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Artmaking in two Vancouver high schools 1920 to 1950 Stephenson, D. Wendy Louise 2005

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ARTMAKING IN TWO VANCOUVER HIGH SCHOOLS 1920 TO 1950 by D. WENDY LOUISE STEPHENSON B.A., The University of Toronto, 1968 Dip. in Art History, The University of British Columbia, 1976 Dip. in Instruction, Province of British Columbia, 1995 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1998 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Curriculum Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 2005 © D. Wendy Stephenson, 2005 A B S T R A C T This dissertation examines the art learning that students were exposed to within the diverse school cultures at Kitsilano Junior/Senior H i g h School (Kits) and Vancouver Technical School (Van Tech) from 1920 to 1950 in Vancouver, Canada. These cultures shaped the opportunities for various forms of art learning. From 1920 to 1950 Kits was a coed, middle-class junior/senior high school aiming to produce well-rounded citizens prepared to take their place in society or to take further education before starting their career. From 1921 to 1940 V a n Tech was an all-boys, primarily working-class high school wi th a vocational orientation that prepared students to enter a trade; girls taking practical training were included in the school i n September of 1940.1 suggest that issues of gender, class and, to a lesser extent, race shaped the diverse cultures in these two schools and the art learning opportunities the schools provided. Kits offered art courses wi th the expectation that art would give students a productive avocation, enrich their cultural life, and add to the general refinement of society. A t V a n Tech, aspects of art learning were embedded i n most of their technical courses. Art-related skills were to be utilized i n students' future employment in the trades. The different intentions of these two schools affected students' art learning as wel l as the kinds of art they produced. This study is based primarily on interviews with former students in the schools at the time. It also incorporates an analysis of the text and images in the yearbooks and extant artwork of former Kits and V a n Tech students. It describes their art learning experiences alongside those prescribed in British Columbia's art-related textbooks and curriculum documents and in consideration of the pre-service training available to their art teachers through the city's art school. Ar t media and skills and subject matter in the students' artwork are considered in light of those set out in the official B C art textbooks. Subjects there were largely limited to simple objects from nature and around the home, historical subjects and idealized landscapes, as well as conventionalized, space-filling decorations. The study shows the extent to which concepts of class, gender, and race were embodied in the subject matter of Kits and V a n Tech student artwork, especially that appearing i n the school yearbooks. Images show that Kits students looked to their environment primarily to document their adolescent life while V a n Tech students depicted people and events from the larger wor ld as well as revealing the increasing industrial concerns of Vancouver as an emerging city. In this way the study shows the extent to which subject matter as well as skills and media were at least i n part determined by the diverse nature of the two schools. i i TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS i i i LIST OF TABLES iv LIST OF FIGURES v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ix CHAPTER ONE—Introduction 1 CHAPTER TWO—Educational, Social, and Artist Milieu 25 CHAPTER THREE—Art Learning at Kits 65 CHAPTER FOUR—Art Learning at Van Tech 91 CHAPTER FIVE—Art Media and Skills at the Two Schools 132 CHAPTER SIX—Art Subject Matter at the Two Schools 184 CHAPTER SEVEN—Conclusion 225 BIBLIOGRAPHY 247 PORTFOLIO OF IMAGES 263 i i i LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1.1—Interviewees from Kitsilano Junior/Senior High School 16 TABLE 1.2—Interviewees from Vancouver Technical School 17 TABLE 1.3—Interviewees from Other Schools 17 iv LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1.1 Photo of Kitsilano Junior/Senior High School. [From 1931 yearbook.] Courtesy of Kitsilano Secondary School. 265 Figure 1.2 Unsigned. (1947). Pencil sketch of Van Tech School. Courtesy of Vancouver Technical School. 267 Figure 2.1 Presentation of portrait. (1944). Photo showing McKay, Scott, and the Khahsahlanos. Courtesy of Kits Secondary School. 269 Figure 2.2 Michael Kuznitzoff. (1944). Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill [linoprint]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 270 Figure 2.3 Photo of Van Tech print shop (1928) as it looked when the new building opened and as the space remains today. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 271 Figure 2.4 Composite image: Left—Louise Williamson. (1948). Night and Day [pen and ink drawing showing]. Reproduced with permission of artist. Right—E. P. Wilson. (1938). The Steel Workers [linoprint]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 272 Figure 3.1 Jim Genis. (1948). Front entranceway of Kits. [scratchboard drawing]. Courtesy Kits Secondary School. 274 Figure 3.2 Photo of Shadbolt with art students and friends on Hollyburn Mountain. (1928, Spring). Photo by Dorothy Howard. Reproduced with photographer's permission. 275 Figure 3.3 Stephen Ursulescu. (1950). The Robie house, Tericho Beach. With permission of the artist. 276 Figure 3.4 Hamish Cameron. (1948). Abstractions of tree forms [watercolour and tempera]. With permission of the artist. 277 Figure 3.5 Hamish Cameron. (1948). Bamboo in Chinese brush strokes. With permission of the artist. 278 Figure 3.6 Hamish Cameron. (1948). Fraser Valley flood. With permission of the artist. 279 Figure 3.7 Peter Snelgrove. (1942). Cadet manoeuvres [pen & ink]. With permission of the artist. 280 Figure 3.8 Rolph Blakstad. (1947). The old man in the (saddle) shoe. With permission of the artist. 281 v Figure 3.9 Rolph Blakstad. (1947). Lion chasing gladiator in chariot. With permission of the artist. 282 Figure 3.10 Rolph Blakstad. (1947). The island [painting in tempera colour]. With permission of the artist. 283 Figure 3.11 Photo of the poster club. (1937). Designers and their work. Courtesy of Kits Secondary School. 284 Figure 3.12 Hamish Cameron. (1950). Exterior view of northeast art classroom [watercolour]. Wi th permission of the artist. 285 Figure 3.13 Stephen Ursulescu. (1950). Whale and bird composite [pen and ink]. With permission of the artist. 286 Figure 3.14 Stephen Ursulescu. (1950). Frog (undergraduates); raven (literary) [silkscreens]. With permission of the artist. 287 Figure 3.15 Ian Mcintosh. (1949). Tugboat Kitsilano [pen and ink]. Courtesy of Kits Secondary School. 288 Figure 4.1 Bob Banks. (1940). Van Tech staffs reaction to the construction site [pen and ink cartoon]. Wi th permission of the artist. 289 Figure 4.2 The drafting classroom. (1921 to 1928). As room existed in the old Labour Temple building [from industrial arts department's archival photo album]. Courtesy Van Tech School. 290 Figure 4.3 Exhibition of Van Tech School woodwork projects. (Likely 1930s). [From industrial arts department's archival photo album.] Courtesy of V a n Tech School. 291 Figure 4.4 Display of metalwork projects. (Likely 1930s). [From industrial arts department's archival photo album]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 292 Figure 4.5 Margaret Strathern. (1949). Drawing from fashion design course [in Strathern's collection]. With permission of the artist. 293 Figure 4.6 Sing L i m . (1934). Linoprint demonstration piece indicating process of registering colour blocks [from Van Tech printer's manual]. Courtesy Van Tech School. 294 Figure 4.7 Marion Barber & Henry Zitko. (1943). Charging knight and servicemen [composite linoprint]. Courtesy of Zitko and Van Tech School. 295 Figure 4.8 Mil ton Parsons & Clarence Falk. (1933). Medieval printers at work [cover of 1933 yearbook and cover of 1934 printer's manual]. Courtesy of Falk and Van Tech School. 296 vi Figure 4.9 Orville Carnahan. (1934). "When your car takes no man's dust" [linoprint from Van Tech printer's manual]. Courtesy of Van Tech Secondary. 297 Figure 4.10 Lome Q. Elliott. (1934). The new Burrard Bridge [linoprint from Van Tech printer's manual]. Courtesy of Van Tech Secondary. 298 Figure 4.11 Michael Kuznitzoff. (1944). Arturo Toscanini [linoprint]. Courtesy of Van Tech Secondary. 299 Figure 4.12 Henry Zitko. (1944). Serviceman mechanic fixing warplane [multicolour linoprint]. With permission of the artist. 300 Figure 4.13 Bob Banks. (1940). The prospector [multi-colour linoprint]. With permission of the artist. 301 Figure 5.1 Hamish Cameron. (1948). Views of Kitsilano from window [page from artisf s sketchbook]. With permission of the artist. 302 Figure 5.2 Hamish Cameron (1949). Art class in action [pen and ink from artist's sketchbook]. With permission of the artist. 303 Figure 5.3 Hamish Cameron (1948). Portrait of female in profile [page from artist's sketchbook]. With permission of the artist. 304 Figure 5.4 Helen Reeve. (1931). Exterior of school [pen and ink; Grade 8 student]. Courtesy of Kits Secondary School. 305 Figure 5.5 Clarence Falk. (1935). Mount Shasta [three-colour linoprint]. With permission of the artist. 306 Figure 5.6 Margaret Strathern. (1949). Medieval graduation scene [pen and ink]. With permission of the artist. 307 Figure 5.7 Lavern Anctil. (1949). Tugboat near shore [pencil drawing]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 308 Figure 5.8 Al Bushell. (1933). Lesson on projection [ink drawing]. Courtesy Van Tech School. 309 Figure 5.9 Sing Lim. (1933). Scene from a Chinese opera [ink drawing]. Courtesy Van Tech School. 310 Figure 5.10 Al Bushell. (1933). Lesson #2 [cartoon in pen and ink]. Courtesy Van Tech School. 311 Figure 5.11 George Obokata. (1933). Technocrats [pen and ink]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 312 vii Figure 5.12 Bob Banks. (1941). The girls' arrival at the school [pen and ink]. With permission of the artist. 313 Figure 5.13 Sing Lim. (1935). Figure looking east toward the school [multi-colour linoprint]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 314 Figure 5.14 Perry Hall. (1925). Execution of Mary Queen of Scots [scratchboard or pen and ink]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 315 Figure 5.15 Jim Rimmer. (1948). The bouncing Baldwins [photographs with pen and ink drawing]. With permission of the artist. 316 Figure 5.16 Hamish Cameron and unnamed industrial arts student. (1948 and 1930s). Stairways on paper and in wood. Drawings in pencil with permission of Cameron. Photo of constructed stairway from the industrial arts Department's archival photo album. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 317 Figure 5.17 Rolph Blakstad. (1947). The good ship Gosling [photographs integrated with pencil drawing]. With permission of the artist. 318 Figure 6.1 Rolph Blakstad. (1947). On arriving at a party underdressed [pen and ink]. With permission of the artist. 319 Figure 6.2 Hide Saito. (1942). Navy cadet on record [pen and ink]. Courtesy of Kits Secondary School. 320 Figure 6.3 Sing Lim. (1935). Visit to a Chinese print shop flinoprint]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 321 Figure 6.4 Bob Banks. (1941). I bring you the spirit of fire [three-colour linoprint]. With permission of the artist. 322 Figure 6.5 Unsigned. (1945). Working port of Vancouver, [pencil drawing]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 323 Figure 6.6 R. M . (1947). Engine room or hydroelectric plant [pencil drawing]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 324 Figure 6.7 T. Grenfels. (1937). Loggers in the snow [linoprint]. Courtesy Van Tech School. 325 Figure 6.8 Kits students. (1930-1950). Composite of lettering [primarily from yearbooks]. Courtesy Kits Secondary School. 326 Figure 6.9 Van Tech students. (1930-1950). Composite of lettering [individual examples primarily from yearbooks]. Courtesy Van Tech School. 327 viii Figure 6.10 Margaret Hartnum. (1946). Summer glory [three-colour linoprint]. Courtesy of V a n Tech School. 328 Figure 6.11 George Croy. (1949). Medieval knight on charging horse [pen and ink; left page of 2-page spread]. Courtesy of Van Tech. 329 Figure 6.12 Pat Murphy. (1949). Kits graduating couple on a cruise [pen and ink]. Courtesy of Kits Secondary School. 330 Figure 6.13 Unsigned. (1948). Van Tech graduating couple i n front of school [pen and ink]. Courtesy of Van Tech School. 331 ix A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T Without the encouragement and support of my daughter, Christie Stephenson, this dissertation wou ld not have been completed. Y o u know how much help you have been, Christie; I have much gratitude. I would like to thank my committee Dr. Graeme Chalmers, Centre for Cross-Faculty Inquiry; Dr . Jean Barman, Department of Educational Studies; and Dr . Stephen Petrina, Department of Curr iculum Studies, of the University of British Columbia, for their time, direction, and advice. Without the insight provided to me by former students of Kits, V a n Tech, and of other educational institutions, this study would have had to take quite a different form. To each of you, thank you for sharing a part of your story. I would also like to acknowledge the support of a two-year doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. CHAPTER ONE—Introduction My mother grew up in the Vancouver school system in the 1920s convinced she wasn't artistic because in art classes she couldn't do washes. A wash involved painting a flat area of colour without any visible brushstrokes. Apparently my mother's methodical, newly-certified teacher1 believed there was no point in attempting other art activities if you hadn't mastered the wash. Indeed, British Columbia's official art textbook at the time supported this view, stating: 'The pupil will first master the laying on of flat washes as outlined... before proceeding to the drawing exercises."2 The B.C. government-funded Survey of the school system in British Columbia,3 known as the Putman Weir report, endorsed the art education textbook even while criticizing reliance on a single text to teach a subject and while advocating the philosophy of progressivism. In 1927, in my mother's first year in Kitsilano's newly established junior high school,4 instituted in response to the Putman Weir report, a dynamic artist-teacher encouraged her particular efforts, valuing an individual's own ideas and approach in art class while disregarding the textbook and one's ability to do a wash. Since my mother's contradictory experiences happened only a couple of years apart, the first in elementary school and the second in junior high, she assumed they related only to the teachers' differing personalities. During research for my master's thesis, I came to see these art class experiences in terms of two different teaching models: Art for Industry and Art as Creative Self Expression;5 but they can also be seen in other terms including pre-progressive and progressive approaches, and utilitarian and fine art emphases. The Putman Weir report upheld the former approach but also allowed for the latter. Consideration of the impact of this report on the education of my parents initiated 1 The Vancouver School Board's 1924 Annual report of the Vancouver board of school trustees [hereafter referred to as VBST Report! shows that her teacher, Dylora Swencisky, at Lord Tennyson Elementary School, received her certification that year. 2 Charles H. Scott, Spencer P. Judge, William P. Weston. (1924). Manual of drawing and design for elementary and high schools (p. 18). Toronto: Thomas Nelson and Sons. 3 J. Harold Putman, & George M. Weir. (1925). Survey of the school system in British Columbia [hereafter referred to as the Putman Weir reportl. Victoria, B.C.: King's Printer. 4 Referred to then as Kitsilano Junior/Senior High Schools. In this dissertation the schools have been referred to in various ways. Kitsilano High School (prior to 1927), Kitsdano Junior/ Senior High School(s) after 1927, and at times Kitsilano High Schools (1940s); familiarly referred to as Kits. Vancouver Technical School is referred to as Van Tech. I am using the term secondary schools to refer to schools including Grades 7 to 12 (in some cases to Grade 13), even though the word was established after the period covered by this study fl?y the Chant Commission in 1960). 5 Various art education writers have labeled approaches to art teaching according to certain categories which allow for identification of broad trends in art teaching. Later in this chapter I reference the writers and note the seven categories that I posited in D. Wendy Stephenson. (1998). Artmaking materials in the classroom during the Depression era and World War II years as revealed in some art education texts for teachers. Unpublished master's thesis, University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada. 1 my interest in studying the history of education in Vancouver schools from the 1920s to 1950, and specifically art education. I feature Kitsilano Junior/Senior H i g h School (Kits), my mother's school, and Vancouver Technical School (Van Tech). Research Questions I wish to explain art learning i n these two selected Vancouver public secondary schools, Kits and V a n Tech, and the extent to which the practice of art learning changed from 1920 to 1950. Specifically I considered art skills and media and art subject matter at Kits and V a n Tech during this time compared with what was recommended by the various official sources. I have aimed to show how formal and informal approaches to art learning were shaped by the particular cultures of the individual schools. The research questions that this dissertation has attempted to address are as follows: 1. To what extent d id the cultures of Kits and Van Tech affect the formal and informal art learning in these schools? 2. In what ways d id class, gender, and race play out in the art learning in these schools? 3. To what extent d id the skills and art media recommended through formal sources manifest themselves in the in-class instruction and extra-curricular art learning i n these schools? 4. To what extent d id students' exploration of subject matter i n their artmaking provide evidence of personal life, the character of their school, local art concerns, or the broader interests of society, and how was subject matter different in the two schools? Historiography When one thinks of literature on the history of art education i n B.C. in the first half of the twentieth century, one automatically thinks of the work of Tony Rogers, as there are so few other major studies to turn to on this subject. His master's thesis, entitled The beautiful i n form and colour: Ar t education curriculum in British Columbia between the wars 6 examined how art was taught in B.C.'s elementary schools and the two provincial Normal schools from 1923 to 1937, as seen against the official curriculum documents in effect at that time. A s an extension to this, Rogers wrote a PhD dissertation entitled W . P. Weston, educator and artist: The development of British ideas in the art curriculum of B.C. public schools. 7 These studies reveal social and economic factors of art education in the province during Wi l l i am P. Weston's 6 Anthony Rogers. (1983). The beautiful in form and colour: Art education curriculum in British Columbia between the wars. Unpublished master's thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 7 Anthony Rogers. (1987). W. P. Weston, artist and educator: The development of British ideas in the art curriculum of B.C. public schools. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 2 career (to 1946) and the effect of these issues on art education. He posited that Weston held the pre-eminent position in art education influencing B.C.'s elementary schools. Rogers explained how Weston transported British art education practices to B.C., practices that had been i n effect i n Britain when he taught there before immigrating to Canada i n 1909. Rogers examined reasons for Weston's significant role due to his teaching of the province's elementary art teachers during his long tenure as art master at Vancouver's Normal school, his constant presence as art teacher of teachers at the Victoria summer schools, his influence as a co-author and sole author of B.C.'s two official, consecutive art education textbooks (1924 and 1933 respectively), as writer of elementary art curriculum guides, and as chair of the art curriculum committee for art i n secondary schools. Rogers outlined broad forces shaping art education in B.C. society, dominated by immigrants from Britain who encouraged the importing of British ideas in art education. Rogers introduced three other major personalities involved in B.C. art education, all of whom were born and trained in Britain. He acknowledged the separate spheres of influence of Charles Scott, principal at the art school; John Kyle, director of technical education for the province and in charge of the Victoria summer schools for teachers; and Spencer P. Judge, supervisor of drawing for Vancouver. Scott and Judge were co-authors with Weston of the 1924 art text, whereas Weston wrote the 1933 text alone. While these textbooks focused primarily on art for the elementary grades of B.C., they were utilized in art teaching through Grade 10.8 Rogers explained that Weston, Scott, and Kyle were also artists in their own right, and he presented i n detail the development of Weston as an artist. In this study, the areas of influence of Scott, at the art school, and of Kyle, in technical education, indirectly had the most relevance to the teaching of art in the secondary schools. In acknowledging in his studies, the paucity of sources on B.C. art education, Rogers included an insightful literature review of books on general education in B.C. and texts on art education in other parts of Canada as wel l as in the United States and Britain. 9 Letia Richardson, in a 1987 exhibition catalogue entitled First class: Four graduates from the Vancouver School of Decorative and Appl ied Arts, 1929,10 presented the art and described the lives of four accomplished women artists from the first graduating class of 8 These texts may have been used longer in some circumstances due to the lack of any other B.C. art education textbook serving the secondary grades. 9 As a follow-up to these studies, Rogers reported his findings in 1984,1985, and 1990 as indicated in reference listing. 1 0 Letia Richardson. (1987). First class: Four graduates from the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, 1929. Vancouver, B.C.: Women in Focus Gallery. 