Some vintage commercial artwork by George McLachlan, via his website. The first is a cover from a BCTel brochure cover titled “Communications”, believed to be from 1976. The acrylic painting shows a cluster of downtown skyscrapers, many of which were new modern additions to the city’s skyline.
The next illustration is a vintage pastel rendering of the Hyatt Odyssey Hotel in downtown Vancouver, which is now known as the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
And finally, a brochure for the grand opening of Woodward’s Food Floor at Arbutus Village, which is also flogging the Woodward’s credit card. This post prompted the submission of the last image from none other than Michael Kluckner, who still has his Woodward’s card! Woodward’s Arbutus Village Food Floor opened November 13, 1974; it is now a Safeway store.
Lots more to see in his archives, including this map which I had featured before, but was not able to completely attribute to him! Now updated!
Vancouver, circa 1962 from the opening pages of George Kuthan’s book Vancouver: Sights & Insights. This colourized variation is a scan of an electronic reproduction of what could be an aquatint or perhaps a hand coloured drawing. None of the images in the above mentioned books are shown in colour, but this print demonstrates the possibilities. The print came from Robert R. Reid’s studio, via Heavenly Monkey. Robert was a close friend of George Kuthan, and this colour treatment was likely done by Robert in more recent years. From the Heavenly Monkey website:
…The two met at Reid’s printing shop in Vancouver in 1951, shortly after Kuthan’s arrival in Canada. Born in Klatovy, Czechoslovakia in 1916, Kuthan was a medical student at the University of Prague when the Nazis closed it, in 1939. It was at this time that he turned his attention to art, which he studied at Prague’s School of Decorative Arts for the next six years. After the war he went on to study painting and various forms of printmaking in Paris for several years. What few published details of his life exist indicate he enjoyed some success while there, making his decision to emigrate to Canada somewhat puzzling (especially since he first landed in Saskatchewan!). Shortly after arriving in Vancouver, he was introduced to Reid…
More biographical information about George Kuthan can be found here, and a pamphlet from 1964 from the Private Press of Robert R. Reid dedicated to George’s work can be seen here.
Coast Mountain Bus Company employees bid farewell to Oakridge Transit Centre, August 2006, a specially commissioned card by illustrator Barb Wood, who has been frequently featured here, and who has frequently included public transit in her artwork.
I got a behind the scenes tour of the Oakridge garage on one of the Trams excursions back in 2008, on the last ride of the E901/902 Flyers. Photos here.
Card courtesy of an insider at Translink. Thanks, eh!
Heightened, a 30” x 40” oil on canvas by Leanne Christie, via her website. Leanne is a new addition to Hungry Thumbs Studio on Main Street. It turns out I had met Leanne once before on Granville Island, but this is the first time she has joined the Culture Crawl. She has lots more fabulous work to see in her studio; I recommend a trip to Hungry Thumbs, which includes artists Ken Gerberick, Janis Corrado, Kevin Dubois (previously featured here), and Ken Clarke.
Also shown here is a lovely 24” x 24” painting of the Marine Building titled “About to run” that hangs in the front window of Hungry Thumbs at 233 Main Street (near Cordova). Look for it! Today is the last day of the Crawl! MUST GET OUT AND SEE MORE STUDIOS NOW!
Two Emily Carr paintings via the Maritime Museum hidden treasures online. Both depict the Vancouver Harbour circa 1910. The first is a watercolour; the second is an oil painting. Here’s the first description, which is described as an oil on canvas but is clearly a watercolour:
Emily Carr spent a number of years in Vancouver (1906-1910) before moving to France. While living in Vancouver, she taught art classes and establish herself within the small artistic community. In this image we see that her interests included the activities of the busy Burrard Inlet with the dramatic North Shore Mountains. The donor purchased this painting in 1960 from the Alex Fraser Galleries in Vancouver, BC. The Mary and Bill Everett Family Collection Accession No. 2000.086.010
Next, here’s a description of the second painting, Coastal Steamer in Vancouver Harbour:
Painting was purchased by donor’s mother as a way to encourage him to collect marine art. Painted around 1906, the image depicts a typical west coast steamer tied up to the docks thought to be at the foot of Burrard St. in Vancouver, B.C. The configuration of the ship and the mountain background confirm this notion. It is thought to have been painted in the early decades of the 1900’s when Emily Carr lived in Vancouver. Emily Carr is one of Canada’s most beloved artists and is world renown for her rich, colourful paintings of British Columbia’s west coast. Purchased by donor from the Alex Fraser Galleries, Vancouver, May 1960. The Mary and Bill Everett Family Collection Accession No. 2000.086.011
A Zoning Plan for the Downtown Area, Vancouver, B.C., published May 26, 1961; images from the planning department brochure shown courtesy of Tom Carter. This plan signals an important change for Vancouver, as it includes one of the city’s first modernist towers, the Burrard Building. The Burrard Building was built 1955-57, and the United Kingdom Building was built in 1958. Technically, it should also be noted that The Electra, the masterpiece of modernism, was completed first in 1957. The Burrard building may no longer jump out of the crowd today, but once upon a time, it rose with distinction. Originally it had metallic lemon/lime coloured spandrels, the detailing between the windows, but more recently it has been re-skinned with low key reflective glass windows. The building’s design was heavily influenced by Lever House in New York City.
