Category Archives: Maltwood Collection

Exhibitions that draws from the John and Katherine Maltwood Collection.

Beauty for All: The Arts & Crafts Movement in Europe and North America


posterOctober 3 – January 9, 2016

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown 630 Yates Street

Curated by Holly Cecil

To view the exhibition catalogue, click here.

An exhibition and film project at UVic’s Legacy Art Gallery features work by some of the best-known designers of the time: William Morris, C.R. Ashbee, the Roycroft Workshops, Tiffany Studios, Frank Lloyd Wright, Edward Burne-Jones, and Liberty and Co., all from the nationally recognized permanent collection at the University of Victoria.The exhibition demonstrates founder William Morris’s belief in a return to simplicity, and that beautiful, well- made objects in the home could promote a better life for both the user and the maker:”If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.“- William Morris, 1880.

To check out the Arts and Crafts Movement Film Project, click here

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Magna Mater: Katharine Maltwood and the Arts & Crafts Movement


October 8, 2015 – January 9, 2016

Small Gallery

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown 630 Yates Street

Curated by Caroline Riedel

To view the exhibition catalogue, click here.

In 1911, Katharine Maltwood presented her first critically acclaimed sculpture, commissioned for the Roycroft Institute, one of the most important communal craft workshops of the North American Arts and Crafts Movement. Entitled Magna Mater, this piece was installed on the grounds of their headquarters in East Aurora, New York and was intended as a visual embodiment of the ideals held by some of the major proponents of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

This exhibition investigates the role of the prevailing Arts and Crafts Movement in late 19th century Britain in Maltwood’s art, her research and” discovery” of the Glastonbury Zodiac, her art collecting interests, and subsequently how her bequest defined the collecting priorities of the University of Victoria for the next decade. Indirectly her life’s work helped to build one of the finest Arts and Crafts collections in the country and visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about this highly regarded sculptor’s work.

To check out the Arts and Crafts Movement Film Project, click here

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The Collection at 50: Building the University of Victoria Art Collections

William Percival Weston, Arbutus Shedding Bark
William Percival Weston, Arbutus Shedding Bark

August 29 – November 24, 2012

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Professor Martin Segger and Caroline Riedel

In conjunction with UVic’s 50th anniversary this exhibition, guest curated by former director Martin Segger, celebrates more than five decades of art at the University of Victoria.

The three founding components that underpin today’s University of Victoria Art Collection mark the stages in the institutional establishment of he University itself. The formal development of the Victoria College Art Collection was prompted by the amalgamation of the Victoria Normal School of Victoria College at the Lansdowne campus in 196. The commissioning of public art to enhance new buildings essentially began with construction on the Gordon Head Campus in 1961. The death of Katherine Emma Maltwood in 1961, just two years before issue of the University of Victoria’s letter patent, prompted her husband John to act on her wishes quickly and the Maltwood Art Gallery at Royal Oak passed into the hands of the University in 1964. Each initiative was to determine in its own way the future development of the University’s now 27,000 item art collection.  – Martin Segger (Director and Curator 1973-2011)

Travels and Treasures: The Divine Inspirations of Katharine Maltwood and Treasures of the Turcomans

Turcoman embroidered textile, Iran, 1930s.
Turcoman embroidered textile, Iran, 1930s.

October 5, 2009 – January 30, 2010  March 5, 2010

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

Curated by Bryn Dharmarante and Marnie Malinda Mandel

View the online catalogue:

Travels and Treasures – Catalogue

This exhibition showcases striking Middle Eastern textiles by Turcoman artists and sculpture by Katharine Maltwood. Maltwood’s sculptural work was inspired by her Asian and African travels. Also explore the Japanese influenced botanical illustrations of Elizabeth Duer.

The exhibition complements two views on foreign travel; The Divine Inspirations of Katharine Maltwood focuses on the renowned globetrotter and artist Katharine Maltwood and her travels to Egypt and Japan in the early 20th century. Treasures of the Turcomans exhibits the jewelry and carpets collected from an expedition made through Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in the 1930s.

Katharine Maltwood obtained numerous works of art and was moved by the rich religious histories in the two regions. The show includes photographs and key pieces of sculpture that she acquired while in Egypt and Japan.

Treasures of the Turcomans features The Gastrell Collection of jewelry, textiles and carpets made by nomadic women and acquired by a British diplomat’s family whilst living in Iran and Baluchistan (northern India/Pakistan) during the 1930-40s.

Rebels and Realists: 100 Years of the Victoria Sketch Club

Max Maynard, Whiffen Spit
Max Maynard, Whiffen Spit

March 9 – May 29, 2009

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

Curated by Caroline Riedel

View the online catalogue:

Rebels and Realists – Catalogue

This exhibition celebrates western Canada’s oldest arts organization and features over 50 of the club’s best-known artists including Emily Carr, Josephine Crease, Sophie Pemberton, W.P Weston, Thomas Fripp, Max Maynard, Jack Shadbolt, Ina Uhthoff, Katharine Maltwood, Stella Langdale and Edythe Hembroff.

The Arts and Crafts Movement in Victoria, B.C.