3 Vancouver's art school.11 The exhibition re-assessed their art taking into account the art itself and the socio-political context at the time that Lilias Farley, Irene Hoffar Reid, Beatrice Lennie, and Vera Weatherbie were producing the art. Basically the exhibition attempts to understand why these artists of so much promise failed to have work that was critically acclaimed and careers that were publicly acknowledged, despite their diligent efforts to continue to develop their careers. In the process of explaining some of the gender-based social forces and aesthetic shifts that worked against these women in their recognition as artists of note, Richardson provided insight into the time period, 1925 to 1929, when these artists were attending Vancouver's art school.12 Despite there being no art gallery in the city until 1931, the Vancouver arts scene was charged with much creative energy with artists sharing studios, sketching together, and meeting socially. Richardson explained how the vital character of the art scene in the city was altered by the events and aftermath of the Second World War, including the loss of support systems that had encouraged and supported these women. This was at a time that women after the war were expected to resume the domestic sphere to make way for the men returning from the war. Richardson also explained how these female artists, focusing on representational pieces, resisted the trend that favoured abstract works so that their work seemed out of step with what became mainstream, primarily male, approaches. This exhibition catalogue gives insight into the early years at the art school when four of the art teachers that I focused on in my study were at the art school, three of them as students, Margaret Lewis, Vito Cianci, Jack Shadbolt, and one as a teacher, J. W. G. (Jock) Macdonald. Knowing about their art school training is valuable because how pre-service art teachers learned is generally reflected in how they taught. Richardson acknowledged Cianci's presence at the art school in saying that as a capable student he was given the role of organizing a store of art supplies on the premises. In explaining why some students left before graduating, she mentioned that Cianci left as he had a teaching certificate from the Normal school and left on acquiring a job. She also introduced Macdonald (who was later to teach at Van Tech) as an instructor from England who was hired to teach design and crafts. She explained that he and Frederick H . Varley, a member of the Group of Seven hired at the same time to teach drawing and painting, along with students created an arts-focused social scene around themselves. In describing the post graduate studies that these four student artists undertook, Richardson noted that with the exception of Lennie 1 1 Two other exhibition catalogues documenting the history of the art schools are the Vancouver School of Art: The early years. 1925-1939. and Vancouver School of Art: The growth years, 1939-1965. produced in 1980 and 1983 respectively by the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. 1 2 From its opening in September 1925 until 1933, the art school was called The Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, subsequently called the Vancouver School of Art until 1978 when the 4 studying at the California School of Fine Arts, the others remained for a fifth year "to develop their work further under two of the best art instructors in Canada." In this comment she is referring to Varley and Macdonald. Macdonald's excellence as an art teacher seemed to get lost i n considering Macdonald as a high school art teacher at V a n Tech. Richardson described the social activities in which students and staff participated i n a milieu without hierarchical conventions so that students, instructors, and art connoisseurs socialized together. She considered gender, and to a lesser extent class, along wi th aesthetic, political, and social forces that shaped the art scene in Vancouver at the time. Donald Soucy's P h D dissertation, Training for art-related employment: Community support for Halifax's Ar t School, 1887-1943, while not addressing art education in B.C., was useful to consider as it examines the varying purposes of art education that the Halifax art school was trying to serve over time according to its changing external supporters. Soucy summarized that the most common goal for art at the school was art training for employable skills; there was a commitment to train artist-workers. He explained that the varying purposes of the Halifax art school were similar to that of the art schools throughout North America that had late-19th century origins. Many of these had shared goals that included improving the graphic skills of industrial designers, providing instruction in the fine and decorative arts, and the training of teachers for public and private schools. The Halifax art school also aimed to elevate the public's taste and appreciation of design. Soucy described the art school's two 19th century philosophical roots. The first was utilitarian art training to serve industrial needs as advocated by Henry Cole, head of the British art training system. The "South Kensington System" was brought to North America by several graduates, most notably Walter Smith in 1871. It became associated with training aimed to provide mechanical and industrial careers for men and wi th improved products for commerce. The other root was romantic idealism concerned wi th aesthetic education and the role of imagination and genius i n art and art as a cultural study to refine morals and elevate taste and as having close ties between art, nature, and spiritual experience. This was advocated by John Ruskin. Soucy showed how in aiming to enhance an individual 's aesthetic sensibility, Wi l l i am Morris, as leader of the Arts and Crafts movement, transformed Ruskin's ideas in his name changed to the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. Today it is called the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. 5 interest i n organizing production so that one's labour could become a pleasure to the worker. 1 3 Soucy also explained the changing meaning of the word "art" over the first half century of the Halifax art school's existence showing how, i n different contexts, it included fine art, applied art, commercial art, industrial art, craft, and design. He also described i n detail the activities of art learning that went on i n the various classes and explained some gender and class implications in providing various kinds of art training. This included educating some young people to work in the trades while steering them away "from the overcrowded professions." 1 4 Many of these considerations were useful and relevant to me in examining the different types of art learning that were offered in the two schools that are the subject of my study. In Framing the past: Essays on art education/ 5 a collection Soucy edited wi th Mary A n n Stankiewicz, he examined dichotomies i n approaches to art education. The dichotomies are summed up i n a graphic that originally appeared in Wi l l i am Whitford's 1929 text 1 6 as he attempted to visually represent the shift in early 20th century art education history as a pendulum that swung from a fine arts orientation to an industrial arts approach. Aspects of this shift are reflected in many of the articles in the collection. The opening chapter on art education historiography by Soucy, entitled " A History of Ar t Education Histories," was particularly valuable as it provides references by country of author and also by subject, such that there is a substantial list (almost three pages) of studies by Canadian authors and on Canadian subjects. None of these other chapters, other than those by Richardson and Rogers relating to the above, is about art education in B.C. Some information provided in unpublished manuscripts has been helpful. One such study, by Margaret Morris, The roots of art education in British Columbia: A general history 1 7 featuring primarily art education in Vancouver, provided some basic information and an overview of dates and locations of some major art educators during the time period covered i n my study. While the writing is largely anecdotal, the write-ups on the interviews provided some insight into the experience of the Vancouver art teachers who were close to the end of 1 3 Donald Soucy. (1996). Training for art-related employment: Community support for Halifax's Art School, 1887-1943. (p. 252). Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 1 4 Soucy. Training for art-related employment, (p. 199). 1 5 Donald Soucy, & Mary Ann Stankiewicz (Eds.). (1990). Framing the past: Essays on art education. Reston, VA: National Art Education Association. 1 6 William G. Whitford. (1929). An introduction to art education. New York: D. Appleton-Century, Co. 1 7 Margaret Morris. (1978). The roots of art education in British Columbia: A general history. [Unpublished manuscript produced for a UBC graduate course, Arte 541, with Dr. Graeme Chalmers, in art education]. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 6 their active careers and most of whom are no longer alive. A large chart shows the location of some of the main Vancouver art educators at any given date from 1900 to 1980.18 G. S. Hodder also provided some useful information in an unpublished manuscript entitled Ar t i n the public schools of British Columbia: 1875-1960.19 Without attempting to provide an analytical framework in what he referred to as a preliminary study, Hodder reviewed the annual public school reports of the province and other official sources as related to art i n the school curriculum to suggest an overview of the history of art education in the province. He drew on the reports of superintendents, inspectors, principals and directors of the various provincial institutions. One of his observations was that art i n B.C. schools during that 85-year period had primarily a technical or vocational emphasis. Curricular change i n art has been infrequent and gradual. Hodder stated that an analysis of high school and teachers' examinations i n drawing could reveal the content of art as a school subject and the nature of teaching methods as taught at the Normal school. He suggested that the country in which art teachers received their training should be considered in order to understand the sources of external influence i n art education. Hodder's study concluded: Dur ing the most critical period of growth, 1907-1938, the art curriculum was influenced by one man, John Kyle, whose long career in the B.C. education system involved h im i n art supervision, Normal School Summer School teaching and administration, correspondence education and industrial education, including being responsible for the Vancouver School of Ar t . 2 0 In keeping wi th this belief in the importance of John Kyle in the art education of the province, Hodder subsequently wrote on John Kyle to accompany an exhibition at the Mal twood Ar t Museum and Gallery at the University of Victoria. 2 1 Some other sources, not about art education, were useful to me and relevant to understanding some forces affecting education in B.C. i n the first half of the 20th century. One was Timothy Dunn's Work, class and education: Vocationalism in British Columbia 2 2 1 8 This is despite some lack of visual clarity. For instance Morris' chart suggests J. W. G. Macdonald was teaching at the art school to 1944 when in fact he left there in 1933 to start, with Varley, the B.C. College of Art and subsequently joined the staff of Van Tech in September 1939 where he stayed until Tune of 1946. Also, the text places Jack Shadbolt at the art school from 1938 to 1966, not recognizing that he taught at the art school only one year before going overseas during the war and, after administering the Canadian war artists program in 1944, returned to the art school after the war ended (confirmed in the information panels at the Vancouver Art Gallery art exhibition "Canvases of War," shown in the summer of 2004). 1 9 G. S. Hodder. (1982). Art in the public schools of B.C. 1875-1960: A preliminary study. [Unpublished manuscript prepared for a graduate course of Dr. Graeme Chalmers.] University of British Columbia: Vancouver, Canada. 2 0 Hodder. Art in the public schools (p. 59). 2 1 G.S Hodder. (1984). John Kyle: Artist and art educator 1871-1958 [exhibition at the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery]. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. 2 2 Timothy Dunn. (1978). Work, class and education: Vocationalism in British Columbia. Unpublished master's thesis. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 7 that provided information on the concept of vocationalism from 1920 to 1929 and its ramifications and insight into the educational, economic, and social trends i n the province. He examined the extent to which vocationalism was as concerned about a "search for order" to preserve societal relationships and stability as to provide vocational instruction. He considered the role of vocationalism i n terms of the orientation of mass public education to prepare youth for "socially efficient citizenship" mainly through industrial occupations that maintained the existing class stratification. Dunn suggested that teaching marketable work skills was secondary to producing compliant workers wi th responsible attitudes, accepting of one's place in the social order. Similarly Jean Mann's master's thesis, Progressive education and the Depression in British Columbia, 2 3 provided useful background on the political and social situation in B.C. during the Depression while it examined aspects of progressivism as played out in B.C. schools in this time period. Harold Pearse, as editor of a text compiling a variety of chapters on the history of art education in Canada, 2 4 currently in press, is attempting to address the shortage of existing information on art education i n Canada. Hopefully this forthcoming book w i l l provide much needed information as wel l as inspire more academics and graduate students i n history and art education to produce additional historical studies on Canadian and B.C. art education. The Study M y dissertation is a case study of two schools that utilizes oral history interviews along wi th content analysis of school yearbooks and visual analysis of student art images. Before deciding to focus upon Kits and V a n Tech, I read the available yearbooks, 2 5 and /o r histories, student newspapers, or other publications of 10 public high schools in Vancouver. These schools included Britannia, John Oliver, K ing Edward, Kitsilano, Lord Byng, Magee, Point Grey, Prince of Wales, Templeton, and Vancouver Technical. I then interviewed at least one student from each of these Vancouver high schools (except for Prince of Wales), as wel l as two art supervisors, three art teachers teaching just subsequent to my chosen time period, and, for comparison purposes, one student of the 1920s from Alberta. I subsequently interviewed 14 former students from Kits and seven from V a n Tech and I had informal communications with several others from these schools. Unfortunately I d id not interview 2 3 Jean Mann. (1978). Progressive education and the Depression in British Columbia. Unpublished master's thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 2 4 Harold Pearse. (Ed.). (In press). From drawing to visual culture: A history of art education in Canada. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press. 2 5 Most of the yearbooks and school newspapers were in the individual school's archives; some of them were in the Vancouver City Archives; some I saw through former students; some of the 8 any teachers from these schools. Jack Shadbolt, who I had hoped to talk to, as he had taught art at Kits from the late-1920s to the late-1930s (some part time and not all years), died at the age of 89 a couple of years before I received my ethical review approval to begin interviewing. Margaret Lewis, who was central to Kits ' art program for many years, teaching there from 1929 to 1963, at nearly 100 years old was no longer receiving visitors. In the interest of maximizing the number of interviews, I chose not to undertake follow-up interviews except where clarification was necessary or I needed more time to look at existing artwork. Rationale for Choice of Featured Schools Polarity of class, gender and, to a lesser extent, race encouraged my choice of Kits and Van Tech as subjects of this study. Both Kits and V a n Tech were unique schools i n different ways and thus differed from each other. After 1927 Kits was a co-ed junior and senior high school [Figure 1.1]; in a middleclass neighbourhood that was primarily white; V a n Tech was, unti l 1940, an all-boys school [Figure 1.2]. serving a larger, primarily working-class area, and having an increasingly diverse student population. The location of the schools suggest that V a n Tech students came from the poorer east side of the city wi th students presumably coming from a lower socio-economic class than those attending Kits on the more affluent west side of the city, but such a summary of class is in some ways overly simplified. The closer proximity of Kits to the province's university at the western extremity of the city meant that students there had a greater likelihood to assume that they could choose to attend the university if they qualified. But some students from V a n Tech d id attend university and many students from Kits went directly into jobs, but class is just one reason that makes the choice of these two schools interesting by comparison. Wi th V a n Tech beginning as a boys' school, gender is also useful i n comparing the kinds of art learning undertaken within the two schools. The apparently diametrically opposed objectives and cultures of the two schools made the unraveling of the k ind of art training students received at the two schools seem intriguing, hence my decision to focus on these two schools. I posit that the focus on the art learning in these two schools may provide greater insight into aspects of art learning i n Vancouver than wou ld be possible by giving equal emphasis to the art programmes of more than a dozen secondary schools i n the city at that time. histories of the schools were in the UBC collection with B.C. historical texts, or in UBC Library's Special Collections. 9 Initial Preconceptions/Misconceptions In starting to examine the art i n Vancouver secondary schools, I was challenged to define the concept of art as I considered it to be undertaken in Vancouver schools. M y restricted assumption was that only studio production carried on in an art class according to a prescribed curriculum guide should be considered art for my purposes. I didn't want to consider even that which was being learned in clubs, despite the fact that several Vancouver secondary schools (including Kits) had clubs focusing on various forms of art integrated into their regular school schedule. In researching Van Tech, however, I found there was evidence of significant art learning taking place in the school several years before there was a design or art course in the curriculum. Thus I realized that art learning was going on i n the schools beyond the confines of the art classroom, or art course, and that such art learning needed to be recognized and acknowledged along with that which was being taught according to an official art curriculum document. 2 61 also realized the necessity of having an open concept. I couldn't call something art, usually involving aspects of drawing, design, lettering, or painting, when it was happening in an art classroom at Kits and then ignore similar learning when it was occurring in drafting, metalwork, woodworking, tailoring, printing, or applied art courses, or in extra-curricular activities. The validity and value of art learning in such a variety of contexts was confirmed by my interviews wi th former high school students. For this reason, I broadened my definition of art learning; it is now inclusive and ignores the boundaries of subject area, classroom, and designations of in-school or after-school activities. Relevant Definitions of Skills and Media The following terms defining skills and media are based on the main way that these terms seem to have been used in the high schools at the time of my study. Different sources have different definitions especially in determining the boundaries between each of these skills or subject areas. For instance the popular and accessible American text, App l i ed art 2 7 by Pedro de Lemos, included almost all of the following designations in his text indicating that the author considered them applied art. Indeed aspects of the following can be utilized in applied art, but the terms I used try to distinguish these activities further to be able to discuss them more fully. Fine art and art as terms are used broadly here to refer any form of visual language or graphic representation to be appreciated for its own sake, for purely aesthetic value rather than to 2 6 The British Columbia Department of Education curriculum documents were titled Courses of study until the 1928/ 29 year; subsequently they were called Programme of studies. Pedro de Lemos. (1920/1933). Applied art: Drawing, painting, design, and handicraft. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pubhshing Association. 10 serve some useful function, not for the enhancement of some utilitarian object to make it more special. Drawing refers to making a picture or plan on a surface using pencil, pen, charcoal, conte> pastels, or other implement, generally not including a brush. Drawing could have a utilitarian purpose or can be done for an aesthetic end only. Drafting refers to making detailed plans or drawings of an object or construction before it is to be made in physical form. Design refers to the process of planning things by a drawing or other graphical representation that shows how something is to be made. Design also refers to patterns or shapes, sometimes repetitive, or the form or structure of something. Painting refers to making an image in paint, generally in colours, with a brush. Hand printing was the duplication of images by hand in limited numbers as opposed to large numbers by commercial press. For Kits and Van Tech during the time of this study this involved primarily silkscreen and linoblock printing. Silkscreen printing here refers to a form of artist-edition print (rather than commercial procedure) done with an image applied to a screen with some areas cut away or otherwise removed. The image was inked by hand directly over the receiving paper, not with a printing press. Linoblock printing involved cutting an image into a piece of linoleum that when inked prints as a relief, whether through a press or just with pressure applied to it. The raised portions of the image printed on the paper. The resulting image printed in reverse of the cut image. Applied art refers to the process by which artistic embellishment is added to a utilitarian object to beautify and ennoble that object. In this way it was a design that was applied rather than being part of the formative process. Often this was two-dimensional design added to a three-dimensional object. Craft refers to a decorative or practical article produced with materials worked together toward an aesthetic goal of making that product a pleasure to use, to feel, and to look at due to its form, shape, colour, texture, etc. Lettering refers to the graphic communication of ideas using the alphabet, including hand lettering in posters and other limited-number pieces. Industrial arts was the branch of education that aimed to develop skills needed by workers in industry and at the time included woodwork, metalwork, printing, and electricity. Electricity is not discussed here as a result of having little art learning involved at Kits and Van Tech. Woodworking refers to the skill or craft of making items out of wood or parts out of wood, whether parts of a building, furniture, or objects that could be primarily utilitarian but could also involve enhancements and decoration, including architectural or historical design ornamentation. 11 Metalworking refers to the process or technique of making or shaping objects out of metal. While these can be simply utilitarian, the metalwork of concern here has some decorative elements or enhancements. Printing designated a branch of education that aimed to develop the skills needed by workers in the printing industry. In this context it involves page layout and the choice and setting of type as wel l as the actual printing. Photography refers to the art, hobby, or profession of taking photographs and developing and printing them. Photography is primarily discussed as photos that were used in student yearbooks in conjunction with drawing. Lens of My Critique: Issues of Class, Gender, Race Education anthropologists George and Louise Spindler stressed the need to put "education i n its cultural context and into a framework of relativism" as "it is a universal human tendency to regard the situation in one's own society as normal." 