Klinkhoff Remembers 45 Years with the Beaver Hall Women
On May 20, 1964, just before departing for her summer retreat at Strawberry Hill, Nora Collyer wrote to Walter Klinkhoff: “This is just to thank you for having the exhibition of my paintings, and to acknowledge the cheque for $683…”. The Nora Collyer exhibition at Klinkhoff ran from April 20 to May 2, 1964. At that time, prices ranged from $90 for a small panel to $420 for the largest canvas. In ’64, even at these modest prices, paintings by the Beaver Hall artists were difficult to sell.
In addition to selling the occasional painting by these artists, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff also promoted them with it’s annual non-selling exhibitions, the first dedicated to one of the Beaver Hall women taking place in June of 1976 in honour of Kathleen Morris, an event that the artist attended. Then, in 1980, the gallery hosted a retrospective exhibition to celebrate Prudence Heward, one of the great Canadian artists of her generation. This was followed by retrospectives for Ethel Seath (1987), Mabel Lockerby (1989), Sarah Robertson (1991), Anne Savage (1992), Lilias Torrance Newton (1995), a second for Kathleen Morris (2003) and two for the group as a collective (1999 & 2007).
Those who follow the Canadian art market will know that much has changed in the forty-five years since this first exhibition. In response to these and other efforts, the demand for works by these artists has soared. While paintings by Collyer and her peers become increasingly scarce, they generate ever more excitement in the marketplace. In the 1964 Nora Collyer exhibition, “Wayside Cross, Cap-a-l’Aigle”, 1946, retailed for $115. Showcasing the modernist tendencies of the period, it is a superbly simplified and rhythmic rendering of the Canadian environment, which today represents an astute purchase at $20,000.
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff is proud to celebrate the forty-five years since its first exhibition for one one of the Beaver Hall women by publishing a complete compilation of recollections, which can now be found on our Beaver Hall Group page.