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Other Name
N.T. (VILLAGE VIEW FROM PORCH)
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1964
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, PAINT, PAPER
Catalogue Number
P20190006002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
N.T. (VILLAGE VIEW FROM PORCH)
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1964
Materials
WOOD, PAINT, PAPER
No. Pieces
1
Height
34.2
Length
49.3
Description
OIL ON WOOD PANEL PAINTING IN WHITE WOODEN FRAME. IMAGE OF TREES AND HOUSES IN SNOW, WITH SIDE OF BUILDING AT LEFT EDGE AND HOUSE PILLAR AT RIGHT EDGE; HOUSES WHITE WITH RED-BROWN ROOFS IN BACKGROUND, AND TREES IN FOREGROUND. SNOW COMPRISED OF BLUE AND WHITE PAINT; TREES COMPLETED IN BLACK, GREEN, BROWN AND ORANGE TONES; HOUSE PILLAR AND SIDING IN BROWN AND GREEN. PAINTING SIGNED IN RED IN LOWER LEFT CORNER “E.E. RIETHMAN”. MID-GROUND HAS BROWN FENCE BETWEEN TREES AND BUILDINGS IN BACKGROUND. FRONT OF FRAME HAS WHITE TRIM ALONG FRONT OF CANVAS, WITH GOLD TRIM ABOVE WHITE TRIM; FRAME PAINTED OFF-WHITE. BACK OF PAINTING HAS BROWN PAPER BACKING WITH TWO BLACK METAL SCREW ON UPPER LEFT AND RIGHT SIDES, WITH WHITE CORD FASTENED TO SCREWS. LEFT EDGE OF BACKING HAS HANDWRITTEN TEXT IN BLACK MARKER “OWNED BY H. FLAIG 3279791, NF5”; BACKING HAS STAMPED TEXT IN FADED INK ALONG LOWER EDGE “GAINSBOROUGH GALLERIES, 310 – 7TH ST. SOUTH – LETHBRIDGE”. BACKING HAS WHITE PAPER LABEL AT UPPER EDGE WITH HANDWRITTEN TEXT IN BLACK INK “$20.00 /1970”; BACKING HAS PRINTED ARTICLE IN CENTER ON WHITE PAPER WITH BLACK TEXT “ERNEST E. RIETHMAN, EXHIBITION APRIL 25 – MAY 31 ORGANIZED BY THE SOUTHERN ALBERTA ART GALLERY WITH FUNDING ASSISTANCE FROM THE ALBERTA ART FOUNDATION…” WITH BIOGRAPHY ON ERNEST E. RIETHMAN BY “BRENT LAYCOCK, GUEST CURATOR” AND BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO “WATERTON LAKE, C.1958, OIL ON PANEL, 56 X 86 CM, COLLECTION OF MR. AND MRS. DON AND JUDY NILSSON, PHOTO: DON CORMAN”. PAPER BACKING HAS TEARS BESIDE SCREWS; BACKING HAS YELLOWED MASKING TAPE ALONG LOWER EDGE OF PAPER ARTICLE; ARTICLE EDGES STAINED YELLOW FROM ADHESIVE RESIDUE. BACK OF FRAME HAS PAIRS OF METAL NAILS IN UPPER AND LOWER LEFT AND RIGHT CORNERS, WITH NAILS HEADS COVERED WITH BROWN PAINT. BACK OF FRAME IS STAINED AND CHIPPED AT EDGES AND CORNERS; FRONT OF FRAME HAS BROWN AND WHITE STAINING ALONG EDGES; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ART
Historical Association
FINE ARTS
History
ON MARCH 5, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED DON FLAIG REGARDING HIS DONATION OF ARTWORKS. THE ARTWORKS WERE COLLECTED BY FLAIG’S PARENTS, HELEN AND LLOYD FLAIG. ON THE PAINTING BY MIKE PISKO, FLAIG RECALLED, “ “VIEW FROM THE PORCH” WOULD HAVE BEEN UP IN THE HOUSE FOR QUITE A WHILE. THAT’S VERY FAMILIAR TO ME. IT’S CERTAINLY THE STYLE OF [ART] THAT THEY WOULD DO. MOM WAS ALWAYS MENTIONING THE OIL. IT’S THE KIND OF [ART] THEY WOULD HAVE DONE, THAT THEY WOULD HAVE LIKED.” “I HAVE NO MEMORY OF [KNOWING RIETHMAN OR OTHER SKETCH CLUB MEMBERS]. OCCASIONALLY [MY PARENTS] WOULD MENTION