2 8 This I know was true for me as, having l ived as an adult in middleclass culture, I couldn't see school culture clearly until I got away from studying Vancouver's middleclass, west-side schools. It was in reading Clive Cocking's collection of interviews 2 9 wi th former students of Vancouver's Britannia H i g h School, 3 0 the original east-side Vancouver high school, that I began to be aware of diverse assumptions about school culture. Becoming aware of these attitudes helped me see aspects of school culture in looking at other schools and thus to see them more clearly. Differences in many of these aspects motivated me to focus on Kits, a west-side Vancouver school, and Van Tech, an east-side Vancouver school. I wanted to see the role of school culture in affecting the kinds of art learning opportunities that existed. The Spindlers also noted in education research the influence of the researcher's personal cultural knowledge on observation and interpretation of behaviour in situations being studied. This can have either 2 8 George Spindler, & Louise Spindler. (2000). Fifty years of anthropology and education 1950-2000. A Spindler anthology (pp. 31 & 39). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. 2 9 Clive Cocking. (1985). Fond memories: Recollections of Britannia High School's first 75 years: 1908-1983. Vancouver, B.C.: Britannia High School Diamond Jubilee Reunion Committee. 3 0 Assumptions revealed in the Cocking interviews of former Britannia students include the positive role of the family in reinforcing the efforts of teachers on behalf of the student, the level of caring of the teachers for their students, the relationship of school faculties to achievement, the basic philosophy of the school, level of principals' control, the school's attitude to diversity, encouragement of leadership development, the school's attitude toward sports, stressing participation for all rather than focusing on finding and training elite athletes, the importance of sport as compared with the visual and performing arts, the desire to produce a first professional in the family, and feelings of responsibility to make the best of one's capabilities especially toward creating a more just society. The interviews in the Cocking book all show the pride Britannia students felt for their school, despite being aware of the inequities in the Vancouver school system that positioned them as underdogs for not having a gymnasium (only a basement with a dangerous cement pole in the middle of it) and lacking basic sports equipment, such that at times they had to borrow from other schools between their games so that Britannia teams could participate in inter-city sports. The sense of west-side/east-side inequality prevalent into the 1950s and expectations of leadership motivated some Britannia 12 positive or negative effects in determining a researcher's level of consciousness and making social relations and hidden assumptions either perceptible or invisible. For myself, while doing graduate studies, having lost my own basic mobility (if only temporarily at that time), I have a heightened awareness of physical access. In being confronted by the many banks of stairs at or i n early Vancouver schools, such as at the original front entrance of Britannia H i g h School. I am aware of such potentially insurmountable barriers or at least the pain of having to try to climb such stairs. Thus I am confronted by the assumptions of able-bodiedness in pre-1950s school architecture that may not automatically strike someone who has never experienced challenged mobility. In terms of class, I grew up unaware of any feelings of class-consciousness by l iving in a small, isolated-at-the-time community where all residents were in the same situation. Our fathers worked in blue-collar jobs outside the community and our mothers were in the home full time or worked locally i n part-time jobs that they hadn't trained for. Nevertheless our local elementary school and the high schools in North Vancouver, to which we were subsequently bused, were characterized by hidden assumptions of middleclass respectability. It wasn't until I arrived at university as a teenager that I became sensitive to the question, "What does your father do?" A few years later, in the late-1960s, I was struck in applying for an editorial job at MacLean Hunter in Toronto in being asked the same question on the application form, but then I could choose the preferable-at-the-time, but still intrusive, question, "What does your husband do?" A s a female, white Canadian, I was never so aware of my colour, and country of origin, as in applying for an editorial job in the early 1970s through an all-black placement agency i n Washington, D .C . Also in terms of colour, at about that same time, I felt my vulnerability and powerlessness i n being the only white person on a filled-to-capacity bus heading for a black suburb on the north side of the Potomac River. A few years later and throughout the 1970s, as a career-oriented, head-of-household single parent, gender inequities were particularly apparent to me in a way that gender unfairness has been heightened for women who have tried to gain equal access to positions in fields routinely dominated by men. I've mentioned these particular situations to provide some insight into my background experiences of class, gender, and race, as well as physical ability. I have also acquired some understanding of the issues of class, race and gender as they related to the experience of my parents, aunts and uncles in the education system in Vancouver schools during the time period of my study, and my grandparents, all of whom were i n Vancouver by 1908 after being educated elsewhere. Some of their experiences revealed to me aspects of the inadequacy of British accomplishment education and theoretical learning as preparation for life i n the early students to subsequently go into politics, most notably Dave Barrett and Robert Bonner (grads of the 13 Vancouver environment. This insight has helped me understand the context for the introduction of the practical reforms outlined in the Putman Weir report as well as recognize the impact and potential impact on students' lives resulting from the changes made within the Vancouver school system due to the report. Sources The primary sources of information that I considered in this study have been high school yearbooks, the interviews of students from these two schools and other educational institutions, and the artwork of Kits and Van Tech students. Besides considering information from the text of the yearbooks of Kits and Van Tech, I also analyzed student art i n these two sets of yearbooks along with art appearing in other school publications and in collections of existing student art done during Kits and Van Tech students' high school years. A l l of the information from these sources I considered in light of the official sources including textbooks, curriculum documents, art exams, and other official sources mandating what art learning should be taking place i n the schools at that time. These official sources outlined the kinds of art learning, including the various skills and media, that were intended to be taught, and these documents provide insight into the k ind of subject matter suggested as suitable for student art. A s art teachers at Kits and V a n Tech from 1920 to 1950 are no longer available to us to tell us about their teaching, this study relied primarily upon interviews with students at the school during that time. It also considered the views of some educators who were in a position to know something of the art teaching at Kits during the time period examined i n this study. Relevant views of some students who attended Vancouver's art school, and were aware of the training that pre-service school art specialist teachers were receiving there, also provide some insight. M y approach to finding people to interview was to search the schools' yearbooks for names of students involved in art at the school, preferably students having at least one piece of art reproduced in a yearbook. Based on those names, I sent letters to the individuals I could find in the phone book asking them if indeed they were the former student named in the yearbook. This approach meant I was able to track down fairly easily people with distinctive names (Henry Zitko, Peter Snelgrove, Hamish Cameron, Stephen Ursulescu, etc.),31 while it was more difficult to make contact with those having more common names. In one case, I sent letters to people having the same name at three different addresses. Two kindly phoned me to say they were not the person I was looking for, while the other one admitted he was the right person but politely declined to be interviewed (the only such response). In some cases letters were returned to me unopened marked "person mid-1950s) becoming premier and attorney general respectively. 14 unknown." In one case I found an original lead through a Google computer search that allowed me to locate a former student l iv ing in Europe. I followed up as usual wi th a letter of introduction and subsequent written exchange. Again this was possible due to his having a distinctive name, Rolph Blakstad. In response to the questions that I e-mailed and faxed, Blakstad wrote well-thought-out answers sent along wi th a disk of images of his existing art work from his Kits high school years. A s for other people l iv ing out of town, after sending my regular letter of permission, I d id a telephone interview wi th them, taping my end of the telephone conversation and making notes or filling in a data sheet (summary of relevant information). One such person provided an audiotape of his end of the conversation as well (Wytenbroek). Current names of former female students who had changed their name were generally given to me by other interviewees or by people who had organized school reunions. Again, I approached these former students by letter asking to interview them and they phoned me agreeing to be interviewed. We made arrangements to meet, usually in their home, or to conduct a telephone interview at a mutually convenient later date. For about a year I had a web page, describing the goal of my research, included on "B.C. Homeroom," 3 2 a website devoted to the history of B.C. education created by education historian Patrick Dunae. I made an initial contact with one former student through that source. I had more leads for interviews than I was able to follow up on as I was initially trying to strike a balance between the 10 schools and covering all time periods from the 1920s to 1950. While I had decided, early on, to focus on Kits as one of my featured schools, it was fairly late in the project when I decided to include V a n Tech as the second of two featured schools. If I had decided in the beginning to limit the study to two schools, I wou ld have spent my time interviewing more former students from Kits and V a n Tech and not interviewed students from other schools. Nevertheless information on the other schools provided some insight, and I have all the periods covered for the featured schools, though I wou ld have l iked to have interviewed more students of non-European descent. Short Chinese names tend to be too numerous in today's telephone directory to pin point. Elderly former students may also live wi th other relatives rather than having a telephone listed in their own name so some are difficult to track down. M y ethics review expiry date meant I ultimately had to stop and be satisfied with the information from the interviews that I had completed to that time. 3 3 3 1 All those I interviewed agreed to being named in my research. 3 2 Patrick Dunae. (2000/ continuing). B.C. Homeroom, [website of B.C. education history]. www.mala.bc.ca/homeroom. Accessed in Jan. 2000. 3 3 Some specific student artists who I would have liked to have interviewed: Sing Lim, George Obokata, and Al Bushell at Van Tech in the 1930s, who were accomplished student artists doing much illustrative work for the yearbook (VT) and the lino printer's manual (VTPM) published by the 15 I have considerable contact with seniors in my regular life and some seniors who went to Vancouver schools I have known for some time. Also whenever I met seniors wi th a Vancouver accent I could not help but ask them what schools they went to. So I have talked wi th more people than those I officially interviewed many of whom provided me wi th some insight, if not specifics about an art activity then about the school's culture or the time period. People listed as "informal contacts" are people with whom I d id not do a taped, transcribed interview but to whom I have attributed at least one piece of information or opinion. I have organized the lists of interviewees that follow by school with the two, featured schools separate from other educational institutions. The dates following a name indicate dates of attendance; some of these are approximations based on discussions with the interviewee in trying to pin point the time they were at the school(s) or the date they graduated. 3 4 Under the schools, interviewees are listed by date of attendance at the school. A n asterisk behind a name indicates that I examined existing art by this person from their personal collection. Dates in parenthesis indicate dates of interviews. TABLE 1.1—Interviewees from Kitsilano Junior/Senior High School Dorothy Howard, from 1927-31; also see K i n g Edward (December 5,1999 and March 11, 2001) Eva Williamson, grad of 1935 (February 6, 2002) Russell White, 1933-37 (October 26,2001) John Wytenbroek, 1935-41 (February 20, 2002) B i l l Basil, grad of 1940 (March 4, 2003) Peter Snelgrove, 1939-44 (February 14,2002) Joy Coghil l , mid-1940s (May 15,2002) Rolph Blakstad,* grad of 1947; also see Lord Byng Qune, 2003) Louise Will iamson, grad of 1948 (Apri l 29, 2003) Hamish Cameron,* grad of 1950 (Apr i l 23 & May 30,2002) Stephen Ursulescu,* grad of 1950 (February 7 & 23,2002) Informal communications with people associated with Kits Ly la Brown, grad of 1949 (Apri l 3, 2002) James U . Gray, early-1940s; also see K ing E d (February 26, 2002) J. A . S. (Jim) Macdonald, 1949-51; also see Vancouver's art school (February 28, 2002) Marion McBain, grad of mid- to late-1930s (July 31,2001) Ted Charlesworth, grad of 1951 (May 2002) Allistair Ross, art teacher beginning 1963 (March 10, 2002) school (1934). The same is true of Kits' students Pat Sagris, Jim Genis, Pat Murphy, Hide Saito, Raphael Engel... the list could go on. 3 4 In cases where the individual was unsure of the dates, we tried to determine them based on relevant facts, such as whether the war had just begun or just ended, when the family moved into the neighbourhood, etc. 16 TABLE 1.2—Interviewees from Vancouver Technical School Clarence Falk,* early-1930s (May 14,2003) Malcom Nelson, grad of mid-1930s (May 28, 2002) Bill Wong, grad of late-1930s (September 7, 2002) Note all references to Wong refer to Bill Wong unless specified otherwise. Bob Banks,* grad of 1941; also see art school (June 2003) Henry Zitko, grad of mid-1940s (May 16, 2003) Jim Rimmer, grad of late-1940s (May 18, 2003) Margaret Strathern,* grad of late-1940s (June 27, 2003) TABLE 1.3—Interviewees from Other Schools Britannia Irene Alexander, mid-1930s; also see art school (May 28, 2001) Anna Wong, mid- to late-1940s (August 13, 2002, informal) John Oliver Doug Anderson, grad of 1947 (August 31, 2001, informal) King Edward Dorothy Howard, senior matric 1933-34; also see Kits James U. Gray, senior matric mid-1940s; also see Kits and art school King George Ivor Parry, 1941-44 (January 2002, informal) Lord Byng Myrtle Bains, early-1930s (May 2001, informal) Rolph Blakstad, 1941^3; also see Kits Magee Heather Leveson-Gower, early-1930s (November, 2001) Ron Turner, grad of early-1940s; also see Point Grey (September 9, 2001) Point Grey Ron Turner, late-1930s to early-1940s; also see Magee Templeton Anna Wong, mid-1940s; see also Britarinia Vancouver's art school Irene Alexander, late-1930s to early-1940s; also see Britannia J. A. S. (Jim) Macdonald, student of early-1950s, student teacher of Moira Macdonald 1950; see also Kits James U. Gray, mid-1940s; see also Kits and King Ed Bob Banks, 1946—48; also see Van Tech Out of city Bob Steele, began art teaching 1950 at Abbotsford Secondary (November 25,1999) Dermott Mclnnes, early-1920s Alberta student (March 5, 2001) 17 Role of Memory I decided to interview primarily people who were identified in the yearbooks as being good at art or interested in art in school. I believe that people who loved art as students and were involved in art at school are likely to remember more about art that those who had little interest in art as a subject or activity. People not so inclined toward art generally do not remember much about what they did in art class, and at best remember one or two incidents in a classroom. This was confirmed for me in considering what I remember of my Grade 10 science course, social studies course, and art course.35 On Grade 10 science and social studies I only remember about two or three incidences that reveal what we were learning in those classes, whereas I remember enough about Grade 10 art classes to construct the basics of the instruction, month to month, on what we were learning and the teacher's approach. To me this confirms that I can remember because my interest was what went on in art class. It was a course that I found extremely stimulating and rewarding. Grades 10 to 12 are the grades my informants most often talked about. The Putman Weir report supports my belief in this; the authors explained that individuals have not one memory faculty but many, and that people have "good memories for certain things, usually those that appeal to their interests, and a shockingly bad memory for others."36 There is one shortcoming in depending upon the memories of some of the early art enthusiasts and that is that many of them went on to use their art learning in their professional lives or did art on their own throughout their lives as a hobby. Those people who were interested in art may have had other sources of art learning concurrently or subsequently to what they had at high school. They may have been learning from a relative or in Saturday morning art classes at the art gallery or at the art school. This means that some of them cannot be sure what they learned in which learning situation. Did they in fact do scratchboard drawings at Kits for instance or did they do that in another setting at the same time or after? Despite such potential occasional uncertainty, an enjoyment of what these people did in art class has helped them to remember what art learning was about in the school, and often they have participated fully in extra-curricular art-related activities. That is why I have chosen them as informants. Of surviving artwork of former students, Rogers said, "Examples of the children's art work have largely disappeared. That which remains is more likely to be the exceptional rather than the humdrum."371 believe that the examples of student art that I have included in this dissertation are not humdrum. They appear as a portfolio of images at the end. 3 5 For me this is just over 40 years ago, whereas my interviewees were reflecting at least 54 to more than 70 years back. 3 6 Putman Weir report (p. 40). 18 To a certain extent the information in this study is weighted on the side of the experiences of exceptional art students rather than average or below-average students, although not entirely. But in having interviewed mainly students who loved art in school and in presenting their artwork, I have indicated the range of what was possible during this time period for students who made the most of the opportunities for art learning that their school provided. Yearbooks as a Source H i g h school yearbooks are a unique genre. After studying yearbooks of 10 Vancouver schools published prior to 1950,1 was struck by the similarities of content and style amongst yearbooks of the various schools while at the same time being so different from other publications. I suspect that commercial printers may have provided schools wi th guidelines or given them copies of school yearbooks that they had previously printed. Also school yearbook production staff likely used the previous issues of their own school yearbook as a guide. Similarly, certain teachers, often English teachers and art teachers, were likely to have served several years as sponsors of the school yearbook thus providing a certain continuity of style and content for their school's annual. The school year's sports activities, individual or graduating-class pictures (graduate personality profiles), literary and dramatic sections routinely appeared in annuals, all prefaced by the principal's message giving some hints of highlights of the school year. Special paper dividers labeling these various sections often featured hand-produced prints or drawings done by students. These are a valuable source of illustrations, hand lettering, and cartoons by students generally recognized in the school as being among the most capable student artists in the senior grades. 3 8 M y use of the high school yearbooks was to reveal some of the art skills that students were learning and the broadening of art subject matter within the schools. The choice of art to feature in yearbooks was limited due to restrictions relating to the publishing process and other factors such as the suggested varied editorial control and apparent purposes of the yearbooks. Also the printing process itself dictated to some extent the range of media that could be in used in the art images. Van Tech has an unbroken publishing record for its yearbook, beginning wi th the first edition in the spring of 1922, and the V a n Tech library has at least one copy of every issue. Thus I was able to have access to this excellent research source; I feel this made up for the fewer interviews conducted with Van Tech students. The Kits yearbook, on the other hand, after putting out its first issue in the 1930-1931 school year missed publishing some years during the 1930s and, due to a paper shortage d id not produce an issue 3 7 Rogers. The beautiful in form and colour (p. 6). 3 81 decided to not include King Ed as a featured school because its early yearbooks were typeset only with no visual matter. 