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Manitoba History: Shifting Memories, Shifting Meanings: The Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1919-1930

by Eric Story
Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

Number 82, Fall 2016

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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“You might have had the finest collection of Canadian pictures in Canada,” wrote A. Y. Jackson, leader of the famed Group of Seven, in a letter to A. W. Cameron, principal of Saskatoon’s Nutana Collegiate, in November 1926. Cameron had earlier sent Jackson a letter, presumably asking if the famous Canadian artist would be willing to sell one of his canvases to the collegiate’s memorial art gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jackson replied stiffly, “… I have not the slightest desire to be represented in your collection.” [1] Jackson was not yet finished. Believing strongly in the new modernist movement within the Canadian art scene, he saw works of the traditional school as unappealing, unsatisfying, and ultimately, underwhelming. Believing the paintings of the Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery to be a product of the latter school, he wrote, “It is uniformly dull and looks like a collection formed between 1900 and 1907 instead of the past seven stirring years in Canadian art.” [2]

Jackson and Cameron’s exchange reflects the contested nature of the Great War’s memory in Canada during the 1920s. This essay seeks to unpack and examine these competing strands of memory through an exploration of the meanings and memories in the Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery elicited in its various audiences. Opened in 1909, Nutana Collegiate was the first high school built in Saskatoon, and served as the city’s only secondary school until Bedford Road Collegiate was constructed in 1922. The idea of a memorial art gallery at Nutana Collegiate was conceived sometime after the conclusion of the Great War in November 1918, and the school’s announcement that it was acquiring paintings was made four months later in March 1919. From its outset, Nutana planned to acquire twenty-nine paintings, with each serving as an individual memorial to each of the twenty-nine students of the collegiate who enlisted, fought and eventually died in the Great War. However, the meanings behind the Memorial Art Gallery would not remain unchanged. The memories the Gallery evoked were constantly evolving, shaped by the passage of time, a growing consciousness of a regional identity, and the varying audiences that interacted with them. This essay explores the history of the Gallery, including the motivations behind its establishment, the decisions its leaders made, and how the Gallery’s audiences perceived it. In exploring a memorial in a local community, this paper offers insight into the popular memory of the Great War in the 1920s, through a gallery that was initially a war memorial, but eventually evolved into a multi-faceted cultural object. It also reveals the competing strands of memory evident in this decade, and the tensions between what the organizers of the Gallery wanted it to represent, and what those who interacted with it saw of the paintings and the Gallery as a whole.

The cultural impact of the Great War remains contested. Some insist that the war marked a break with the past: the days of chivalry and heroism gave way to a more modern view, driven by memories of gruesome death and disillusionment. A new language recounting the horrors of the Great War resonated in the works of writers and poets such as Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves. This modernist interpretation of the war is often associated with the publication of Paul Fussell’s book in 1975, The Great War and Modern Memory. [3] It dominated historiographical discussions into the 1990s until such historians as Jay Winter in Britain and Jonathan Vance in Canada challenged Fussell’s conclusions. Both scholars insisted that western countries viewed the war in more traditional terms. [4] Arguing that those proponents of Fussell’s interpretation focussed too heavily on the prolific disillusionment writers, Winter and Vance instead looked at the “inept novelist, the bad versifier, and talentless essayist” in order to comprehend how the masses understood the conflict. [5] Because the war resulted in such upheaval, in such widespread death and destruction, Winter and Vance insisted, many people yearned for something familiar, and, as a result, embraced traditional forms of symbolism and images of religion, chivalry and honour.

Since the mid-1990s, the historiography has favoured the traditional school, seeing modern art and literature as having less of an impact on the general population. [6] Most recently, historian Steven Trout, addressing Winter’s call to historians to understand the Great War not as a divide between tradition and modernity, but rather an ongoing dialogue, wrote a monograph on the American memory of the Great War. Trout finds the collective memory to be more complicated than a singular interpretation of the past. [7] In looking specifically at war memorials, he argues that the old found expression in the new, and the new borrowed much from the old. Trout sought out a fusion of both traditional and modern elements of memory. [8] In utilizing a unique set of both public and private sources, this essay calls for historians to understand the modernist and traditional interpretations of the war’s memory not solely as opposing forces. Following Trout’s lead, scholars should instead seek to understand that many sought meaning in both modernity and tradition.

Saskatoon’s Nutana Collegiate was known as the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute until 1923.

Saskatoon’s Nutana Collegiate was known as the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute until 1923.
Source: Saskatoon Public Library, Local History Room, PH-96-31-2.

Origins

Canada, after four long years of battle, lost over 61,000 of its men, dead, while another 172,000 returned home with a war-related disability. An additional 15,000 were diagnosed with shell-shock. [9] For a Dominion with a population of only eight million people, such losses and injuries had a deep impact. With the decision that soldiers’ bodies would not be repatriated home, families with lost loved ones had no place to mourn. As a result, communities across Canada began to erect memorials at a rapid rate, affording some consolation to families who were not given an opportunity to visit their loved ones’ graves. [10]

The most common form of memorial was the municipal cenotaph. Many cities modelled their memorials after Sir Edwin Lutyen’s cenotaph at White Hall in London, England, while others took a unique approach. According to Jonathan Vance, however, all communities had to decide whether their local memorial would be aesthetic or utilitarian. [11] Those who supported the aesthetic model believed memorials should serve a singular purpose: memorializing the dead. On the other hand, proponents of the utilitarian vision simultaneously viewed memorials as a means of advancing their respective communities: the fallen soldiers would remain visible to the public eye in a forward-looking manner rather than solely as an aesthetic commemoration of the past.

