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BOBAK, Molly Lamb

Vancouver, B.C., 1922
Fredericton, NB, 2014
Biography synopsis
Molly Joan Lamb Bobak was born on 25 February 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied art at the Vancouver School of Art from 1938-1941 with Jack Shadbolt and Charles Scott. In 1942 she joined the Canadian Women's Army Corps and became the first Canadian female war artist in 1945; she painted in this capacity at Aldershot, Britain, and later in Holland. Of her experiences she wrote an article entitled "I Love the Army" and was quoted as saying, "It was the humanity I tried to capture in my paintings." On her return to Canada in 1946 she married Bruno Bobak and together they moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick. In 1950-51 Bobak painted in France after receiving a scholarship from the French government and in 1960-61 she returned to Europe on a Canada Council grant. By 1973 she had become a member of the Royal Canadian Academy. Bobak's paintings are in many collections around the world but she is also an accomplished illustrator and teacher. She has worked for many national and provincial arts organizations such as the National Film Board of Canada and as well has served on the National Gallery's Ottawa Advisory Board. She resides in Fredericton.
Vancouver School of Art, 1938 - 1941 (under Jack Shadbolt, Charles H. Scott)
Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, 1946
Canadian Society of Graphic Art, 1952
Canadian Group of Painters, 1957
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, 1973
File & Archive locations
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
National Art Library, UK - Victoria and Albert Museum
University of British Columbia - Rare Books and Special Collections
University of New Brunswick - Archives and Special Collections Department
University of British Columbia Archives
Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, ON
Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, QC
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
Toronto Reference Library, ON
University of Calgary Library, AB
Artexte Information Centre, QC - Documentation Centre
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
London Public Library, ON
Vancouver Public Library, BC - Fine Arts and History Department
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit - Arts Branch
British Columbia Archives
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Library, FL

Writings about
Molly Lamb Bobak, RCA, OC: Retrospective Loan Exhibition Montreal: Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, 2014.
"A Loyalist Bastion Bathed in Light - Molly Bobak's Fredericton." Globe and Mail 10 Apr. 1982: E5.
"Art on Parade." Times Colonist (Victoria) 7 Apr. 1995: 1.
"Molly Lamb Bobak." Canadian Art 18.1 (Jan. 1961): 14-15.
"War Through the Eyes of Two Artists." Ottawa Citizen 5 Oct. 1998: B3.
Allain, Marei-Helene & Ian G. Lumsden. Vision 20/20: Marie-Helene Allain, Bruno Bobak, Molly Lamb Bobak ...: Gallery 78, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fredericton, New Brunswick: Gallery 78, 1996.
Amos, Robert. "Artist Broke New Ground in the War." Times Colonist (Victoria) 4 Mar. 2004: D4.
Amos, Robert. "The Girlish Spirit of Art." Times Colonist (Victoria) 10 Oct. 1999.
Amos, Robert. "The Simple Forms of Molly Lamb Bobak." Times Colonist (Victoria) 29 Oct. 2000: B12.
Anderson, Donna. "Author Unlocks Wartime Vault for Service Woman's Art, Diary." Vancouver Sun 7 Nov. 1992: E2.
Baele, Nancy. "Man, Wife Offer Contrasting Approach." Ottawa Citizen 1 Nov. 1985: D7.
Baele, Nancy. "War Artist's Sketches Reveal Irreverent Eye." Ottawa Citizen 15 Nov. 1992: D2.
Bauer, Nancy. "Molly Lamb Bobak, a Painter of Silent Space." ArtsAtlantic 9.1 (1989): 35-38.
Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Molly Lamb Bobak. Fredericton, New Brunswick: Beaverbrook Art Gallery, ?.
Beaverbrook Art Gallery. New Brunswick Collects = le Nouveau-Brunswick Collectionee: Gary H. Stairs & Janet Stairs. 2005.
Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Nine New Brunswick Artists = Neuf Artistes du Nouveau Brunswick / A Travelling Exhibition Organized and Circulated in New Brunswick by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton. 1973.
Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Un Choix Personnel: La Collection de Roy L. Heenan/A Personal Choice: The Roy L. Heenan Collection. 2007.
Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Watercolours by Molly Lamb Bobak. Fredericton: Beaverbrook Art Gallery, 1971.
Bentley, Allen. "Molly Lamb Bobak and Hugh MacKinnon: Stained-Glass Windows: Class of 1936." Arts Atlantic 10.1 (Spring-Summer, 1990): 19-2.
Boutilier, Alicia & Tobi Bruce. The Artist Herself : Self-portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists / L'artiste elle-même : autoportraits de femmes artistes au Canada. Kingston, ONT.: Agnes Etherinton Art Centre. Hamilton: Art Gallery Hamilton, 2015.
