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MAYHEW, Elza Edith Lovitt

Victoria, B.C., 1916
Victoria, B.C., 2004
Biography synopsis
Mayhew (nee Lovitt) received a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1937 and an M.F.A. from the University of Oregon in 1963. Before undertaking graduate studies, she demonstrated an interest in scrap metal arrangements, and studied drawing, painting and sculpture with the Czech born sculptor, Jan Zach from 1955 to 1958. She was recognized for large-scale abstract bronze sculptures, and was commissioned for numerous projects including Expos 67 and 86, the Bank of Canada, and Royal British Columbia Museum. In 1964, she represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. She served on the board of directors for the International Sculpture Center in Kansas from 1968 to 1979 and was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. In 1962, she received the Otto Beit Medal from the Royal Society of British Sculptors. She also received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria in 1989. Her work is included in the collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the National Gallery of Canada, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. Her sculpture Column of the Sea is located at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. Mayhew suffered dementia caused by poisoning by toxins in the styrofoam moulds she used for her sculptures.
Media used
University of British Columbia
University of Oregon, ? - 1963
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
International Sculpture Center
Limners Society
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Edmonton Art Gallery, AB - Library
London Public Library, ON
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Vancouver Public Library, BC - Fine Arts and History Department
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Brock University Library, ON - James A. Gibson Library

Writings about
Canada: XXXII Biennale di Venezia, 1964; Harold Town and Elza Mayhew Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1964
"Display of Sculpture at Expo Purchased by Seagrams'." Montreal Gazette 1 May 1967
"Elza Mayhew." The Times Colonist 15 Jan. 2004
"Well-known Local Artist celebrates 86th Birthday." The Penticton Herald 7 Sep. 1994
Emery, Anthony. "Elza Mayhew." Canadian Art 20.4 1963
McPherson, Hugo. Architecture and Sculpture in Canada Montreal: Le Pavillon du Canada, Expo 67, 1967
Millar, Joyce. The Sculptors' Society of Canada: The First Fifty Years 1928-1978 Montreal, QC: Concordia University thesis, 1992
Skelton, Robin. The Limners Victoria, B.C.: Pharos Press, 1972
Spreitz, Karl. Elza- The Making of The Column of the Sea Victoria, B.C.: ?, 1976
Spreitz, Karl and Anne Mayhew. TIME-MARKERS: The Sculpture of Elza Mayhew I Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria, 1985
Tippett, Maria. Sculpture in Canada: A History. Vancouver, British Columbia: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017
Watts, Richard. "Museum's Sculpture Display a 'Double Legacy' to Late Artist." The Times Colonist 22 Sept. 2016

Writings by
Mayhew, Elza. A Group of Sculptures Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon, thesis, 1963

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