At the beginning of March 1919, a debate ensued in the Saskatoon Phoenix newspaper about a suitable memorial to Saskatoon’s soldiers, whose bodies lay overseas. On 4 March, editor Charles Smith wrote about the efforts across Canada to “commemorate the valor and achievements” of its soldiers. He urged that Saskatonians do the same: “Locally,” the editorial read, “we should make sure that nothing nondescript, nothing commonplace shall be tagged ‘memorial.’” [12] Smith preferred the utilitarian model, urging that Saskatoon erect a memorial hospital, which “would be instrumental in alleviating pain, healing the sick and restoring the maimed to their former place of independence and usefulness.” [13] The following day, Dr. Ernest Myers, the “leading physician in the city,” endorsed the idea, and by 11 March, the Saskatoon Phoenix had received praise from citizens around the city and outside. Such strong support from the Saskatoon citizenry was not surprising, as it reflected the “Saskatoon spirit” that had been observable in the city in the years leading up to the Great War. [14] This “spirit” represented the attitude of municipal boosters, who hoped to see the city progress into a western metropolis. A modern facility with X-rays, surgical wards and pathology units appealed to those who still thought Saskatoon was going to grow into one of the biggest cities in the country. Indeed, as Smith wrote in a 19 March editorial, “Saskatoon, an important and growing city in itself, the centre of a great country, must provide hospital room and equipment in keeping with its position.” [15]

Not all believed a hospital was the right choice. On 22 March, the first substantive protest against erecting a memorial hospital was heard at the Great War Veterans Association (GWVA) meeting in Saskatoon. It would be disingenuous, declared the critics, for the city’s war memorial to take the form of a hospital, for the city, in any case, desperately needed a new and improved medical facility. [16] Instead, the members of the GWVA suggested a civic centre or library as a more appropriate monument to the dead. On 27 March, James Alexander Aikin, an early Saskatoon business leader, voiced his disapproval of both the memorial hospital and the civic centre, believing “the social utility element might obtrude itself too prominently in both plans, a thing not to be desired.” [17] Alternatively, he recommended a memorial library, with “Records as complete as possible … on the war activities of Saskatoon men and women.” The library board would also be responsible for “securing a strong representation of the best books on the Great War.” [18]

The debate that ensued in Saskatoon about a desirable war memorial reveals the tensions visible at the time between civic boosterism and memorialization. Saskatoon was growing steadily before the war, and there was a tendency amongst its business leaders to assume that 11 November 1918 would mark the return of prosperity. But the war and the sacrifices Canadians made in Europe lingered too large in the public’s mind. Many, particularly veterans, felt strongly that a utilitarian, business-centric memorial structure was simply an inappropriate reminder of the men who would never return home. Whatever structure was built, it had to place the memory of the fallen soldiers first; any other benefits derived from such a memorial would have to be secondary. [19]

Amidst this debate, Saskatoon’s Nutana Collegiate (called the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute until 1923) struck a compromise. [20] On 29 March 1919, Principal Alfred J. Pyke announced that the school had established a memorial art gallery, and was actively pursuing works of art by Canadian artists. [21] Of all the potential memorials, though, why a gallery of art? The answer is found in the success of the First World War Canadian War Memorials Fund’s art collection. Conceived in 1916, the Fund commissioned over a hundred artists of different nationalities to paint nearly one thousand works of art by war’s end. On 4 January 1919, an exhibition of the Fund’s war art was showcased at Burlington House in London, which was widely publicized. In the same month, the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) decided to sponsor a scheme that would bring eighteen prints of the Fund’s war art to local schools around the country for display. [22] Many Saskatonians would have known of the Fund’s work, as there was a local IODE chapter in Saskatoon, which would have participated in the art sponsorship. Saskatonians, as a result, certainly had been exposed to art as memorial at least a few months before Principal Pyke’s announcement. Pyke was also involved in the local art scene, meaning he would have been more receptive to a memorial of paintings. [23]

Pyke and the gallery’s organizers understood early that the Memorial Art Gallery would be simultaneously aesthetic and utilitarian. Pyke wrote in a letter to one of the earliest contributing artists, Frederic M. Bell-Smith,

When deciding on this form of memorial, the students were actuated by several motives among which might be mentioned, a desire to formulate interest in Art among the boys and girls, attending this school, to encourage, in a small way, our Canadian artists, by purchasing their pictures, and to provide a medium through which the spirit of the fallen boys might function in the building of our nation, by stimulating our boys and girls to a richer and deeper meaning of education and citizenship. [24]

Pyke’s awareness that the First World War Canadian War Memorials Fund was a product of many nationalities, not just Canadian, can explain his insistence on a strictly national gallery. [25] Nonetheless, from the outset, the Gallery held multiple meanings. It was not a cenotaph, nor a tower nor clock, representing a singular goal of memorialization. The lifeblood of this memorial, according to its organizers, was located not only in its remembrance, but in its promise of better education, stronger citizens, and therefore, a brighter future.

This language was common in the post-war period, particularly within the secondary school system. Modern high school was seen as an integral part of the post-war nation-building programme. The collegiate was a place to teach youth respectable values of the middle-class and prepare them for post-graduate life, so they could lead productive and meaningful lives when they arrived in the workforce. [26] The importance of instilling these values into the first generation to come of age after the Great War was even more essential given the heavy tolls Canada sustained from 1914 to 1918. After losing 61,000 men in the war, many Canadians felt the need to ensure these deaths were not without meaning. [27] According to a columnist in the 1920 student yearbook at Nutana Collegiate, “[The] students … through these [secondary] institutions … are capable of wrestling with the bigger tasks which they must meet. To such men and women the world will owe its future welfare.” [28] So as not to relive the horrors of 1914 to 1918, each student, through the education system, had to be given the tools that he needed to “bring his influence to bear upon the course of world affairs.” [29] Since, in 1919, it was the only secondary school in Saskatoon, Nutana Collegiate was the sole institution in the city in which to mold the minds of the young. It thus had an integral role to play in commemorating its war dead. The announcement of the Memorial Art Gallery was a signal that Nutana Collegiate was honouring its fallen men, while at the same time making sure that the post-war generation understood its forebears’ sacrifices. In doing so, this generation would become a fundamental component of the nation-building years of post-1918.

Fundraising and the Privilege of Place

Before the Collegiate began to acquire pieces of art, however, it needed money. Particularly in the early years of the gallery’s acquisitions, the students shouldered the majority of the costs, while the School Board of Trustees subsidized the remainder. A joint stock company was created, with shares sold at fifty cents each. The student executive of the Literary Society directed the company, under the trusteeship of the Board of Trustees. [30] Students could buy shares, so that they and other contributors jointly owned the paintings themselves. According to Pyke, the hope was that such a company would be a “student enterprise,” so as to create a sense of “student community.” [31] In one sense, Pyke succeeded, for a community of four thousand students purchased stock in the company. [32] Although one must be careful not to conclude that these numbers represent student enthusiasm in the Gallery, there was a culture of giving within the Nutana community during the immediate post-war period. Just as families were asked to sacrifice during the Great War, the same was asked of them in the interwar years when it came to honouring the dead. If a person declined, as local businessman and community leader John Cairns told the citizens of Saskatoon in a January 1919 speech, he or she might be accused of “sit[ting] tight with [his or her] hands folded … wait[ing] for the good old times to come again.” [33] In a Collegiate newsletter circulated to Nutana students in May 1924, an editorial took a subtle jab at those who had not purchased a share in the company: It is “hardly possible to conceive of a pupil going through three to four years of collegiate life and not wishing to support this movement and be part owner of these pictures,” the author wrote. [34] This culture of giving was as much voluntary as it was coercive. Clearly, the language of patriotism so prevalent during the intra-war years had carried over into the interwar period.

