BRITISH COLUMBIA ARTISTS  

Miss Isobel Gytha Owen
(m Stanley Farquharson)

February 3 1903 - March 28 1988

groups

Gytha Owen was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. She arrived in B.C. in 1923, according to exhibition entry forms, and married Stanley Farquharson, a Civil Engineer, in Vancouver on April 9 1924. Her occupation was noted on the marriage certificate as "Teacher." She continued to use her maiden name when exhibiting her artwork.

She exhibited work at the Vancouver Art Gallery in the 1st Annual B.C. Artists exhibition in 1932, and also in 1933, and 1934. She was living in Vancouver. She also had solo exhibitions of her work at the gallery in 1932, 1933, and 1934.

In 1932 she was a signatory to an agreement to boycott the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa for their exhibition and purchase policies related to Canadian artists. She was noted as being a Vancouver artist.

The 1932 City Directory lists her as Mrs. Gytha Owen, occupation not noted, residence 1290 Burnaby Street, Vancouver. The 1935 and 1936 Directories list her as "artist - Famous Players" living at 1847 Pendrell Street. She is not listed in Vancouver from 1937 to 1940. Owen and Farquharson divorced, and he remarried in Coldstream in 1938.

An undated newspaper clipping c1939 notes that Owen "has literally painted her way round the world after leaving her homeland sixteen years ago. She has worked and exhibited through-out U.S.A., Canada, and the Near and Far East countries." It also noted that she had visited China, and painted a fresco of Ferdinand the bull at the American Consulate in Hong Kong. She was also commissioned by Pan-American Airways to paint a mural in Hong Kong.

An artwork by Gytha Owen that is posted online is titled "Shanghai 1942."

Owen returned to New Zealand where she died at Christchurch in 1988.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION
1932 Sept. 2 - 11 Solo Show VAG
1933 Aug. 18 - 28 Solo Show VAG
1934 Aug. 21 - 31 Drawing & Oil Painting VAG

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Asleep
The Pattern of Life
Ballerina
1933 Sept. 22 - Oct. 15 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual Unfinished Field
Portrait
1933 Dec. 1 - 17 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition Nude
The Past
1934 Sept. 21 - Oct. 14 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual The Striped Counterpane
The Blue Hat
Contemplation
1934 ? - ? VAG   B.C. Artists Edmonton Exhibition The Striped Counterpane
The Blue Hat

References

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

B.C. VITAL STATISTICS ON-LINE marriage (refer to BCVS)

Clippings

"#3, 1290 Burnaby St.
Vancouver
April 24th
Secretary,
Vancouver Art Gallery
Dear Mrs. Murison,
      I wish to apply through the courtesy of the Board of Directors of the Art Gallery, for permission to hold an exhibition of my work, approximately twenty pictures. As I must earn my living through my painting I am anxious to become known as a portrait painter as speedily as possible. Hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience and thanking you in anticipation.
I am sincerely yours, Gytha Owen"
      From letter to Vancouver Art Gallery, April 24 1932
      Letter courtesy Vancouver Art Gallery Library & Archives

" ... the 118 artists who have signed the agreement to date ... include ... Githa Owen ... "
      From "Canadian Artists Unite to Boycott National Gallery," by The Canadian Press
      Montreal Gazette, December 8, 1932

"In the Domain of Art. A Weekly Causerie of Interest to Art Lovers".
     By Reta W. Myers, Daily Province, August 25, 1934

"Born in Christchurch, New Zealand on 3 Feb 1903 to Sydney Charles Owen and Florence Mary Roberts. Isabel Gytha Owen married Stanley Farquharson and had 1 child. She passed away on 28 Mar 1988 in Christchurch New Zealand."
      https://www.ancestry.ca/genealogy/records/isabel-gytha-owen-24-1jtbx64


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