Rookwood Ceramic Bowl, Rookwood Pottery, c. 1890

Rookwood Ceramic Bowl, Rookwood Pottery, c. 1890

Online Catalogue

The online catalogue for the Arts and Crafts Movement is available here. It features information about Rookwood pottery, Tiffany Glass Company and the Roycroft Institute, as well as an architectural tour of Victoria.

More About the Exhibition

In England and then America in the late 19th century, a middle class revolution occurred against Victorian values, industrialization and the mass production of low-quality products. Originally a British movement whose roots can be traced back to the early 1800’s, the social and moral preachings of people such as John Ruskin and William Morris in the late 1800’s influenced the burgeoning what would be known as the Arts and Crafts Movement.

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To


January 15 – March 15, 2003

McPherson Library Gallery

Curated by Ken Guenter and Can Russell

The online catalogue is available here. It features side by side comparisons of the artists’ works and inspirations, curatorial statements and information on a variety of furniture styles.

Works by 20 local furniture designers inspired by antiques in the Maltwood collection. The genesis of this exhibition goes back to 1982. We live in an age of much more liberal thought and expression. Art now assumes fewer barriers and almost no borders. Still, it makes for an interesting exercise to examine each piece with the questions in mind, “Is it furniture?” or “Is it art?”. What is evident, as we follow the continuum from historic to contemporary, is that they haven’t made them like they used to!

Similar Exhibitions:


Unity of Movement: An Exhibition of Three Modern Artists

Katherine Maltwood, Untitled
Katherine Maltwood, Untitled

April 15 – June 11, 1999

Maltwood Art Museum

The Unity of Movement online catalogue is available here. It features information about Carr, Pavelic, and Maltwood, images of their works, and a curator’s statement.

To learn more about Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, visit an online catalogue of her work here.

Unity of Movement displays a selection of landscape works of Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island by West Coast artists Emily Carr, Katharine Maltwood and Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic. These images from the collection of the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery illustrate a number of major stylistic developments from the 1930s to the present.

The works collectively illustrate modern ideas of how form, shape, line and colour can be used to create works that convey personally expressive or spiritually transcendental qualities. Some of the major art movements such as Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Symbolism, and Abstract Expressionism are evident in the works of these artists. Each artist expanded her artistic knowledge with inspiration from the landscape of the Canadian West Coast. Together, the works of these three modern women artists, demonstrate informed methods of artistic expressions which have contributed to the history of modern West Coast art.

Art at the McPherson Library

Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, Blue, Black, & Orange, 1980
Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, Blue, Black, & Orange, 1980

June – September, 1998

McPherson Library Gallery

McPherson Library received an “artistic facelift” at the hands of curator Brian Grison. This upgrade included the cataloguing, cleaning and rearranging of 150 works already in the library, as well as the integration of 400 new pieces from the Maltwood Art Museum’s permanent collection.

Artists included Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, Maxwell Bates, C. J. Collins, Jack Shadbolt, Don Jarvis, Brian Fisher and many, many more. Through the exhibition, UVic hoped to introduce its students, faculty, and staff, as well as the public, to the extensive range of art in the collection.

The museum decide to display as many of its framed paintings and prints as possible in the university’s McPherson Library. The result, on show to anyone who walks the stalks, is a stunning example of what can be done with an art collection. Ninty five per cent of what was in stoage is now on show… In the five floors of the building, almost 700 works of art are hung.

Robert Amos, “Library Full of Surprises”, Times Colonist, August 29, 1999

Travels: The John and Katherine Maltwood Collection

June 27 – July 18, 1993

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

In 1964 the University of Victoria received the John and Katherine Maltwood bequest: a fine and decorative arts collection of over 100 items. This varied collection consisting of paintings, sculpture, artifacts, books and personal archives is often described as “documenting the tastes and travels” of the Maltwoods.

That the Maltwoods travelled extensively in the period 1900-1940 is well know. However, the details as to where and when is a matter largely, of conjecture.

This exhibit attempts to reconstruct their itineraries. Intellectually, this is based on evidence drawn from the extensive Maltwood library of antiquarian travel guides. Some evidence of the geography of their journeys can be gleaned from the small collection of site souvenirs. Their general interest in the ancient monuments and cultures of Mediterranean Europe, the Levant and the Far East can be illustrate by a sampling of the Maltwood Collection itself.

Together, the evidence of these itinerant interests draws together the themes of Katherine’s own work as an artist, also her fascination with world cosmology and research into the Glastonbury legends.

Treetop Sketches by Katharine Maltwood

Untitled, Katherine Maltwood, 1939

Untitled, Katherine Maltwood, 1939

June 26 – July 29, 1988

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

For the last twenty years of her life, after having left England to retire in Victoria, BC, Katherine Maltwood increasingly turned to landscape sketching. Frequent visits to her country retreat “Treetops”, situated on a high promontory in Cordova Bay, yielded this Treetop series. These works, a part of the Maltwood Collection which the artist bequeathed to the University of Victoria, bear witness to Maltwood’s mature talent and record the pristine grandeur of the Pacific Northwest as she enjoyed it in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.