19 in 1943. For this reason I received less information from the Kits yearbooks than I did those of Van Tech. I made up for this in doing almost twice as many interviews with former students from Kits than from Van Tech. Kits yearbooks are exemplary among the high school yearbooks that focused on the personalities of the students and documented in words and visuals the most notable events of the school year. The Kits yearbooks received awards, or were in the running, for many years.39 So while the approach of Kits' yearbooks was typical of other Vancouver high school yearbooks, their standards placed them among the best-produced annuals in the province. The yearbooks documented the main athletic, social, artistic, and literary events of the year while revealing the personalities of the most accomplished students and graduating students. Covers, section dividers, cartoons, and photographs integrated with cartoons are the main art in these publications. Some financially-necessary advertisements contained in the yearbooks were drawn and lettered by the students despite the commercial printing of the publications. In some cases, as with the yearbooks of other schools, individual pages were designed and hand-printed by students and inserted even though the yearbooks were professionally bound. Van Tech's yearbooks are visually rich. Seeing the student-produced visual matter appearing within the pages of these publications confirmed my interest in featuring this school in my study. Students' linoblock prints, cartoons, and hand lettering and, in the late-1940s, pen and ink drawings, enliven the pages. The typesetting and the printing were done in the Van Tech printing department classes. While there was greater student involvement in the actual production of the Van Tech yearbooks, there seems to have been a greater editorial control by the staff than in the production of other school yearbooks. Van Tech's yearbook seems to have aimed to be a showpiece of the school's capabilities in producing a professional, student-typeset, and student-printed product. Until 1947, it promoted the city of Vancouver and surrounding area as if aiming to portray a favourable image of the city to an external audience. A full page of each yearbook was given over to listing the names of the technical schools, Canadian and international, with which Van Tech exchanged yearbooks. Clearly, the yearbook editor played to this external audience, almost as much as trying to appeal to Van Tech's student body. Another advantage is that Van Tech yearbooks regularly reviewed the school's history in the context of writing about the retirement or death of staff members or anniversaries of the school. These articles and editorials written by long-time staff members provided valuable insight into the philosophy of the school while extolling the virtues of technical education. Kitsilano 75th anniversary video documentary. Vancouver, B.C.: Kitsilano Secondary School. 20 Existing Artwork Other than the multitude of examples of art images appearing in the yearbooks, I have examined the artwork of six former art students of the two schools. While seeing original art is particularly rewarding, some of it has been undated and mixed wi th the individual 's more current work, or the collection includes art the student d id outside of school or after the student left the school. Another problem I encountered regarding the original art is having insufficient time to spend with it and being unable to examine it concurrently wi th the art of another student. Without being able to bring all the art pieces to one location to examine them at the same time, useful comparisons cannot be made readily. 4 0 For this reason the artwork in the yearbooks of the schools was invaluable. I was able to photocopy many of the images in the yearbooks and then compare them i n different ways regarding subject matter, media, and the time that they appeared in the yearbook. Many of the art images carried in the yearbooks are originals too, especially the linoprint and silkscreen prints, in that they were printed directly from linoblocks and screens that the students cut. The images were then integrated into the pages of the yearbook when the publication was bound. Consideration of Art Models Kits and V a n Tech, having come into being as a result of the social responsiveness of Vancouver's education system to perceived community needs, had totally different mandates and different school cultures. The art learning in these two schools supported their different purposes. Several writers have defined such purposes in terms of historical art teaching models, which they have labeled in different ways 4 1 . The set of models that I found most inclusive and relevant to art programs from the 1920s to the end of WWII involved seven different approaches. These I initially posited for considering approaches to art as a subject taught in American schools during the Depression era and Wor ld War II years. 4 2 The original art models I categorized were Ar t for Industry, Ar t for Creative Self Expression, Ar t for Dai ly Liv ing , Ar t for Social Uses, Ar t for School Art 's Sake, Ar t for A r f s Sake, and Ar t for Subject Integration. 4 3 4 0 One exception was the Grade 10 sketchbook of Hamish Cameron. It was extremely helpful to have been able to photocopy it in its entirety. 4 1 Laura Chapman. (1978). Approaches to art in education. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Karen Hamblin. (1985). An art education history chronology: A process of selection and interpretation. Studies in Art Education 26(2). pp. 111-120. D. Wendy Stephenson. (1998). Artmaking materials in the classroom (Chapter 3). 4 2 Trends in art education since 1950 are thus not included; visual literacy, for instance is not considered here. 4 3 Art for Industry aimed to train designers to create appealing products in demand as goods; Art for Creative Self Expression provided children with an artistic outlet for emotional and personal 21 Art as a school subject often has had to transform itself to survive in the curriculum as suggested by the description of these varied art models manifested i n the United States as art educators strove to keep some form of art in the schools through the Depression era and Wor ld War II years. In Vancouver i n the 1920s to 1950s maintaining art and design education i n the students' programme didn't seem to be an issue. A t Kits during this period, a cultured citizen was sought to elevate public taste, so art was deemed to be an important part of a wel l -balanced liberal education. A t V a n Tech during this time, drawing and design were part of students' technical training even before design or art was offered as a separate subject. So i n these schools, art as it was practiced there didn't need to be defended. Formal and Informal Art Learning Ar t learning in the schools was achieved through both formal and informal art learning. What I am referring to as "formal art learning" is that set of skills and knowledge that was promoted in the officially-prescribed texts and programmes of study and as evident through the provincial art exams. I am also including the skills that pre-service and in-service teachers were taught. Pre-service training includes aspects of art known to have been taught to pre-service art teachers at Vancouver's art school where they attended for specialist art training. Information on what pre-service teachers were learning 4 4 was outlined i n the art school's yearly prospectus and student publications. Courses available at the art school during its first five years of existence (1925-30) were relevant to this study, as four of Kits ' and V a n Tech's art teachers were studying or teaching at the art school during this time period. By the term "informal art learning" I am referring to art learning that students put to use in the school's extra-curricular activities, including clubs, many of which were supervised by teachers. Painting sets for a school play, making posters to advertise a special event, designing a page layout or doing an illustration for the yearbook, or drawing cartoons on a banner for a dance expression; Art for Daily Living provided design and applied art training in recognition that all people have some need for knowledge of art throughout their lives whether managing the appearance of their clothing, their homes, their businesses, or their communities; Art for Social Uses was instituted so students could learn how to design and create products needed in the then war-torn society needing posters for propaganda, illustrated maps, etc.; Art for School Arf s Sake was that leisurely Friday afternoon approach to art where activities involved traditional, undemanding, and largely anonymous school projects undertaken without much thought as to how they might be used in the student's later life; Art for Art's Sake involved trying to parallel the approach in student artmaking to the styles of art that existed in the recognized art world; Art for Subject Integration aimed to create projects to support other school subjects in order to keep some, primarily illustrative, form of art in the curriculum. 4 4 One student publication produced annually by the art school between 1926 and 1930 was The Paint Box. (1926-1930). Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. A later one was Behind the Palette (1940s). Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver School of Art. 22 are typical activities offering opportunities for informal art learning. Such activities involved similar media and similar skills as those learned in an art class. Outline of Chapters The following provides a brief summary of the subsequent chapters i n this thesis. CHAPTER TWO—Educational, Social, and Artistic Mil ieu In recognizing the importance of school culture in shaping formal and informal art learning in a school, I have examined various elements of culture that went into making up the character of Kits and of V a n Tech during the time of this study. I have done this in recognition of the educational, social, and artistic milieu of the time. CHAPTER THREE—Art Learning at Kits This chapter introduces the art teachers, describes the culture of the school, and describes elements contributing to informal art learning at Kits primarily through the extra-curricular activities. It also describes the aid of specific resources in the school and in the community that aided student art learning. This chapter describes art-related clubs in the school and shows how teachers created certain opportunities for serious art students in contributing to students' artistic development. CHAPTER FOUR—Art Learning at Van Tech Like the previous chapter, this one on V a n Tech introduces the teachers of art and describes aspects of the culture of the school. It examines elements contributing to informal art learning primarily through the extra-curricular activities that contributed to students' learning of art skills. CHAPTER FIVE—Art Media and Skills at the Two Schools This chapter discusses art media and skills at Kits and Van Tech. It provides descriptions of the kinds of art learning evident i n Kits and V a n Tech including art and fine art, many aspects of drawing, design, painting, hand printing (silkscreen and linoblock printing), applied art, craft, lettering, industrial arts (woodworking, metalworking, drafting, and printing processes), and photography. Where relevant, I point out issues of class, gender, and race embedded in these aspects of formal art learning. I aprovide reproductions of artwork by students at Kits and V a n Tech as specific examples of the k ind of art the students were doing to 1950. 23 CHAPTER SIX—Art Subject Matter at the Two Schools This chapter explores the kinds of subject matter that Kits and Van Tech students featured in their artwork. I am interested in the broadening of initial school subject matter, as revealed in the early art textbooks, as compared to the subject matter in the art of students from Kits and Van Tech. I show that the school art of these two schools reflects the nature of the schools as well reveals local art interests and the broader concerns of society. Relevant reproductions appear in the portfolio of images at the end of this document. CHAPTER SEVEN—Conclusion In this chapter I discuss some of the differences evident in approaches to art learning at Kits and Van Tech to 1950 in relation to the motives, purposes, and ideology relevant to the two schools at the time. I consider the findings in light of the overall perception of class, gender, and race. I suggest how these differences reflect the kinds of schools Kits and Van Tech were and how they resulted from different attitudes and goals. In this final chapter I also acknowledge implications for research and suggest how future research could contribute to what has been done here. Personal Endnote Kits is the school my mother attended; Van Tech is the school I wish my father could have attended. In undertaking this research I have tried to understand their experiences, and that of their sisters and brothers, relating to mandated educational changes in the Vancouver school system and in terms of issues relating to gender, class, and race. While my family's experiences are not described in this text, I hope some of what I know of their history has informed my understanding of that time in Vancouver. I have empathy for both Kits and Van Tech. For me, one school doesn't outweigh the other. 24 CHAPTER TWO—Educational, Social, and Artistic Milieu This chapter provides some background to the establishment of Kitsilano Junior/ Senior H i g h School (Kits) and Vancouver Technical School (Van Tech) revealing their shared roots and explaining how they were set up to serve different needs and different populations within the city of Vancouver. It provides insight into the city's educational, social, and artistic milieu of the time that they came into existence and that helped shape these two high schools and that ultimately resulted i n different approaches to art learning. A Young Vancouver Initiates First High School The first high school in the city, originally called Vancouver H i g h School, was established in 1890 only four years after Vancouver was incorporated on A p r i l 6, 1886.45 A t that time the first houses clustered around the harbour were built out of wood; so were the sidewalks. Looking back, Charles Scott (1927), first principal of Vancouver's art school, described the beginnings of the city: Fifty years ago, no railroads ran into Vancouver. The embryo city as represented by wooden shacks huddled around Hastings and Carrall Street encompassed by woods and water. English Bay was reached by a trail. 4 6 Perhaps not surprisingly the famous Vancouver fire of June 13,1886, burned the city to the ground. A one-room school, precursor to Vancouver H i g h School, was one of the few buildings to survive the city's fire, but the bui lding was moved and changed into a multi-grade school when the city reestablished itself. The rebuilding process started the very next day wi th the setting up of a voluntary fire department and a realty office operating out of a huge hollow stump. H i g h school education was not neglected long; the older cities of Victoria, N e w Westminster, and Nanaimo all had a high school before Vancouver H i g h School was established. 4 7 Scott continued: Gradually the good citizens realized that wooden shacks were inadequate, trails became streets and avenues, street cars appeared as a means of transporting a growing community, residential suburbs sprouted.... Churches, schools and banks made imposing landmarks in streets that had 4 5 K. A . Waites, K. H . McQueen, & T . Pattison. (1941). The first fifty years, Vancouver high schools: 1890 to 1940 (p. 32). Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver School Board. 4 6 Charles H . Scott. (1927). Things as they are. The Paint Box, 2, 21 & 22. Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver School of Applied and Decorative Arts. 4 7 Waites et al. state that high schools had been founded at Victoria in the academic year 1876/77, at New Westminster in 1884/85, and at Nanaimo in 1885/86 (p. 32). 25 now become busy enough to necessitate traffic control. Department stores expanded so that the merchandise of the wor ld might be at our very door. 4 8 Different Populations, New Needs Launch Kits and Van Tech Over the next few decades the pioneer high school, renamed King Edward H i g h School, routinely dispersed parts of its student body to create additional high schools as new populations and new needs were identified and new funding was acquired. This is how Kits and Van Tech began in this relatively young high school system. September 1917 is a good place to start my look at Ki t s 4 9 and Van Tech as the ideas for both schools had already been conceived, although at this time, there was no hint of what vital and dynamic Vancouver secondary schools they were to become by 1950. Establishing Kitsilano High School on its Own Site Kits was initiated on the more affluent west side of Vancouver to serve the growing population on the southwest shore of False Creek. Its mandate was to be a community high school offering matriculation (university entrance, which at that time was completion of Grade 11) and a general graduation course. Four Grade 9 classes from King Edward formed the nucleus of this new school that was provided with the loan of four staff members. 5 0 In the first school year (1917/18), Kits students were housed i n an elementary school just outside the district. In the second year of the school's existence students moved into the Kitsilano neighbourhood sharing accommodation wi th Henry Hudson Elementary School where they stayed until January 1920. A t that time Kits moved into its new, wooden-frame, one-story building on the south side of the school's current school site. This is located between 10 t h and 12 t h Avenues at Trafalgar. This building held four classrooms and an auditorium. The rest of the site was overgrown wi th wil lows, and stumps and bog surrounded it. 5 1 A block-long trail through bush led down to West Broadway, the major east/ west corridor of the city. The school added two and three rooms a year and other wooden structures; by 1922 the school had a staff 4 8 Scott. (1927). The Paint Box (p. 22). 49In this dissertation the schools have been referred to in various ways. Kitsilano High School (prior to 1927), Kitsilano Junior and Senior High School(s) after 1927, and at times Kitsilano High Schools (1940s); also familiarly referred to as Kitsilano and Kits. Britannia High School is also referred to here as simply Britannia; Vancouver Technical School is referred to as Van Tech. I am using the term secondary schools to refer to schools mcluding Grades 7 to 12 (in cases to 13), even though the word was established after the period covered by this study (by the Chant Commission in 1960). 5 0 Kitsilano Secondary School Archives Clippers Club. (1973). Chronicles of Kitsilano (2nd ed., p. 1). Vancouver, B.C.: Kitsilano Secondary School. Hereafter referred to as Kits chronicles. 5 1 Waites et al. The first fifty years (p. 106). 26 of twelve. 5 2 For about five years following the establishment of Kits H i g h in its original, albeit temporary, building, the school was under constant construction with new wings and other additions. Yet the school was developing a cohesive student body and its own distinct culture. Kits was bui lding a reputation for scholastic and athletic achievements. 5 3 Beginning wi th the wooden structure on the existing site, art was the responsibility of Spencer P. Judge, its first art teacher.54 Judge shared his time between Kits and K i n g George H i g h Schools 5 5 i n the West End. Working part-time in more than one school was often necessary in those years in order for an art specialist to get enough employment (James U . Gray). A t year-end 1920, the city's art inspector, Charles Scott, reported that drawing at Kits was not up to high school standard and would not likely attain the expected level, attained by K i n g George High he noted, until there was a proper drawing teacher and program in place. 5 6 When Charles Scott criticized Kits ' art program in this way, he presumably d id not realize that wi th Judge and another art educator, Wi l l i am Weston, he would, i n less than four years, be wri t ing and illustrating B.C.'s officially recognized art textbook (1924). That text served for almost 10 years. Judge continued to teach art at Kits until he replaced Scott as art inspector for Vancouver schools beginning in 1924,57 when Scott was overseas and subsequently involved with the development of Vancouver's art school. The fact that Judge was serving the alleged below-standard art program at Kits, while also conducting the apparently acceptable art program at King George, suggests that there were factors, beyond the art teacher's ability, i n order for art to flourish in a high school. A stable and supportive arts culture was not yet i n place to provide augmentative activities and to bring out the best in students' commitment to artmaking. Understandably the unsettled school hadn't yet achieved that stable school culture, standing as it was on an in-progress construction site. But wi th the First War having ended, the district was growing and the school was expanding. Van Tech's Origin Meanwhile back in the basement of K i n g Edward H i g h School during the 1916/17 school term (at that time on the Fairview site at 12 t h and Oak), an experiment was undertaken to offer the beginnings of technical education to high school boys. A newly-formed, technical 5 2 Ibid. 5 3 Kits chronicles (p. 2). 5 4 Judge designed the school crest that remains in use today, as noted in Waites et al. The first ears (p. 106). ' Morris. The roots of art education (p. i). 5 6 British Columbia Department of Education. Annual report of the public schools of the Province of British Columbia. (1919-1920). Victoria, B.C.: King's Printer. [Hereafter called Report of the public schools.l V q924/25).~Report of the public schools. 27 department was headed by J. George Lister. He was assisted by James G . Sinclair. They were a team in shaping the school over the next 14 years. 5 8 The initial organization toward the establishment of the school, starting September 1916, began with 50 boys in one classroom along wi th a workshop, forge room, tin-shop, and a science lab (VT, 1946, n. p.). 5 9 Four teachers guided this department. There was very little equipment to do technical work within this newly created technical department. Nevertheless, besides their regular high school program, the boys were exposed to the philosophy of technical education, and additional technical math and science, along with some basic shop work. 6 0 This new kind of education was apparently perceived as so successful i n its first year of operation that in the following 1917/18 school year, 150 boys signed up to be part of the program. This apparent success was despite the fact that of the original 50 boys in the first class, only 23 remained. Several had found employment in technical positions due to their "short but thorough training." Also, because this was during Wor ld War I, some of the first group of students had left school to try to make their way to the front lines i n Europe. Others worked on farms as "Soldiers of the Soi l" to help replenish the food supply and "help our boys over there."6 1 The mandate of this new high school was to provide technical education to high school boys "expecting to earn a l iv ing in the technical trades." 6 2 The school as a separate institution opened March 1 s t, 1921, in leased space i n a bui lding known as the old Labour Temple, on Dunsmuir Street, i n downtown Vancouver near the original Vancouver H i g h School building. Lister was principal, Sinclair, vice-principal. The staff numbered 14 instructors. Approximately 300 students were admitted based on individual applications that were not dependent upon the geographic location of where they l ived (VT, 1930). There was minimal equipment and this facility was without school grounds, but athletic activities at that time were primarily focused on military dr i l l and other physical training conducted by the milit ia in the nearby armoury. Nevertheless under the direction of Sinclair, the school was able to add sports activities such as lacrosse, baseball, football, rifle shooting and track and field sports so that each boy could "indulge in some form of training or sport." 6 3 It was also noted 5 8 Until the untimely death of Lister in November of 1930. 