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Artist Database

AITKEN, Melita

Born
Drumbo, Ontario, 1866
Died
Vancouver, British Columbia, 1945
Biography synopsis
Melita Aitken studied under Mary Ella Dignam in Toronto, and under Vanderpoel at the Art Institute of Chicago. In her early career she painted portraits in oils, but later specialized in watercolour flower painting when she discovered the lead in her paints was affecting her health. She was married to Captain Aitken, who was killed in World War I. Aitken then spent a year overseas, and came back to live in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario shortly before moving to Victoria, then Vancouver. Her work was exhibited at the Royal Academy; in London, Ontario in 1931; at the Royal Canadian Academy in from 1931 to 1933; in the Salon des Artists Francais in Paris in 1932 and 1933; and at the Spring shows of the Art Association of Montreal from 1932 to 1943. Aitken was also featured in solo exhibits at the Victoria Art Gallery in 1936, and the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1938.
Media used
Painting
Watercolour
Education
Art Institute of Chicago (under Vanderpoel)
Private study (under Mary Ella Dignam)
Memberships
British Columbia Society of Artists, 1918-1930
Island Arts and Crafts Society
National Association of Women Artists
Women's Art Club, Toronto
File & Archive locations
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: Die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. Leipzig: G. K. Saur, 1992.
"Exhibition by Noted Artist." Gazette (Montreal) 17 Aug. 1936.
"Floral Motif in Pictures." Vancouver Sun 28 Oct. 1938.
"Guide to Canadian Painters." Ontario Library Review Toronto: Provincial Library Service, 24.2 (May 1940): 188.
"L'Academie Royale Canadienne des Arts." Le Devoir (Montreal) 23 Nov. 1933.
"Le 50e Salon du Printemps." Le Devoir (Montreal) 8 Apr. 1933: 2.
"Some Pictures In the Spring Exhibition." Toronto Star 22 Mar. 1935.
"Spring Exhibition of Art Association was Opened on Thursday." Toronto Star 12 Mar. 1933.
"Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montreal." Toronto Star 22 Mar. 1933.
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.
Benezit, Emmanuel. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs. Paris: Librairie Grund, 1976.
Desbiens, Lucien. "Au Salon: L'Academie Royale Canadienne des Arts." Devoir (Montreal) 23 Nov. 1933.
H.P.B. "I.A.A. Opens Exhibition with 300 Canvases." Montreal Daily Star 12 Oct. 1932: 8.
Harper, J. Russell. Early Painters and Engravers in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970.
Hughes, Margaret E. A Guide to Canadian Painters. Toronto: King's Printer, 1940.
Johnson, Jane and A. Greutzer. Dictionary of British Artists, 1880-1940. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1976.
Lemieux, Yves. "Le 50e Salon du Printemps." Le Devoir (Montreal) 8 Apr. 1933.
McKendry, Blake. Dictionary of Folk Artists in Canada: From the 17th Century to the Present. Elginburg: Blake McKendry, 1988.
McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Formerly Art Association of Montreal: Spring Exhibitions, 1880-1970. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988.
McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Royal Canadian Academy of Arts/Académie royale des arts du Canada: Exhibitions and Members 1880-1979. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981.
Petteys, Chris, et al. Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.
Royal Academy of Arts. Exhibitions 1905-1970: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Summer Exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Arts. East Ardsley: EP Publishing, 1982.

Writings by
Aitken, Melita. Maple Grove, and Other Poems. Toronto: Warwick Bros. & Rutter, c. 1920.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 19, 1931) "Canadian Artists Are Well Represented At R.C.A. Exhibition."  Montreal Star  November 20, 1931.  p.19.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 19, 1931) "Wide Range of Art In R.C.A. Exhibition."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 20, 1931.  p.10.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 19, 1931) "Landscapes, Portraits, Water Colors, Sculpture, Viewed at Exhibition of Royal Canadian Academy."  Montreal Star  November 25, 1931.  p.11.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 19, 1931) "Paintings Show Big Advance on Those of Last Exhibition.`"  Standard (Montreal)  December 05, 1931.  p.54.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 17, 1932) "Art Association Has Forty-Ninth Annual Spring Exhibition."  Montreal Star  March 18, 1932.  p.7.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 17, 1932) "Art Association's Spring Exhibition Is 49th of Series. Some Five Hundred Works Greet Invited Guests at Private View."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 18, 1932.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 17, 1932) "Pictures at Art Association Have Wide Variety in Theme."  Montreal Star  March 23, 1932.  p.12.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 16, 1933) "50th Spring Show Opened to Public. Jury Shows Open Mind. From Over 1,000 Entries, 543 Works Representative of Various Schools Have Been Selected."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 17, 1933.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 16, 1933) "Spring Exhibition of Art Association Was Opened on Thursday."  Montreal Star  March 17, 1933.  p.19.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 16, 1933) "Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montreal"  Montreal Star  March 22, 1933.  17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 16, 1933) Yves Lemieux.  "Le 50e Salon du Printemps."  Le Devoir  April 08, 1933.  p.2.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 1933) "Many Artists from Toronto in Royal Academy Showing."  Evening Telegram (Toronto)  November 17, 1933.  p.4.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 1933) Reta W. Myers.  "In the Domain of Art. A Weekly Causerie of Interest to Art Lovers."  Publication Not Verified  November 18, 1933.  p.14.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1935) "Spring Exhibition of Art Association Opened on Thursday."  Montreal Star  March 22, 1935.  p.17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1935) "Nearly 500 Works at Spring Exhibit. Variety in Show at Galleries of Art Association of Montreal. 1,080 Items Submitted. Judges Reveal Open Minds and 52nd Annual Contains Much to Meet Differing Tastes."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 22, 1935.  p.3.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1935) "Some Pictures in the Spring Exhibition."  Montreal Star  March 27, 1935.  p.22.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 19, 1936) "Spring Exhibition on Generous Scale. Show at Art Gallery Opened Last Night Contains 621 Items."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 20, 1936.  p.2.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 19, 1936) "Annual Spring Exhibition at Art Association."  Montreal Star  March 20, 1936.  p.8.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 18, 1937) "Nearly 500 Works at Spring Exhibit. Art Association's 54th Annual Show Opens with Private Views. Judges Open-Minded."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 19, 1937.  p.13,17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 18, 1937) "The Spring Exhibition of the Art Association."  Montreal Star  March 19, 1937.  p.17.   Full-text pdf

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