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BROWN, Annora

Fort Macleod, Alberta, 1899
Deep Cove, British Columbia, 1987
Biography synopsis
Mary Annora Brown was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta, in 1899. As a young woman she attended the Ontario College of Art where she studied with the Group of Seven members Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald. After completing her studies she began teaching at Mount Royal College, Calgary, in 1929 and returned to Fort MacLeod in 1931. There she did fieldwork in handicrafts for the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta. Between 1945 and 1950, Brown taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Influenced by her studies with members of the Group of Seven at the Ontario College of Art, Brown broke with the conservative nature of art in the region. Working in Fort MacLeod and throughout the foothills, she was influenced by the landscape, people and flowers, that surrounded her. In 1955 Brown published “Old Man’s Garden,” which recorded the legends of the Old Man River and she also illustrated a number of childrens books. As a result of her extensive knowledge of floral life in Alberta, Brown was commissioned by the Glenbow Foundation to create two hundred flower paintings. Throughout her career she exhibited with the Art Association of Montreal, the Canadian Society of Artists, and the Ontario Society of Artists, she was also the first female member of the Alberta Society of Artists. Annora Brown passed away in 1987.
Media used
Graphic design
Ontario College of Art & Design (formerly Ontario School of Art) (under Arthur Lismer; J.E.H. MacDonald)
Alberta Society of Artists
Calgary Sketch Club
File & Archive locations
University of Calgary Library, AB
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
Glenbow Archives, AB - Main Catalogue
University of Alberta Archives
Calgary Public Library, AB - Arts Department
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives, QC
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Trent University Archives, ON

Writings about
"Annora Brown - Noted Artist was Trained by Lismer." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 28 Feb. 1987.
Alderson, Patricia. Annora Brown: Forming a Regionalist Sensibility Calgary, Alberta: University of Calgary, 2005.
Cook, Sharon Anne, et al., eds. Framing Our Past: Canadian Women's History in the 20th Century. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001.
Hunt, J. Doris. "Annora Brown of Fort MacLeod." Canadian Woman Studies 1.3 (1979): 91-93
Hunt, J. Doris. "The Art of Annora Brown AOCA." Canadian Review of Music and Art 3.11-12 (Dec-Jan.) 1944-45: 27-29.
Laviolette, Mary-Beth. A Delicate Art: Artists, Wildflowers and Native Plants of the West. Vancouver: Rocky Mountain Books, 2012.
LaViolette, Mary-Beth. Alberta Mistresses of the Modern, 1935-1975. Edmonton: Art Gallery of Alberta, 2012.
Norbury, F.M.. "Alberta Pictures to Tour Dominion.” Edmonton Journal 07 Jan. 1946: 5.
Render, Lorne E. Glenbow Collects: An Exhibition. Calgary: Glenbow-Alberta Art Gallery, 1969.
Ring House Gallery. Annora Brown - Sketches from Life: An Exhibition Held in Celebration of the Publication of Autobiography. Calgary: Glenbow Museum, 1982.
Rodenburg, Mieke. Two Hundred Wildflowers: Annora Brown’s Botanical Watercolours, Scientific Illustration, and Conservationism in Alberta. Kingston, Ontario: Queen's University, MA thesis, 2017.
Rodenburg, Mieke. "Annora Brown's Alberta Wildflowers." Queens' Quarterly 124.2 (Summer, 2017): 226.
Townshend, Nancy. A History of Art in Alberta, 1905-1970. Calgary, Alberta: Bayeux, 2005.
Wells, Oliver N. and Richard and Marie Wheeden. Edenbank: The History of a Canadian Pioneer Farm. Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2003.
Zimon, Kathy E. Alberta Society of Artists: The First Seventy Years. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2000.

Writings by
Brown, Annora. Flowers of Alberta. Calgary: Glenbow-Alberta Institute, 1974.
Brown, Annora. Old Man's Garden. Ottawa: Algrove, 2000.
Brown, Annora. Sketches from Life. Edmonton: Hurtig, 1981.
Brown, Annora. "Prairie Totems." Canadian Geographical Journal Ottawa: Royal Canadian Geographical Society, 23 (3 Sept 1941): 148-151.
M., Olive and Clara Tyner; Illustrated by Annora Brown. Totem, Tipi and Tumpline : Stories of Canadian Indians. Toronto and Vancouver: J.M. Dent, 1962.
Ricker, Donalda, et al.; illustrated by Annora Brown. Proud Procession: Canadian Parade Readers. Toronto and Vancouver: J.M. Dent and Sons, 1954.
Stephen, Pamela; illustrated by Annora Brown. Winged Canoes at Nootka. Toronto and Vancouver: J.M. Dent, 1955.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 20, 1931) "Art Association 48th Spring Show High In Interest."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 21, 1931.  p.16.   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 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 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 18, 1937) "The Spring Exhibition of the Art Association."  Montreal Star  March 19, 1937.  p.17.   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
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (, November 16, 1939) "Canadian Academy Opens Sixtieth Exhibition."  Montreal Star  November 17, 1939.  p.11.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (, November 16, 1939) "R.C.A. Exhibition Has Private View. Over 300 Works in Galleries of Art Association of Montreal. Standard Maintained."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 17, 1939.  p.5.   Full-text pdf

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