Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Ross Anthony Lort

1889 - May 16 1968

Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts
Vancouver School of Art Graduates' Association
B.C. Society of Artists (Member 1931, Executive 1933-37, President 1945-48)
Architectural Institute of B.C. (Member)
M.R.A.I.C.
Vancouver Art Gallery (Life Governor)
Commmunity Arts Council (Founding Board Member 1946)


Ross Anthony Lort was born in Birmingham, England, taking early art training there. He arrived in Canada in 1907, and took further art training from Samuel Maclure, who was one of B.C.'s early architects, and also an artist. Lort worked for Maclure, and after World War One was made a partner and put in charge of Maclure's Vancouver office. Lort was the 68th architect registered with the Architectural Institute of B.C.

As an artist, Lort mostly created woodcuts, but also did watercolor and tempera paintings. In 1918 he exhibited carved animals as "crafts" with the Island Arts and Crafts Society.

Lort married Cecilia Marion F. Rolston in Victoria on July 22, 1913. They had five children.

In 1931 Lort self-published a limited edition of All Creatures Great and Small, a small artist's book. The book consisted of 26 limericks about animals, each illustrated with a humourous linocut block print. In the 1960s Lort had another edition of the book published by Marine Printers, Vancouver. In an interview with Lort's son Billy Lort the editor was advised that all of the linoleum blocks for the book had disintegrated over time. An effort was made to print the book again after the 1960s edition, but the blocks were not in good enough condition to be used again, and were all thrown out.

The Spring 1936 edition of The Smock Pocket, the Vancouver School of Art Graduates' Association newsletter, noted that he had taken the position of Secretary to Charles H. Scott at the art school.

The 1936-37 issue of the art school Prospectus noted that Lort was teaching a night course in Stagecraft, and that he "has been responsible for the stage sets of over one hundred plays produced by The Vancouver Little Theatre Association over a course of twelve years."

In 1945 Lort was Chairman of the Education Committee at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He was also on the New Building Committee in 1945, and was eventually awarded the commission to design the art gallery extension that opened on September 26, 1951. (coincidentally this was the very day the editor was born across town at St. Vincent's Hospital)

Lort died in Vancouver in 1968, aged 78, after suffering from a stroke.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1932 May - July VAG   All Canadian Exhibition Barn, Lulu Island
Lonely Trail, Cheakamus Canyon
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual The Fisherman's Quilt
1933 June 3 - 11 BCSFA   23rd Annual Coal Bunker, False Creek
Obsolescence
A Hydah Raid
Harry Hood
Terra Nova
Japanese Village
The Golden Ear
1937 April 16 - May 1 BCSFA   27th Annual Blank Expression
On Nicola Street
1940 May 17 - June 2 BCSFA   30th Annual Circus Detail
1945 May 18 - June 10 BCSFA   35th Annual Haida Indian Oolichan Box Designs (1)
Haida Indian Oolichan Box Designs (2)
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual Coalbunker
Circus Detail


References - MONOGRAPHS

Refer to BIBLIO.

References - GROUP EXHIBITIONS

SOUVENIR CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITIONS OPENING
THE NEW VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
(refer to VAG51)

100 YEARS OF B.C. ART (refer to VAG58)

4th BURNABY NATIONAL PRINT SHOW (refer to BAG67)

PRINTMAKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 1889-1983 (refer to AGGV83)

VANCOUVER: ART & ARTISTS 1931 - 1983 (refer to VAG83)

References - GENERAL

WHO'S WHO IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 1937-38-39
      A Record of British Columbia Men and Women of Today
      S. Maurice Carter Editor & Publisher
      Copyright 1939, printed by The Robson Printers, Vancouver B.C.
      208 pages, hardcover; name index (8 pages), biographies (196 pages), obits. (4 pages)
      Includes reference to Lort

WHO'S WHO IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 1944-45-46
      A Record of British Columbia Men and Women of Today
      S. Maurice Carter Editor & Publisher
      Copyright 1945, printed by Atlas Printers, Vancouver B.C.
      312 pages, hardcover; index of names (14 pages), biographies (290 pages)
      list of abbreviations (2 pages), advertising including the only portrait in the book
      Includes reference to Ross Lort

ISLAND ARTS AND CRAFTS SOCIETY - List of Exhibitors

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

OCEAN PAPER STONE by Robert Bringhurst
      "catalogue of an exhibition of printed objects", published by William Hoffer Spring 1984
      Includes All Creatures Great and Small with publisher/edition information
      Although Bringhurst didn't know who Lort was, he knew about the two editions of the work

A DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN ARTISTS (refer to M)

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA (refer to BIAC03)
     2 references to Lort.

BUILDING THE WEST - Early Architects of British Columbia
      2003; Edited by Donald Luxton, numerous contributing authors and researchers
      Talonbooks, ISBN 0-88922-474-9
      560 pages, extensively illustrated in black and white, some colour
      4 page biography of Lort; 2 linocuts from All Creatures Great and Small reproduced

THE FECKLESS COLLECTION (refer to FECK18)

Telephone interview by Gary Sim with Billy Lort, son of Ross Lort, and interview at editor's apartment with Billy Lort.

Review of Lort fond at Vancouver Art Gallery Library.

Clippings

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