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Kirn, Scotland, 1889
Carleton Place, Ontario, 1971
Biography synopsis
Though perhaps best known for her teaching and administrative capacities, Ina Uhthoff was also an accomplished painter and draughtsman. Raised in Glasgow in a wealthy, cultured family, she attended the Glasgow School of Art and, after graduation, became a high school art teacher. While in Scotland, her work was shown at the Royal Scottish Academy. She immigrated to Canada with her two children in 1913, living in the area of the Kootenays in British Columbia for several years. In 1926, she moved to Victoria and established a teaching studio. Eager to bring new artists to Victoria, Uhthoff joined Emily Carr in sponsoring a course to be given by Seattle painter Mark Tobey in 1929. Her own classes were so successful that she eventually opened The Victoria School of Art, where she taught nearly all of the subjects offered. Through her teaching she endeavoured to open the minds of her students and allow them to see beyond realism to formalism and abstraction, although she only periodically experimented with these styles in her own work. Although Uhthoff was forced to close the school at the beginning of World War II, she continued to offer private art lessons until 1951, in addition to teaching a government-commissioned correspondence course. In 1945, she took on the responsibility of running The Little Centre, a small public gallery, which became The Arts Centre of Greater Victoria a year later (now the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria). She continued to serve on the Board of Directors and as a member of the Exhibitions and Accessions Committee into the 1960s, while writing a regular art criticism column in the "Daily Colonist," a Victoria newspaper. Although she continually endorsed abstract art, her own most successful works are her portraits and those which engage with the physical landscape of British Columbia. Uhthoff exhibited frequently with the British Columbia Society of Artists and at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
Media used
Glasgow School of Art, ? - 1912 (under Maurice Grieffenhagen, R.A.)
Private study (under Mark Tobey)
British Columbia Society of Artists, 1945
Royal Society of Arts, 1936
File & Archive locations
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit - Arts Branch
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Edmonton Art Gallery, AB - Library
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Vancouver Public Library, BC - Fine Arts and History Department

Writings about
"'Glacier and Moraine' by Ina D. Uhthoff." Victoria Daily Times 23 Oct. 1948.
"At Opening of Painting Exhibit." Victoria Times 5 Sept. 1944.
"Local Artist with Contribution." Victoria Daily Times 24 Nov. 1950.
"Victoria Artist's Exhibit to Aid Red Cross." Victoria Times-Colonist 27 Aug. 1944.
Amos, Robert. "AGGV Aims For Many Tastes." Times-Colonist (Victoria) 20 Sept. 2001: D6.
Amos, Robert. "Fairbairn: Forgotten Artist." Times-Colonist (Victoria) 6 Jun. 2002: D8.
Appleton, Marion Brymner, ed. Who's Who in Northwest Art: A Directory of Persons in the Pacific Northwest Working in the Media of Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Arts, and Handicrafts. Seattle: Frank McCaffrey, 1941.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Printmaking in British Columbia, 1889-1983. Victoria: 1983.
Corry, Arthur. "One Man Show at Gallery Reflects Belief in Nature." Victoria Times 7 Apr. 1962.
deVooght Galleries. Ina D. D. Uhthoff [retrospective exhibition]. deVooght Galleries, ?.
Francis, Daniel. Encyclopedia of British Columbia. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2000.
Funke, Betty Gordon. Tweed Curtain Pioneers. Victoria: Trafford Publishing, 2006.
Graham, Colin. "Fine Uhthoff Exhibition Calls for Second Look." Victoria Colonist ? 1962.
Graham, Colin D. Ina D.D. Uhthoff: Memorial Exhibition. Victoria: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1972.
Howarth, Glenn. "Artist, Educator, Organizer." Victoria Times 4 Mar. 1972.
Johnson-Dean, Christina. The Life and Art of Ina D. D. Uhthoff Salt Spring Island, B.C.: Mother Tongue Pub., 2012.
Muehlenbachs, Lelde. "Show Has Historic Value: Uhthoff's watercolors most expressive." Edmonton Journal 18 Mar. 1980.
The Gallery. Ina Uhthoff (1889-1971): The Early Years. Saskatoon: The Gallery, 1990.
Udall, Sharyn. Carr, O'Keeffe, Kahlo: Places of Their Own. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
Westbridge, Anthony R. The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction. Vancouver: Westbridge Publications, 2001.

Writings by
Uhthoff, Ina D. D. "Art Gallery - Smaller Work Sincere." Daily Colonist (Victoria) 15 Jun. 1967.
Uhthoff, Ina D. D. "At the Art Gallery: Past Recalled In Collection By Portraitist." Times-Colonist (Victoria) 22 Nov. 1959.
Uhthoff, Ina D. D. "At the Gallery - Clock Goes Back for Newton Show." Victoria Colonist 24 Aug. 1965.
Uhthoff, Ina D. D. "Brilliant 'Totemic' Artist Unique Amongst Painters." Times Colonist (Victoria) 22 Jul. 1962.
Uhthoff, Ina D. D. "How Many Know? Fine U.S. Painter Lives Unnoticed in Victoria." Times Colonist (Victoria) 29 May 1959.
Uhthoff, Ina D. D. "Some Emily Carr Paintings Now on Display First Time." Daily Colonist (Victoria) 7 Jul. 1954.
Uhthoff, Ina D. D. "Victoria's Margaret Peterson Wins Place in Famed Show." Times Colonist (Victoria) 2 May 1961.

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