THEIR NAMES, AS YOU MIGHT SPEAK OF FRIENDS. I KNOW THEY WOULD GO OUT, AND DO THE ART ELSEWHERE, OR SOME AT HOME. IT JUST SEEMED NATURAL THAT THEY WOULD DEAL WITH THEIR ARTIST FRIENDS…THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG.” FLAIG ELABORATED ON HIS PARENTS’ AVID INTEREST IN LOCAL ART, NOTING, “MOM AND DAD ALWAYS HAD ART IN THE HOUSE. THEY WERE ALWAYS DOING ART. I REMEMBER DAD DOING LARGE PLASTER SCULPTURES, IN THE BASEMENT, IN THE CITY, AND MOM WAS ALWAYS PAINTING AND THROWING POTS, AND DOING SOMETHING FUNNY OUT IN THE BACK YARD, ART-WISE. GROWING UP, I ASSUMED EVERYBODY HAD ART IN THE HOUSE, BUT I’VE REALIZED THAT’S NOT THE CASE. NOT EVERYBODY LIKES HAVING ART AROUND, ALTHOUGH [THERE IS EFFORT IN] FINDING ART THAT YOU LIKE, AND ACQUIRING IT, OR CREATING IT, AND KEEPING IT. THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMETHING DIFFERENT HANGING ON THE WALLS IN THE HOUSE. [MOM AND DAD] WERE ALWAYS MOVING IT AROUND. THESE THREE PAINTINGS [BY MIKE PISKO AND ERNEST RIETHMAN], I’M AWARE THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE FRIENDS OF MOM AND DAD. THEY WERE …ARTISTS. I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THEM OTHER THAN THAT THEY WOULD OFTEN GO OUT TO SKETCH, AND PAINT, AND THEIR NAMES ARE FAMILIAR TO ME. [THE ARTWORKS] MEANT SOMETHING TO [MY PARENTS], WHETHER THEY BOUGHT THEM OR THEY WERE JUST GIFTS FROM OTHER ARTISTS, I’LL NEVER KNOW, BUT THERE HAS OBVIOUSLY BEEN A LOT OF CARE AND EFFORT PUT INTO THE WORKS BY THE ARTISTS. I HAVE A LARGE NUMBER OF MY MOTHER’S PAINTINGS, BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF THOSE AROUND THE CITY, AND HER WORK IS WELL PRESERVED. THESE ONES…I KNOW THEY ARE LOCAL ARTISTS SOMEWHERE NOW.” FLAIG RECALLED HIS PARENTS AND THEIR HOME IN LETHBRIDGE, “I GREW UP IN TOWN, ON HENDERSON LAKE BOULEVARD. [MY PARENTS] MOVED OUT IN THE EARLY 1970S TO BROXBURN ROAD. SOME OF [THE PAINTINGS] I’D HAVE SEEN THERE AT HENDERSON LAKE BOULEVARD, AND THE REST WOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE FARM. THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN UP ON THE WALLS, OR DOWN IN THE BASEMENT. THINGS WERE ALWAYS MOVING AROUND, BUT THESE ARE PAINTINGS THAT ARE FAMILIAR TO ME. NOT THAT I PAID THAT MUCH ATTENTION TO THEM, BECAUSE THERE WERE ALWAYS PAINTINGS AROUND, AND I NEVER THOUGHT TO ASK.” “MIKE PISKO IS THE NAME THAT COMES [TO MIND ON ARTISTS MY MOM SPENT MORE TIME WITH]; HAS MORE PAINTINGS, MEMORY-WISE, FOR SURE. OUT ON BROXBURN ROAD, THAT’S WHEN THEY MET THE MALKAS’. MOM SPOKE FREQUENTLY OF MELISSA, AND I PROBABLY MET THEM IN PASSING, BECAUSE I WAS ON TO OTHER STUFF. BUT I THINK THAT, WHEREVER THEY WERE, THEY WOULD HAVE REACHED OUT AND GOT IN TOUCH WITH OTHER ARTISTS. PLUS, WHERE THEY WERE ON BROXBURN ROAD, IT WAS A PLACE WHERE WE COULD DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING—BUILDING THINGS, TEARING THINGS DOWN, MAKING ART, BLOWING STUFF UP, AS KIDS DO. THERE WERE ALWAYS ANIMALS, SOME HORSES, AND ONE DISASTROUS ATTEMPT AT RAISING SHEEP BY MY FATHER. THEY WERE ALWAYS INTO SOMETHING.” ON HIS MOTIVATIONS FOR