaver, Jeri Weaver, and Morgan Wolf with a cover byChenoa Gao and character files by such artists as Toren Atkinson, Jeff Ellis, Micah Iwaasa, Nina Matsumoto, Cameron Morris, and Jordan Stasuk.
It happens but once a year, the Emily Carr University of Art + Design student sale! Moments before noon on Friday, a crowd grows restless at the entrance to the Concourse Gallery, and when the ribbon is cut, there is a wild rush of footsteps as art patrons flock to all corners of the gallery in search of an inspiring discovery!
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the student sale, and the selection of paintings, photographs, prints, ceramics, sculpture, (and more) on display are sure to impress! This is no ordinary art show - the work starts to fly off the walls the moment the sale begins! The show is free to attend so arrive early and return often with friends. It really is a great place to see emerging work at the mid-point of the school year, and it could lead you to that perfect holiday gift.
I couldn’t help but be bowled over by the dramatic silkscreen prints shown above by Jonathan Hodges; no matter what size the room, these are destined to command your attention! I also enjoyed taking a close look at paintings by Michael Siu, Gabrielle Strong, Danielle Roberts, and Brett Barmby. I wish you good fortune as you browse this hallowed hall of art; may you find just what you are looking for!
Concourse Gallery, North Building
1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island
Friday, November 22, 2013 12 - 8pm
Saturday, November 23, 2013 12 - 5pm
Sunday, November 24, 2013 12 - 5pm
Cross-posted to VancouverIsAwesome.com
Vancouver’s Favourite Seasonal Sale Turns 40!
Emily Carr University of Art + Design invites you to join us at our 40th Student Art Sale! Choose from a wide selection of original paintings, photographs, prints, ceramics, sculpture, wearable works, housewares and more. This is a fantastic opportunity to purchase creations from Emily Carr’s up-and-coming artists and designers.
Get a jump on your holiday shopping, or take home a little something for yourself!
Concourse Gallery | North Building
Friday, November 22 12 - 8pm
Saturday, November 23 12 - 5pm
Sunday, November 24 12 - 5pm
Admission is free.