Bernard M. McEvoy

February 7 1842 - February 16 1932

Royal British Academy (Member)
Vancouver Studio Club and School of Art
B.C. Society of Fine Arts
(Charter Member 1908, VP 1909, Hon. Sec.-Treas. 1917, Life Member 1929-1932)
B.C. Society of Fine Arts/B.C. Society of Artists: Exhibitor's Timeline
B.C. Art League (Founding Member)
British Columbia Artist (B.C.A., 1921)
Art, Historical and Scientific Association of Vancouver (Member 1931)

Bernard McEvoy was very prominent in the early art circles of Vancouver. He was born in Birmingham, England, and came to Canada in 1888. He worked on the staff of the Mail and Empire in Toronto, before moving to Vancouver in 1906 (Harper). He was an active artist and participant in arts societies, and he also wrote a column for the local newspaper under the nom de plume of "Diogenes", in which he reviewed art exhibitions and discussed matters of art.

Collected travel letters, 1902

In 1902 McEvoy was asked to travel across Canada, and send letters back to his newspaper about the trip. The letters were subsequently compiled into the book From the Great Lakes to the Wide West. The book is subbtitled "Impressions of a Tour between Toronto and the Pacific". McEvoy is noted on the title page as "Author of "Away From Newspaperdom" Etc."."

Photograph from the book, 1902

The book is illustrated with a number of black & white photographs, although the photographer is not named. An interesting chapter on salmon canning in Steveston describes the Chinese fish-cutters having a puff on an opium pipe every two hours or so.

He was one of the five founding members of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts in 1908, and exhibited in the societie's debut First Annual Exhibition at the Dominion Hall in Vancouver. He also showed two paintings later that year in the Exhibition of Pictures held by the Vancouver Studio Club and School of Art.

In 1910 he had work in an exhibition held by the Island and Crafts Society in Victoria.

In 1917 McEvoy was Honorary Secretary Treasurer of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts as well as a member, showing two paintings in the annual exhibition and loaning one painting by David Cox. He had also exhibited with the group in 1910, 1912, and 1915, and later showed his work in 1921 and 1925. The BCSFA also showed his work in 1936, after his death.

In 1920 McEvoy and John Radford were chiefly responsible for the creation of the B.C. Art League, an organzation founded to help create an art school and art gallery in Vancouver.

McEvoy died in Vancouver in 1932 at the age of ninety. A bust of McEvoy by sculptor Charles Marega was exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery in the 1932 First Annual B.C. Artists Exhibition. His artwork was displayed in retrospective exhibitions of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts in 1950 and 1960.

1909 April 20 - 28 BCSFA   First Annual Exhibition British Columbia Road
Sea And Sky
In Stanley Park
On The Coquahalla River, B.C.
Mount Burgess
1909 June 19 - July 17 Studio Club   Exhibition of Pictures Ontario Springtime
Sunset Glow
1909 November BCSFA    Second Exhibition Hope, B.C.
Bottom of Burnaby Street, Vancouver, in 1903
1910 May BCSFA   Third Exhibition A Devonshire Cottage
The Gorge, Victoria, B.C.
Near the Credit River, Ontario
1910 September IACS   1st Annual Exhibition A Devonshire Cottage
Bush Burning, near Vancouver
Wayside Cross, Dartmoor
1911 November BCSFA   Fall Exhibition Waves Breaking on the Shore in a Full Gale
("also some fine oil paintings")
("woodland gloom and gleam")
1912 Nov. 25 - 30 BCSFA   Annual Exhibition Landscape
1915 April BCSFA   Works by Members On the Severn, Glocestershire, Eng.
The Graveyard of Forest
Land's End, Cornwall, Eng.
Coast of Cornwall, Eng.
After the Storm
An Atlantic Wave
A Bit of North Vancouver
In the Kerry Hills
Edge of an Ontario Farm
1916 September BCSFA    Annual Exhibition In Stanley Park
Hillabore, North Devon
It Seemed Always Afternoon
1917 May 5 Sketch Club    Exhibition (titles not known)
1917 Sept. 14 - 22 BCSFA   Eleventh Exhibition Mountain Road, Wales
Glacier B.C.
1921 Sept. 19 - 24 BCSFA   13th Annual Early June
Coquhalla (sic) River, Hope
Ilfracombe (?), North Devon
Lone Poplar
1925 May 9 - 16 BCSFA   17th Annual The Stump
1927 June 10 - 25 BCSFA   19th Annual Marine, "Wind and Weather"
Bow Lake, B.C.
On the Lillooet River
1936 June 26 - July 12 BCSFA   26th Annual Logged Over
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual A River in Wales

References - MONOGRAPHS

Refer to BIBLIO.

References - GENERAL

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

THE FINE ARTS IN VANCOUVER, 1886 - 1930 (refer to THOM69)




      5 references listed for McEvoy.

