Artwork by Anne Douglas Savage,  Landscape with Skeena Mountains, 1927
Thumbnail of Artwork by Anne Douglas Savage,  Landscape with Skeena Mountains, 1927 Thumbnail of Artwork by Anne Douglas Savage,  Landscape with Skeena Mountains, 1927 Thumbnail of Artwork by Anne Douglas Savage,  Landscape with Skeena Mountains, 1927

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Mayberry Fine Art
212 McDermot Ave
Winnipeg MB R3B 0S3
Ph. 1(866)931-8415

Lot #119

Anne Savage
Landscape with Skeena Mountains, 1927

oil on board
initialed on the reverse
9 x 12 in ( 22.9 x 30.5 cm )

Auction Estimate: $20,000.00$15,000.00 - $20,000.00

Estate of the Artist
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal
Kenneth R. Thomson, Toronto
Masters Gallery, Calgary
Private collection
"Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment", McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario; travelling to the Glenbow Museum, Calgary; the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 20 September 2022-20 August 2023
Anne McDougall, "Anne Savage: The Story of a Canadian Painter", Montreal, 1977, page 74
Anna Hudson, 'Anne Savage' in Sarah Milroy, "Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment", Kleinburg, Ontario, 2021, page 52, reproduced page 55 as "Skeena River with Mountains", 1927
In 1927, Anne Savage travelled with the sculptor Florence Wyle and ethnographer Marius Barbeau to the Skeena River district of British Columbia. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, the purpose of the trip was to record the totem poles of the area–Savage with paint and Wyle with plaster. Funding for the project came from Duncan Campbell Scott, Deputy Superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913-1932.

It was a difficult journey. From the train, Savage, Wyle and Barbeau rode on horseback along the edge of the Skeena River to the lodge at Hazelton. The landscape had an impact on Savage, which is exemplified in the rhythmically painted sketches she executed. As Anne McDougall recalls, “They are a collection of small pine boards, 10” x 12”, and show the dusky totems standing against the heavy green-black of the B.C. bush, with turquoise peaks behind. The mountains and pines, although done on a small scale, are monumental in their effect.”

As Anna Hudson shares, “Savage saw life, not extinction, in the world she discovered in the Skeena River Valley. Yet her primary concerns as an artist were always formal. ‘It is not the poetry of subject matter which is the legitimate country of painting,’ Savage argued, ‘it is the artist’s organization of his canvas.’ For Savage’s generation of artists, this organization hinged on the ‘search for essential beauty within reality’, expressed through compositional design. In her joyful renderings of Gitxsan traditional life, Savage captured that beauty.” The Gitxsan people of Skeena River were well known for defending their traditions and territory. Prior to the trip, Savage did not know anything about Barbeau, and soon found that the Gitxsan people were resistant to his totem pole restoration project. His plan was contrary to their traditional practices and beliefs.

The paintings Savage executed from this pivotal trip were displayed, along with the work of other “moderns”, such as Emily Carr, in the 1927 exhibition, "Canadian West Coast Art, Native and Modern" at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Anne Savage valued these Skeena River sketches and kept them together as a complete collection all her life.
Sale Date: May 30th 2024

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Mayberry Fine Art
212 McDermot Ave
Winnipeg MB R3B 0S3
Ph. 1(866)931-8415

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Anne Douglas Savage
(1896 - 1971) Beaver Hall Group, Canadian Group of Painters

Anne Savage was born in Montreal, a descendant on her mother's side, of Sir Alexander Galt, one of Canada's Fathers of Confederation. The family spent summers at Lake Wonish, Quebec, which belonged to the Savage family. In 1914, she began studies at the Art Association of Montreal (later the Montreal Museum of Fine Art), under the direction of William Brymner. She proved to be an excellent student, winning an AAM scholarship in 1915. She was devastated when her twin Brother, Donaldson, was killed in the battle of the Somme in 1916. As twins, they had been very close, sharing each other's hopes and dreams for the future. His death was a defining moment for Anne and she decided that she must now succeed for both of them.

She continued studies at the AAM, exhibiting work in the Spring Exhibition of 1917. AAM director, William Brymner, was President of the Royal Canadian Academy (1909-1918), and Anne was also able to exhibit at the RCA Annual Exhibition the following year. After completing studies at the AAM, she worked for a time as a medical artist in Military hospitals in Montreal and Toronto. She continued to work as a medical artist in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while studying at the Minneapolis School of Design in 1919/20. Returning to Montreal, she became one of the founding members of the Beaver Hall Group. Group of Seven member, A.Y. Jackson was a member of both groups, and she participated in Group of Seven exhibitions. He became a lifelong friend. Although the Beaver Hall Group survived only two years, the women artists of the group formed a strong bond which lasted decades.

In 1922, she began to teach high school art at Baron Byng School. She had not planned to be a teacher, but found that she had an aptitude for it and made it her second career. She developed her own teaching methods based on her belief in the inherent creativity of children. She taught at Baron Byng School until 1948 while pursuing her personal artistic ambitions. She became a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters (1933), and participated in sketching trips with A.Y. Jackson and other artists. Her early experiences at Lake Wonish contributed to her love of landscape painting. She was elected as vice president of the Canadian Group of Painters in 1939.

Throughout the 1940s she often exhibited with other women of the Beaver Hall Group. She received several awards for excellence as an art educator in Quebec, and traveled to Alberta for the summer to teach at the Banff School of Fine Arts. She taught a course in Art Education at McGill Univeristy between 1954 and 1959. During the 1950s, it became more difficult for her and other members of the Beaver Hall "Gang" to be accepted for juried exhibitions at the RCA and the CGP. Portraiture and and landscape painting and representational work in general fell out of favour. She continued to actively pursue painting, however, and exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Her students organized a retrospective exhibition of her work at Sir George Williams University in 1969, two years before her death in Pierrefonds, Quebec in 1971.