Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Gordon Kit Thorne

August 21 1896 - November 9 1982

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Gordon Kit Thorne was born in England in 1896. He took art training at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Art. He was a painter in oil, watercolour, and pastel, and a printmaker (etching).

He "arrived" in Vancouver in 1908, according to an exhibition entry form filled out by the artist for a B.C. Artists exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He exhibited in the B.C. Artists annuals beginning in 1932, and in 1933, from 1938 to 1950, and in 1952 and 1953. He had his first solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1936, and another in 1939, eventually having ten solo exhibitions at the Gallery. He also exhibited in the 1945 B.C. At Work exhibition, noted as living in Mission City at the time.

He won prizes for his work in 1922, 1923, and 1924, and a first prize for etching at the Provincial Exhibition in 1928. He had a solo exhibition at the Curry Art Emporium, Toronto, in 1930. He was employed as a commercial artist at David Hall Signs, Vancouver BC.

He married Ivy Emma Taylor in Vancouver on December 22, 1937. Thorne was a 41-year old widower at the time, and she was a 28-year old widow.

He showed work in the 1944 and 1945 British Columbia At Work exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

He was on a list titled "Leading Vancouver Artists," provided to the Labour Arts Guild on April 10, 1946 by the Vancouver Art Gallery.

He had work in the 1948 Stanley Park in Pictures exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

He exhibited with the B.C. Society of Fine Arts in their Annual Exhibitions in 1945, 1946, 1949, 1950, from 1952 to 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1967.

He submitted four works to the 1949 B.C. Graphic exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, one of them was selected for the exhibition.

In 1977 the artist was living in Vancouver.

Thorne was an extremely prolific artist, painting literally thousands of watercolours over the years, sometimes many in one day. As a result, the overall quality of his later work seemed to suffer, and the paintings have sold for very low prices at auction. He died from cancer in Vancouver in 1982 at the age of 86. He had been living on Nelson Street in Vancouver's West End with his son G. Peter Thorne.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION
1936 April 3 - 13 Solo show VAG
1939 April 18 - 30 Solo show VAG
1940 April 9 - 21 Drawings & Prints VAG
1942 May 12 - 24 Solo show VAG
1943 May 14 - 27 Solo show VAG
1944 Jan. 11 - April 30 Solo show VAG
1945 April 9 - May 27 Solo show VAG
1946 June 25 - July 14 Oil paintings VAG
1947 July 8 - 27 Prints & Drawings VAG
1949 Aug. 2 - 21 Solo show VAG

