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Category: Fine Arts, Canada

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Soon after their appearance in the 1840's, stamps became the focus of collectors. They developed a life of their own, apart from their official role on letters and parcels. Canada's first stamp, the Three penny Beaver, designed by Sandford Fleming, was printed in 1851. Thirteen years later, Canada's first philatelic pamphlet, The Stamp Collector's Record, was published in Montreal, only a year after a similar one in England. Stamp collecting's appeal is universal. With a vast array of stamps available, collectors tend to narrow their scope to specific categories-concentrating for example on stamps with certain themes, or from particular countries. Governments try to tempt collectors (and generate revenue) by issuing a host of stamps and stamps sets.

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251 reads

Kabuki is a performing art that combines music, dance, pantomime, song, drama and comedy. In the early 1600s kabuki emerged from traditional Japanese classical theatre and puppet show traditions, incorporating elements of both.

While classical plays are quiet, refined and slow-paced, kabuki is full of spirited action and outsized emotions. Kabuki plays portray characters from Japanese history, legend and folk tales. Great heroes, beautiful princesses, evil spirits, loyal retainers, vengeful warriers and benevolent lords populate the stage. These stories have continued to grip the Japanese imagination, embodying as they do the much-valued ideals of loyalty, courage and strength.

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343 reads

 Foreword The Group of Seven style of painting captured the rhythm and mood of the nation???s landscape. From Algonquin to Algoma, Lake Superior to the Rocky Mountains, Quebec to Nova Scotia, the artists traveled in search of the quintessential Canadian landscape painting. Armed with canoes, boards and paints, they interpreted the chaotic mass of nature in a bold, modern approach that differed from the Academic convention. To finance their expeditions, many of the artists worked in commercial art firms, designing illustrations, advertisements and elegant illuminated texts.

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235 reads

Pictures came before books, printing or writing, and were our first expression of stories. The Canadian artist Marie Day celebrated the power of cave art in her picture book Quennu and the Cave Bear , an imaginative recreation of how a young girl of the Stone Age conquered her fear of a ferocious cave bear by drawing him. The Stone Age makes a fitting start to an exhibition celebrating Canadian picture books, within which there are no boundaries of place or time. In chronological terms, the earliest painting in this exhibit is 42, the latest, only three years old. The earliest artefact shown here is nearly 3,000 years old, and the story of Quennu depicts a period over 20,000 years ago.

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Introduction The 19 th century was a period of expansion and development in Canadian history. The century brought unprecedented change, from the Union of Upper and Lower Canada and the Confederation of the Canadian colonies, to the establishment of the western provinces. Fortifications and other military structures were erected and roads and railway networks constructed, ushering in waves of immigration as colonization and settlement pushed westward. In its wake the face of the Canadian landscape was altered, and to some extent the vast wilderness was diminished. In the era before the camera, artists, surveyors and engineers preserved on paper and canvas a record of the landscape.

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272 reads

Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. Very little is known about his early life, but he evidently learned the rudiments of his craft by age eighteen, left his native Prague at age twenty, and likely studied in Frankfurt under Matthaus Merian. His first book of etchings was published in 1635 in Cologne when Hollar was twenty-eight. The following year he came to the attention of the renowned art collector the Earl of Arundel who was making an official visit to the continent, and Hollar subsequently became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He remained in England during the beginning of the English Civil War period, but left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects.

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258 reads

This collection features approximately 4500 full page plates and other significant illustrations of human anatomy selected from the Jason A. Hannah and Academy of Medicine collections in the history of medicine at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. Each illustration has been fully indexed using medical subject headings (MeSH), and techniques of illustration, artists, and engravers have been identified whenever possible. There are ninety-five individual titles represented, ranging in date from 1522 to 1867.

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AGNES CHAMBERLIN In addition to the original paintings the Chamberlin digital collection also includes early editions of Canadian Wild Flowers and two editions of Studies of Plant Life. The story of how Canadian Wild Flowers came to be published is a fascinating one and throws considerable light on the state of publishing in Canada at the time, as well as on the determination and talent of Agnes herself. When her husband died in 1865 Agnes was left with very limited means, and set to work to supply illustrations for thirty of the flowers described in Mrs. Traill's manuscript, depicting them in ten groupings. Having secured five hundred subscribers for the work, she then found there was no lithographer in Toronto willing to undertake the printing.

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357 reads

About FADIS FADIS (Fine Art Digital Imaging System) is a content management system designed for the teaching, studying and researching of art, architecture and visual culture. FADIS combines the digital management of electronic resources with a courseware system and provides an intuitive interface that reflects higher educational teaching needs. The goal of FADIS is the creation of a shared common repository amongst participating institutions. FADIS is currently free to any participating institution contributing content to the collection.

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391 reads

This was the background leading to the founding in 1965 of the Vancouver based Alcuin Society. The chief aims of the Society are “to further the interests of book collectors and to promote a wider appreciation of fine books…”. To that end the Society provides a wide range of book oriented activities, including since 1981 an annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The Society continues to flourish. The Society’s From Hand to Hand: A Gathering of the Book Arts in British Columbia… (1986) is a very useful introductory although dated directory of British Columbia fine printing and book arts. The 1970s were important to the British Columbia fine private press/typography scene.

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9,327 reads