Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Melita Aitken
(Mrs. R.J Aitken)

1866 - August 28 1945

B.C. Society of Fine Arts (Member)
Island Arts and Crafts Society
Art Association of Montreal

Mrs. Melita Aitken was a long-time supporter of the arts, and a painter herself. She was born in Drumbo, Ontario in 1866, and studied in Toronto under Mary Ella Dignam, and at the Chicago Art Institute under Vanderpool (Harper). She moved to Vancouver in 1922. Her husband Captain Aitken was killed in World War One. She lived in Victoria from 1928 to 1942, then in Vancouver again.

The exhibition catalogue of the 1930 Spring Exhibition of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts noted that she was a member of the Society.

She exhibited paintings with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1931, 1932, and 1933.

Also, per card file at Vancouver Art Gallery Library:
     Island Arts and Crafts Society: 1928.
     VAG annual B.C. Artists exhibitions: 1940-41.
     Vancouver Exhibition: 1930.

Additional information gives an exhibition range between 1927 and 1932 with the Island Arts and Crafts Society. She is listed in Who's Who in Northwest Art, but only her name and address are given.

Macdonald and Harper note that she also exhibited paintings in the Paris Salons in 1932 - 1933, and at the Royal Academy in England in 1931. She also exhibited a total of 17 paintings in the Spring Exhibitions of the Art Association of Montreal from 1932 to 1943.

She died in Vancouver in 1945.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION
1938 Oct. 25 - Nov. 6 Flower Paintings (VAGx0251) VAG

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1923 May 12 - 19 BCSFA   15th Annual Exhibition The Rivals
Home from the Flower Show
Heralds of Spring
Study of Roses
1924 May 3 - 17 BCSFA   16th Annual Exhibition Single Asters
Beauty Protected
Red Tulip
Pink Chrysanthemums
From Different Climes
1927 June 10 - 25 BCSFA   19th Annual Exhibition A Vancouver Rose
Zanias
1930 Aug. 6 - 16 VanExh   Oil Paintings & Water-colours The Jug from Normandy
Gladiolii
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Peonies, Victoria
1933 Sept. 22 - Oct. 15 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual A Variety of Peonies
Bowl of Roses
1940 Sept. 20 - Oct. 13 VAG   B.C. Artists 9th Annual An Inspiration
Favorites
1941 Sept. 26 - Oct. 19 VAG   B.C. Artists 10th Annual The Golden-Banded Lily of Japan
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSFA   40th Annual Exhibition Red Poppies

References

WHO'S WHO IN NORTHWEST ART (refer to WWNA41)

THE FINE ARTS IN VANCOUVER, 1886 - 1930 (refer to THOM)

EARLY PAINTERS AND ENGRAVERS IN CANADA (refer to H70)
      Includes short reference to Aitken.

ISLAND ARTS AND CRAFTS SOCIETY - List of Exhibitors

ROYAL CANADIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS -
EXHIBITIONS & MEMBERS 1880 - 1979
(refer to RCA81)

ARTISTS IN CANADA 1982 - UNION LIST OF ARTISTS' FILES (refer to AIC82)

BRITISH COLUMBIA WOMEN ARTISTS 1885-1985 (refer to AGGV85)

MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS -
SPRING EXHIBITIONS 1880 - 1970
(refer to MM88)

A DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN ARTISTS (refer to M)
      A half page biography with six references listed.

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA (refer to BIAC03)
      11 references cited for Aitken.

Clippings

"On the principle of "ladies first," I may begin by saying that Melita Aitken's flower pictures are very splendid, very striking, and that they show no falling-off in her ability in this line. They are fine examples of what can be done with flowers by means of water color."
      From "B.C. Society of Fine Arts", by Diogenes
      Vancouver Daily Province, November 13 1930

"The largest single collection of flower paintings yet to be shown in the Gallery."
      Art Gallery Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 2


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