I find it interesting to note that when the Burrard Building was completed, the first tenants to take up occupancy at the corner of Alberni and Burrard according to this photo from 1958 were none other than United Airlines, Canadian Pacific, and Pacific Western Airlines (thanks for the detective work, @VanArchives!). This was the height of the jet set era, and decades before purchasing a plane ticket would become primarily an online activity. Since November 2006, this retail corner has been occupied by Tiffany & Co., with Hermes situated across the street, and Louis Vuitton located on the other side of Burrard in the Hotel Vancouver.
These primitive and unrefined drawings offer a very early sketch of the future of the city. Before the building was even completed, you can see the influence that modernism was having via this fashion shoot taking place on Burrard Street, seen previously at PastTenseVancouver.
Fireworks Over English Bay, another tile mosaic by Bruce Walther. This particular mosaic at Pacific and Burrard was created in 2008 and was a Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association initiative, with funding assistance provided by the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. From the DVBIA pamphlet:
The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association’s public art project beautifies downtown streets with 18 original tile mosaics, each measuring nine square feet and permanently installed in city sidewalks throughout the DVBIA’s 90-block area. The mosaics celebrate the diversity of Vancouver’s culture, sports, architecture, natural beauty and personalities. Accomplished local mosaic artists Liz Calvin and Bruce Walther designed, produced and installed all the tiles.
Mural of the Vancouver skyline painted in 1993 by (correction) Carol Davenport, seen above the lobby of Fifth Avenue Cinemas, 2110 Burrard Street, Vancouver. How many of my followers did NOT realize the concession stand IS the BURRARD BRIDGE!
View of Moody, Dietz, & Nelson’s Saw-mill, at Burrard Inlet, a hand-coloured etching from a photograph by D. Withrow,
believed to be published in the West Shore magazine, circa 1884 (I have yet to determine exactly which issue it is from). Oh, correction; this might actually be from Canadian Illustrated News, published in Montreal, Quebec by George Desbarats from 1869 to 1883. The Library and Archives Canada has a picture of this same etching which it dates as 22 June 1872, vol.V, no. 25, 389. The first and last complete issue of Canadian Illustrated News can be viewed online here:
This hand-coloured print is from the Vancouver Archives documentary art collection.
The Burrard Motel, a vintage postcard by the Vancouver postcard artist Edward Goodall. This postcard shows the final design circa 1954; the hotel opened in 1956. I didn’t realize the Burrard Motel, now the Burrard Hotel is actually a trendy hip vintage midcentury modern mix of style and fashion, right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Any hotel with an inner courtyard deserves some credit in my books!
Pedestrian View, a painting by Melanie Hawes, ECUAD student. In case you don’t recognize, this is Bentall 5, which curiously grew from a 22 storey tower in 2002 to a 34 storey tower in 2007. I guess they planned it that way? You can spot two or three of the other Bentall buildings reflected in the glass. Painting seen at the 38th Annual Student Art Sale, held November 4 - 6, 2011.
The Capilano Weather Beacon, before the Capilano Brewery was purchased and became property of Molson. This handy card seen below explains how to forecast the weather based on a series of colour codes and illuminated trends. The Canada Life building in Toronto has a similar weather beacon which according to Wikipedia, was the first of its kind to appear in Canada (installed on August 9, 1951) and was built at a cost of CAD$25,000. The Capilano Weather Beacon was a large neon sign which was installed in the spring of 1953 when the Sicks’ Capilano Brewery facility in Vancouver was built.
Cross-posted with additional text to VancouverIsAwesome.com