DONATING, FLAIG ELABORATED, “AS TIME GOES BY, WE FIND THE NEED TO TIDY UP AND GET READY FOR THE NEXT STAGE OF LIFE. PART OF IT IS FINDING ROOM FOR SOME OF THESE WORKS OF ART THAT HAVE BEEN IN MY HOUSE AND HAVE SURVIVED, SOMEWHAT MIRACULOUSLY, SINCE MOM AND DAD LEFT A LITTLE FAR AND I TOOK THEM OVER, AS WE WERE EMPTYING OUT THE PLACE. THEY’VE BEEN IN MY BASEMENT, UNAPPRECIATED, AND I SUPPOSE AT SOME RISK OF BEING FORGOTTEN, OR LOST, OR THROWN OUT. THEY DO HAVE SOME SENTIMENTAL VALUE FOR ME, AND I CAN APPRECIATE THE ARTWORK THAT IS IN THE PIECES, MYSELF, TO A LIMITED DEGREE.” “MOM AND DAD HAD REACHED THE END OF THE ROAD...AS BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR FIVE ACRES…OUT ON BROXBURN ROAD. THESE WORKS WERE IN THEIR PLACE, AND, AS WE CLEANED THE PLACE OUT, I TOOK THEM AND PROTECTED THEM, AND SAVED THEM FROM THE BINS…I’M PUTTING THAT AT 2011.” THE FOLLOWING BIOGRAPHY OF THE ARTIST, ERNEST EDWARD RIETHMAN, WAS DEVELOPED BY JANE EDMUNDSON IN 2014, USING A LETHBRIDGE HERALD TRIBUTE ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 24, 1964 AND RECORD P20120030007.ERNEST EDWARD RIETHMAN (1895 - 1964) WAS BORN IN SWITZERLAND IN 1895 AND WENT ON TO STUDY ART AT AN ACADEMY IN BASIL, THEN AT THE INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL OF INTERIOR DECORATING AND PAINTING. IN 1919 HE CAME TO CANADA SETTLING IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1947. HE WORKED AS AN INTERIOR DECORATOR IN THE CITY, AND HIS WORK WAS HIGHLY SOUGHT. HE WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED LANDSCAPE ARTIST AND WOULD FREQUENTLY JOIN TRIPS ORGANIZED BY A.Y.JACKSON, WHOSE STYLE IS SAID TO HAVE HEAVILY INFLUENCED RIETHMAN’S. DURING HIS TIME WITH THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB, HE SERVED AS BOTH HEAD OF COMMITTEES AND TAUGHT LESSONS IN FIGURE DRAWING. RIETHMAN WAS SUCCESSFUL IN WHAT HE DID, AS CRITICS ENJOYED HIS WORK AND HE WAS ABLE TO FREQUENTLY DISPLAY IN EXHIBITIONS. ACCORDING TO LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES COMPILED IN 2019, RIETHMAN WAS EXHIBITED FREQUENTLY IN SOLO AND GROUP EXHIBITIONS IN LETHBRIDGE THROUGH THE 1950S-1960S. PRIOR TO HIS PAINTING CAREER, RIETHMAN WAS INVOLVED WITH THEATRE GROUPS AND PAGEANTS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA, DESIGNING BACKGROUNDS AND CREATING FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS FOR PERFORMANCES. IN 1955, RIETHMAN AND K.E. HUDSON BECAME PARTNERS IN RIETHMAN—HUDSON PAINTING AND DECORATING IN LETHBRIDGE. RIETHMAN’S ARTWORKS WERE OFTEN FRAMED, EXHIBITED AND SOLD AT GAINSBOROUGH GALLERIES, LETHBRIDGE BEGINNING IN 1958. GAINSBOROUGH GALLERIES OPERATED IN CALGARY AND OPENED A BRANCH IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1958, WITH HEINO DEEKEN AS MANAGER IN LETHBRIDGE. GAINSBOROUGH GALLERIES WERE KNOWN TO EXHIBIT ARTWORKS BY SOUTHERN ALBERTA ARTISTS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB. IN A STATEMENT TO THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD IN 1962, RIETHMAN STATED ABOUT HIS PRACTICE, “ALTHOUGH I PREFER LANDSCAPES AND OCCASIONAL PORTRAITS, NOW AND THEN I EXPERIMENT A LITTLE FROM NATURALISTIC INTO MODERN STYLE…ONCE IN A WHILE IT IS GOOD [TO] CHANGE STYLE TO KEEP FROM GETTING IN A RUT…I PAINT AS I FEEL AND TO HECK WITH THE PUBLIC. POSSIBLY I’M NOT COMMERCIAL ENOUGH, BUT I PREFER HAVING THE FREEDOM TO EXPRESS MYSELF AS I WISH…I AM GRADUALLY RETIRING FROM BUSINESS…AND PLAN TO PAINT AND PAINT AND PAINT. I MAY NOT BE THE BEST, BUT I CERTAINLY HAVE FUN.