All of the funds Nutana Collegiate raised were placed in the Memorial Art Gallery Fund. Two student groups became regular contributors to the Fund: the Pauline Club and the NNS Club. The former was a female operetta group, staging multiple shows annually in Saskatoon and contributing a percentage of their proceeds to the Fund. In 1919, it donated $150, and another $200 in 1924. [35] By the final year of art acquisitions, the Pauline Club was still contributing funds to the gallery. [36] The NNS Club—or Non Nobis Solum—was the second student-group donor. Formed in 1915, the NNS Club was a women’s group initially hoping to “serve the school and country” during wartime. Although it certainly raised less money than the Pauline Club, it too gave to the gallery: ten dollars’ worth of shares in the joint-stock company were purchased in 1919. [37] On Field Day in 1927, it donated the proceeds it made from serving tea and selling Nutana memorabilia to the public. [38] Aside from these two groups, both male and female students raised funds through babysitting, washing dishes and laundry, sawing wood and selling papers. [39]

As the paintings were acquired, piece by piece, year by year, they were hung in Nutana’s auditorium on the top floor of the school. Although there is no explicit indication as to why they were located where they were, the ‘place’ of the auditorium within modern Canadian high schools provides some answers. It was a gathering spot for the institution’s population, where its leaders would communicate to the student body, and instill in them school spirit and the respectable values of EuroCanadian society. [40] When the paintings were situated in this daily gathering place for the student population to see, they became attached to the daily ritual of inculcating in the adolescent minds the values and norms of acceptable societal behaviour. Thus, the Gallery had an integral role to play in what Eric Hobsbawm terms the “invented tradition” of daily auditorium gatherings. [41] In locating the Gallery within the auditorium, the paintings became a small part of Canada’s nation-building exercise that was to prove the Great War was fought for something important.

Youth’s exposure to these paintings, however, was limited. Although historian Cynthia Comacchio concedes that the post-war years in Canada saw a rise in the number of working-class children attending secondary schools, those children of the managerial class remained a clear majority among high school attendees. [42] Further, given Nutana Collegiate’s status as the only high school in Saskatoon until 1922, it was considered, like many others across Canada, a place where the minds of the affluent were cultivated for a post-secondary education. In the case of Saskatoon, this education would eventually have taken place at the University of Saskatchewan. [43] The Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery, consequently, had a very strong class component attached to it. The community who mourned the deaths of the men commemorated by each of the Gallery’s paintings would have been of the middleor upper-class. The indoor location of the memorial also meant that fewer members of the public would have seen, or been aware of, it. The Gallery held meaning to a selective and privileged community within Saskatoon––those of the affluent class with access to higher pay and education.

Early Acquisitions and the 1923 Shift

Immediately after his announcement, Pyke contacted an old friend and amateur artist from London, Ontario, David Wilkie, who had taught life-drawing at the local technical school. He soon became Pyke’s art liaison and, in 1919, helped acquire the first six paintings of the Memorial Art Gallery’s collection. [44] Wilkie’s motivations in acquiring these pieces of art are unclear, although he wrote later to Pyke that the paintings were “of a style that any studant [sic] would be safe in following.” [45] Being a teacher himself, Wilkie was speaking from an educator’s perspective. How these paintings were received at the Collegiate is more clear: in an art catalogue the Collegiate published, the paintings were described as “beautiful.” Five of the six paintings were of the landscape, showcasing the pristine and picturesque beauty of nature, which the committee of the catalogue made sure to emphasize. [46] William Greason’s October is a vibrant landscape of autumn in Ontario with the reds, yellows, oranges, greens and blues yet untouched by the brittle winds of winter. Even the sole winter landscape–– Harry Britton’s March Thaw in Ontario––is unthreatening. The river is calm and the sunset can be seen on the tips of the tree branches. In these early acquisitions, nature is depicted as unthreatening, and therefore, conquerable. The paintings communicated a message of serenity and hope to its audiences, which is exactly what Nutana needed after losing twenty-nine men in the war.

A second quality in the early acquisitions of the Memorial Art Gallery’s paintings was an intentional avoidance of the grim realities of the war. While these paintings were to be hung in an art gallery dedicated to men who died in the war, they did not depict the loss of life. In avoiding the ghastly aspects of war, these paintings allowed viewers to reflect on the beauty of nature, rather than the horrors of modern warfare. As art historian Laura Brandon says, “War brought discomfort: the land, and its enduring stability, a kind of cultural comfort.” [47] The organizers of the Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery understood the ambivalence among Canadians towards attempts to depict the war in its true, brutal form, and instead sought works depicting the landscape.

Wilkie died suddenly in January 1920, leaving Principal Pyke to contact artists directly. It was the first step in the maturation process of acquiring art at Nutana. Between 1920 and 1922, Pyke wrote a formulaic letter to various painters, explaining the origins of the gallery, and asking that they “submit one of [their] best paintings” to the school. [48] The selection process was simple, as it was left to the artist: “… we prefer Canadian subjects for such a school collection, but this is not essential; our regulations merely require original paintings (oil or water) by Canadian artists,” wrote Pyke to a prospective contributing artist. [49] Once the painting––or paintings––had arrived at the Collegiate, a purchasing committee would decide if it––or which one––was appropriate for the Gallery.

Pyke was honest in admitting that the purchasing committee had little knowledge or appreciation of art. Corresponding with Ontario artist Thomas Mitchell in April 1920, the principal naďvely wrote that Nutana’s aim was to “hang good pictures.” He then asked Mitchell what the artist “consider[ed] appropriate paintings for such a collection.” [50] Mitchell responded, writing that the purchasing committee should seek to “acquir[e] significant works”: they should have “a real reason for having been done; and on the other hand avoid the merely superficially pretty.” In these early years of acquisitions, Pyke and the purchasing committee had little control over the shape of the gallery.

