BlogSeptember 7, 2018
Indian Grave Houses, prompts many memories of the man Edwin Holgate and encourages study to appreciate its importance in the annals of Canadian art history, especially linking the Group of Seven, Canadian art of western Canada and of course the “discovery” of Emily Carr and her subsequent return to painting after a hiatus of a dozen years.
As fine as are Holgate’s best nudes, figures and landscapes which are primarily of Quebec province, in our opinion the most historically important Edwin Holgate paintings are Indian Grave Houses and Totem Poles, Gitsegukla, the latter in Canada’s National Gallery (NGC, 4426). The two have been exhibited side by side on a few occasions, most recently in The Beaver Hall Group: 1920s Modernism in Montreal.
Indian Grave Houses was sold in an exhibition, Edwin Holgate, Twenty-Five Years of Painting at Dominion Gallery in Montreal in the fall of 1946 and has remained, until now, in the family of the buyer of this period.
A read of the documentation prepared for us by Dr. Brian Foss will, we believe, lead others to our conclusion that Indian Grave Houses is the finest and most important Edwin Holgate composition one will ever have the opportunity to purchase.