Author Tags: Art

Written as a friendly appreciation of the character of Emily Carr (d. 1945), rather than her life, Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher's retrospective m.e. A Portrait of Emily Carr (1969) was described by reviewer Ian McNairn in BC Studies (Summer 1972) as "charming, easy-to-read, well-written." It contains edited versions of 20 letters written by Carr to her friend. The University of Victoria provides Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher scholarships to undergraduate or graduate female students registered in pre-medicine disciplines.

As the first biographical study of Emily Carr, this book was republished in 2014 by Mother Tongue Publishing with an introduction by Susan Crean, author of The Laughing One: A Journey to Emily Carr, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award and won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize in 2001. That book was the basis for The Winds of Heaven, a documentary film by Michael Ostroff (2010). Mother Tongue provided the following description of Hembroff-Schleicher:

"Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher grew up in Victoria, not far from Emily Carr’s home. It was not until Edythe returned from studying art in France that the women met. At first wary of this somewhat intimidating individual, she soon warmed to Emily’s generous personality and bright mind. They spent long evenings together, hooking rugs, painting and talking about books, art and life in general. They also took several sketching trips together that proved both enjoyable and productive.

"Till the end of her life, Edythe was an ardent promoter of Emily—both as an artist and a writer—and was responsible for fanning the fire of her fame. This newly designed edition contains illustrations by Edythe, photos, edited versions of 20 letters Emily wrote to her, plus a new letter from Edythe to Emily. The cover painting of Emily is by Edythe Hembroff- Schleicher

"Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher (1906-1994) was a sophisticated, spirited and classically educated artist, researcher, feminist and writer, known as Emily Carr’s only sketching partner and B.C.’s Special Consultant on the now famous artist. Edythe grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, and studied at the California School of Fine Arts and in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and André Lhote’s studio. Upon returning to Canada in 1930, Edythe met and became good friends with Emily. Edythe is also the author of Emily Carr: The Untold Story (Hancock House, 1978). Edythe’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the University of Victoria Legacy Art Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the BC Archives. The Life and Art of Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher by Christina Johnson-Dean, #6 in the Unheralded Artists of BC series, was published in 2013 by Mother Tongue Publishing."

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
m.e. A Portrayal of Emily Carr

Also Christine Johhson-Dean entry.


Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher. m.e. A Portrait of Emily Carr (Toronto: Clark Irwin, 1969; reprint: Mother Tongue Pub. 2014 Introduction by Susan Crean).

Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher. Emily Carr: The Untold Story (Hancock House Publishing, 1978).


The Life and Art of Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher (Mother Tongue 2013) by Christina Johnson-Dean; Introduction by Kerry Mason.
#6 in the Unheralded Artists of BC series. 978-1-896949-27-7; $34.95

[BCBW 2014] "Art" "Carr"

Edythe Hembroff (1906-1994)

Known mainly as a sketching partner and later special consultant of Emily Carr, Edythe Hembroff was also a painter writer and translator. Though born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Edythe spent most of her young years growing up near Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria and holidaying at nearby Cordova Bay. Trained in painting and drawing by the Island Arts and Crafts Society’s traditionalist Margaret Kitto, Edythe attended Victoria High School before embarking on serious art training at the California School of Arts and Crafts and then the California School of Fine Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a female colleague, Edythe focused her study of art on painting in Paris, France. In addition, she took French lessons and traveled widely in continental Europe and England. Upon her return to Canada, she met Emily Carr with whom she experienced well-documented sketching trips. She exhibited with the B.C. Society of Artists and the Annual Exhibition of Northwest Artists in Seattle, winning second place in 1930. Edythe and her first husband, Frederick Brand, a Mathematics professor at UBC, helped promote an appreciation of Carr’s work through exhibitions and instigating the purchase of Carr’s “Kispiox Village” by the provincial government. With World War II Edythe moved Ottawa, where she became a translator for POW mail and then with the Secretary of State Censorship Bureau. Her marriage to Frederick Brand became a “casualty of war”, and in 1951 Edythe married Julius Schleicher, her supervisor at the Censorship Bureau, and upon retirement they moved to Victoria. The Hembroff-Schleichers traveled extensively in Europe and frequently visited family and friends, especially in California. Edythe resumed painting, but her skill at researching and writing came to occupy most of her time; her main focus was serving as Special Consultant on Emily Carr for the provincial government, writing two books about Carr, organizing a re-creation of the Island Arts and Crafts Society’s “Modern Room” 1932 exhibit, and writing articles about their contemporaries in the British Columbia arts community.

SUMMARY from Public Collections: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Vancouver Art Gallery, BC Archives