This would change in 1923. In one of his final acts as principal of Nutana Collegiate, before resigning and taking up a position in the Mathematics Department at the University of Saskatchewan, Pyke contacted E. Wyly Grier, an Ontarian artist, about an “excellent” and “unusually interesting picture.” He asked if the artist would be willing to paint a picture entitled Spirit of Youth—that of a young boy of the western prairies. [51] Grier was intrigued and wrote back: “I’m a bit of a boy myself; and, in my youth, played, to the detriment of my scholarship, every game I could get myself into. So you can imagine me as entering with zest into the working of ‘The Spirit of Youth’ as exhibited by a typical young Westerner.” [52] Pyke decided that Jack Cairns, son of previously-mentioned city leader John Cairns, would represent the “Spirit of Youth.” After Grier’s painting had arrived in Saskatoon in fall 1923, the idea arose to purchase a companion painting to Spirit of Youth. After a few months of deliberation, A. W. Cameron, the new Principal of Nutana Collegiate, contacted another Ontarian artist, Marion Long, in March 1924 and asked if she would accept a commission to paint a “companion picture of the same size as the Spirit of Youth, representing a typical Western Canadian Collegiate girl.” [53] She accepted the commission, and in fall 1924, Grier’s Spirit of Youth and Long’s Pauline were hanging side by side in the Collegiate auditorium.

“Spirit of Youth” by Sir Edmund Wyly Grier (1862–1957).

“Spirit of Youth” by Sir Edmund Wyly Grier (1862–1957).
Source: Saskatoon Public Library, Local History Room, CP-8182-18.

These two acquisitions marked a substantive change in the Memorial Art Gallery, spurred onward by the expansion of arts and culture in Saskatoon in the early 1920s. [54] The Saskatchewan Music Festival was revived in the city in 1920, and a local theatre company formed two years later. [55] According to two local historians, however, the most important organization contributing to the local cultural scene at this time was the Saskatoon Arts and Crafts Society, established in 1921. It encouraged, created and showcased traditional crafts, which promoted the idea of an ‘ethnic mosaic’, which some believed to be the true image of Saskatchewan, and its place within Canada. [56] The rise of the local arts and culture scene in Saskatoon began to shift the gallery and the meanings attached to it. The Collegiate, first of all, began to take control of the direction of the Gallery. Beginning in 1923, artists were commissioned and specific paintings were pursued. No longer were artists asked what they thought were most suitable for the Gallery. The second significant change related to the Gallery’s purpose. In the first five years of acquisitions, it was essentially a memorial. In a 1924 catalogue of the gallery, photographs of the fallen soldiers of Nutana were published beside the paintings dedicated to each man. The photographs and accompanying biographies appeared first in the catalogue, followed by the paintings. Clearly, remembering the soldiers, as in the case of the catalogue, was the Gallery’s foremost purpose. Yet in commissioning Grier and Long to paint portraits of Saskatchewan adolescents, the organizers of the gallery recognized the art was slowly superseding the memorial aspect of the Gallery. In his letters to various artists, Cameron began to speak less of the fallen men, and more of expanding the Gallery.

“Pauline” by Marion Long (1882–1970).

“Pauline” by Marion Long (1882–1970).
Source: Saskatoon Public Library, Local History Room, CP-8500-11.

The third and most significant change was a clear attempt to express both local and regional identities through art. In the case of the former, Cameron intended for Long’s and Grier’s paintings to capture the “three important phases” of Nutana’s school activities: academics, sports and what Cameron called “the aesthetic, the ethereal, the social and their love of beauty and purity,” evident in the young female students of the collegiate. [57] Grier’s painting captured the athletic side of Nutana’s student activities, with the young boy’s baseball bat and glove, and, as the 1924 catalogue said of Long’s painting, “the book suggests study, while the face gives a sense of the mental alertness and the sweetness that belongs to young girls.” [58] These companion paintings also serve as examples of the “school spirit” that pervaded modern high school culture postwar. [59] Beneath the young boy’s tie in Spirit is the Nutana Collegiate Institute crest––another demand Cameron had of his artist. In May 1924, Cameron wrote to Grier, criticizing the “sombre” shade of the sky in the painting, and politely asked if he could return it for revisions. He also suggested that “a bit of [the crest] might be shown beneath his flowing tie.” [60] Grier conceded and eventually painted the crest onto the boy’s chest. The crest was symbolic because it identified the young boy as a student of Nutana Collegiate, effectively cementing him in a particular place in time. In regards to how the public responded to the two paintings, Cameron said, “It has captivated the hearts of the students here, not only because of its art but because of a strong personal appeal.” [61]

In expressing a regional identity, the two paintings depict representations of the Saskatchewan landscape. The “typical young Westerner” in Grier’s painting is playing baseball on a slightly rolling plain, with the clouded sky taking up nearly half of the portrait. With the long brownish-green grass brushing the young boy’s soles, this painting was not only intended as a representation of a typical western Canadian boy, but also of a typical western Canadian landscape. Marion Long’s Pauline too showed hints of a regional identity through landscape in her inclusion of poplar trees––a common sight along the riverbanks of the South Saskatchewan River. Situated behind the poplar trees is the river itself. As historian Mark Connelly said of collegiate war memorials, they became representations of the values the institutions hoped to communicate to, and embody in, its students. They also became places of pride. [62] Multiple expressions of identity embodied in the works of the Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery was how it, as an institution, communicated its values, and articulated its pride in sacrifice. Even more importantly, these expressions were marks of modernity, in that the Saskatoon citizenry began to self-identity through representations of the landscape.

These expressions of identity were also deeply embedded in racialized and gendered discourses at the time. The light-pigmented skin of a “typical” western Canadian boy and girl in both Spirit of Youth and Pauline show, as Jonathan Bordo does in his article on how representations of the wilderness in Laurentian school landscape paintings “erased” the human presence, that they were used to expunge any racial or ethnic diversity evident in Saskatchewan. [63] In painting the “typical,” both Grier and Long constructed an identity not only through representations of the landscape and Nutana’s school spirit, but also through racial exclusion. The presence of hats in both paintings––protecting the subjects’ ‘whiteness’ from the sun’s rays––further suggests the preservation of the light skin pigmentation, and thus the Anglo-Saxon race as ‘true’ representations of Saskatchewanian youths. Aside from race, these two paintings attempted to reinforce conservative values concerning the place of male and female adolescents in Canadian society. The emphasis on the young boy’s sportiness was an extension of modern high school’s extracurricular activities, which were designed to instill Victorian values of manliness through work and play. [64] On the other hand, the depiction of the adolescent girl in Pauline as thin and delicate suggests a nurturing, maternal nature. The book she holds, as well as her expression, reveals also a reserved, yet studious young woman. Finally, Principal Cameron’s asking to separate the activities of boys and girls in each painting shows that they were connected only by the school in which they attended. Their activities—as well as their uniforms—divided them by sex.