B.C. VITAL STATISTICS ON-LINE death (no certificate posted) (refer to BCVS)


"The Studio Club, a new organization to Vancouver, will commence its active existence in premises situated over Trorey's store tomorrow afternoon. ... The club starts with a membership of thirty, of whom nineteen are working, and eleven honorary members. The officers are as follows: ... secretary-treasurer, Bernard McEvoy ... "
      From "Studio Club Formed"
      Vancouver Province, March 10 1904

"Mr. B. McEvoy's Waves Breaking on the Shore in a Full Gale is the only pastel study I have seen in the annual exhibitions so far. (No. 21). It is indescribably grand, and true, with that breadth and freedom which should alwways characterize pastel landscape or seascape work. There are also some fine oil paintings by the same artist, especially the study of woodland gloom and gleam (No. 82), which, though not entirely finished, is entirely satisfactory."
      From "Some Pictures by B.C. Artists" by A.N. St. John Mildmay
      News Advertiser, November 21 1911

"This year's exhibitors were ... B. MacEvoy ... "
      From "Fine Arts Society Makes Fine Exhibit"
      Vancouver Daily World, November 23 1911

"Mr. B. McEvoy in a small decorative picture entitled "It Seemed Always Afternoon" presents a subject which might be three times the size with advantage. The contrast of light and shade is well given, though a certain flatness of plane somewhat detracts from its otherwise considerable merit. This painter is seen at his best perhaps in No. 84, "Hillabore, North Devon," a simple, faithfully painted transcript of nature in which he has surmounted certain difficulties of color with considerable success. His "In Stanley Park," No. 83, is better in idea than execution, though it is full of the sentiment of nature."
      From "With The B.C. Artists" by "A Visitor"
      Vancouver Province, September 27 1916

"Among the exhibitors were ... Mr. McEvoy ... "
      From "Social Notes"
      Vancouver Daily World, May 7 1917

"The President, Mr. Bernard McEvoy, who was in the chair ... "
      From "Important Meeting of B.C. Art League"
      Western Woman's Weekly, April 23 1921

"In the "Coquihalla River, Hope" Mr. Bernard McEvoy has given us the pure joy of running water, living water that throws up its head and laughs; it has the gift of wetness that so much painted water lacks and comes from what one feels are real mountains to run among real trees. It is a happy picture."
      From "Pictures at B.C. Fine Arts" by J. Butterfield
      Vancouver Province, September 19 1921, page 12

"A large and ambitious canvas by Marguerite Frechette presenting a portrait of Mr. Bernard McEvoy is very disappointing when regarded in comparison with some of the very striking and beautiful work that this artist has shown at previous exhibitions. The tone is unpleasing and the work is hurried and, while it is an unmistakable likeness, there is a mechanical feeling about it that one can not associate with the sitter."
      From "B.C. Fine Arts Society Exhibition (First Notice)"
      Vancouver Province, May 15 1923

"Mr. Bernard McEvoy, the "Diogenes" of the "Daily Province", whose "Street Corners" are so eagerly looked for in the Sunday Edition, became a member of the society. Coming to Canada in 1888 from Birmingham, Eng., he was first on the "Toronto Mail and Empire". While in Ontario, he designed for the late Sir. Wm. MacKenzie, the church at Kirkfield, Ontario. As an author, he is better known than an artist, but, as he still wields a powerful pen, he still indulges in landscape painting. His lectures before the society have always been features of much interest."
      From "History of the A.H.S.A.V.-Biographical: Founders & Members"
      Museum Notes, Vol. 1, No. 2 June 1926

"These are some of the high points in an exhibition which has a challenge and a vitality in it which are not a little remarkable. There will be considerable conversation about it during the ensuing two weeks."
      From "Palette and Chisel Club" by Diogenes
      Vancouver Province, November 6 1926

"Scholarships and prizes for successful students at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts were presented this afternoon at the school closing by Bernard McEvoy."
      From "Prizes Presented to Art Students"
      unknown newspaper, June 1927

      Vancouver Province, February 7 1932

      "The plaster bust by Charles Marega of the late Bernard McEvoy memorializes that doyen of Canadian journalists, who died in harness last year at the ripe age of over 90 in the service of the Vancouver Daily Province. He was a man greatly beloved, he took a great interest in art, and was indeed one of the founders and the first president of the B.C. Art League whose two main objectives were the establishement of a civic art school and of a civic art gallery. Both these aims he lived to see fulfilled. ... "
      From "BRITISH COLUMBIA ART - Significance of First "All British Columbia Show" " by Harold Mortimer Lamb
      Saturday Night, December 10 1932

"Bernard McEvoy and John Radford were chiefly responsible for arousing the public's interest in this new society, and in a very short time make-shift premises were acquired where showings of paintings, drawings, and sculpture took place."
      From "A Short Art History of British Columbia" by Charles H. Scott
      Behind The Palette, June 1947

"The original group of founders included ... the well known journalist, Bernard McEvoy ... of the Vancouver Daily Province ... "
      From "B.C. Society of Artists - A History" by J.D. Parker
      B.C. Society of Fine Arts 40th Annual Exhibition Catalogue, 1950