Early 20th century Canadian art has a fascinating and intertwining past, which is explored and discovered through guest curator Robert Amos’ exhibition Harold Mortimer- Lamb: The Art Lover at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV). The exhibit explores the life and activities of photographer, writer, painter, art patron, promoter and collector, Harold Mortimer-Lamb (Amos, Print, 2). He was a man of many parts in Canadian Art and this exhibit explores his influence by utilizing artworks and writings from Harold and Vera Mortimer-Lambs’ estate of over one hundred and ninety two pieces donated to the AGGV in 1978. Over two hundred and sixty of his photographs were donated to BC Archives some of which Amos includes in the exhibit. The exhibit also borrowed from the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), and Mortimer-Lamb’s daughter’s, Molly Lamb-Bobak’s collection. Since the donation of the Mortimer-Lambs’ estate, Robert Amos has been dedicated to researching his story and as a result, this exhibition, as well as the book of the same name, has graced the world.
The exhibition features Mortimer-Lamb’s photographs and paintings, and works by the many artists in his life. The exhibit takes a chronological approach to Mortimer-Lamb’s life beginning with his 1889 arrival to British Columbia from Surrey, England and his involvement with the BC and Canadian Mining Institute to his final years as a husband and painter. Amos begins with Mortimer- Lamb’s first Pictorial photographs of his daughter Dolly in the early 1900s. These photographs, specifically Dolly, around 1905, helped to form his status as the leading “artistic photographer” in Canada (Amos, Exhibit Panel, Dolly, around 1905...
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...enowned artists. By including pieces from outside Mortimer- Lamb’s collection, like Varley’s Vera from the NGC, Amos emphasizes Mortimer-Lamb’s prominence within Canadian art, as he is associated with such iconic images. Through his balanced and extensive survey of the activities, collection and works of this remarkable man, Amos brings Mortimer- Lamb the status of importance he deserves and provides a detailed history of the Canadian art world of the 20th century.
Amos, Robert. Harold Mortimer-Lamb: the art lover. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC. Exhibit. 18 February 2014.
Amos, Robert. Harold Mortimer- Lamb: the art lover. Victoria, BC: TouchWood Editions, 2013. Print.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. “Harold Mortimer-Lamb “The Art Lover” by Robert Amos”. YouTube. ExhibitVic, 16 December 2013. Web. 18 February 2014.
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