It must be acknowledged, though, that outsiders, rather than artists from Saskatchewan, were creating many of these local and regional images. Grier and Long were both Ontarians, as were the seventeen other artists who had sold paintings to the gallery since 1919. It would appear that Saskatonians had not yet determined, in artistic terms, how they saw their region, and how they wanted it seen by the rest of the country. For it would not be until the 1930s and even the 1940s before a homegrown art movement began to gain traction in the province, and communicate artistically an identity in Saskatchewan. [65] Nevertheless, by the 1920s, there were signs that Saskatoon’s local art scene was beginning to grow. For the first time, in 1923, the Gallery’s organizers made a concerted effort to purchase works from Saskatchewanian artists. In 1926, A. W. Cameron wrote about his desire to acquire one of Frederick Loveroff’s paintings, “as he made his start in Art in Regina.” [66] After Long’s and Grier’s paintings arrived at Nutana, six of the gallery’s final ten paintings were acquired from artists who had lived in Saskatchewan. Of these six, Emile Walters’ Winter and Augustus Kenderdine’s The Signal captured the Saskatchewan landscape. The former was a winter scene near Wynyard, and the latter, a painting of a First Nations people releasing a signal fire along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. These acquisitions suggest that the organizers of the Memorial Art Gallery were not only attempting to encourage Canadian artists, but also, and especially after 1923, to cultivate local artists’ talents. After 1923, the Gallery became a space where Saskatchewanians expressed who they were (and who they were not), and how they saw themselves.

Motivations, Meanings and the Tradition Versus Modernity Debate

In some ways, the contributing artists’ motivations did not differ from those of the organizers of the Nutana Gallery. Many reduced the price of their paintings as a sign of respect for the fallen men of Nutana. Frederic Bell-Smith, William Greason, Andre Lapine, Charles W. Jefferys and Thomas Greene, all respected artists who appeared in the catalogue of the Ontario Society of Artists in the early 20th century, accepted a reduced payment of fifty per cent for their paintings. [67] Emile Walters also dropped his price in the name of memory. Walters was a young artist, just thirty-one when he made contact with Cameron and the Memorial Art Gallery. He asked that the two canvases he would eventually sell to the Collegiate be dedicated to the Lindal brothers––so that, in his words, “my work may be a contribution to the memorial for the boys.” [68] The brothers were graduates of the Nutana Collegiate, and Walters had met them many years earlier when he had lived in Saskatoon. He “struck up a deep friendship with Jacob [Lindal] keeping in touch with him until he left for War.” He asked that his Saskatchewan Sunset landscape painting be dedicated to Jacob because “it has some of the poetic feeling that was a part of [him].” [69] The purchasing committee rejected the painting, but they did approve a second one he submitted––Apple Blossoms––also dedicated to Jacob.

“The Signal” by Augustus Frederick Lafosse Kenderdine (1870–1947).

“The Signal” by Augustus Frederick Lafosse Kenderdine (1870–1947).
Source: Saskatoon Public Library, Local History Room, CP-8182-20.

The students, too, understood the Gallery as a memorial to the fallen men of Nutana Collegiate. Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz found in their study of university student yearbooks during the interwar period, that universities constrained students in what they chose to write about. Students commented, satirized and poked fun at each other, and even their professors, but they always did so within expected codes and structures of behaviour. [70] These codes were as restrictive in the case of the even younger students writing in Nutana’s yearbooks under the watchful eye of their teachers. As a result, the language used in The Collegiate Hermes yearbooks to describe their perspectives on the Memorial Art Gallery were nearly identical to that of their parents and teachers. [71] There were a few cases, however, where students wrote of the Gallery in unique terms. One student wrote that “… nearly all of us, during a study period in the Auditorium, have turned from a tiresome problem in Geometry to admire the beauty of these pictures.” [72] To this student, the Memorial Art Gallery served as a source of comfort. Yet, it is difficult to ascertain what the Gallery meant to the students of Nutana Collegiate. It is reasonable to suggest, nonetheless, that the students were, at least, aware of it, and understood its importance. For example, in the Christmas 1926 edition of the Hermes, Audrey Gallaway said about her “First Impressions of the N.C.I., … that [t]he long corridors seemed unfriendly and the auditorium, in spite of its pictures, seemed a lonely place.” At the end of her final year, she understood the paintings’ importance: “The pictures in the auditorium are much more significant to us since we realize that they are our Memorial Art Gallery, reminding us of those who fell in the service of our country.” [73]

The Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery completed its acquisitions in November 1927, when it received its final acquisition, Frederick Challener’s Off to Flanders’ Fields. It was a peculiar painting––the only one in the entire gallery to come remotely close to addressing issues related to the Great War itself. It depicted ships sailing Canadian troops overseas to England in preparation for training. Enough time had passed, and the wounds had healed just enough, to allow a faint echo of the war to resonate in the halls of the Collegiate. However, the painting did not depict soldiers fighting on the battlefields. The painful memory of how and where these boys had died was still too strong. The avoidance of the battlefields signified that the memory of the war the organizers attempted to convey in 1919 had remained largely unchanged. The Gallery was trying to communicate a positive, if not idyllic, memory of wartime to its audiences. It is clear that the now complete Gallery tried to evoke a memory of a time before the bitter conflict, so its audiences could forget what hurt them most—that their boys would not be coming home.

On 11 November 1927, Nutana Collegiate held a ceremony to mark the conclusion of acquiring art for the Gallery. University of Saskatchewan President Walter Murray was the keynote speaker. He declared:

Each age has left memorials of what they thought worthy of honour and reverence. The pyramids of Egypt, the temples of Greece, the Cathedrals of the Middle Ages, the music, literature and painting of the Moderns reveal and reflect the highest and best of the thoughts of their time. In the years to come this age will be judged by the memorials which it has left of the services of its sons and daughters … As this collection is added to and becomes not only a memorial of the past but a symbol of the nation’s growth in appreciation of the Beautiful and the Good, its influence will ennoble and refine the lives of the young for generations. [74]

To those in attendance, the Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery was a monument to the school’s war dead. Reta Willard, a journalist from Vancouver who heard of the gallery in late 1926, agreed. She wrote in a column about war memorials, “Some are very beautiful with their magnificent symbolic appeal, but always the coldness of stone or metal leaves only the grim feeling of a monument to death.” The Gallery was different, as it evoked a memory of life. [75]