5 9 References to the yearbooks of Kits and Van Tech appear in the text as (KH, date, page) and (VT, date, page) respectively. Two other school publication references are Kitsilano High School Life, appearing as Kits Life, and Lewis Elliotf s Van Tech printer's manual, as VTMP. Also references to interviewees, primarily former students of the two schools, appear in the text in parentheses, for example (Ursulescu) or (Zitko). Other references, to both texts and information, appear as footnotes. 6 0 King Edward High School. (1918). King Edward matric annual (p. 34). Vancouver, B.C.: King Edward High School. Hereafter referred to as Matric annual. 6 1 Ibid. 6 2 Ibid. (p. 31). 6 3 Ibid. (p. 31). 28 that "Culture—even to a technical man—should not be lacking and accordingly an orchestra has been formed and a glee club is being organized." 6 4 The students of V a n Tech also proceeded to gain honours for their skills in dr i l l , rifle, and first aid. V a n Tech was in this downtown location for six years before gaining a proper building of its own, on the same east-west corridor that fronted Kits. Van Tech settled at the opposite, eastern, end of Broadway. From the start, V a n Tech had the benefit of having its own in-house art advocate in the person of Sinclair, who had been art master for K i n g Edward since 1910. Sinclair could see the necessity of art training, especially training in design, as being a necessary part of technical education. He encouraged recognition of the importance of art in all technical work throughout his long tenure at the school, retiring as principal in 1944 (VT, 1944). Educational Mi l ieu The Putman Weir report wi th its introduction to progressivism i n the province was the major education policy statement during the time period covered by this study. It launched Kits and Van Tech in their new school facilities a year apart as well as having other ramifications for these two schools as discussed below. Direct impact of the Putman Weir report on Kits and Van Tech Both Kits, as a junior / senior high school, and V a n Tech were at least partially instituted on the recommendation of the government-funded Putman Weir report. 6 5 Released to the B.C. public in M a y of 1925, the Putman Weir report, a 550-page document, provided a thorough survey of B.C. schools as well as formally introducing progressive education to the province. The three strands of what has come to be seen as progressivism—child-centredness, social efficiency, and social reconstruction—were not of equal concern in the published report even though its authors, educational experts Harold Putman and George Weir, were aware of the components of progressivism and their ramifications. Social efficiency to them seemed to align wi th administrative efficiency and the efficiency of producing students who were work-ready without needing any additional training after graduating. Child-centredness was more relevant to elementary schools than to secondary schools, and social reconstruction was not their goal. In fact the intelligence (IQ) testing that went on was leavened wi th an acknowledgement of the k ind of family background, perceived as "class," that a student came from. Putman and Weir d id not want students aspiring to positions beyond their social position or ability to reach. They Ibid. Putman Weir report. Also referred to as the Report. 29 were aware of the broader machinations of society aimed to maintain a cheap labour force for the expanding industrialized economy in B.C. at the time. 6 6 The Report also contained some specific recommendations for changes to education in B.C. that had repercussions for Kits and Van Tech. Promotion of junior high concept The commissioners of the Putman Weir report were interested in the establishment of junior high schools to separate out Grades 7 and 8 from the elementary schools and Grade 9 from the senior high schools. The junior high years, constituting these three grades, were to be the exploratory years wherein students were to determine the interests that would later launch them into their life's work. The Report's promotion of the junior high school concept was enough to serve as the impetus for building Kits ' new facility that opened two years after the Report was published. Kits attempted to introduce this concept of the junior high in the new building by the separation of junior high students and senior high students despite their sharing the same school site and school buildings. Some junior high students thought they were the only ones in the new school (Dorothy Howard, K H student from 1927 to 1931; B i l l Basil, K H grad of 1940). They seem to have been unaware of the dual populations sharing various floors of the building at the time and the remaining wooden buildings; they thought the new building was theirs alone. To 1948 the school yearbook identified the school in the plural as Kitsilano Junior/Senior H i g h Schools. Yet Principal H . B. King , in the 1931 yearbook acknowledged that the separation of the two components of the school had not been totally successful to that point ( K H , 1931, Principal's Message). General aspects of progressivism also included proposals to end formalism, rote learning, and reliance on a single, subject textbook. Hands-on classroom experiences were promoted. Courses were to emphasize practical, applied work not just theoretical knowledge, as they were to prepare students for their vocation and daily life, not just for university entrance. The aim also was to create the well-rounded, cultured citizen wi th loyalties to both Britain and Canada. To avoid social unrest, the Putman Weir report aimed to keep students in the school system even beyond the new min imum leaving age of 15, and students were permitted to stay in the system, without charge, through age 18. The commissioners of the Report also advocated school as preparing students for future employment. Toward this end they promoted vocational skills and appropriate attitudes and work habits as wel l as healthy, productive, life-long avocations. They saw project work Ibid. 30 and hands-on learning experiences as aiding toward these goals. Both were central to art learning and technical training. The social reconstruction aspects of American progressivism, especially as advocated by American education writer George Counts, 6 7 d id not figure largely into the progressivism posited by Putman and Weir. While the Report stressed work preparation as a socially efficient goal of the school system, the authors d id not intend to change the social strata of society. The commissioners of the Report had no intention of transforming British Columbia's existing social relations but, wanting students' to stay i n school longer, 6 8 they needed to encourage students' interests. So more electives were proposed, and learning by doing and handwork of all types gained favour. 6 9 Ar t was seen as having the potential to provide enjoyment without teaching students something that would undermine class structure or even get students a better job, although art had the capacity to contribute to this goal. They believed technical training would result i n skills upgrading while keeping graduates in manual-based jobs. They did not want to give these students reason to question their role or social position as working class people. In discussing the Report's perceived need to maintain the social status quo in B.C. , especially in maintaining a cheap B.C. labour force, one writer stated of the Report: "Despite its wholesale condemnation of traditional concepts and practices, it is essentially a conservative document." 7 0 Because both technical training and art involved hands-on, practical, and applied knowledge rather than only theoretical knowledge, the technical programs and art courses of V a n Tech and Kits respectively were perceived as being progressive in that they were preparation for one's job and one's life. While art classes could find the art-talented few, and provide them with some job-related design skills, art was seen as largely promoting a more cultured citizenry (the approach at Kits) while helping to keep students i n school longer. Ar t was assumed, therefore, to be non-threatening to the social status quo and was thus retained in the curriculum. Endorsement of technical education The Putman Weir report positioned technical education as part of the social efficiency aspect of progressivism. 7 1 Technical training such as that offered at V a n Tech could help students get a job so they could become a member of the work force and so-called productive 6 7 George Counts. (1932/69). Dare the schools build a new social order? [Reprinted from first printing of 1932 edition]. New York: Arno Press & the New York Times. 6 8 Putman Weir report (p. 57). 6 9 Ibid. (p. 172). 7 0 lean Mann. (1978). Progressive education and the Depression in B.C. (p. 93). Unpublished master's thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 7 1 Putman Weir report (p. 92). 31 member of society with as little wasted time as possible. The Putman Weir report's endorsement of practical and technical education served to support the initiation of the construction of the new building for which Principal J. George Lister had been advocating for some time (VT, 1931, p. 7). Neil Sutherland suggested that progressivism never happened in Vancouver schools as a result of some of the continuing physical structures, desks remained on runners bolted to the floor, and social organization of learning, such as short periods designated for each subject.72 He was referring to the child-centered aspects of progressivism as they relate to elementary education. The hands-on approach to learning was certainly in existence in Van Tech, in their specifically designed facilities, where the ability to make was at least as important as the ability to know with the school specifically designed to accomplish hands-on learning. Knowledge of child-centred elements of progressivism, however, reached B.C. art teachers through out-of-province educators and publications and perhaps through those from Alberta, where progressive curriculum documents and textbooks were being produced73 and relevant conferences held. Child-centered approaches of other art educators, such as Britain's Marion Richardson74 and Ontario's Arthur Lismer,75 whose ideas were accessible to B.C. art teachers through guest lectures at Victoria's summer school for art teachers in the summers of 1933 and 1934, may have been relevant to some secondary art teaching. Position of Putman Weir report on art The Putman Weir report (1925) provided very few specific directions regarding the teaching of art. Those that were specific included the implementation of a mandatory art course in Grades 7 and 8. Art for the higher grades was to remain optional. Teachers were to continue to teach existing art skills but also stress the increased use of colour. The report 7 2 Neil Sutherland. (1986). The triumph of "formalism": elementary schooling in Vancouver in the 1920s to the 1960s. In R. A. J. McDonald & Jean Barman (Eds.), Vancouver past: Essays in social history, Vancouver centennial issue of B.C. Studies (pp. 175-210). Vancouver, B.C.: University of British Columbia Press. 7 3 Particularly those in Alberta such as Donalda Dickie (1940). The enterprise in theory and practice. Toronto: W. J. Gage. 7 4 During the summer schools of 1933 Marion M. Richardson, supervisor of art in London, England, gave an illustrated lecture on "Art in the schools" (1933-344 Report of the pubbc schools, p. M.31). In the summer of 1934 she lectured again promoting the development of children's imagination through art. She summed up her views later in her book (1948), Art and the child. London: University of London Press. 7 5 Arthur Lismer, member of the Group of Seven and educational director of the Toronto Art Gallery and lecturer in art at the University of Toronto, addressed B.C. Teachers Federation annual meeting on "Education through art," as reported in B.C .Teacher. (1932, Feb., p. 2). He founded the Child Art Movement in Canada and helped the National Gallery arrange a touring exhibition of Canadian child art. He gave a lecture at the Victoria summer school in 1934, as documented in the 1934-35 Report of the public schools (p. 535). Lismer believed in art as a release of spiritual forces necessary to the growth of a child. 32 also encouraged further study of art history, especially art by the acknowledged art masters (then perceived as primarily white, European males). A d d i n g art history, a more theoretical aspect to art courses, the very k ind of formal learning that the commissioners were generally against, aimed to provide students wi th cultural refinement while maintaining a studio focus. Despite this, the Report put art production ahead of art appreciation, as indicated i n the statement, "Every human being has some artist ability. Even where this ability is so limited as to make training i n expression of doubtful value, there is always the need for training in appreciation." 7 6 M y interest here is in defining the two attitudes to school art that the Report contained. The Report stated it seems reasonable... that the middle schools of British Columbia should teach art for economic reasons as well as to develop an art appreciation that w i l l influence the manner in which her future generations shall spend their leisure moments. 7 7 One of the recommendations about art aims to find those talented few who had the potential to become commercial artists or otherwise use their art ability in their work. Another attitude related to the use of artmaking to help students develop a constructive leisure-time activity that could endure throughout their life. Teaching about recognized art masters encouraged what the commissioners of the Report saw as individual and cultural advancement. The hope was that to increase the art knowledge of students would likely contribute to making Vancouver a more cultivated, refined, and civilized place. The Report also supported the new 1924 art education textbook focusing on drawing and design. This text, written by Charles Scott, Wi l l i am Weston, and Spencer P. Judge, all of whom were trained in Great Britain, maintained a conservative approach. Tony Rogers concluded that the influence of this book and the subsequent one authored by Weston alone (1933) had the effect of "freezing" art education of B.C. i n an earlier period. 7 8 The commissioners of the Report favouring the junior high concept and the usefulness of technical education served to launch Kits and V a n Tech into their new buildings; their moves into new facilities i n some ways marked the real start of these schools as a response to the Report. Nature of the two schools Principal Lister's dream of instituting a high school specifically for technical education in Vancouver was realized i n September of 1928 when Van Tech moved into its newly constructed facilities on an acre and a quarter of land. The series of buildings housed academic, 7 6 Putman Weir report (p. 92). 7 7 Ibid. 33 theatre, and gymnasium space, as well as extensive shop space for woodworking, metalwork, and printing [Figure 2.3]. Also the property promised a playing field for track and field. The facility boded well as a place for practical education, having resources for hands-on learning, a place where learning to do was at least as important as learning to know. By its second year there (the 1929/30 school term), the school had a staff of 37 and 1,000 boys, slightly fewer students than at Kits. Lister died two years after the school opened; the yearbook later acknowledged "the school is his monument" (VT, 1944, p. 19). Kits' new concrete building which opened as a junior / senior high school in September of 192779 served boys and girls of Grades 7 to 11, then considered graduation year. Kits then had a population of approximately 1275 students, 800 of them being junior high students.80 There were 42 teachers on staff.81 For Kits the new building came with the commitment to specifically explore the concept of the junior high school.82 Shortly after moving into the new facility, Kits expanded to include Grade 12 referred to as junior matriculation. It was soon on the road to nourishing a well-supported arts culture. Within a couple of years students in Grade 13 (called senior matriculation) were also accommodated in the school. Kits' new building, while not looking all that different from that of Van Tech's,83 was without such extensive space and equipment for shop work. However, Kits did have shop space for industrial arts courses in woodworking, metalwork, electrical, and mechanical drawing (KH, 1931, p. 40) and had rooms for home economics and art. A major difference impacting on art learning at the two schools at this time was the make up of the school's population. While Van Tech started at the Grade 9 level, where art as a separate course was not required, the initial 800 Grade 7 and 8 students at Kits, for whom art was mandatory, made up two-thirds of the population thus requiring a stable of art teachers who, as a group, had the capacity for promoting stimulating in-class as well as extra-curricular art learning. Mandates and beliefs at the two schools Van Tech attempted to uphold two primary goals, the most recognizable one was to prepare students to be ready for work in industrial occupations; the second was to instill 7 8 Rogers. (1987). WRWestpn (p. 282). 7 9 This was one year before Van Tech was to gain its newly-built facility. 8 0 Waites et al. The first fifty years (p. 106). 8 1 Kits chronicles (p. 3). m a i K l a S w ^ w S S T b y their external appearance. Perhaps this is not surprising since they ^ S S t ^ one year apart and thus there were current ideas as to how a school should look. 34 specific values and beliefs in students. Beginning wi th the formation i n 1916 of V a n Tech's precursor, the technical department at K i n g Edward, the goal was to give the student the advantages of the ordinary high school course and at the same time enable h i m to acquire technical mental training and knowledge, both theoretical and practical.... The course is designed to give a training in the mechanical, mathematical and scientific principles and laws which underlie all lines of practical work. 8 4 After the school was firmly established, Principal Lister stated, "Our aim is to turn out reliable boys, not merely workers with their hands, but boys who work with a background of knowledge and reason" (VT, 1930, p. 6). A yearbook editorial i n the late 1930s by an un-named writer, possibly Principal Sinclair, indicated the school aimed to have students ready to take a job immediately on graduation. In the same issue, Sinclair stated, "Our boys are fitting into life situations more easily and with less wastage than has formerly been the case" (VT, 1937, p. 7). In another column Sinclair used rather impersonal terms i n reflecting this social efficiency goal of progressivism as he urged graduates to keep in touch: "You are our product and, when we put you on the market, we are anxious to know how you shape up" (VT, 1937, Principal's Message, p. 9). Sinclair stated that Van Tech was wi l l ing to and capable of taking its proper place in training boys for industry and for life, and he boasted that industry employers had said: "When [Van Tech students] commenced work, they had a knowledge that enabled them to become immediate producers, instead of spending a year at our expense" (VT, 1937, p. 8). In terms of art, this work-ready approach meant that whatever students needed to learn about drawing and design to do their proposed future work had to be embedded into the course work at Van Tech. There was no assumption that graduates would subsequently spend time at art school, although three of my interviewees from V a n Tech did in fact attend the art school as adults (Bill Wong, V T grad of late-1930s; Bob Banks, V T grad of 1941; Jim Rimmer, V T student of late-1940s). Drawing was a valued skil l in almost all shop subjects (Banks, Wong). Apparently students were marked separately on the design aspect of their projects and good design was considered an aspect of professionalism in shop courses (Wong). Beyond just teaching necessary skills for manpower training, Principals Lister, Sinclair, and E. M . White at various times revealed the school's endeavour to teach students specific work-enhancing attitudes and values. They may have considered these attitudes also as indispensable in creating a moral and political consensus 8 5 among the future workers they trained. Certainly aspects of citizenship were foremost. In his retirement message, 8 4 (1917). Matric Annual (pp. 40-41). 35 Sinclair wrote, "a good citizen means more to the State than a good scholar" (VT, 1944, p. 13), and he advised teachers to carry on "trying to make good citizens of the boys in your care" (VT, 1944, p. 13). Subsequently White upheld this emphasis on traits making for a good citizen. He wrote, We have endeavoured to give you a healthy and wholesome philosophy of life, emphasizing those great qualities of honesty, truth, courtesy, understanding.... We have endeavored to train you to be courteous men and graceful women, to have alert and well-ordered minds, to be skilful of hand, to be good citizens. Step out into the world—not with the feeling that you know it all, but wi th humility and sincere desire to make your contribution to the welfare and progress of this fair Canada of ours. (VT, 1950, Principal's Message, p. 5) Despite these high-sounding goals, there was an equal emphasis on keeping the future graduates in their place, by teaching them to "play the game," not to question the rules of the game, nor to try to change the rules of the game. When King George V died, the V a n Tech yearbook listed six maxims that apparently hung in the king's study in Buckingham Palace. The first maxim was "Teach me to be obedient to the rules of the game" (VT, 1936, p. 44b). This in effect confirmed that no matter how high or low on the ladder of status, one should not question but rather should do what the game of life and work required of the individual . A n extension of this belief involved maintaining habits of punctuality, obedience to orders, respect for others, and industriousness (VT, 1936, Principal's Message, p. 9), as wel l as courteous service, fair play, and application to work (VT, 1937, Editorial, p. 7). Sinclair stated that graduates would "experience success not because they were brilliant at school, but rather [because] they had learned how to be industrious, how to stay with the job, and give the best they had to the job" (VT, 1944, Principal's Message). A few years later Principal E. M . White urged, "Endeavour to do more than the mere requirements of your special job" (VT, 1949, Principal's Message). By comparison Kits ' goals seem less concerned about having the graduate ready to take a job immediately, although some students d id go directly to a job. Preparation for citizenship was at least as important as it was at Van Tech, and the time students spent at the school was life itself as well as preparation for life. This was summarized in James Gordon's "Principal's Message" in the 1938/ 39 yearbook: Dur ing all these years what has this school been trying to do for you? For one thing, it has been trying to establish in you certain skills and habits that w i l l be of use to you throughout life. Y o u found also that great emphasis was placed on your citizenship and on your service to the school to the end that you might be good Canadian citizens. We have tried to give you a full and 8 5 R. D. Gidney, & W. P. J. Millar. (1990). Inventing secondary education: The rise of the high school in 19th century Ontario (p. 51). Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press. 