Centre Culturel Canadien (Paris, France). Le paysage Candien: Collection Firestone / Exposition Organisee par la Fondation du patrimoine Ontarien. Place unknown: Publisher unknown, 1984.
Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery. Molly Lamb Bobak. London: Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery (Great Britain), 1968.
Composing Room. "Robert Amost - Visual Art - Bobak Impresses, Inspires." Times Colonist (Victoria) 12 Aug. 1995: 1.
Conde, Valerie. "Official Army Woman Artist." Windsor Daily Star 25 Aug. 1945.
Donaldson, Marjory, & Molly Lamb Bobak. Molly Lamb Bobak's New Silkscreen Print, the Ball. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick Art Centre, 1988.
Donovan, Stewart L. The Molly Poems & Highland Elegies. Wreck Cove, Nova Scotia: Breton Books, 2005.
Farr, Dorothy and Luckyj, Natalie. From Women's Eyes: Women Painters in Canada. Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1975.
Fleisher, Pat. "Atlantic Provinces Journal." ArtMagazine (Canada) 7.25 (Mar. 1976): 21-36.
Fleming, Marnie, curator; Essays by M. Fleming & A. Sears. Is There a There There? Place unknown: Publisher unknown, 2007.
Foss, Brian & Cindy Richmond. Molly Lamb Bobak: A Retrospective. Regina: MacKenzie Art Gallery, 1993.
Fulford, Robert. "Molly Lamb Bobak." Canadian Art 18.1 (Jan-Feb. 1961): 14-15.
Gard, Peter. "Molly L. Bobak: A Retrospective. Memorial University Art Gallery. St. John's." Arts Atlantic 13.3 (Winter 1995): 9-10.
Gewurtz, Michelle. Molly Lamb Bobak: Life & Work. Toronto: Art Canada Institute/Institut de l'Art Canadien, 2018
Giles, Linda & George Woodcock. "Painting, Painting ..." Vie des Arts 44.176 (Autumn 1999): 85.
Gillis, Raina-Clair. "Artistic Impressions of War." Canadian Military Journal 6.3 (Autumn 2005): 75-80.
Gossage, Carolyn. Carolyn Gossage Fonds 1969-2002.
Grant, Brigid. "An Interview with Molly Lamb Bobak." Arts Atlantic 13.3 (Winter 1995) 36-39.
Heller, Jules and Nancy. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Garland, 1995.
Hubbard, R. H. The National Gallery of Canada Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. Ottawa: Published for the Trustees by University of Toronto Press, 1957.
Jasmin, Claude. "Canadian Group of Painters, ou plusieurs peintres du Canada tout...anglais?" La Presse (Montreal) 30 Nov. 1963: 22.
Jensen, Philip. "'As Only a Girl Could See It': The War Art of Molly Lamb Bobak. (First Woman to be Officially Designated as a Canadian War Artist (World War II))." Beaver: Exploring Canada's History 83.5 (Nov. 2003): 8-14.
Koninklijk Nederlands Leger - en Wapenmuseum Generaal Hoefer. Victory Parade 1990.
Kritzwiser, Kay. "Lamb Shares a Passion with Ferdinand the Bull." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 27 Nov. 1978: 13.
Larocque, Yves. La Peinture Militaire Canadienne de la Deuxieme Guerre Mondiale. Montreal: University of Montreal, 1986.
Lorenzo Society, University of New Brunswick. Molly Bobak / Bernard Safran Saint John, New Brunswick: Community Cable Council, 1983.
Lumsden, Ian Gordon. "Bobak, Molly Joan." The Canadian Encyclopedia Toronto: Historical Foundation of Canada, 2001.
MacDonald, Colin S. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009.
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.
Mersereau, Bob. "Just to Live Here and Be Friends: Fredericton's Two Bobak Artists." Atlantic Insight 10.3 (Mar. 1988): 13-17.
Murray, Joan. "Interview with Molly Lamb Bobak." Canadian Collector 13.5 (Sept-Oct. 1978): 102-103.
Musiol, Marie-Jeanne, et al. "Amnesie Internationale." Vie des Arts 158 (Spring 1995): 10-35.
National Gallery of Canada. Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture: Canadian School. Ottawa: Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, 1957.
National Gallery of Canada. Cowley, Bobak. Organized and Circulated by the National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1964.
New Brunswick Museum. 1963 Exhibition of Paintings by Molly Lamb and Bruce Bobak of Fredericton. Place unknown: Publisher unknown, 1963.