Although those who contributed to, and interacted with, the Gallery certainly viewed it as a war memorial, the contributing artists understood the paintings that hung in the Collegiate’s auditorium were also works of art. Further, the 1920s saw tensions rise between the modernist and traditional interpretations of art in Canada. The differences between the two schools were articulated in a 1919 article A. Y. Jackson, the leader of the Group of Seven, wrote for the art magazine The Lamps. He found that the Great War had profoundly changed the art profession in Canada. “The four square and the cavalry mass,” he wrote, “so effective in older battle paintings, was gone forever and the open concentration of a modern battle made another interpretation.” [76] Artists were forced to find a new way to paint: many were now striving to “lift art above mere representation.” [77] Yet, the pieces of art that would eventually fill the Memorial Art Gallery at Nutana were mostly examples of the traditional, representationtype paintings that Jackson viewed as outdated. At least a few of the contributing artists were aware of the Gallery’s traditional makeup, and hoped it would offset any modernist tendencies in Canadian art, which they saw as alarming. Harry Britton wrote to Principal Pyke in July 1919, “It seems to me one of our chief duties to the Layman is that of bringing again to his notice the wonders in nature.” [78] These wonders would not be expressed through modernist interpretations. Instead, they would be the peaceful, beautiful and very realistic renderings characteristic of the Edwardian artists. [79] After mailing his painting to Nutana, Britton provided a few other names that he thought “might be over looked in the rush of modernism.” [80] In May 1920, Frederic Bell-Smith wrote of his painting In Northern Waters: “I … hope that it may do some missionary work in helping the extreme modern tendency [of] some young painters.” [81]

The composition of the Nutana Art Gallery actually became a reason for some artists to reject the offers of Cameron and the Collegiate to be represented. At some point in late 1924, Cameron attempted to procure The Pointers from the estate of the famous Canadian artist, Tom Thomson. He received a negative response from James MacCallum, an early patron of Thomson’s who would eventually administer the artist’s estate when he died under mysterious circumstances in 1917. MacCallum described the painting as being a “rather strong diet” for the Gallery. He maintained that Thomson’s colour and style would not fit the frame of Nutana’s current collection. He was certainly not wrong. The radical colour scheme was not like any painting that Nutana held at the time––save perhaps Thomas Mitchell’s The End of the Portage. The Pointers would have been an awkward addition to the gallery. Even more importantly though, MacCallum’s refusal to sell The Pointers demonstrates that the Gallery was more than just a memorial. It was a gallery of art, too, and some did not feel compelled by the spirit of patriotism to perpetuate the memory of fallen Canadian soldiers if the painting was not a proper fit.

“Off to Flanders” by Frederick Sproston Challener (1869–1959).

“Off to Flanders” by Frederick Sproston Challener (1869–1959).
Source: Saskatoon Public Library, Local History Room, CP-8182-18.

Cameron received another negative response from the Group of Seven’s leader himself, A. Y. Jackson. In a rather harsh and scathing letter referred to at the beginning of this article, Jackson told Cameron in November 1926 that he was not interested in being represented in the Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery. [82] He then proceeded to criticize Cameron and the organizers for their selection of art, and wrote, “… as a memorial to men who fought and died you have a collection of pictures with no fight in them.” [83] Jackson’s opinions on the art scene had not changed since he wrote his article for The Lamps in 1919. Clearly, there was an artistic tug-of-war between the traditional and modernist artists during the 1920s playing out beneath the surface of the Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery.

The rising tensions between the two competing schools of art also reveal the contested terrain of how the memory of the war should be portrayed in Canada. Jackson and those of the modernist school were convinced that older art techniques could not adequately represent what post-1918 Canada felt in the wake of such profound loss. Modern art possessed the tools necessary to convey the horror and grief felt throughout Canada. However, as Vance has observed, Jackson’s interpretation was not popular. Many artists believed in the value of utilizing “nineteenthcentury images to describe a twentieth-century war,” as did the general public. [84] Principal Cameron understood this reality, and thus replied to Jackson after receiving his letter: “Those we have chosen may not have any fight in them, but because they are not provocative they may well memorialize the dead.” [85] The organizers of the Nutana Memorial Art Gallery were beyond trying to capture the ‘spirit’ of the trenches, or of the mass grief that permeated Canadian society after the Armistice was declared. They instead chose something familiar––something subtle and uplifting for the masses.

Cameron was conflicted nonetheless. Because the Gallery’s emphasis on memorialization had shifted, after acquiring Spirit of Youth and Pauline in 1923 and 1924, respectively, to one more focussed on art, Cameron saw the traditional composition of the Gallery as unrepresentative of western Canada’s progress. To Jackson he wrote:

[The Gallery’s paintings] are not only expensive but they do not breathe the spirit of the prairie, which is not two-faced like Janus, but looks always in one direction, viz., toward the future … The West is not only progressive but it is aggressive, not hide-bound because of traditions but adventurous and visionary, as witness its United farmer movements, its grain pools, its Union of Churches, its community enterprises.

Cameron hoped that after acquiring the twenty-nine paintings for the memorial aspect of the Gallery, the collection would be extended to include a modern art section. [86] The paintings in the Memorial Art Gallery sufficed as a monument to the dead, but, to Cameron at least, they did not represent the ‘true’ spirit of the western prairies. Cameron was looking to the city’s future. A modern installment would demonstrate the forward-looking nature of the west. Saskatchewan was not a backwater, constantly playing catch-up to eastern Canada; it was a unique place with its own individual interests that looked to its own future. Cameron ended his letter to Jackson with a quote from Proverbs: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” [87] What lay at the heart of Cameron’s vision was what Saskatchewan always wanted to be: an equal player on the national scene, and viewed as such by eastern Canadians.

Outsiders tended to agree with Cameron’s assessment. Saturday Night magazine published a brief article in August 1926 about the Memorial Art Gallery. In it, the Gallery was praised for its “truly representational” portrayal of “many phases of the Canadian scene, both Western and Eastern.” The columnist also made sure to mention the progression of the city up to that time from “open prairie” in the early 20th century. The Gallery was a reflection of that progress. [88] Frank Yeigh, the editor of the Toronto Globe newspaper, in a similar tone, wrote of the Gallery as an example of the “new ideas and methods” filtering out of western Canada. [89] Just prior to Canada’s 60th anniversary in July 1927, Yeigh wrote of it as an example of the “steady growth of the Prairie Provinces.” Yeigh had divided the same column into sections with headings, one of which was titled: “War Memorials.” Interestingly, the Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery was not listed in this section, but rather in the “Educational Progress” one. [90]

By July 1930, one columnist in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix demonstrated that at least someone aside from A. W. Cameron in Saskatoon viewed the Gallery as more than just a memorial. The Gallery’s paintings were on display at the 1930 Saskatoon exhibition. They were described as a “fine assemblage of pictures in a variety of styles, mostly modern in spirit.” [91] These comments stand in sharp contrast to those of the leader of the Group of Seven, who saw the Gallery as outdated. According to those who did not have a background in Canadian art or its history, the Memorial Art Gallery was an example of Saskatoon’s progression into modernity.