36 interesting life within the school itself. Y o u w i l l realize that the school served you not only because you were a prospective adult or citizen, but because you were a young person who, as such, had needs of your own. ( K H , 1939, p. 4) When Gordon was about to retire as principal in 1947, he added to this stating: Y o u have been encouraged to form good habits of work, to guide your conduct in accordance with the highest principles, to acquire knowledge of mankind and the universe, to make suitable friendships, to deal justly and honestly wi th your fellows, and to be unselfishly helpful wherever help is needed or sought. This is your inheritance from the school. (VT, Principal's Message, n. p.) Thus Kits ' clubs and extra-curricular activities, including art-related activities, helped create a community for l iv ing and learning for Kits students wherein skills and habits taught i n classes were reinforced, where opportunities for service to the school and to others were created, where friendships were reinforced across the population of the school not just within students' own class groups, and other aspects of citizenship were played out. Art-related and other activities formed a broad base to this social environment that seemed to allow students to enjoy their adolescence rather than just preparing them for their adult future, which seemed to be more the case at V a n Tech. This difference in the nature of the two schools seems to be visually summed up in Figure 2.4 suggesting the difference in the nature of the two schools. 8 6 A s a neighbourhood school, Kits was more able to be a center for social life in a way that didn't seem to be fully possible at Van Tech. Also V a n Tech's tight-knit class groups of 25 to 30 students, with whom students spent their entire four years according to my informants, contributed to keeping students isolated from others i n the school. For this reason, art-minded students at V a n Tech were more likely to know others wi th the same interest only through examples of their artwork rather than in person (Wong; Banks; Henry Zitko, V T grad of mid-1940s). Social Mi l ieu This chapter looks at social milieu of Vancouver during this time primarily, but not only, through the eyes of Kits and V a n Tech schools. The social fabric is considered in terms of gender, class, and race, the impact of the Depression, students' social expectations, the schools' perceived relationship to Britain, their experience of the Second Wor ld War, and relation to issues of First Nations peoples. Many of these social issues ultimately are reflected in the art of the students of the two schools. 37 Gender and class Issues of gender and class at Kits and V a n Tech seem somewhat intermingled especially as regards to students' expectations for their futures. Prior to the anticipated arrival of the girls at V a n Tech in September 1940, there was some ambiguity in the term technical education as it related to the k ind of training the girls were to receive. References to the needs of the war had me assuming the girls would have received the same training as the boys at V a n Tech. In introducing the girl's department, the 1941 yearbook stated: The present war stresses the vital need of technically trained men and women. Tech ed offers rich opportunities to girls who can adapt themselves. Vantech extends a hearty welcome to the pioneer group of 300 girls. (VT, 1941, p. 8) Wi th a comment such as this, I was thinking of mechanics, as that was one of V a n Tech's strengths in providing personnel for the Armed Services (VT, 1943, n.p.). But during the war years, mechanics was not a subject available to girls to study at V a n Tech. It seems the term practical training 8 7 would have been more appropriate originally. In 1943, with the approach of the first graduation to include girls, the yearbook notes that 20 or 30 girls wou ld "get their diplomas in hairdressing, retail selling, design, tailoring, cooking, and home nursing" (VT, 1943, p. 19). While the tailoring course included fashion design (Margaret Strathern, V T grad of 1949), I have no source of information on what the separate design certificate entailed. A yearbook writer was patronizing to females in the tailoring class but at least recognized the design aspect of that course. The article stated that the girls are "efficient dressmakers (at least they think they are). This little flock of designers displayed their 'wares' at the graduation banquet. They were very charming indeed" (VT, 1944, The Tailoring Class, p. 39). It wasn't until the 1945/ 46 year that girls were finally admitted into some of the boys' classes and the matriculation program (VT, 1946, Looking back on 25 t h anniversary, p. 7). Strathern, a graduate from the first class (1949) to include females in the matric program, spoke of a teacher who begrudgingly received girls i n his class. Apparently he made it clear that he was going to continue to teach as he always had and not make any concessions to the girls in the class. Thus the girls integrated into a curriculum intended for boys. Strathern mentioned learning about such things as how to rewire an electrical socket, tend to a car engine, etc., which she found very helpful later in l iv ing in an isolated area. In spring 1940 a survey was undertaken as to why boys attended Van Tech, and a significant number of responses related to the fact that there were no girls at the school. 8 6 The left-hand side of the composite image showing adolescents is by Kits student Louise Williamson; the right-hand side of the composite image showing steel workers is by E. P. Wdson. 38 Characteristically, one boy wrote: "When I went to public school I was bothered by girls there, so I learned my lesson; I chose this school because there are no girls!" (VT, 1940, Why boys like to attend Tech, p. 72). There is more than one reference in the yearbook to this being a "he-man's" school and holding up manliness as a favourable trait. This was true of teachers as well as students. Principal Sinclair wrote: "You have been exposed to the influence of manly teachers, to an atmosphere of fair play in school and i n sport...." (VT, 1937, p. 9). There may have been a somewhat hidden set of assumptions about the acceptable concept of masculinity, focusing on heterosexuality, almost to the point of homophobia. One student (Malcom Nelson, V T grad of the mid-1930s) remembered some V a n Tech boys locking in a cupboard one male teacher who they thought to be too feminine. After Sinclair retired, he looked back to when the school was in the old Labour Bui lding where, due to the absence of a playground, the boys used to fight in the back lane. His comment of approval was, "Teachers never interfered. A boy has an inherent right to fight, and I deplore the fact this delightful pastime is now frowned on severely" (VT, 1946, Memories, p. 22). In more than one instance the approach of the staff and teachers to the boys was spoken of as "fatherly care." Some of these attitudes were subtlety revealed i n the images produced by the students in their artwork. Such attitudes to manliness may also account for the fact that during their time at school boys d id not aspire to becoming fine artists despite an interest in art and despite relevant skills being taught in the school. This may relate to the stereotype of an artist (fine artist) being somewhat effeminate. A t Kits concepts of masculinity were generally more inclusive. In describing the Kitsilano Boy's Choir as the first of its k ind in any Vancouver high school and as contributing a new movement in city student musical groups, the yearbook states, "Boys, instead of being ashamed of their musical ability and condemning it as 'sissified,' are joining male choirs and displaying their talents" ( K H , 1948, n. p.). Boys at Kits interested in pursuing art as a career were more likely thinking about becoming designers rather than fine artists. In Kits ' case, however, this may have been determined more by assumptions of class and related issues involving maintaining a decent and consistent income, rather than being deterred by suppositions about gender appropriateness in becoming an artist. While the Department of Education designated home economics courses as available to girls only, by at least the 1936/ 37 school year at Kits there was a boys' cooking club ( K H , 1937, p. 44). Kits girls too, early on, felt comfortable enough i n the school's social setting to disregard traditional gender assumptions as they involved themselves in traditionally male activities. The 1931 Kits yearbook stated, 8 7 Girl's teacher Miss Boutiker stated, "the school fills a great need for a center for the practical training of girls" (VT, 1941, 'The New Girls' Unit," p. 15). 39 It is very gratifying to note that all interest i n shop work is not confined to the boys in our school. Grade 9,10,11, and 12 girls enjoy projects made through club activities carried on in general shop, electrical shop, woodworking shop, useful and decorative projects in copper and brass in the metal shop, and mechanical drawing in the mechanical drawing room. ( K H , 1937, p. 40) Female students at Kits, asked about plans for their future, seemed to aspire to a noticeably high proportion, for the time, of positions needing significant further education. Some of the goals the girls listed included physiotherapist, pharmacist, dietician, commercial artist [several listed this], Olympic ski star, to study drama, to study law, as wel l as the more routine positions as doctor's office receptionist and private secretary. Some wrote that their ambition was to study at "varsity" without specifying any goal beyond that ( K H , 1948, pp. 25-28). These aspirations say as much about class assumptions as gender. A t the same time a sampling of what Kits boys noted as what they hoped to be doing in their future includes: statesman; radio writing and announcing (ambition to write a musical review); ditchdigger [noted by a football player, in this context likely a joke]; a future Frankie Lane; torn between Ministry and Foreign Legion; work at B.C. Telephone; future K ing Edward Matric; football star and marine engineering; Varsity; an M . A . at Varsity; "a successful career"; Varsity; optometrist; pharmacist; Varsity and becoming a teacher; artist; future teacher of the accordion; K ing E d and then?; Varsity; would like to take an art course down south; Varsity; future undecided; Varsity and become a pharmacist; journalist. ( K H , 1948, pp. 25-29) These designations are noticeable i n that they are not blue-collar positions as were more common designations for Van Tech students. While Van Tech's graduating students write-ups tend to focus on a student's sports interests, some expectations for the future are also listed including electrician, machinist, or printer. Even one of V a n Tech's graduates from the late-1930s, who subsequently graduated from the University of British Columbia i n mechanical engineering, d id not seem to question assumptions about V a n Tech's programs leading to blue collar positions. He commented, A t V a n Tech you had a sense of training for your livelihood. When you go to Tech you have a much better chance of getting any k ind of job—you'd be much further ahead because you've got all that training. Wi th metal work you could go to a metal working shop; if you took woodworking, you could go to a woodworking shop. Or you could learn motors and go into mechanical. (Wong) In reviewing Van Tech's previous 20 years when the technical department started in the basement of K ing Edward H i g h School, the 1937 yearbook, noted that the "idea of technical education was new,... 'regular' students i n the school looked down on the new Tech boys and 40 made them feel that there was a wal l of division between them"(VT, 1937, Twenty Years Ago, p. 73). One might assume this was based on class considerations and yet the photo of this time in the basement (VT, 1937, Twenty Years Ago, p. 74) shows boys in white shirts wi th ties and some wi th vests and some wearing overalls over their white shirts. Yet this level of cleanliness wasn't maintained consistently by all boys. In the spring of 1930 Lister indicated that he looked forward to one unique way of having some boys upgrade their level of cleanliness. He wrote, Presently we shall have a swimming pool under the gymnasium and ablution for certain boys w i l l then be swift and sudden. Boys are still boys, and some still actually come to school having forgotten to wash their necks. (VT, 1937, Twenty Years Ago, p. 7) This comment would be unlikely in the context of Kits where basic cleanliness was probably not in question even through the Depression Years. Yet designating Van Tech simply as intended for working class families is somewhat simplistic in that not all teens i n a family attended V a n Tech. Families had the choice of using the schools for different purposes. Those wanting straight academic work for a child were more likely to send that child to Britannia H i g h School even while another attended V a n Tech to receive technical training. 8 8 A V a n Tech student from the early 1940s stated, A t my time we took all the academic subjects to get into university plus all the tech subjects as well . A n d our class was the only one that d id that, cause the other [matric] classes used to get some of the vocational classes but not all of them. We got all of them. We got all the credits we needed to get a tech diploma as wel l as the academic subjects. (Zitko) So Van Tech wasn't just for students not wanting to go to university, in fact the yearbook attempted to assure readers of the opposite in the case of engineering: We make the claim that our Technical Course is the best course for students who mean to take the Appl ied Science course at the university...[note the] successes of past tech boys who have succeeded in electrical engineering, c ivi l engineering, and geological engineering." (VT, 1930, Editorial, Our Varsity Boys, p. 68b) In short it was not class, nor money, nor geography alone that determined choice of sending a child to V a n Tech or elsewhere so much as families recognizing different educational goals for different members of their family. In this way Van Tech seems to have in some 8 8 Henry Zitko chose to attend Van Tech in the early 1940s, as he was heading for mechanical engineering at UBC, whereas his brother went to Britannia, their neighbourhood school, for a straight academic program. Similarly Bob Banks went to Van Tech in the 1940s while his sisters, headed for credentials in teaching, went to Britannia. Bill Wong's sister also attended Britannia in the mid-1940s. 41 ways straddled the designations of working class and middle class, especially where the term middle class is broadly defined. 8 9 Race A t Kits prior to 1950 race was less conspicuous than it is in Vancouver today. We tend to think of race primarily in terms of visibility of skin colour, primarily of blacks and those of Asian descent. One student from the late 1940s said of Kits, "Ethnicity was there, you felt it amongst you, it was just more subtley coloured, when at all, and more privately practiced" (Rolph Blakstad, K H grad of 1947). This student explained that students worked out their identities through their ethnic backgrounds—his as a Scandinavian, a friend as Jewish, but Kits was still primarily white. Arr iv ing at Kits after attending Lord Byng Junior/Senior H i g h School, just a few miles away but in a slightly more expensive neighbourhood, Blakstad realized Byng had been even more "white" than Kits. He said, M y impression [was] that at Kitsilano there were a greater number of "ethnic" types than in West Point Grey. There were Sikhs, Chinese, Japanese, Greeks, Italians, Jews, Scots, Irish, Scandinavians, middle Europeans, etc. This is my impression, but looking at the yearbooks today, this is not [apparent] by today's realities. (Blakstad) The 1948 yearbook lists the main students who had participated in a fundraising shoe drive and i n doing so reveals students of some of the ethnic origins that Blakstad referred to. The list reads: "Josie Wong, Gordie Macdonald, Georgia Hurshman, Roy Salmon, D o n Knight, Wolldemar Anderson, Mi lan Potkonyak, John Stark, and Nei l Desmarais" ( K H , 1948, n. p.). A s it was not possible to tell how long these students' families had been i n Canada, ethnic distinctiveness was not possible for me to consider. 9 0 A s there was a general absence of black students in the two schools at this time, the only racial diversity that I could determine was for students of Chinese and Japanese descent. While again it was not possible to know how long their families had been in Canada, I could at least determine some amount of difference based on physical appearance, though yearbook photographs, and their names. For instance Kits 1937 yearbook carries a photograph of 22 students in the cartoon club and two appear to be of Japanese descent (Moritsugu and Nishio), the only ones of Asian descent ( K H , 1937, p. 44). Their presence in this visual arts club, as in other arts-related activities in the two 8 9 Principal Smclair's own son, James Sinclair junior, attended Van Tech in its first two year before attending UBC where he became a Rhodes scholar and subsequent Member of Parliament (VT, 1940, p. 39). From there he became Federal Minster of Fisheries (not to mention becoming father-in-law to Prime Minister Trudeau), hardly a working class existence. 9 0 Blakstad created a logo type saying Den Glade Sunnmoring that accompanied all his school artwork. This was a reference to his father's village in Norway and his father's Norweigan 42 schools, was generally higher than represented in the general population of the school. A t V a n Tech the student population of Asian descent in the late-1930s was approximately 15 percent according to counts I have done of group photographs in the yearbooks and names on class lists where Chinese and Japanese names are obvious. In 1942 Principal James G . Sinclair acknowledged that the population of the school was mixed but said, "There has never been any discrimination evident along racial lines" (VT, 1942, Principal's Message, p. 9). One student, Henry Zitko of this time said that this was not true; his perception was that students of Asian descent had to have higher marks than others to be admitted, 9 1 whereas he assumed a Caucasian student was never barred from admission. Student Clarence Falk, from the 1930s, spoke of his teacher saying to the class, "Why are you white guys letting the Japanese students beat you in getting better marks?" There is a near absence of references to the United States in the V a n Tech yearbooks, but one stands out, as it states: "Our enterprising American cousins have always been trail blazers, and doubtless their success in trade and manufacture, and the forging of many racial elements into a young, vigorous nation, was hastened by their network of roads and railways" (VT, 1939, p. 51). This quote is ambiguous and doesn't give credit to the mixed population i n outright terms, but it does seem to approve of the mingling of races to achieve one dynamic nation. In this vein, Sinclair wrote, "You are all good Canadians, and the place of birth of your parents is not so important as the place of your own birth" (VT, 1942, p. 9). Vancouver's First Nations people In going through the yearbooks of about 10 schools, I was struck by the occurrence of images and stories featuring First Nations art and life. It was not uncommon for a yearbook to carry a precis of a Pauline Johnson myth on a regular basis. This interest was not restricted to schools, where First Nations students were largely absent, but rather was an indication of such a concern of society i n general about the relationship between Euro-Canadian and First Nations communities. 9 2 This concern was ultimately reflected in the art background. He explained to me that it meant "the happy one from Sunnmore." Blakstad stated, "There were [at Kits] Norwegian, Swedish, and Icelandic kids, and we knew what it meant." 9 1 The principal served as gatekeeper determining who was to be admitted; one admission letter written by a father for his son extolled the virtues of technical education (VT, 1920s). 9 2 An interest in Native art was shown by in-service teachers at Victoria's summer school in 1925. Native designs were studied in an applied art class in pottery taught by James S. McMillan. In his report, on the summer school, John Kyle stated pots were made from local clay featuring native "designs that were worked out from direct study of the Native Indian collection in the Provincial Museum." He added, "A growing appreciation of the skill of the native craftsman and of the significance of his work, which was gained from the material found in the Provincial Archives, strengthened the work of the students and justified the opportunity offered by this branch of applied design" (Report of public schools. 1925, p. M69). 43 of the two schools. Ronald Hawker i n a 2003 book entitled Tales of Ghosts 9 3 i n examining art objects such as First Nations' totem poles and ceremonial masks showed that despite the federal-government ban on the potlatch, continued creation of First Nations' art objects asserted the identity of the people and their long-time occupation of and right to the land. He showed that the period from 1922 to 1961, far from being a period of artistic decline for First Nations people, was a period of intense artistic productivity aimed to resist the intent and effects of assimilation enforced by the Canadian government's support of assimilationist education, ban on the potlatch, and denial of land claims. He described the process by which conflict over land and resources between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples was "fought symbolically rather an openly" 9 4 as European immigrants sought to replace Aboriginal modes of authority with their own. In the process of describing the policies and approaches of national, provincial, and international museum collectors, removing First Nations art objects from their communities, Hawker reveals the high level of activities of both Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals i n trying to counteract the effect of removing First Nations cultural objects. In documenting this activity he provides some social, political, and educational context for this conflict. One chapter, for instance, describes how the British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society was instituted by the efforts of Victoria resident Alice Ravenhill . 9 5 She sought to "use the production and consumption of First Nations art to better the educational system, making it both more relevant and more accessible to First Nations children." This was in contrast with the efforts of Reverend George Raley, Methodist missionary and, to 1934, long-time principal at the Coqualeetza Residential School at Port Simpson. 9 6 Raley "wanted to use the educational system to encourage the production and consumption of First Nations art as a means of economic integration." 9 7 Raley set out this proposal to an international audience i n an issue of the Tournal of the Royal Society of Arts (London) in 1935.98 He described how it wou ld be possible to solve the economic problem of the poverty of First Nations people as wel l as encourage the return of their self-esteem and remove idleness by stimulating them to revive Native arts and regional industries. He argued "Indian [sic] arts and crafts, Canada's first 9 3 Ronald W. Hawker. (2003). Tales of ghosts: First nations art in British Columbia, 1922-61. Vancouver, B.C.: University of British Columbia Press. 9 4 Hawker. Tales of ghosts (p. 5). 9 5 In Tales of Ghosts, Ravenhill is quoted as saying she had been motivated in these efforts by a sense of responsibility for the advantages she enjoyed as a result of having been born into an upper-class British family (p. 92). 