Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Vancouver Institute

1916 - 2019+


The Vancouver Institute is an organization that is, and always has been, entirely composed of volunteers. They serve as a liaison between the University of British Columbia and the general public, by sponsoring lectures of general interest. All lectures are free, and the speakers, many of them world-class and famous thinkers, scientists, and writers, speak for free without receiving a fee. Speakers from out of town receive travel expenses. The Institute raises money through donations and through memberships.

The lectures given over the years have been given on a huge range of topics, and the historical listing of the lectures available on the Institute's web site can also be read as listings of scientific progress over the years - from a talk on "Radiation and Ether" given in 1919, to "Recent Experiments on the Transmutation of Matter" in 1937, and then "The Social and Military Implications of Atomic Energy" in 1956.

There were numerous lectures on art and art-related topics given over the years as well. Lectures of interest, either about art or given by artists, include:

      The Place of Art in Education by W.P. Weston, March 15 1917

      The Pre-Raphaelites by Norman Hawkins, November 22 1917

      How to Recognize the Principal Styles of Architecture by R.P.S. Twizell, November 14 1918

      Shakespeare on the Stage by J. Francis Bursill, January 9 1919

      Art and the Printing Press by Bernard McEvoy, January 16 1919

      Town Planning by G.L. Thornton Sharp, February 1 1923

      The Painters of Light in Holland by Miss A. Ermatinger Fraser, November 15 1923

      The London of Charles Dickens by J. Francis Bursill, March 13 1924

      America and the Arts by John Ridington, February 18 1926

      The Evolution of the Shakespearean Drama by J. Francis Bursill, February 18 1926

      London in the Time of Dickens by J. Francis Bursill, December 17 1926

      Modern Movements In Art by Charles H. Scott, March 9 1928

      Modern Developments in Architecture by W.P. Weston, December 9 1929

      Holland's Golden Age and its Art by Mrs. R.P. Steeves, January 13 1930

      Scandinavian Art by P.A. Boving, December 3 1932

      Art, and its changing Standards by John Ridington, March 18 1933

      Renaissance Art and the Rise of Capitalism by A.C. Cooke, March 31 1934

      Romanticism in Contemporary Poetry by Ira Dilworth, January 19 1935

      Purity and Propaganda in Art by A.F.B. Clarke, February 16 1935

      This Modern Stuff - A Study of Contemporary Music by Ira Dilworth, October 31 1936

      Etchers and Etchings by Charles H. Scott, December 2 1939

      In The Time of the Breaking of Nations by Ira Dilworth, February 3 1940

      Emily Carr, Painter and Poet in Prose by Ira Dilworth, February 14 1942

      Art and Democracy by Lawren Harris, December 4 1943

      Canadian Painter by W.P. Weston, March 31 1945

      Prefabrication - the Ultimate in Modern Architecture by B.C. Binning, December 7 1946

      Color in the Home by Grace Melvin, January 25 1947

      Light and Color by Arthur M. Crooker, November 20 1948

      Humanism and the Arts by Lawren Harris, J. Roy Daniells, Barnet Savery, November 19 1949

      Report on Art and Architecture in America and Europe by B.C. Binning, November 17 1951


Note: Ira Dilworth was an important participant in the art and cultural history of British Columbia, working in a number of fields but mostly in the background. He is perhaps best known as the editor for many of the writings of Emily Carr, although he was also her friend.


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