A New Painting Sheds Light on Another

The book entitled A Legacy of Adventure and Art: The Life of Miss Edith Fanny Kirk is finished and on sale in the Galt Museum & Archives Store. The exhibit with the story of Miss Kirk’s adventures and art is open at the Galt Museum & Archives until October 12, 2015 – but the saga of research into Miss Edith Kirk’s life continues. Just a few weeks ago a new painting came to light. It was retrieved from a storage box and brought into the museum.

The Galt has a painting on exhibit that Miss Kirk painted for her own pleasure – she signed it For Myself. The location of the scene is not identified but it has a West Coast quality to it. Blue-grey ocean waters are framed by a rocky, forested shoreline and a magnificent snow capped mountain range stretches along the distant shore.

In 1908 Victoria Daily Colonist newspaper article about the area proudly stated, “painting is well represented by Miss Kirk, an English artist with South Kensington training. Miss Kirk is not only clever with her brush and pencil, but is also a thoroughly qualified teacher with the gift of imparting her knowledge to her pupils in landscape and freehand.”

The newly discovered painting, showed a definite resemblance to the Galt’s coastal painting. Below Kirk’s signature are two lines of words. The letters are hard to read but with a magnifying glass, focused light, and several people looking closely one is able to decipher, “Nanaimo, B.C.” in the first line. The second line is more challenging but Galt’s team eventually made out the word “copyright.”

When Miss Kirk was unable to travel extensively, she turned to her previous paintings to relive memories of her past adventures. The word “copyright” is an indication that she had the right to copy the painting because the original was her work.

ArticleWendy AitkensComment