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190006001-GA. UPDATE: ON 24 OCTOBER 2019, ERNEST E. RIETHMAN’S GRANDDAUGHTER LINDA BAINES SHARED A “PERSONAL RECORD” WITH MUSEUM STAFF. THE LATTER DAY SAINT DOCUMENT WAS COMPLETED BY HER GRANDMOTHER CLARA S. RIETHMAN--ERNEST’S WIFE. IT IS A HANDWRITTEN CHRONOLOGY OF CLARA’S LIFE IN SWITZERLAND AND ALBERTA. PERSONAL INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THE DOCUMENT EXTENDS TO ERNEST’S LIFE . TO SEE THIS RECORD, PLEASE SEE P19705197000’S PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20190006002
Acquisition Date
2019-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
No. Pieces
1
Length
139
Width
99.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN BLANKET MADE FROM RAW FLAX. THE BLANKET IS COMPOSED OF 2 SECTIONS OF THE SAME SIZE OF MATERIAL THAT ARE JOINED TOGETHER WITH A SEAM AT THE CENTER. ON THE FRONT SIDE (WITH NEAT SIDE OF THE STITCHING AND PATCHES), THERE ARE THREE PATCHES ON THE BLANKET MADE FROM LIGHTER, RAW-COLOURED MATERIAL. ONE SECTION OF THE FABRIC HAS TWO OF THE PATCHES ALIGNED VERTICALLY NEAR THE CENTER SEAM. THE AREA SHOWING ON ONE PATCH IS 3 CM X 5 CM AND THE OTHER IS SHOWING 5 CM X 6 CM. ON THE OPPOSITE SECTION THERE IS ONE PATCH THAT IS 16 CM X 8.5 CM SEWN AT THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET. THE BLANKET IS HEMMED ON BOTH SHORT SIDES. ON THE OPPOSING/BACK SIDE OF THE BLANKET, THE FULL PIECES OF THE FABRIC FOR THE PATCHES ARE SHOWING. THE SMALLER PATCH OF THE TWO ON THE ONE HALF-SECTION OF THE BLANKET IS 8CM X 10 CM AND THE OTHER PATCH ON THAT SIDE IS 14CM X 15CM. THE PATCH ON THE OTHER HALF-SECTION IS THE SAME SIZE AS WHEN VIEWED FROM THE FRONT. THERE IS A SEVERELY FADED BLUE STAMP ON THIS PATCH’S FABRIC. FAIR CONDITION. THERE IS RED STAINING THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BLANKET AT THE CENTER SEAM, NEAR THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET AT THE SIDE WITH 2 PATCHES (CLOSER TO THE LARGER PATCH), AND NEAR THE SMALL PATCH AT THE END FURTHER FROM THE CENTER. THERE IS A HOLE WITH MANY LOOSE THREADS SURROUNDING NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HALF SECTION WITH ONE PATCH. THERE ARE VARIOUS THREADS COMING LOOSE AT MULTIPLE POINTS OF THE BLANKET.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
BEDDING