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1932 May - July VAG   All Canadian Exhibition The Lost Lake
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Horne Lake, V.I.
Golf Links, Stanley Park
Totem Factory, B.C.
The Hunter's Return
1933 Sept. 22 - Oct. 15 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual Up the Fraser Valley
Summer Camp
Farm at Rosedale
1933 Dec. 1 - 17 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition Drift, Under Cambie Bridge
Sunset (From Burrard Bridge)
Expelled
1934 Sept. 21 - Oct. 14 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual Waterfall, Lynn Creek
1935 Sept. 20 - Oct. 15 VAG   B.C. Artists 4th Annual Dr. Hwa Ho, Chinese God of Medicine
Ravine in Stanley Park
Stuffed Owls
The Swimming Hole
1936 Sept. 18 - Oct. 11 VAG   B.C. Artists 5th Annual Shady Nook, Stanley Park
1936 Oct. 15 - 20 VAG   B.C. Artists Chilliwack Exhibition Shady Nook, Stanley Park
1938 Sept. 16 - Oct. 9 VAG   B.C. Artists 7th Annual Far, Far Away
Beside the Track (New Westminster)
1939 Sept. 15 - Oct. 8 VAG   B.C. Artists 8th Annual Tired Mother
The Art Gallery At Night
1940 Sept. 20 - Oct. 13 VAG   B.C. Artists 9th Annual West of West
Building Grain Bins
On the Nicomaci, B.C.
In the Park
1941 Sept. 26 - Oct. 19 VAG   B.C. Artists 10th Annual V for Victory
Styles
The Mill at Night
Switching Grain Cars
1942 Sept. 25 - Oct. 18 VAG   B.C. Artists 11th Annual The Gossip
In Stanley Park
Non-Objective Drawing
Old Book Shop
1943 Sept. 25 - Oct. 20 VAG   B.C. Artists 12th Annual Outside Stalingrad
New Guinea Epilogue
1944 Sept. 23 - Oct. 22 VAG   B.C. Artists 13th Annual Flight of the Bumble Bee
Flitting the Summer Away
Convalescent
1944 Nov. 21 - Dec. 10 Labour Arts Guild   1st B.C. At Work Saturday Afternoon
Boilers
Night Shift
1945 May 18 - June 10 BCSFA   35th Annual Spring Comes to Victory Square
1945 Sept. 22 - Oct. 21 VAG   B.C. Artists 14th Annual V-Day, Flag Vendor
An Artist in Coquitlam, B.C.
1945 Nov. 13 - Dec. 2 Labour Arts Guild   2nd B.C. At Work White and Brown Bread Dough
Boom Men at Marpole
Shingle Bolt Mill
1946 May 31 - June 23 BCSFA   36th Annual Pioneer Vancouver, 1886
1946 July 2 - 28 VAG   Jubilee Exhibition The Habitant
1946 Aug. 13 - 25 VAG   Stanley Park in Pictures The Nine O'Clock Gun
The Black Squirrels
The Pavilion in Winter
1946 Sept. 21 - Oct. 13 VAG   B.C. Artists 15th Annual Pain
1947 July 8 - 27 VAG   B.C. Artists Summer Exhibition Pain
1947 Sept. 20 - Oct. 12 VAG   B.C. Artists 16th Annual Kitsilano Moon Maid
Frost
1948 July 27 - Aug. 15 VAG   Stanley Park in Pictures Rhythm at Siwash Rock
1948 Sept. 18 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 17th Annual Fingal's Cave by Mendelssohn
1949 May 3 - 22 BCSFA   39th Annual Autumn Flowers
1949 July 12 - July 31 VAG   Stanley Park in Pictures Totem Pole Carvers
1949 Oct. 8 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 18th Annual X-Ray Hand Treatment
1949 Nov. 22 - Dec. 11 VAG   First B.C. Graphic The Hunters Return (rejected)
St. Anne's, New Westminster
Gathering for the Potlatch (rejected)
The Toquit Dancer (rejected)
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual Quiet Evening
1950 Nov. 28 - Dec. 17 VAG   B.C. Artists 19th Annual Window Shopping, Self Portrait


References - GROUP EXHIBITIONS

3rd BC GRAPHIC & CANADIAN SOCIETY OF GRAPHIC ART (refer to BCG57)

SPRING EXHIBITION - FCA - BC REGION (refer to FCA64)

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

DAILY GRIND EXHIBITIONS (refer to DG04)

References - GENERAL

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

VISUAL ARTS BRITISH COLUMBIA (refer to VABC77)

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

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA (refer to BIAC03)
      3 references cited for Thorne, including WWNA above.

THE FECKLESS COLLECTION (refer to FECK18)

VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY - B.C. ARTISTS FILES (refer to VPL)

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

Clippings

GORDON KIT THORNE.
"Mr. Thorne is a Vancouver artist who has contributed to the annual B.C. Artists' Exhibitions on numerous occasions. A native of England, the exhibitor has studied painting at the evening classes of the Vancouver School of Art, and The Goldsmith's College of Art in London, together with individual tuition from Harold Speed, R.O.I., and Stanley Anderson, A.R.A., R.E. This is the second exhibition staged by Mr. Thorne in the Gallery."
    Vancouver Art Gallery Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 5. January, 1939

"City Artist Gives One-Man Exhibition" by E.N.B.
    Vancouver Daily Province, April 18, 1939

"Kit Thorne Interprets B.C." by (unknown)
    Vancouver Daily Province, April 9, 1940

"Kit Thorne Sketches on View at Gallery" by (unknown)
    Vancouver Sun, April 10, 1940

"Six shows in Gallery During April" by (unknown)
    News-Herald, April 9, 1940

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