9 6 Hawker. Tales of ghosts (p. 73). 9 7 Hawker. Tales of ghosts (p. 82). 9 8 George Raley. (1935, Sept. 6). Canadian Indian art and industries: A n economic problem of to-day. Tournal of the Royal Society of Arts (London) (Vol. LXX, pp. 989-1,000). 44 contribution to the wor ld of art, must not be lost." 9 9 A n d he stated that First Nations industries could "be capitalized and given a commercial value by means of a permanent market for tourists." Raley believed such a revival was feasible as "there are still l iv ing some of the older artisans." 1 0 0 There is evidence that French-Canadian anthropologist Marius Barbeau d id not agree wi th the feasibility of a revival of First Nations arts. In a lecture at the University of British Columbia i n the fall of 1926, Barbeau spoke on "The art of B.C. Indians." Vito Cianci, who was at the time an art school student, as wel l as future Kits art teacher, reported on this presentation. He stated that Barbeau's research in B.C. under the auspices of the Dominion government had been to "ascertain the possibility of reviving the native Indian art of this province." Cianci reported that Barbeau had concluded that this was impossible, "as the younger generation of Indians in B.C. have not the ability or the inclination to carry on the work of their forefathers." Apparently Barbeau thought, therefore, that "the only thing to do was to foster a new art spirit among British Columbians themselves, and thus to produce work that would bear the unmistakable imprint of British Columbia ." 1 0 1 Barbeau later verified his view on the inevitable disappearance of First Nations art and the impossibility of reviving it, i n producing with Grace Me lv in an abundantly illustrated book that was a collection of Native myths and legends entitled The Indian Speaks. 1 0 2 Barbeau at the time was ethnologist at the National Museum of Canada and Melv in was head of design and craft at the Vancouver School of Art . In the short preface (under three-pages), which is the only commentary the book provides beyond the myths themselves, the authors confirmed Barbeau's assumption about the inevitable disappearance of Native culture. Barbeau and Melv in were said to have had a close relationship, 1 0 3 which may have been a factor i n the widespread acceptance of Barbeau's ideas at the art school. I think this belief i n the inevitable disappearance of First Nations art was central to the approach to teaching at the art school. That approach encouraged students to take Indian art unto themselves and go on from there to find a unique B.C. style that was so much wanted. There was no sense of misappropriation; if anything teachers 9 9 Raley. Canadian Indian art (pp. 992-993). 1 0 0 Ibid. (p. 993). 1 0 1 Vito S. Cianci. (1927, June). Editorial, The Paint Box. 2. 5. Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. 1 0 2 Marius Barbeau, & Grace Melvin. (1943). The Indian speaks. Toronto: Macrnillan Company of Canada. 103 j a r t s c h 0 0 n students we all thought there was more than a book between Grace and the French Canadian author!" Irene Alexander. (1986). My recollections of Grace Melvin. Amphora (p. 20). Vancouver, B.C.: The Alcuin Society. 45 students may have felt they were helping First Nations peoples by keeping some version of their art in existence. If Ravenhill's and Raley's push to encourage Native students to continue with their own traditional art forms had been recognized at the art school as a possibility, perhaps the sense of freedom of students there to use Native art i n whatever way they wanted would not have occurred. A s it was, Native art at the Vancouver School of Ar t was recognized, if not as an end in itself, at least a val id starting point for students aiming to create an art indigenous the province. Three pre-service art teachers (Lewis, Cianci, Shadbolt) and one teacher (Jock Macdonald) at the art school i n its early years became art teachers at Kits and V a n Tech. This seems to be at least a partial reason for the phenomenon of First Nations art images occurring in these two schools as well as being fuelled by a more wide spread concern about the implications of First Nations issues. In this context it is more understandable that Kits ' yearbook for 1936/37 had a long-standing interest in First Nations art. The school established Haida as the official name of the yearbook. Student decision-makers, explaining why they chose this name, stated it wou ld make the annual immediately recognizable as coming from the West Coast of Canada. It wou ld also associate their school, they wrote, wi th the "tradition of fearlessness and honor" of this "most highly civilized of the tribes" wi th its "fierce and warlike" attributes and "high moral code" ( K H , 1937, p. 61). Based on an image from a mural i n the school's main hall, the cover image of that yearbook incorporates a symbol of a "Haida monster" ( K H , 1937, p. 61). This Haida monster is unselfconsciously juxtaposed against a crown and the image includes the wording "coronation issue" acknowledging Canada's loyalty to Britain. 1 0 4 Despite adopting Haida as a name and using First Nations' art symbols in several forms in the yearbooks, Kits had what I see to be an uncomfortable relationship wi th local First Nations peoples. 1 0 5 The school was built on the hunting grounds of the descendents of Chief Khahtsahlano without any original, formal purchase of the land or treaty with the Squawmish Indian Nation. The school and the surrounding area were named after Khahsahlano despite the anglicized spelling of Kitsilano. The 1944 Kits yearbook carries a full-page photo [Figure 2.1] entitled "Presentation of Portrait" that shows a portrait of the 1 0 4 Despite this stated cornrnitment to the name Haida in 1936, other names were used until Haida was reinstated in 1948. Haida has been the name of the yearbook since then. The name has also been used for Kits' sport teams, as in The Kitsilano Haidas (KH, 1936, p. 61). 105 p r e s u m a bly students from the band were in residential schools. In 1949 "the first steps, since the nineteenth century, [were taken] towards integrating and accommodating First Nations students in the provincial pubhc school system. An amendment to the Public School Act enable[d] local Boards of School Trustees and the federal Department of Indian Affairs to enter into agreements for sharing the costs of schooling for aboriginal children," (B.C. Homeroom [website], chronology of B.C. education history). 46 grandson 1 0 6 of the former chief. Shown at the presentation is August Jack Khahtsahlano, who was born on the False Creek Indian Reserve. The yearbook cutline reads: "Major D o n McKay , Indian Commissioner for British Columbia; M r . Charles H . Scott, principal of Vancouver Ar t School; M r . Scotf s painting of August Jack Khahtsahlano, August Jack Khahtsahlano himself, and Mrs. Swanamia Khahtsahlano, his wife" ( K H , 1944, n. p.). The photograph subtly undermines any suggestion of a claim that First Nations people might have on the land by providing full name and title for the Indian Commissioner, the artist, and the painting while the cutline, by stating "August Jack Khahtsahlano himself; and Mrs . Swanamia Khahtsahlano, his wife, " avoids using a title. To add to the insult of verbally being treated of less importance than the white artist and commissioner, the photograph diminishes the Khahtsahlanos further by restricting them to the right one-fifth edge of the photograph, almost obscured by the framed painting sitting on an easel. There is no mention of Khahtsahalno as being grandson of the local chief of the area and no mention of the school's relation to the land on which the school stands. One wonders, wi th the presence of the Indian commissioner, if this portrait is in someway attempting to legitimize, 17 years later, taking over the hunting grounds of the Khahtsahlanos. It may have been intended as a way of placating First Nations people as much as honouring them. The Kitsilano Chronicles records that, in October 1943, a portrait of Chief August Jack Khahtsahlano was unveiled by the chiefs wife as the chief looked on at a ceremony in the auditorium. The Chief danced and his wife accompanied h im on an Indian drum. Students had raised $250 for the portrait painted by Charles Scott of the Vancouver School of Art . M r . Scott placed the money i n the Indian Spitfire Fund. A t the time of the unveiling event, August Jack Khahtsahlano apparently was assumed to be the chief, or at least credited as such at the time. Perhaps with the "chief" perceived as participating in this event, an air of legitimacy was conferred to this ceremony, a legitimacy that would not have existed if this was just any member of the First Nations band. A s I discuss i n Chapter 6, traditional First Nations art symbols were one of the main subject categories appearing in the artwork of Kits students; it seems that the school preferred to maintain this fascination at a distance rather than having any more direct contact wi th local First Nations people. Van Tech recognized that First Nations people were i n fact the "real Canadians" having "claimed Canada as a home long before we, who claim to be Canadians, ever set foot in the land" (VT, 1943, p. 16). This enlightened 1 0 6 The fact that August Jack Khahtsahlano was grandson of the chief, but was not a chief himself is asserted in the typescript book by J. S. Matthews, with August Jack Khahtsahlano. (1955). Conversations with Khahtsahlano. Vancouver. B.C. [typescript, bound, no publisher noted]. 47 acknowledgment may have served as a rationale for including, i n most editions of the yearbook to 1947, an article and artwork focusing on a First Nations myth. Nevertheless there is some evidence of condescension mixed wi th the respect revealed in presenting these "powerful 'natives'" of "childlike faith" (VT, 1939, Our Cover Design, p. 51). Impact of Depression Both Kits and V a n Tech felt the effects of the Depression but in slightly different ways. Early in the Depression, Kits Principal H . B. King , i n his annual yearend message to Kits graduates, stated, "In view of the present depressed economic state of the world..., the wor ld into which you are about to move does not just now seem to offer very much, and the future does not appear a very rosy one" (VT, 1931, p. 7). One student at Kits (John Wytenbroek, K H student from 1935 to 1941) described the experience of his family losing their house, when his father, who had been a well-sought-after housepainter in demand by wealthy homeowners i n Shaughnessy, was left without being paid, and without further work, when these usually well-off clients could not pay their bills. He said his family had no apparent bitterness about their own hardship, however, as they felt there were so many others, even those who had been wealthy, in the same situation. Wi th money generally not being available, remaining middle class during the Depression was more a matter of respectability than having cash. According to one Kits interviewee (Howard), it was not about whether or not you wore hand-me-down clothes and had patches on your clothes, it was about how nicely your patches were applied. For several years during the Depression, the V a n Tech yearbook editorial asked the question "Have we turned the corner yet?" Or "Have We Really Turned 'The Corner"' as the writer tried to determine year after year if the Depression was finally over. In 1936 this editorial stated: Last year when writ ing the Editorial we predicted that better times were just around the corner. That prediction had been made year after year, but that elusive corner still kept itself just around the corner. A s far as the school is concerned.. .although the path is still rough, uphi l l , strewn with obstacles, yet we have left the corner behind. We base our conclusion on the fact that so many of our old boys are now at work, and that throughout the year boys kept leaving school to go to work.. . . (VT, 1936, n. p.) This last line reflects the working class nature of the school. When work was available, working class families generally couldn't afford the opportunity costs of keeping in school their children who had reached min imum age for leaving school. Some writers have defined middle class families as those who could afford the lost opportunity costs and 48 other expenses of keeping their children i n school beyond min imum leaving age. 1 0 7 It was easier for working class boys to remain i n school when there were no jobs, as in the height of the Depression. Apparently the absence of jobs was more demoralizing for V a n Tech than Kits, as the purpose of V a n Tech was to prepare boys for employment. Even as late as 1938, i n the Principal's Message, Sinclair, i n bidding grads farewell, mentioned, 'There w i l l be the long wait for a job"(VT, 1938). A couple of years after he retired, Sinclair looked back at the Depression era at the school referring to "the effects of that awful time"(VT, 1946, p. 22). Former V a n Tech students (Clarence Falk, Banks; Zitko) have indicated that the Depression didn't really end until the Second W o r l d War began when then there seemed to be war-related work for everyone. Perception of Canada's relationship with Britain While the intention of Putman Weir report (1925)108 was to ensure that education was "up to date and progressive," other aspirations were also embedded into the document and loyalty to Britain was one of them. It stated: The development of a united and intelligent Canadian citizenship activated by the highest British ideals of justice, tolerance, and fair play should be accepted without question as a fundamental aim of the school system. Such an aim.. . has enhanced the good name of the British Empire. 1 0 9 Promoting British loyalty in schools was certainly not new. The majority of existing Vancouver high schools by that time were named after British monarchs, other royals, or British notables, or alluded to Britain: K i n g Edward H i g h School, K i n g George, K ing George V (Magee), Prince of Wales, Lord Byng, and Britannia. Similarly many Vancouver elementary schools by then were named after royalty and other eminent British personages. This is not surprising perhaps in realizing that most principals and teachers i n Vancouver schools, like much of the population i n B.C. , were British or of British descent.1 1 0 Kits was proud to have been chosen to represent B.C.among competing high schools to send a student to each of two British coronations in London: one in 1937 ( K H , 1937, p. 2) and again in 1953. 1 1 1 Most yearbooks of Vancouver secondary schools noted the royal visits, often wi th pictures. The Kits yearbook photograph of George V I and Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother, was labeled 1 0 7 Gidney, & Millar. (1990). Inventing secondary education (p. 8). 1 0 8 Putman Weir report (p. 1). 1 0 9 IbicL (p. 38). 1 1 0 lean Barman. (1988). Knowledge is essential for universal progress but fatal to class privilege: Working people and the schools in Vancouver during the 1920s. Labour/ Le travail (22, pp. 9-66). There Barman indicates that to mid-century British Columbia was largely a British settlement with 58 percent of the population being of British descent. 49 "their gracious majesties as we shall see them"(KH, 1939, p. 3). When asked about competing loyalties between Britain and Canada, one former Kits student (Howard) seemed oblivious of any potential conflict and said loyalty to both didn't create any problems. Indeed artwork on the 1936 Kits yearbook cover, 1 1 2 celebrating the coronation of K i n g George V I that integrates symbols of the monarchy wi th First Nations imagery, seems a somewhat awkward combination in that Kits was really not embodied in either. Other visual references to Britain i n Kits ' yearbooks are few. Perhaps partly because Kits ' yearbooks were primarily controlled by students, not staff, there are no references to the British Empire beyond continued allegiance to the monarchy. V a n Tech yearbooks revealed a greater connectedness. O n the unexpected, early death of George V , which placed the young Prince of Wales on the throne, V a n Tech's yearbook officially announced, "The K i n g is Dead! Long Live the K i n g " and proceeded to describe "the sterling work and character of the young man who, by reason of his august father's death was called upon to assume the responsible task of leadership as K i n g Edward VIII" (VT, 1936, p. 44b). The yearbook also stated: N o man better suited for kingship ever ascended the British throne, and as loyal subjects of the most democratic nation on earth we of this School, men of to-morrow, render h im our loyalty, obedience and support. (VT, 1936, p. 7) Wi th this no-better-man-fit-to-rule attitude, V a n Tech revealed its impulse to officially embrace the monarchy under all circumstances, despite some at the school considering the prince a playboy and poor role model for young people. When Edward abdicated within the year, putting K i n g George V I on the throne to replace him, V a n Tech's attitude again was unquestioning and assured students' loyalty to the new king. In considering V a n Tech's promotion of an unquestioned loyalty to Britain, I am reminded of the concept of schooling as a colonizing strategy as described by John Wil l insky in his 1998 text, Learning to Divide the World : Education at Empire's End. There he reveals colonial schooling as providing lessons designed "to make obvious Britain's right to rule." 1 1 3 The effect of V a n Tech's staffs attitudes served the same end. One example i n a V a n Tech editorial is a description of "Empire posters" appearing i n the V a n Tech's shop corridor. The editorial explained that the Empire Marketing Board, appointed by the Imperial Economic Committee and responsible to all governments of the Empire, funded the posters to promote Empire products. It stated that the colourful posters 1 1 1 Kits chronicles (p. 23). 1 1 2 The 1939 yearbook cover carries an image of a crown as the only visual besides the lettering. 5 0 are by well-known artists and provide good examples of the colour printer's art along wi th a "useful message to all Canadians." The posters featured such sayings such as "Empire Buyers are Empire builders" and "Buy Empire produce from home and overseas." A summary by the yearbook editor explained: " A s k first i n your daily shopping for the produce of your own country. A s k next for the produce of Empire overseas. Whenever you can find Empire produce... choose it in preference to foreign produce" (VT, 1930, p. 63). The implication of this Canada-first approach and pro-Empire stance seems to suggest that only non-Empire people are foreigners, which leaves me wondering where the United States stood i n relation to Canada i n this view. The United States seemed not to be a concern at all for V a n Tech, unless this apparent avoidance of mentioning the US suggests an underlying fear of Canada being absorbed by the US. Generally strong continentalism was not a concept that V a n Tech was entertaining for Canada's future. More likely V a n Tech wished for an enlarged role for Canada in the Empire, not an attitude apparent i n Kits yearbooks. In fact no such information or suggestion comes through the editorial screen of Kits yearbooks, which are controlled by students who seemed to be very insular i n outlook. Schools' awareness of World War II Kits students' experience of the Second W o r l d War seems to have been more distant, more abstract, wi th death and destruction from the war less real than it was for V a n Tech students. It seems also to have been less personally threatening. In 1940 Principal James Gordon mentions that "many of our boys of last year have enlisted, and it is only fitting that we should remember them at this time, and wish them a safe return when their job is done" ( K H , 1940, M r . Gordon's message, n. p.). This suggests that war was seen as a job that last year's grads took on. In this same message Gordon quotes John Buchan's poem, "Montrose," including the phrase "some things are universal and undying.. . . They are the guardians of the freedom of the human spirit, the proof of what our mortal frailty can achieve." This seems to keep the war somewhat ethereal. The following year Gordon summarized the war-related activities of the school as having had a "profound influence on the life of the school," and he referred to the school term as the "War Work Year." He wrote, Our war work efforts.. .have made school life more interesting and purposeful, and perhaps more serious. Another result has been the better understanding of the meaning and purpose of discipline. Thus our cadet corps, war savings sales, war work groups, first aid clubs, Junior Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance unit, and our Potlatch organization, which raised enough funds to support our efforts, have made this year 1 1 3 John Willinsky. (1998). Learning to divide the world: Education at Empire's end (p. 99). Minneapolis, MI: University of Minnesota Press. 51 outstanding."..."[Those of you graduating] w i l l always be able to recall that i n your graduating year you were able, in the midst of the world's agony, to put new life into the old school. ( K H , 1941, M r . Gordon's message, p. 3) Indeed it seemed that Kits was most concerned about the war as a call for fundraising, typically a middle-class feminine preoccupation. The 1940 Kits Potlatch, a school fundraising fair wi th games and entertainment, raised $1,304 and Kits "adopted the Fort S. James, the first merchant navy ship to be built in Vancouver." 1 1 4 One student (Blakstad) remembered his years at Kits: "The war was still on and we had to be in the cadets, the girls separated from the boys." Kits chronicles also notes the way the war directly affected the school: "blackout regulations after the shelling of Estevan Point forced the cancellation of evening activities including the planned opera [and] in 1943 a coal shortage closed the school for two weeks. The 1941 yearbook lists 200 ex-Kits students involved i n war duty. In 1945 students were raising money via a memorial fair to pay for a plaque commemorating ex-Kits students kil led i n the war. It was unveiled i n A p r i l 1946 listing 140 Kits students kil led in action. 1 1 5 While there is an apparent concern for wor ld peace, the school itself seems to have been a somewhat isolated wor ld for Kits students providing students with their experience of reality. After the war, Principal H . B. Smith i n bidding grads farewell, said the end of the war offered grads an international opportunity: Although we are not now engaged in a "shooting" war, peace has not yet been achieved. Upon your shoulders is placed the burden of resolving difficult problems which beset our troubled world. Through your student organizations at school you have taken an active part in serving your fellow-students. You now have an opportunity to serve your fellow-men everywhere, not only i n your local community, but i n all parts of the world. The field of public service is open to every one of us. ( K H , 1948, n. p.) Aga in this concept of public service helping to solve the world's problems was a middle-class ideal that would not likely have presented itself to V a n Tech students. Instead V a n Tech students were ready to fight when their country or the Empire needed them to fight. Kits ' isolation, its apparent perception of lack of reality of the war, is suggested i n the images that Kits students produced during the war, as described in Chapter 6. Many Van Tech staff members had served in Wor ld War I wi th the British, so they passed on an assumption that upon graduation Van Tech students would join the services. One student stated, "I was surprised that a lot of the [Van Tech] teachers were ex-military from the first [world] war and I think they had that very, very British outlook and carried their military bearing with them" (Zitko). This seems to have been a reason that there was so much apparent 1 1 4 Kits chronicles (p. 23), 1 1 5 Ibid, 52 indoctrination i n the yearbooks aimed to move V a n Tech students to enlist as they graduated. The 1940 yearbook carried Principal Sinclair's message: "The wor ld is filled wi th war and rumours of war.... Many of you wi l l naturally gravitate towards the A i r Force, where Technical boys have made a name for the School." He added, "Many Tech 'o ld boys' have enlisted in the A i r Force, and word has been received that they have done exceptionally wel l , both as mechanics and flyers" (VT, 1940, p. 9). Elsewhere Sinclair confirmed that the outcome of the war depended as much on well-trained ground crew as it d id on pilots, navigators, and gun crew (VT, 1944, p. 34). In his 1941 yearend message, Sinclair confirmed the assumption about war service in stating, "Your academic time was curtailed so that you could have more shop training i n preparation for your entering war work" (VT, Principal's Message, p. 9). The 1942 yearbook carries an image of Winston Churchil l [Figure 2.2.]