Nowlan, Alden. "Learning About the Bobaks: Notes on Two Personal, Confessional Artists." Toronto Saturday Night 90.5 (Oct. 1975): 23-28.
Nowlan, Alden. "Molly Bobak: A Gift for Finding Joy." Atlantic Insight 3 (Nov. 1981): 72-74.
Oliver, Dean F. & Laura Brandon, foreword J.L. Granatstein. Canvas of War: Painting the Canadian Experience, 1914 to 1945. Vancouver, Ottawa, Hull: Douglas & McIntyre; Can. War Museum; Museum of Civilization, 2001.
Paquin, Nycole. "Aquarelles de Molly Lamb Bobak: un Art de Prestidigitation." Vie des Arts 32.103 (Mar. 1988): 56-58.
Pfeiffer, Dorothy. "Women Artists' Work On View." Gazette (Montreal) 9 Apr. 1960.
Prakash, A. K. Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women's Art. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books, 2008.
Robertson, Heather, ed. A Terrible Beauty: The Art of Canada at War. Toronto: J. Lorimer, 1977.
Rola, Monika. "Oh, What a Lovely War: Artist Molly Lamb Bobak." Homemaker's (Nov. 2000): 16-17.
Ross, Malcolm Mackenzie. The Arts in Canada: A Stock-Taking at Mid-Century. Toronto: Macmillan, 1959.
Scott, Melanie. "War's Enduring Artistic Legacy." Ottawa Citizen 11 Feb. 2000: E1.
Shadbolt, Doris. "Molly and Bruno Bobak." Canadian Art 9.3 (Spring 1952): 122-126.
Shadbolt, Jack. Jack Shadbolt Fonds. 1934-1990.
Smith, Stuart A. "Molly Lamb Bobak." Canadian Art 22.5 (Nov-Dec. 1965): 36-37.
Stratford Festival, Ontario. Ten West Coast Painters... : the Art of Emily Carr. London: Hunter Printing London Ltd., 1960.
Tippett, Maria. By a Lady. Toronto: Viking, 1992.
Tousley, Nancy. "Retrospective: MacKenzie Art Gallery; Regina, Saskatchewan; Traveling Exhibit." Canadian Art 10 (Winter 1993): 15.
Trepanier, Esther, Gemey Kelly and Emily Falvey. Full Space: Modern Art from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art/Plein Espace: l'Art Moderne de la Collection Firestone d'Art Canadien. Ottawa: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2004.
Tuele, Nicholas. British Columbia Women Artists, 1885-1985. Victoria: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1985.
University of New Brunswick Art Centre. Bruno Bobak: From the University Collection / Molly Lamb Bobak: From the University Collection. Place unknown: Publisher unknown, 1979.
University of New Brunswick Art Centre. Themes of Molly Lamb Bobak Place unknown: University of New Brunswick Art Centre, 1979.
Woloschuk, Michael. "Canada's War Art Comes Out From the Cold." Ottawa Citizen 6 Mar. 1997: A5.

Writings by
Bobak, Molly Lamb. Lamb's Drawings are Published in "New World" / A Visit to Toronto, August 30, 1943. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 2003.
Bobak, Molly Lamb. Molly Lamb Bobak 1970.
Bobak, Molly Lamb. Molly Lamb Bobak Slide Collection. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 2003.
Bobak, Molly Lamb. The Queen Comes to New Brunswick: Paintings and Drawings by Molly Lamb Bobak. Fredericton, New Brunswick: Beaverbrook Art Gallery, 1977.
Bobak, Molly Lamb. Wild Flowers of Canada: Impressions and Sketches of a Field Artist. Toronto: Pagurian Press, 1978, 44.
Bobak, Molly Lamb. "I Love the Army." Canadian Art 2.4 (Apr. 1945): 147-149.
Bobak, Molly Lamb. "Leisure to Paint." Canadian Art 16.2 (May 1959): 101-107, 147.
Bobak, Molly Lamb & Carolyn Gossage, ed. Double Duty: Sketches and Diaries of Molly Lamb Bobak, Canadian War Artist. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1992.
Fitch, Sheree, illustrations by Molly Lamb Bobak. Merry-Go-Day Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1991.
Fitch, Sheree, illustrations by Molly Lamb Bobak. Toes in My Nose and Other Poems. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1991.
Itani, Frances, illustrations by Molly Lamb Bobak. Linger by the Sea. Fredericton, New Brunswick: Brunswick Press, 1979.
Scoones, Anny; illustrations by Molly Lamb & Bruce Bobak. Home: Tales of a Heritage Farm. Sidney, British Columbia: Hedgerow Press, 2004.

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