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. ACCORDING TO A NOTE THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THIS LIGHTWEIGHT BLANKET AT THE TIME OF ACQUISITION THE BLANKET IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN MADE C. 1920S. MORRIS SAYS HER MEMORY OF THE BLANKET DATES AS FAR BACK AS SHE CAN REMEMBER: “RIGHT INTO THE ‘30S, ‘40S AND ‘50S BECAUSE MY MOTHER DID THAT RIGHT UP UNTIL NEAR THE END. I USE THAT EVEN IN LETHBRIDGE WHEN I HAD A GARDEN. [THIS TYPE OF BLANKET] WAS USED FOR TWO PURPOSES. IT WAS EITHER PUT ON THE BED UNDERNEATH THE MATTRESS THE LADIES MADE OUT OF WOOL AND OR ELSE IT WAS USED, A DIFFERENT PIECE OF CLOTH WOULD BE USED FOR FLAILING THINGS. [THE] FLAIL ACTUALLY GOES WITH IT AND THEY BANG ON THE SEEDS AND IT WOULD TAKE THE HULLS OFF… IT’S HAND WOVEN AND IT’S MADE OUT OF POOR QUALITY FLAX… IT’S UNBLEACHED, DEFINITELY… RAW LINEN." THIS SPECIFIC BLANKET WAS USED FOR SEEDS MORRIS RECALLS: “…IT HAD TO BE A WINDY DAY… WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS OR WHATEVER BEET SEEDS AND WE WOULD BEAT AWAY AND THEN WE WOULD STAND UP, HOLD IT UP AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN [ONTO THE BLANKET.” THE SEEDS WOULD THEN BE CARRIED ON THE BLANKET AND THEN PUT INTO A PAIL. OF THE BLANKET’S CLEAN STATE, MORRIS EXPLAINS, “THEY’RE ALWAYS WASHED AFTER THEY’RE FINISHED USING THEM.” WHEN SHE LOOKS AT THIS ARTIFACT, MORRIS SAYS: “I FEEL LIKE I’M OUT ON THE FARM, I SEE FIELDS AND FIELDS OF FLAX, BLUE FLAX. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE USED IT FOR. SHE DID USE IT IF SHE WANTED A LITTLE BIT OF THE FLAX THEN SHE’D POUND THE FLAX, BUT THAT WASN’T OFTEN. IT WAS MOSTLY BEANS AND PEAS.” IT IS UNKNOWN WHO WOVE THIS BLANKET. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
4
Length
41
Width
12
Description
WOODEN FLAIL. ONE END HAS A PADDLE WITH A WIDTH THAT TAPERS FROM 12 CM AT THE TOP TO 10 CM AT THE BASE. THE PADDLE IS WELL WORN IN THE CENTER WITH A HEIGHT OF 4 CM AT THE ENDS AND 2 CM IN THE CENTER. HANDLE IS ATTACHED TO THE PADDLE AND IS 16 CM LONG WITH A CIRCULAR SHAPE AT THE END OF THE HANDLE. ENGRAVED ON THE CIRCLE THE INITIALS OF DONOR’S MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, “ . . .” GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SLIGHT SPLITTING OF THE WOOD ON THE PADDLE AND AROUND THE JOINT BETWEEN THE HANDLE AND THE PADDLE. OVERALL WEAR FROM USE.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. THIS WOODEN DOUKHOBOR TOOL IS CALLED A “FLAIL.” A NOTE WRITTEN BY ELSIE MORRIS THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THE FLAIL AT THE TIME OF DONATION EXPLAINS, “FLAIL USED FOR BEATING OUT SEEDS. BELONGED TO ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, THEN HANDED TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH PETROVNA KONKIN WHO PASSED IT ON TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH W. MORRIS.” ALTERNATELY, IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS REMEMBERED HER GRANDMOTHER’S, “… NAME WAS JUSOULNA AND THE MIDDLE INITIAL IS THE DAUGHTER OF YVONNE. YVONNE WAS HER FATHER’S NAME AND WISHLOW WAS HER LAST NAME.” THE FLAIL AND THE BLANKET, ALSO DONATED BY MORRIS, WERE USED TOGETHER AT HARVEST TIME TO EXTRACT AND COLLECT SEEDS FROM GARDEN CROPS. ELSIE RECALLED THAT ON WINDY DAYS, “WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS, OR WHATEVER, AND WE WOULD [LAY THEM OUT ON THE BLANKET], BEAT