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In 1910 the Society published their Constitution And By-Laws, formally laying out the framework of operations.
Charles Marega resigned from the BCSFA in 1919. The BCSFA board expressed their regret, and moved to ask him to "clearly state the reason for this rather extreme action". There is no record of his reply. (BCSFA Fond, Vancouver City Archives)
From the Minutes from the Special Meeting of October 24, 1922, held at
Thomas Fripp's studio:
"The meeting being adjourned the members passed to the adjacent room of the Sketch Club. ... a piano having been moved in ... Mrs. S.P. Judge played an impressive opening selection ... Mrs. Scott obliged with violin selections ... Mr. Frank Hoole with songs ... Mr. C.H. Scott brought "down the house" with a serio-comic recitation appertaining to a barber and a "howling swell" ..."
The 1931 Annual meeting of the BCSFA was held at W.P. Westons's house at 1045 West 15th Avenue, Vancouver. New members elected were Beatrice Lennie, Miss Melvin, Mr. Maynard, Mr. Fred Amess, and Mr. Ross Lort.
By that time, perhaps, he had good reason. The Society had not fared well following the Second World War. Too many competing styles of painting and expression fractured the old organization and dispersed new talent in other directions. The Society was formally renamed in 1950 to the British Columbia Society of Artists, and a new group of Associate Members was created, to help the Society adapt and stay current in post-war Vancouver.
A history of the Society was written for the 40th Annual Exhibition in 1950.
The Society came to be seen as old-fashioned, new groups sprang up, and membership in the BCSFA slowly dropped. Finally one last desperate mailing was sent out in 1967, begging old members (and new) to sign up and revitalize the group. The plea did not succeed, and the remaining members of the group voted it out of existence and donated its records to the Vancouver City Archives. It was a quiet and unfortunate end to a Society that had helped support, develop, and exhibit hundreds of excellent artists, including many of the historic painters still well known and highly sought after today, Emily Carr, Jack Shadbolt, W.P. Weston, and E.J. Hughes to name just a few.
The Society served its purpose well for many years, providing an important venue for artists to show and sell their work, using the stable foundation of the annual exhibitions. Because the rules of the Society required that members exhibit new work every year, an atmosphere of continuous creativity was engendered. The Society's tenure spanned from the pioneer artists of Vancouver who founded the group through to the rise to prominence of the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts students and graduates of the 1930s and 1940s, who were further seasoned by the Depression and by the Second World War.
The end of the Society and its Annual Exhibitions in 1967 left a vaccuum in the Vancouver art scene.
Ironically, nine years after Vancouver Art Gallery Director Luke Rombout decided not to allow
the Society to hold its Annual Exhibition at his gallery (because he felt that their type of
group exhibition, if not their art as well, was no longer relevant to the art scene) he was
to write in an exhibition catalogue:
"The mounting dissatisfaction and cynicism surrounding annual Canadian exhibitions of a few years ago, and their subsequent disappearance, have made way for a recognition of the fact that a profound need for current major group shows has reemerged. Many artists across the country have begun to lament the absence of measurable and tangible information - the public too, we sense, is increasingly looking for more comprehensive evidence of current Canadian art."
from "17 Canadian Artists: A Protean View", Vancouver Art Gallery, 1976.
The difficulties of putting on exhibitions that provide "comprehensive evidence of current Canadian art" continue to challenge the Vancouver art community. The series of Artropolis exhibitions was the latest major effort to provide a common and open venue for exhibition, the kind of show that the B.C. Society of Fine Arts hosted so ably for more than half a century.
|1909 April 20 - 28||1st Annual Exhibition|
|1909 November||2nd Exhibition|
|1910 May||3rd Exhibition|
|1911 ? - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|1912 November 25 - 30||Annual Exhibition|
|1913 ? - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|1914 ? - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|1915 April||Exhibition of Works By Members|
|1916 ? - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|1917 September 14 - 22||11th Exhibition|
|1918 ? - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|1919 ? - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|1920 September 18 - 25||12th Annual Exhibition|
|1921 September 19 - 24||13th Annual Exhibition|
|1922 September 16 - 23||14th Annual Exhibition|
|1923 May 12 - 19||15th Annual Exhibition|
|1924 May 3 - 17||16th Annual Exhibition|
|1925 May 9 - 16||17th Annual Exhibition|
|1926 May 8 - 15||18th Annual Exhibition|
|1927 June 10 - 25||19th Annual Exhibition|
|1928 April 27 - ?||20th Annual Exhibition|
|1929 May 18 - June 8||21st Annual Exhibition|
|1929 November 16 - 30||Winter Exhibition|
|1930 May 31 - June 14||Spring Exhibition|
|1930 August 6 - 16||Vancouver Exhibition - Paintings by Members|
|1930 November 12 - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|1931 ? - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|1932 ? - ?||( ? ) Exhibition|
|Editor:||Numbering of annual exhibitions changes to following sequence around this time.|
|1933 June 3 - 11||23rd Annual Exhibition|
|1934 May 25 - June 3||24th Annual Exhibition|
|1935 April 26 - May 5||25th Annual Exhibition|
|1936 June 25 - July 12||26th Annual (Jubilee) Exhibition|
|1937 April 16 - May 2||27th Annual Exhibition|
|1938 April 29 - May 15||28th Annual Exhibition|
|1939 June 9 - 25||29th Annual Exhibition|
|1940 May 17 - June 2||30th Annual Exhibition|
|1940 July 30 - Sept. 1||Summer Exhibition|
|1941 May 16 - June 1||31st Annual Exhibition|
|1942 May 15 - 31||32nd Annual Exhibition|
|1942 (summer)||Calgary Stampede - Loan Collection
Works selected from 32nd Annual
|1943 May 15 - June 6||33rd Annual Exhibition|
|1944 May 13 - June 4||34th Annual Exhibition|
|1945 May 18 - June 10||35th Annual Exhibition|
|1946 May 31 - June 23||36th Annual Exhibition|
|1947 May 9 - June 1||37th Annual Exhibition|
|1948 May 18 - June 6||38th Annual Exhibition|
|1949 May 3 - 22||39th Annual Exhibition|
|1950 April 25 - May 14||40th Annual Exhibition|
"The private view of the exhibition of the B.C. Society of
Fine Arts on Saturday evening was a most successful affair. Two things
made it so. In the first place, it was pictorially speaking one of the best
shows that highly respectable Society has had, and secondly, it was held in
far better quarters than they have ever been fortunate enough to secure
for their shows. As a charter member of the organization from its inception
twenty years ago, I can look back on some weird places in which from year
to year, we attempted to show the public that we were alive, if not kicking."
From "B.C. Society of Fine Arts", by Diogenes
Vancouver Daily Province, November 13 1930
"It was '43 I think, when I was last in Trail, to see the first exhibit
of Vancouver artists, sponsored by
James L. (sic) Amess, of
B.C. Fine Arts association, Vancouver,
Mrs. Mildred V. Thornton,
Fred Amess and the writer." (continues)
From "LIKES WESTON", by "Allan P. Allsebrook"
Trail Daily Times, March 1948
"Thirty-ninth annual exhibition of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts at
the Gallery, opened Monday by Mayor Thompson, is undoubtedly one
of the finest displays by this leading professional artist organization.
From "Lively Spirit Pervades B.C. Artists' Exhibition" by Palette. Vancouver Daily Province, May 3 1949
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