Conclusion

The Nutana Collegiate Memorial Art Gallery held various meanings as it evolved. In the early years of art acquisitions between 1919 and 1923, the organizers of the Gallery viewed it as a memorial. The beauty and the peaceful nature of the paintings was evident, which would have appealed to many people who were still nursing fresh wounds from the memories of war. By 1924, however, Principal Cameron and the organizers began to shift the Gallery away from a message of remembrance––emphasizing, instead, the importance of the art itself. In regard to Grier’s Spirit of Youth and Long’s Pauline, these acquisitions represented both a local collegiate identity at Nutana and a regional consciousness through depictions of the western landscape that were inclusive only of the affluent and educated Euro-Canadian community in Saskatoon. When Cameron eventually contacted A. Y. Jackson in late 1926, the latter effectively dismissed the Gallery as traditional and outdated. By this point, the Gallery had become a contested space of traditional and modern interpretations of art in Canada, as well as a struggle between regional representation and Eastern Canadian elitism—the latter expressed chiefly through the works of the Group of Seven.

Student opinions of the Gallery are difficult to determine, as they often echoed the opinions of their teachers and parents. The students were nonetheless aware of the gallery’s presence, and understood its importance. For the general public, the Nutana Memorial Art Gallery held many meanings. On 11 November 1927, it was a memorial to the crowds that attended the ceremony to mark the completion of its acquisitions. Alternative views of the Gallery came from Eastern Canada, and later, even among some Saskatonians, viewing it as representative of western Canada’s progress into modernity since Confederation.

Memorials hold a multiplicity of meanings to their audiences. Scholars, in the future, should approach the memory of the Great War with race, ethnicity, class, gender and age in mind, as these identities impact how a person or a community remembers an event. They should also learn from American historian Steven Trout and do away with the traditional versus modernist dichotomy. To some, the Memorial Art Gallery represented an all-too-traditional means of remembering the war and its victims. To others, it was an indication of the west’s progress, with Saskatoon leading the way. In looking at differing identities and discarding the binary of tradition/modernity, historians can provide more nuanced assessments of the past, and discover new understandings of the Great War’s memory in Canada.

Notes

This paper is an outgrowth from the Tri-Univeristy History Conference in March 2016 at the University of Guelph. The author would like to thank Geoff Hayes, whose feedback enormously strengthened the paper. The author also extends his gratitude to the external reviewer. Research funding was provided by the Manitoba Historical Society.

1. Letter from A. Y. Jackson to A. W. Cameron, 29 November 1926, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, University of Saskatchewan Archives & Special Collections (hereafter, UASC). The binder of letters sent between the collegiate and the contributing artists to the memorial art gallery are available at http://saskhistoryonline.ca/islandora/object/islandora%3A32794.

2. Ibid.

3. Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975.

4. Jay Winter, Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 5.

5. Jonathon F. Vance, Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning and the First World War, Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997, p. 6.

6. George Robb, British Culture & the First World War, 2nd ed., London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, p. 181.

7. Steven Trout, On the Battle of Memory: The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919-1941, Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2010, p. 2.

8. Ibid., pp. 108-109.

9. For veterans’ return home, see Desmond Morton and Glenn Wright, Winning the Second Battle: Canadian Veterans and the Return to Civilian Life, 1915-1930, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987. For the most recent work on shell-shock in Canada, see Mark Humphries, “War’s Long Shadow: Masculinity, Medicine, and the Gendered Politics of Trauma, 1914-1939,” Canadian Historical Review 91, no. 3 (2010): 503-531.

10. Vance, Death So Noble, p. 202.

11. Ibid, pp. 204-205.

12. Charles Smith, “Problem of a Suitable Memorial,” Saskatoon Phoenix, 4 March 1919.

13. Ibid.

14. John Cairns used it in his speech, “J. F. Cairns’ Big Message.” It is also used in Don Kerr and Stan Hanson, Saskatoon: The First Half-Century, Edmonton: NeWest Publishers, 1982, pp. 45, 70.

15. “A Memorial Hospital,” Saskatoon Phoenix, 19 March 1919.

16. “Hot Debate on War Memorial at G. W. V. A. Meet,” Saskatoon Phoenix, 22 March 1919. The GWVA was a powerful veteran lobbyist group formed in 1917. It held the most influence amongst the various veteran organizations across the country, until it, and a number of others, merged in 1925 to form the Canadian Legion.

17. “Saskatoon’s War Memorial,” Saskatoon Daily Star, 27 March 1919.

18. Ibid.

19. Charles Smith, in his initial editorial, warned against a memorial that was “exclusively utilitarian”. Smith, “Problem.”

20. To avoid confusion, I have decided to use “Nutana Collegiate” throughout this essay, despite it being named “Saskatoon Collegiate Institute” until 1923.

21. “Collegiate Will Honor Students Killed in War,” Saskatoon Daily Star, 29 March 1919.

22. Vance, Death So Noble, p. 240.

23. On 22 March, another suggestion was made for art as memorial in Saskatoon, at the GWVA meeting. It was hoped that “pictures of stirring deeds in the epic struggle would depict, through the beauty of art, the greatest objects for which the men had fallen and died.” It was suggested that these pictures hang in a local library. “Hot Debate.”

24. Letter from A. J. Pyke to F. M. Bell-Smith, 15 April 1920, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, University of Saskatchewan Archives & Special Collections (hereafter, UASC).

25. Unlike the Australian context, where it was insisted that its war art be painted strictly by Australians, many different nationalities contributed to Canada’s war art programme. Margaret Hutchinson, “A Record for Posterity: Commemorating the Great War in Australian and Canadian Official War Art,” Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries: 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, Ottawa, Ontario, 14-17 April 2016

26. Cynthia R. Comacchio, The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada, 1920 to 1950, Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006, p. 101.