AWAY AND THEN HOLD [THE BLANKET] UP, AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN.” THE FLAIL CONTINUED TO BE USED BY ELIZABETH “RIGHT UP TO THE END,” POSSIBLY INTO THE 1990S, AND THEREAFTER BY MORRIS. WHEN ASKED WHY SHE STOPPED USING IT HERSELF, MORRIS SAID, “I DON’T GARDEN ANYMORE. FURTHERMORE, PEAS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO ALL THAT WORK... I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE HARVEST THEIR SEEDS. I THINK WE JUST GO AND BUY THEM IN PACKETS NOW.” THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. DOUKHOBOURS CAME TO CANADA IN FINAL YEARS OF THE 19TH CENTURY TO ESCAPE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN RUSSIA. ELIZABETH KONKIN (NEE WISHLOW) WAS BORN IN CANORA, SK ON JANUARY 22, 1907 TO HER PARENTS, PETER AND ELIZABETH WISHLOW. AT THE AGE OF 6 SHE MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT BRILLIANT, BC, AND THEY LATER MOVED TO THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT SHOULDICE. IT WAS HERE THAT SHE MET AND MARRIED WILLIAM KONKIN. THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE MORRIS (NÉE KONKIN), WAS BORN IN SHOULDICE IN 1928. INITIALLY, WILLIAM TRIED TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY BY GROWING AND PEDDLING VEGETABLES. WHEN THE FAMILY RECOGNIZED THAT GARDENING WOULD NOT PROVIDE THEM WITH THE INCOME THEY NEEDED, WILLIAM VENTURED OUT TO FARM A QUARTER SECTION OF IRRIGATED LAND 120 KM (75 MILES) AWAY IN VAUXHALL. IN 1941, AFTER THREE YEARS OF FARMING REMOTELY, HE AND ELIZABETH DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ALBERTA COLONY AND RELOCATE TO VAUXHALL. MORRIS WAS 12 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. MORRIS STATED: “… [T]HEY LEFT THE COLONY BECAUSE THERE WERE THINGS GOING ON THAT THEY DID NOT LIKE SO THEY WANTED TO FARM ON THEIR OWN. SO NOW NOBODY HAD MONEY, SO VAUXHALL HAD LAND, YOU KNOW, THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE THE PEOPLE AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PUT ANY DOWN DEPOSIT THEY JUST WERE GIVEN THE LAND AND THEY HAD TO SIGN A PAPER SAYING THEY WOULD GIVE THEM ONE FOURTH OF THE CROP EVERY YEAR. THAT WAS HOW MY DAD GOT PAID BUT WHAT MY DAD DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT THE MONEY THAT WENT IN THERE WAS ACTUALLY PAYING OFF THE FARM SO HE WENT TO SEE MR., WHAT WAS HIS LAST NAME, HE WAS THE PERSON IN CHARGE. ANYWAY HE SAID TO HIM “HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I CAN PAY OFF THIS FARM” AND HE SAYS “YOU’VE BEEN PAYING IT RIGHT ALONG YOU OWE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND A FEW DOLLARS”. WELL THAT WAS A REAL SURPRISE FOR THEM SO THEY GAVE THEM THE TWO HUNDRED AND WHATEVER IT WAS THAT HE OWED AND HE BECAME THE OWNER OF THE FARM." MORRIS WENT ON, ”THE DOUKHOBORS ARE AGRARIAN, THEY LIKE TO GROW THINGS THAT’S THEIR CULTURE OF OCCUPATION AND SO THE ONES WHO LIKED FRUIT MOVED TO B.C. LIKE MY UNCLE DID AND MY DAD LIKED FARMING SO HE MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THERE WERE LET’S SEE, I THINK THERE WERE FOUR OTHER FAMILIES THAT MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THREE OF THE MEN GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO GET THEIR TOOLS TOGETHER LIKE A TRACTOR AND MACHINERY THEY NEEDED AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE TURNS…” THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