. After the well-respected printing teacher, Lewis Elliott, retired in June 1942, an article stated: "His greatest regret is that the compulsory retirement law has deprived h i m of the privilege of serving his country in the present crisis"" (VT, 1943, p. 8). Associating this sentiment wi th the popular M r . Elliott undoubtedly encouraged students to believe enlisting was the correct thing to do. Wi th the Depression years having left Tech grads without a job to go to, the school welcomed the promise of purposeful war-time activity. The 1941 yearbook states, "The value of a technical education for boys has been an established fact. The present war stresses the vital need of technically trained men and women" (VT, 1941, Editorial, p. 8). Some students d id not wait to graduate in order to join in the war effort. In 1943 Sinclair wrote that it had been a hard year due to the effects of the war with attendance at the school cut to less than half and there being a significant decrease in the ranks of the staff (VT, Principal's Message, p. 6). Toward the end of the war, Principal E. M . White mentioned that 1,250 V a n Tech students had joined the Armed Forces and distinguished themselves "telling of the benefits derived from the School and the training received" (VT, 1945, Message from the Principal, p. 11). Presumably this number included former as well as current V a n Tech students. The practical realities of war and war preparations were evident to V a n Tech students i n their own environment. The Dominion [federal] government, as a separate institution, had taken control of considerable space and equipment at V a n Tech to train Armed Forces personnel, especially " A i r Force aircraftsmen" (VT, 1941, p. 15). Sinclair alluded to crowded shops and classrooms cramped with the "influx of soldiers who were taking trade training" (VT, 1941, Principal's Message, p. 9). He added, "You have been losing room after room until not one more room is left, but we have all been glad to be able to do something for the furtherance of the cause" (VT, 1942, Principal's Message, p. 9). In keeping wi th the assumption that grads would go into Armed Forces, the school tried to teach "manliness, decency, and regard for the rights of the other fellow" (VT, 1943). The human devastation of the conflict was 53 also acknowledged: "Let me express the hope that the end of the war is not far off, when all this death and destruction w i l l cease and human values and dignity w i l l again be restored" (VT, 1945, E. M . White, Message from the Principal, p. 11). Yet V a n Tech also made an effort to recognize the difference between military policies and political leaders of enemy countries versus the culture, history, and people of these countries. 1 1 6 Throughout the war the V a n Tech yearbooks carried a roll of honour naming Van Tech's enlisted teachers and students. Apparently the total number of V a n Tech men serving i n the forces reached 1,409. In 1946 a roll of service nine pages long i n the yearbook honoured all who had been in the Armed Forces and indicated those who had been killed, were missing i n action, and were prisoners of war (VT, Roll of Service, pp. 23-32). The potential role for V a n Tech students after the war, however, was rather vague: "The peace w i l l bring a new challenge to us all—to unite the forces of mind and heart and spirit for the building of a better wor ld . Let us not fall back into a period of selfish exploitation..., but wi th faith and sound intelligence work diligently for that better day" (VT, 1945, White, Message from the Principal p. 11). In 1943, V a n Tech's yearbook, the main outlet for showcasing students' art skills, was almost curtailed as a result of wartime exigencies. Instead fewer pages and fewer images made up that year's "wartime economy issue" (VT, 1943, Editorial, n. p.) maintaining their continuous publishing record. A s described in Chapter 6, artwork related to the war makes up a category of images having significant visibility i n the yearbooks. The art in the V a n Tech's wartime yearbooks confirmed some of the attitudes to the war indicated above. Social expectations and ongoing education Through the yearbooks, principals at both Kits and V a n Tech expressed the hope that graduating students would carry on with learning, although this was for different purposes primarily reflecting the nature of the school. In 1931, in the absence of available jobs as a result of the Depression, Kits ' Principal H . B. K i n g advised: "See to the continuing of your intellectual life... . Your further growth is infinitely great.... You w i l l either grow or you w i l l decay. Growth comes from struggle and effort" ( K H , 1931, p. 7). He concluded: "Your opportunities w i l l soon come. You should be prepared for them." Wi th this ambiguous comment, one wonders if K i n g was suggesting that students prepare themselves with further training or was suggesting that their schooling had already prepared them for future opportunities. Principal James Gordon, known for his love of literature and the arts, as he retired i n June of 1947 commented to graduates: 'The cultural treasures of the great peoples of the earth This is discussed more fully in Chapter 6 in discussing subject matter related to the war. 5 4 have been presented by your teachers for you to see, perhaps admire, but certainly to choose, if you wish, for the adornment of your own life" ( K H , 1947, n. p.). This suggested that further study of literature and the arts could be something that Kits graduates might want to engage in for personal enrichment. There are some class assumptions here i n assuming that i n the future Kits graduates would have the leisure to pursue these kinds of interests. In the same way, the Putman Weir report, more than twenty years earlier, had promoted the arts to create a more cultivated individual and a more cultured society. After his first year as principal of Kits, H . B. Smith stated in his message, "In our modern society there are many opportunities for adult education.... Y o u have been given an introduction to many subjects. The rest is up to you" ( K H , 1948, n. p.). The first option he mentioned is that of going on to some higher institution of learning and specified university and the possibility of attending Normal School. This was potentially relevant to a student wi th an art interest, as one year of Normal School along wi th four years at the art school was the route a student would take if aspiring to become a specialist art teacher. During the war, duty had been assumed to take precedence over personal choice for the graduate. Four years after the end of the war, the principal's message seems particularly optimistic. Smith commented: Graduation for some means the end of a search for knowledge, while for others it is merely the stepping stone to advanced learning. Whatever our plans, we can look ahead to a future which has endless opportunities to offer to us. ( K H , 1949, n. p.) Despite these mixed comments about potential future learning, one does get a sense that at Kits, compared to V a n Tech especially, the assumption was that high school introduced the student to what he or she wanted to do, but that further education likely might be needed. V a n Tech principals, on the other hand, seemed to assume that graduating students would be prepared to take a job immediately. In 1942 Principal James G . Sinclair in the yearbook stated: " . . . . industrious application to whatever may be your work w i l l be your best contribution towards the good of the new school you are entering—this Canada of ours" (VT, p. 9). But V a n Tech principals also assumed that graduates would need to continue to learn. In decrying the fact that some boys were leaving school without having finished their courses, Principal Lister stated: But happily for us, for our city, and for Canada, we have still the good old stock who hold on to the end, and on whom the nation builds its hopes. They come in year by year, finish their courses, and quietly slip out into the world's activities. (VT, 1930, p. 7) The attitude of work as noble, even heroic, and as contributing to nationalism and Canada's wel l being, permeates the yearbooks, so it is not surprising that graduates wou ld want to get on wi th finding a job as soon as they graduated. While acknowledging that most of Van 55 Tech's graduates d id not want to go to the university, Lister suggested that students should return to school for further training and promoted V a n Tech to serve that need: "In a short while they w i l l soon realize that their education has just begun and that they must carry on. We w i l l be glad to see them come back, swelling the ranks of the other ex-Techs who attend at night" (VT, 1930, p. 6). A few years later, Sinclair also alluded to V a n Tech's night school program as welcoming back former students: .. ."Either as night school students or as day pupils, we hope you w i l l come back to add further to your store of knowledge" (VT, 1937, p. 7). He added, "This is the day of the skilled specialist. In order to compete successfully, the ambitious employee must work continually to improve himself" (VT, 1937, p. 7). The 1941 yearbook acknowledged that the student, i n taking employment, must "be prepared to work from the ground up" (VT, 1937, p. 9), thus suggesting a working class outlook. A t the same time Sinclair added, "He is a poor man who thinks he has had enough education and needs no more" (VT, 1937, p. 9). Yet all urging for further education suggests improvement in existing skills rather than aspiring to something beyond working class employment. Night school for trade-related training traditionally had been considered a working-class, male option whereas middle-class or leisure-class women more often had been offered afternoon courses. 1 1 71 am not aware of V a n Tech offering night school courses to females during the time considered in this study. Artistic Mi l ieu In the early 1920s Charles Scott, who was to be the first principal of Vancouver's art school, saw the influx of imported goods in the city as calling for the establishment of an art school in Vancouver. He believed that only in producing well-designed goods, could B.C.'s manufactured products become competitive with imported goods made abroad. A s mentioned i n Chapter 1, the concept of art training improving industrial design and thus supporting economic development was not a new one. Walter Smith, who arrived in Nor th America from England in 1871, promoted this rationale for art that was central to the South Kensington school approach that was being spread during the last half of the 19 t h century to various parts of the world. A s well as promoting this approach to art education i n northeastern United States, Smith lectured on this in Nova Scotia and Ontario, 1 1 8 where he promoted art education as necessary to train designers capable of creating appealing goods. In the second year of the art school's 1 1 7 Soucy. Training for art-related employment; also in Lindsay Broughton, George Burrows, & Elizabeth Lada. (1988). A place for art: A century of art, craft, design and industrial arts education in Hobart 1 catalogue to an exhibition]. Hobart, Australia: University of Tasmania. 56 school's existence, Scott acknowledged "Many of the students are already in business where drawing and design, modeling and architecture play a b ig part." He also wrote: Wi th increasing wealth and leisure [in the city] had come a demand for those qualities that give satisfaction to the spirit. Housing, furniture, and dress, became more than merely utilitarian. The demand was for more beauty, [so] music, drama, painting, and architecture came in answer. 1 1 9 This recognition of spirit and beauty alludes to the other main aspect of art education, that of fine art. These two approaches, basically applied art (utilitarian) and fine art (idealistic), appear in much of the writing throughout the history of art education. The utilitarian-based industrial drawing programs featured practical skills as opposed to an aesthetic approach to art learning associated with fine art's goal. The latter was at times referred to as romantic idealism; it aimed to raise public taste and increase moral goodness. Both these approaches are relevant to the consideration of the kinds of art learning offered at V a n Tech and Kits. That which went on in the early years of the art school's existence, from its opening in September of 1925, is relevant to this study i n that the main art teachers at Kits and V a n Tech to 1950 were at the art school during its early years. Vancouver's art school O n the assumption that the training that pre-service art teachers received was probably reflected i n what they taught to their own students, it is particularly relevant to know the k ind of art training that students at Vancouver's art school received. Kits ' future art teachers in attendance at the art school at that time were Margaret Lewis, Vi to Cianci , 1 2 0 and Jack Shadbolt (part time). V a n Tech's art teacher who taught at the art school at that same time was J. W . G . (Jock) Macdonald. To know something of his teaching at the art school, described below, may suggest something of his approach to teaching at V a n Tech. From the time of the opening of the Vancouver School of App l i ed and Decorative Arts, the name of the school until 1933, it was the official institution in the city for high school art teachers to receive their training as art teaching specialists. 1 2 1 The artist/teachers at the school were of English and Scottish descent. By the second school year, 1926/27 these 1 1 8 F. Graeme Chalmers. (1990). South Kensington in the farthest colony. In Don Soucy & Mary Ann Stankiewicz, Framing the past (pp. 71-85). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association. 1 1 9 Scott. (1927). The Paint Box (pp. 20 & 21). 1 2 0 The art school's student publication The Paint Box lists students in full-time attendance in the 1926 and 1930 editions. According to Michael Clark the art school's librarian/ archivist, the art school itself does not have attendance records for this time and the student publication does not hst part-time students. An interview with Margaret Morris reported that Shadbolt attended the art school one afternoon a week during this time period. m Art school director Thornton Sharp was reporting on the 1925/ 26 year, in Report of the public schools (p. 98). 57 included Fredrick H . Varley (from England) and Charles Scott and Macdonald (from Scotland); a year later Grace Melv in , also from Scotland, joined the staff. Students in these earlier years came from families having a higher than average socio-economic status of students 1 2 2 and they were mainly female. Wi th the art gallery not being built until 1931, the art school was the centre of artistic activity for the city. Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven, a Canadian war artist from the from the First W o r l d War, and most recently a teacher at the Ontario College of Art , had a well-established reputation as a painter. He "served as a magnet to which students and art patrons were drawn." 1 2 3 "For Varley art was a total commitment. He d id not separate his work from teaching or from social activities." He encouraged sketching trips, sharing of studios, and discussions wi th students. 1 2 4 He taught drawing and painting on his arrival in September of 1926, the second year of the art school's operation. 1 2 5 J. W . G . (Jock) Macdonald Jock Macdonald started teaching at the art school at the same time as Fredrick H . Varley, in September 1926.1 2 6 Born in Scotland, Macdonald, who had most recently been teaching at the School of Ar t i n Lincoln, England, was hired to teach design and crafts in Vancouver. He had served and been wounded in the First Wor ld War, after which he studied at and graduated from the Edinburgh College of Ar t wi th a diploma in design and an art specialist/s teaching certificate i n 1922.1 2 7 He arrived i n Vancouver i n 1926 to take up his post as teacher of design and craft at the art school. His joining the staff was seen as having the potential to be of "great value to the crafts and industry of Greater Vancouver" 1 2 8 suggesting his assumed alignment wi th the original utilitarian focus of the school. He almost immediately loved B.C. and realized that old wor ld approaches to painting could not express his new home. He wanted to come up with a new art to express B.C., and believed the artist should look directly to nature. When he saw nature inhabited by Indian life, he documented that too, with much the same approach to subject matter as Emily Carr whom he visited on several occasions. 1 2 9 Rather than use symbols from First Nations art or their stylistic approaches i n his own painting, he represented First Nations life as well as the unoccupied landscape, the subject his painting done in non-teaching time wi th Varley at 1 2 2 Richardson. First class (p. 9). 1 2 3 Richardson. First class (p. 12). 1 2 4 Ibid. 1 2 5 In the 1926/ 27 Report of the public schools (p. M 57). 1 2 6 Ibid. 1 2 7 Zemans. (1985). Macdonald (p. 1,050). 1 2 8 In the 1926-27 Report of the public schools (p. M14). 1 2 9 Zemans. (1981). The inner landscape. 58 Garibaldi, the B.C . Interior, and Vancouver Island. 1 3 0 In the art school's student publication he wrote: "Glory in the beauty of your country for all the big forces of Nature are around you ." 1 3 1 One student reporting on the activities i n Macdonald's design class in Sept. 1926, however, showed Macdonald was util izing and passing on his industrial design training. She wrote that they were instructed to compose a design, starting from a square, in a reoccurring pattern; and to do something wi th counterchanging patterns, a spot pattern, then a pattern in vertical stripes. They also d id overall patterns, designed a panel, and d id colour work as well as studied plant forms for their application to conventionalized design i n space f i l l ing. 1 3 2 In the same publication, Macdonald (1927) wrote: "Nature is the only book in matters of design.... Extract all there is to know about God's creations and then put down observations in own way. That is the only way to create original design." 1 3 3 Macdonald was described as a "popular instructor, and with such a small class, Macdonald is able to give us individual attention." The article also mentions the students "doing designs for chintz, drawings of plants in season, experimenting with whitewood boxes and decorating them with our own designs, as wel l as exercises and lectures on historic ornament." 1 3 4 In mentioning Macdonald and Varley regarding the decision of three pioneer graduates from the first class to stay at Vancouver's art school for post graduate work, Richardson stated that in doing so these students were i n effect deciding "to develop their work further under two of the best art instructors in Canada." 1 3 5 Macdonald's reputation as a foremost art teacher is an opinion expressed commonly in Canadian art history. Macdonald was very taken wi th the B.C. landscape. In the art school's publication Macdonald wrote, "Nature is the only book i n matters of design.... Extract all there is to know about God's creations and then put down observations in your own way. This is the only way to create original design." 1 3 6 Macdonald was one of the teachers at the art school encouraging students to look to their own environment to try to establish a unique British Columbian art. A t a time of financial hardship at the art school, Charles Scott, director of the school, cut salaries i n keeping with the guidelines of the Vancouver School Board. 1 3 7 For this and other reasons Varley and Macdonald decided to leave the art school in 1933 to set 1 3 0 Ibid. (pp. 35 & 158). 1 3 1 Jock Macdonald. (1927). The ever open book in the matter of design. The Paint Box 2,47. Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. 1 3 2 Madge Farmer (1927). Class activities—First year—class A. The Paint Box 2, 5. Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Art. 1 3 3 Macdonald. (1927). The Paint Box 2.47. 1 3 4 No author indicated. (1927). The Paint Box 2,10. 1 3 5 These students were Reid, Farley, and Weatherbie as described in Richardson. (1987). First class (p. 15). 13*Macdonald. (1927). The Paint Box 2,47. 1 3 7 (1931/32). Report of the public schools (p. L37). 59 up their own school, the B.C. College of Art . This school was wel l attended, but under funded. Offering an integration of the arts along wi th aspects of contemporary-psychology, the school was during this two years the creative centre of the city, as the original art school by comparison seemed rather conservative. 1 3 8 However, the Depression years i n Vancouver could not support a second art school and, without the funding that the original art school was receiving from the Vancouver School Board, this new venture closed down at the end of the school term i n 1935. After a stint of painting in the wilderness on the B.C. coast i n the company of his wife and young daughter, Macdonald was forced to return to the city as a result of health problems. He received an important commission to paint a wall-sized mural for the new Hotel Vancouver in 1939 showing a scene of First Nations life, but besides this he was without financial resources. Not being able to return to the Vancouver School of Ar t due to his disloyalty i n starting the rival school, and the city offering few other opportunities during the Depression years, he turned to high school art teaching to support his family. This he d id after receiving his B.C. art teaching certificate in 1938.1 3 9 Presumably he d id this at summer school in Victoria where courses leading to the new specialist certification in art and industrial arts were offered for the first time. 1 4 0 After one semester at Templeton Junior High , Macdonald accepted a position at V a n Tech beginning i n September 1939.1 discuss some of his subsequent development as a teacher and artist i n Chapter 4 on Van Tech. Grace Melv in Grace Melv in arrived in Vancouver in 1927 to teach crafts at Vancouver's art school the year after J. W . G . (Jock) Macdonald and Fredrick H . Varley joined the staff. She had received her training from and been instructor at the Glasgow School of Art , the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh known for his Scottish version of art n