Early painting of the Three Sisters, Canmore available

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In my former life, I used to sell art.  Predominantly it was Canadian art from all periods.  Today I am selling for one of my clients a very nice early watercolour of the Three Sisters near Canmore.  It probably dates from around 1910, maybe as late as 1920.  It a modest size, image is approximately 10″ x 15″ (or 25 x 38cm) and from what is visible, it appears to be professionally framed, although I have not taken it apart to confirm.

It was painted by an artist called Alfred Arthur (A.A.) Cox, FRIBA [1873-1944].  The initials indicate that he was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.  According to the label affixed to the back he was living in Vancouver when this was executed.

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This delicate watercolour is painted in the British landscape tradition of the C.P. Rail artists, with an awareness of more recent art movements from around the turn of the century, such as impressionism.  The Glenbow Museum did a show of the C.P. Rail artists’ work and published an award-winning book on them a number of years ago.  It is through these artists that our understanding of the Canadian Rocky Mountain landscapes were first brought to a wider audience in the late 1800s, both in Canada and overseas.

In my research I could find no written biography of A.A. Cox.  So without any further ado here is one that I have prepared.

Montreal

A.A. Cox was probably well-connected with the Anglo community in Montreal.  While in Montreal he designed or worked on parts of a number of churches connected to the Anglican tradition – most notably:

In addition to this he designed buildings on campus at Bishop’s University, Lennoxville and the former “finishing school” Dunham Ladies College. He also did a number of bank buildings for the Eastern Townships Bank and the Bank of British North America in various locations around Quebec, and for the same banking institutions and other banks after 1910 in BC.

He also designed major alterations and improvements to the office and club of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering in Montreal.

Vancouver

We know with certainty that A. A. Cox was active in Vancouver in the early 1900s and probably had enough work lined up to precipitate his move west.

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His connections in Montreal served him well when he moved to Vancouver, as he designed the local Canadian Pacific Railway treasurer, William Ferriman Salsbury’s Mission style mansion located at 1790 Angus Drive in Shaughnessey Heights, Vancouver.  He also was to design mansions for other prominent individuals such as the Hon. Bowser’s (was this the former BC Attorney-General and later Premier in 1915/1916?) mansion on Rockland Avenue in Victoria.

He is listed as the architect of record for the Carter Cotton Building in Vancouver.  It was completed in 1908 and is located at 198 West Hastings Street.  He also did other office towers and commercial buildings around the same time such as the Canada Life Building.

Originally the Carter Cotton Building was used as the offices of the Vancouver Daily News Advertiser which was owned by the extremely interesting Carter Cotton who used this newspaper as a platform to get into politics.  This newspaper later was taken over by the Vancouver Province where the building later served as the Province’s offices.

As stated previously, he also continued his banking architectural commissions, but expanded his practice to include a number of commissions for the Vancouver General Hospital, the Girl’s Industrial School and the Oakalla Prison at Deer Lake, near Burnaby.  He closed out the architectural part of his career in Port Rupert where he designed a movie theatre and the Masonic Temple.

Whether he lived out the rest of his life in the lower BC mainland or moved elsewhere for the remainder of his life is unknown at this time.

Like many architects, he had an interest in art and/or painting, but like many other architects, probably never made much work as much of his creative thought was used in designing buildings.

This work is for sale on behalf of my client.  For more information click here.

setting up the ContainR

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Yesterday afternoon I was in Sunnyside as a work crew was setting up for ContainR.

ContainR is an initiative with a Calgary connection, Nicole Mion.  It started during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  It is also part of the Fluid Movement Arts Festival, which is organized by Springboard Elevating Performance Company.  There are a number of events connected to the Fluid Festival around the city between October 16-26 which mostly take place in theatres and exhibition spaces.

ContainR opens this weekend.  The interesting thing about this event is that they are utilizing shipping containers that are often seen on railcars, trucks and ships.  They have been repurposed for alternative uses.  According to the website, this “festival within a festival” (for lack of a better phrase) is described thus:

  • ContainR is a village of pop-up venues made up of redesigned and repurposed shipping containers. ContainR is a gathering place and urban park with demonstration gardens, local food, kiosks, library, and incubator and experimental work spaces. containR presents events and performances. containR nurtures creative minds, artists, thinkers, growers, and entrepreneurs and builds community.

This Saturday there will be a number of events at their temporary location at 2nd Avenue and 9th Street NW which is about two blocks away from the Sunnyside LRT station.

For those with a creative bent, there is a chair-making competition using hand-tools and prizes given for beauty, comfort, originality and a people’s choice award.  The wood is provided and all that is required is the work to transform the material into something interesting.  Registration takes place on Saturday morning between 7:00-8:00am with judging taking place at 4:00pm.

For more information visit http://springboardperformance.com/containr/#containr-sunnyside