Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Presents the Work of Victorine Kierstead

An exciting new exhibit will be showing in the Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery beginning on Tuesday of next week, July 2nd.  If you stop by the Gallery on Saturday, June 28th the exhibit maybe hanging already.  The Gallery is open 10:00am to 2:00pm on Saturdays, perfect for a visit after the Farmers' Market; Tuesday to Friday 11:00am to 5:00pm.  The reception for the exhibit will be held Thursday July 3rd and is open to everyone.

Victorine Kierstead:  A Lost and Found Exhibit

Having been locked away, hidden for many years, this collection of paintings resurfaced when a Creston resident attended the auction of a storage locker.  We all hear of finding a painting in the attic or some far and forgotten corner but imagine finding a storage locker full of boxes of paintings.   This is what happened to Tracie Truscott’s mother when she attended a sale of the contents of a locker in Creston.  In the boxes she purchased, were over one hundred drawings and paintings by Victorine Kierstead.

 After Tracie approached Cranbrook and District Arts Council with the possibility of an exhibit and sale, several members of the Arts Council became interested in the history of these paintings.  Local genealogist David Humphrey took on the task of tracing the origins of this collection of paintings.

It was known that the paintings had belonged to Ron Brown, also known as, ‘The Bead Man of Crawford Bay’.  Ron Brown died on February 10, 2006 in Creston, BC.  Before obtaining his obituary and with clues from accession forms in the collection of paintings, it was determined that Victorine Kierstead had lived in Toronto during the thirties, forties and fifties.  She was an aunt to Ron Brown and had left no recorded family when she died. She was listed as a teacher by profession, living on Howard Street, Toronto in the voters’ list of 1972. On previous voters’ lists she was listed as an artist and then an art teacher. In the collection of work by her was an accession form to the Ontario Museum of Art at a time when the Group of Seven were frequently showing. Their influence can easily be recognised in her work. 
It is unknown if this painting in the collection is a self portrait

Victorine was actually Alice Victorine Kierstead, born to Victorine Pelland and William Henry Kierstead on August 20th 1913 in Heron Street, Deer Park, Toronto.  Her nephew was Ron Brown of Creston, whose mother was Mildred Kierstead, sister to William and  married to Russell Brown. It appears Victorine was an artist most of her life for along with her extensive collection of work, submission forms for the Toronto Museum of Art, it has also been determined she was a member of the Watercolour Society of Canada. 

The collection of paintings, watercolours, acrylics, silk and block prints is extensive and on loan from owner, Tracie Truscott.  Please see our administrator   Marisa Philips if interested in purchasing any of those works listed ‘For Sale.’

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