THE NARROWS, WATERTON LAKES
Date Range From
1952
Date Range To
1952
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WATERCOLOUR, WOOD,GLASS
Catalogue Number
P20150024000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
THE NARROWS, WATERTON LAKES
Date Range From
1952
Date Range To
1952
Materials
WATERCOLOUR, WOOD,GLASS
No. Pieces
1
Height
55.7
Length
68.0
Width
3.5
Description
LANDSCAPE WATERCOLOUR, SET BEHIND GLASS IN BLONDE WOODEN FRAME WITH OFF-WHITE MATTING. DIMESIONS PROVIDED ARE OF FRAME. LANDSCAPE ORIENTATION. WATERCOLOUR FEATURES TWO PEOPLE IN FOREGROUND ON BEACH AT THE NARROWS IN WATERTON. BACKGROUND RIGHT IS MOUNTAINS, WHILE BACKGROUND LEFT IS MOSTLY CLOUDS. SIGNED BY ARTIST BOTTOM RIGHT HAND CORNER "E.E. RIETHMAN" IN BLUE. REVERSE OF FRAME "THE NARROWS - WATERTON LAKES". METAL WIRE ON REVERSE FOR HANGING.EXCELLENT CONDITION. FRAME SHOWS SOME WEAR, ESPECIALLY ON THE CORNERS.
Subjects
ART
Historical Association
FINE ARTS
History
THE DONOR, ALEXANDRA KNORR, ACQUIRED THIS WORK AT A GARAGE SALE, PRESUMED TO HAVE BEEN IN SOUTH LETHBRIDGE, APPROXIMATELY 3-4 YEARS AGO (APPROXIMATELY 2011-2012). KNORR HAS NO RECOLLECTION OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY SHE PAID FOR THE WORK, AND IN FACT PURCHASED THE WORK BECAUSE SHE WANTED THE FRAME, NOT THE PAINTING ITSELF. KNORR HAS NO CONNECTION TO THE SUBJECT, TO THE ARTIST, NOR TO ANY PREVIOUS OWNERS. ACCORDING TO A LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLE, PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11, 1952, RIETHMAN EXHIBITED THIS PIECE DURING THE THREE-DAY LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB ANNUAL ART EXHIBIT: "THOSE WHO ATTEND THE EXHIBITION WILL RECOGNIZE MANY SOUTHERN ALBERTA SCNESE, ESPECIALLY LANDSCAPS, AMONG SUCH PICTURES AS ... 'THE NARROWS, WATERTON' AND 'MORNING-HENDERSON LAKE' BY E. E. RIETHMAN. ... EVERY PERSON WHO ATTENDS THE EXHIBITION WILL HAVE A CHANCE AT WINNING A LANDSCAPE PAINTING BY MR. RIETHMAN, WHICH WILL BE DRAWN FOR AT THE END OF THE EXHIBIT." THE FOLLOWING BIOGRAPHY OF THE ARTIST, ERNEST EDWARD RIETHMAN, WAS DEVELOPED BY JANE EDMUNDSON IN 2014, USING A LETHBRIDGE HERALD TRIBUTE ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 24, 1964 AND RECORD P20120030007. ERNEST RIETHMAN WAS BORN IN 1895 IN SWITZERLAND AND STUDIED ART AT AN ACADEMY IN BASIL, THEN AT THE INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL OF INTERIOR DECORATING AND PAINTING. IN 1919 HE CAME TO CANADA AND SETTLED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1947. A PARTNER IN THE FIRM OF RIETHMAN AND HUDSON DECORATING LTD, RIETHMAN WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB FOR MANY YEARS AND TAUGHT ART CLASSES THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN ALBERTA. HE PAINTED IN OILS AND WATERCOLOURS AND ONE OF HIS WORKS WAS SELECTED FOR THE CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION IN TORONTO, LATER TRAVELLING TO MUNICH AND OTHER EUROPEAN VENUES. RIETHMAN PASSED AWAY SUDDENLY ON DECEMBER 23, 1964. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR A HARDCOPY OF THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE AND FOR AN EXHIBIT CATALOGUE FROM A RIETHMAN SHOW INSTALLED AT THE SOUTHERN ALBERTA ART GALLERY IN 1987. THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB HELD THEIR FIRST MEETING AT THE HOME OF MISS ANNA MACKENZIE ON OCTOBER 7, 1936. EDITH FANNY KIRK WAS THE FIRST ART TEACHER IN LETHBRIDGE. SHE CAME FROM BRITAIN WITH CLASSICAL TRAINING AND IT WAS KIRK WHO SET THE STAGE FOR THE SKETCH CLUB TO COME INTO BEING. THE BANFF SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS ALSO PLAYED A ROLE IN THE FORMATION BY PROVIDING RECOGNITION OF ARTISTIC MERIT THROUGH DISTRICT SCHOLARSHIPS. ANNA MACKENZIE AND P.J. COLLINS CONCEIVED OF THE CLUB AFTER THEIR EXPERIENCE IN BANFF. THE GROUP WAS FORMED OUT OF AN ENTHUSIASTIC INTEREST IN ART AND SOON AFTER THE GROUP BEGAN MEETING, THERE WERE REGULAR EXHIBITIONS. THE GROUP WAS PRIVY TO THE ATTENTION OF GROUP OF SEVEN ARTIST A.Y.JACKSON WHEN HE MADE HIS FREQUENT SKETCHING TRIPS TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA. HE REGULARLY ACCOMPANIED THE SKETCH CLUB AND HIS INFLUENCE CAN BE SEEN IN MUCH OF THEIR WORK. ANOTHER GUEST OF THE GROUP WAS ANNORA BROWN WHO WAS AN ARTIST WHO HAD TRAINED IN TORONTO, BUT RESIDED IN FORT MACLEOD AND BEGAN SPENDING TIME WITH THE GROUP IN 1939. HER INTEREST IN FLOWER STUDIES IS SUSPECTED TO HAVE INSPIRED MANY OF THE WORKS BY CLUB MEMBERS. DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, THE GROUP ORGANIZED SUMMER CLASSES TAUGHT BY OUT OF TOWN ARTISTS SUCH AS: H.G.GLYDE, WALTER J. PHILIPS AND A.C. LEIGHTON. ACCORDING TO A HISTORY OF THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB WRITTEN BY JOAN STEBBINS IN JUNE, 1985, “THE PAINTINGS OF THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB PORTRAY FAVOURITE SKETCHING AREAS IN THE REGION – THE COULEES PROVIDED ENDLESS MATERIAL, THE RIVERBOTTOM, THE OLD R.C.M.P. BARRACKS, THE WHITNEY FARM, HENDERSON LAKE, THE FELGER HUTTERITE COLONY, THE FOOTHILLS AND WATERTON LAKE WERE OFTEN REPEATED SUBJECTS.” FOR PREVIOUS DONATIONS OF RIETHMAN’S WORK, SEE P19705197000 AND P20120030007. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE. UPDATE: ON 24 OCTOBER 2019, ERNEST E. RIETHMAN’S GRANDDAUGHTER LINDA BAINES SHARED A “PERSONAL RECORD” WITH MUSEUM STAFF. THE LATTER DAY SAINT DOCUMENT WAS COMPLETED BY HER GRANDMOTHER CLARA S. RIETHMAN--ERNEST’S WIFE. IT IS A HANDWRITTEN CHRONOLOGY OF CLARA’S LIFE IN SWITZERLAND AND ALBERTA. PERSONAL INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THE DOCUMENT EXTENDS TO ERNEST’S LIFE . TO SEE THIS RECORD, PLEASE SEE P19705197000’S PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20150024000
Acquisition Date
2015-09
Collection
Museum
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