1916 - 2017
graphite on paper
signed, titled, dated 1936 and inscribed "Exam"
10 3/4 x 9 3/4 in, 27.3 x 24.8 cm
Estimate: $400 - $600 CAD
Collection of Unity Bainbridge
By descent to the collection of Deborah and Richard Ryan, West Vancouver
Karen Tam et. Al., Whose Chinatown? Examining Chinatown Gazes in Art, Archives, and Collections, 2023, Griffin Art Projects, reproduced pages 55 (in situ), 63 and 158, listed page 64.
Griffin Art Projects, Whose Chinatown? Examining Chinatown Gazes in Art, Archives, and Collections, January 29 - May 2, 2021
Born in Victoria in 1916, Unity Bainbridge was one of the early graduates of the Vancouver School of Art, class of 1936. She was classmates with E.J. Hughes, and her instructors included Fred Varley, Jock Macdonald and Charles Scott from whom she learned her lifelong practice of painting directly from life, favouring an unfiltered direct relationship with her subject. Determined to be an artist, she would take the bus from Whytecliffe in West Vancouver to Ambleside and then the ferry to Downtown Vancouver every morning for class.
The subject of this piece is Eugene Bond. Originally from Manchuria, he was a central figure in the early days of the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts and took classes there part time. Eugene was a baker, a commercial artist and most famously a life model for the students studying at the school. He was actively involved in the community and was present during the summer classes on Savary Island where he worked as a cook for the Royal Savary Hotel.
This work is one of four works by Bainbridge included in the 2021 exhibition Whose Chinatown? Examining Chinatown Gazes in Art, Archives, and Collections, curated by Dr. Karen Tam at Griffin Art Projects.
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