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LENNIE, Beatrice

Nelson, British Columbia, 1905
?, 1987
Biography synopsis
Edith Beatrice Catharine Lennie was born in Nelson, British Columbia in 1905. From 1925 to 1929 she studied different media at the Vancouver School of Art: under F.H. Varley, she studied drawing, composition and painting; design with J.W.G. Macdonald, costume design with Mrs. Sharland; and modeling, anatomy and sculpture under Charles Marega. She attended postgraduate studies at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco. She also took private classes of landscape and portrait drawing under F.H. Varley; lessons in stage design, costume design, scenario and puppetry with Harry Tauber. Although she was recognized for her work in theatre design, she was also a sculptor. She executed significant commissions for the Hotel Vancouver and for the Shaughnessy Military Hospital, also in Vancouver and she also designed 17 stone panels for the exterior of the Lipsett Indian Museum, Hastings Park, Vancouver, among many others. For ten years she was director of the Children’s Saturday Morning Classes at Vancouver Art Gallery. She also taught Sculpture, Theatre Arts and Puppetry with the Extension Department of the University of British Columbia for several summers; at the Special Art Class Crofton House School for seven years, and she was art director for films for National War Finance. In 1948 she held a solo show at The Gables (Arts & Cultural Centre) Vancouver. Her paintings were exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy. She also participated in many important group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada; Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario; the Montreal Art Association; the San Francisco Art Association, the North West Artists Association, Seattle, Washington and elsewhere. She worked for Wright’s Travel Service as a tour guide at Siena, Florence and Rome.
Media used
Vancouver School of Art, 1925 - 1929 (under F.H. Varley, J.W.G. Macdonald, Mrs. Sharland & Charles Marega)
California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco (under Ralph Stackpole, Spencer MacKay, Lee Raldolph & Lucien Labouy)
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
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
Vancouver Public Library, BC - Fine Arts and History Department
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Whistler Archives, BC

Writings about
"Miss Beatrice Lennie, Nelson-Born Sculptor, To Conduct Study Tour." Nelson Daily News 25 Feb. 1961.
"Sculpture and Prints at the Art Gallery." Star (Montreal) (?) Mar. 1935.
"Symbolic Figures To Grace New Hospital." Province (Vancouver) 21 Dec. 1940.
"The Noted Sculptress." CBC Times (Toronto) 2 Jul. 1950.
Davies, Ann. The Logic of Ecstacy: Canadian Mystical Painting. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.
Elder, Alan and Ian Thom, ed. A Modern Life: Art and Design in British Columbia, 1945-1960. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2003.
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.
Palette. "In the Realm of Art - City Sculptor's Work Shows Human Aspect." Province (Vancouver) 18 Nov. 1950.
Palette. "In The Realm of Art - Vancouver Sculptor's Work on Display Soon." Province (Vancouver) 8 Apr. 1948.
Richardson, Letia et al. First Class: Four Graduates from the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, 1929: Lilias Farley, Irene Hoffar Reid, Beatrice Lennie, Vera Weatherbie. Vancouver: Floating Curatorial Gallery, Women in Focus, 1987.
Thornton, Mildred Valley. "Sculptors Art on Display." Vancouver Sun 1 May 1948.
Tippett, Maria. By a Lady. Toronto: Viking, 1992.
Tippett, Maria. Contemporaries of Emily Carr. Burnaby: Simon Fraser Art Gallery, 1974.
Vancouver Art Gallery. 75 Years of Collecting: Vancouver Art Gallery, curated by Grant Arnold, Bruce Grenville and Ian Thom. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 2006.
Vancouver Art Gallery. A Modern Life. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery and Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004.
Vancouver Art Gallery. Beatrice Lennie. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1948.
Vancouver Art Gallery. Do You Own a Contemporary Painting? Annual Exhibition Organized by the Women's Auxiliary to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancouver: 1960.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
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) "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) "Sculpture and Prints at the Art Gallery."  Montreal Star  April 11, 1935.  p.26.   Full-text pdf

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