27. See Vance, Death So Noble, pp. 35-72, 136.

28. The Collegiate Hermes, 1920, Saskatoon: Students of the Collegiate Institute, 1920, p. 14, LH STOR, Saskatoon Public Library, Local History Room (hereafter, LHR)

29. Ibid.

30. The Collegiate Hermes, 1919, Saskatoon: Students of the Collegiate Institute, 1919, pp. 48-49, LHR.

31. Letter from Alfred J. Pyke to Mr. Mitchell, 9 July 1920, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

32. H. M., “The Memorial Art Gallery,” The Memorial Art Gallery, 1924, LH-613, LHR.

33. “J. F. Cairns.”

34. “Editorial,” The Salt Shaker 3, no. 6 (30 May 1924): 1, Box 7 – Salt Shaker 1923-1932, Nutana Archives Room.

35. The Collegiate Hermes, 1919, p. 41; “Memorial Art Gallery Funds: 1924 Receipts,” Box 21 – Memorial Art Gallery History, Nutana Archives Room.

36. The Collegiate Hermes, 1926, LH STOR, LHR.

37. The Collegiate Hermes, 1919, p. 37.

38. The Collegiate Hermes, June 1927, p. 44, LH STOR, LHR.

39. “Saskatoon Recalls Sacrifices of War: Fine Art Gallery for Students Who Fell is Dedicated,” Saskatoon Phoenix, 12 November, 1927.

40. Comacchio, The Dominion of Youth, p. 115.

41. Eric Hobsbawm, Invention of Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

42. Ibid, p. 106.

43. Thirteen of the twenty-nine who died from Nutana Collegiate during the war were also either current students or alumni of the University of Saskatchewan. See University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee, “U of S Great War Database,” RememberUS, accessed 18 August 2016, http://greatwar.usask.ca/names?page=browsename&field=kdw&search=HR.

44. Don Kerr, “Nutana Memorial Art Collection,” Saskatoon History Review 23 (2010): 19.

45. Letter from David Wilkie to Alfred J. Pyke, 5 June 1919, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

46. The Memorial Art Gallery, 1924.

47. Brandon, Art or Memorial?, p. 23.

48. Letter from A. J. Pyke to F. M. Bell-Smith, 15 April 1920; Letter from Principal Saskatoon Collegiate Institute to Mr. Thomas W. Mitchell, 16 April 1920; Letter from Principal to Mr. Homer Watson, 8 March 1922; Letter from A. J. Pyke to Mr. Archibald Browne, 10 March 1922, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

49. Ibid.

50. Letter from Principal Saskatoon Collegiate Institute to Mr. Thomas W. Mitchell, 16 April 1920; Letter from Thomas W. Mitchell to A. J. Pyke, 26 April 1920, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

51. Letter from E. Wyly Grier to Alfred J. Pyke, 10 April 1923, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

52. Ibid.

53. Letter from Principal to Miss Marion Long, 13 March 1924, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

54. See Kerr and Hanson, Saskatoon, pp. 267-275.

55. Ibid., pp. 267-268.

56. Ibid., p. 268.

57. Cameron wrote Grier of his desire to include the “three important phases” of Nutana school life. Letter from Principal to Mr. E. Wyly Grier, 8 May 1924, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

58. The Memorial Art Gallery, 1924.

59. Comacchio, The Dominion of Youth, p. 115.

60. Letter from Principal to Mr. E. Wyly Grier, 8 May 1924, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

61. Letter from A. W. Cameron to Mr. E. Wyly Grier, 27 June 1923, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

62. For school memorials, see Mark Connelly, The Great War, Memory and Ritual: Commemoration in the City and East London, 1916–1939, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 2002, pp. 81-91.

63. Jonathan Bordo, “Jack Pine – Wilderness Sublime or the Erasure of the Aboriginal Presence from the Landscape,” Journal of Canadian Studies 27, no. 4 (1992): pp. 98-128.

64. Comacchio, Dominion of Youth, pp. 113-14.

65. Kerr and Hanson, Saskatoon, p. 268.

66. Letter from A. W. Cameron to Fred S. Haines, 8 December 1926, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

67. See Letter from Charles W. Jefferys to Mr. A. J. Pyke, 17 July 1920; F. M. Bell-Smith to A. J. Pyke, 24 April 1920, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC; Letter from T. G. Greene to Alfred J. Pyke, 26 April 1920; Letter from W. Greason to A. J. Pyke, 18 April 1919, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

68. Letter from Emile Walters to Mr. Cameron, 29 December 1924, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

69. Letter from Emile Walters to Mr. Cameron, 23 February 1925, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

70. E. Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz, “Visual Interpretations, Cartoons, and Caricatures of Student and Youth Cultures in University Yearbooks, 1898-1930,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 19, no. 1 (2008): 195-227.

71. See Gordon Johnson, “Life is Eternity,” The Collegiate Hermes, June 1923, p. 38, LH STOR, LHR; Evelyn Cox, “Our Memorial,” The Collegiate Hermes, June 1923, p. 38, LH STOR, LHR.

72. The Collegiate Hermes, June 1927, p. 40.

73. The Collegiate Hermes, Xmas Number, 1926, p. 37, LH STOR, LHR.

74. Walter Murray, “Nutana Collegiate Memorial,” MG61S1 A. VII, J. E. Murray Papers. UASC.

75. Reta G. Willard, “Prairie School Memorial To War Heroes Takes Form of Canadian Art Gallery,” Vancouver Daily Province, 23 January 1927.

76. A. Y. Jackson, “The War Memorials: A Challenge,” The Lamps, December 1919, p. 76.

77. Ibid., p. 77.

78. Letter from Harry Britton to Alfred J. Pyke, 9 July 1919, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

79. Vance, Death So Noble, p. 206.

80. Letter from Harry Britton to Alfred J. Pyke, 9 July 1919, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

81. Letter from F. M. Bell-Smith to A. J. Pyke, 19 May 1920, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

82. Letter from A. Y. Jackson to A. W. Cameron, 29 November 1926, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

83. Ibid.

84. Vance, Death So Noble, p. 74.

85. Letter from AWC to Mr. A. Y. Jackson, 7 January 1927, Archives Artwork Binder, uncatalogued, UASC.

86. Ibid.

87. Ibid.

88. “Saskatoon’s Memorial Art Gallery,” Saturday Night, 7 August 1926.

89. Frank Yeigh, “A Bystander at the Office Window,” The Globe, 30 September 1926.

90. Frank Yeigh, “Western Canada in Confederation Year,” The Globe, 3 June 1927.

91. “Art Exhibit,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 23 July 1930.

We thank Clara Bachmann for assistance in preparing the online version of this article.

We thank S. Goldsborough for assistance in preparing the online version of this article.

Page revised: 12 November 2020

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