• Eagar, William (Irish, c.1796–1839)

    An Irish-born artist who initially settled in St. John’s, Newfoundland, before moving to Halifax in 1834, where he worked as an art teacher and offered classes in painting and drawing. He is best known for his lithographs that capture the landscapes of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, now considered important documents that provide a glimpse into the provinces’ early history.

  • Eakins, Thomas (American, 1844–1916)

    A painter, sculptor, and photographer best known for his psychological and often unflattering portrait paintings. Success came posthumously to Eakins; little admired during his life, in the 1930s he came to be celebrated as one of his era’s greatest American artists.

  • East, Benoît (Canadian, b. 1915–n.d.)

    A painter and printmaker influenced by luminaries of the French avant-garde, including Georges Braque and Henri Matisse. He is best known for creating, with Marius Plamondon, a sixty-foot stained glass window for Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. East taught lithography and engraving at the École des beaux-arts de Québec (now part of Université Laval).

  • Eastlake, Charles Herbert (British/Canadian, 1867–1953)

    The husband of the Canadian artist Mary Bell Eastlake, Charles Herbert Eastlake was a British painter. After training in Europe, he established himself in London and spent time with the plein air painters of St. Ives in Cornwall, where he met his wife.

  • Eastlake, Mary Bell (Canadian, 1864–1951)

    A painter, jewellery maker, and watercolourist, Eastlake was born in Ontario and later studied with William Merritt Chase in New York and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris. From about 1893 to 1939, Eastlake lived in England, where she designed and produced jewellery with her husband. She exhibited widely with many art associations in Canada and held a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) in 1927.

  • Eastman, Seth (American, 1808–1875)

    An artist, topographer, and military officer who trained at West Point Military Academy. While stationed in Minnesota, Eastman began depicting First Nations peoples, and in 1847 he was commissioned to illustrate the monumental study Indian Tribes of the United States for the U.S. Congress.

  • Eaton, Rosemary Gilliat (British, 1919–2004)

    An English-born photographer and photojournalist, Rosemary Gilliat Eaton is best known for her documentary images from the 1950s and 1960s. Primarily a freelancer, Gilliat’s work was featured in major publications such as Canadian Geographic and Maclean’s, and she completed a number of assignments for government agencies, including the Department of Northern Affairs and the National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division.

  • Eaton, Wyatt (Canadian/American, 1849–1896)

    A landscape, genre, and portrait painter as well as an illustrator, Eaton was born in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, but moved to New York City in 1867 before spending four years, 1872–1876, working and studying in London and Paris. Following his first trip to France he was inspired by the work of Jean-François Millet and other artists of the Barbizon school. Eaton taught at The Cooper Union art school in New York, and was a founding member of the Society of Canadian Artists, as well as of both the American Art Association and its successor, the Society of American Artists.

  • Eckankar

    Founded by American Paul Twitchell in 1965, this religious movement was influenced by surat shabd yoga. Followers of Eckankar adopt various practices that facilitate soul transcendence by allowing a connection with the Divine Light and Sound. Eckankar translates as “coworker with God.”

  • Eckart, Christian (Canadian American, 1959)

    A Calgary-born artist and arts educator, Christian Eckart’s often monochromatic works use a Conceptual or meta-painting approach to examine the context that surrounds a work of art and what is included and excluded within a picture’s frame. In 2009, he was appointed to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

  • Edson, Aaron Allan (Canadian, 1846–1888)

    A leading landscape painter of his day, Edson spent time living and studying in England, Scotland, and France at various points in his life, but otherwise centred his career in Montreal and in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. His early interest in vivid detail was augmented by his rich and sophisticated sense of colour, and by his poetic experiments with the depiction of light. Edson was a founding member of the Society of Canadian Artists (1867). His death at the age of forty-one cut short one of the most accomplished artistic careers of his day in Canada.

  • Egolessness

    Characterized by the lack of a distinct self or ego, egolessness is a central tenant of Buddhism, where it describes a “middle way” between a belief in an eternal self or soul that continues after the death of the body and a belief in a temporary self that is contained within and dependent on a physical or material body for its existence. Instead, the ego is posited as a process rather than a stable entity or sense of self, which must be lost or forgotten on the way to enlightenment.

  • Eisenhauer, Collins (Canadian, 1898–1979)

    Regarded as a great master of folk art, Collins Eisenhauer is best known for his carvings of birds, animals, and people. He was born in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, and embarked on his artistic practice after retiring in 1964, although it was not until the early 1970s that Eisenhauer’s work began to receive public attention. His works are found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Museum of History.

  • Eisenstein, Sergei (Russian, 1898–1948)

    Born in Riga, Latvia (at the time part of the Russian Empire), Sergei Eisenstein was an influential Soviet filmmaker. He developed the idea of montage—inserting images independent of the film’s main action to generate psychological impact—and wrote theoretical works describing the essential place of the technique in his understanding of film. Working in the U.S.S.R. and Mexico, Eisenstein made films using recent history (Battleship Potemkin, 1925) and medieval epic (Alexander Nevsky, 1938) to depict social issues, espousing a Bolshevik ideal of collectivism and formalist principles that often put him at odds with the Stalinist government.

  • El Greco (Greek, c.1541–1614)

    Painter, sculptor, and architect considered the first master of the Spanish School. Born Doménikos Theotokópoulos in Crete, El Greco settled in Toledo, Spain, in 1576, where he executed major commissions throughout his career, including the prized altarpieces Espolio, 1577–79, and Burial of Count Orgaz, 1586–88.

  • Elder, Bruce (Canadian, b. 1947)

    An experimental filmmaker, critic, philosopher, and teacher, Elder rose to prominence in the 1980s with his film cycle The Book of All the Dead (1975–94) among the most ambitious projects in the history of avant-garde cinema. His book Image and Identity: Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture (1989) is highly regarded and features in Canadian Studies programs.

  • Emily Carr University of Art + Design

    Originally founded in 1925 by the British Columbia Art League as the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, the school changed its name to the Vancouver School of Art in 1936. In 1980 it became the Emily Carr College of Art and, in 2008, obtained university status as the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

  • Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops

    An annual two-week summer program established by Canadian artists Arthur McKay (1926–2000) and Kenneth Lochhead (1926–2006) in 1955. The goal of the workshops was to connect Saskatchewan artists with the greater art world by inviting art theorists, critics, and artists to conduct workshops at the remote location of Emma Lake in northern Saskatchewan. Throughout the years, the workshop leaders included influential figures such as Clement Greenberg, Barnett Newman, and Will Barnet.

  • en plein air

    French for “in the open air,” en plein air is used to describe the practice of painting or sketching outdoors to observe nature, and in particular the changing effects of weather, atmosphere, and light.

  • Encaustic

    A form of painting using hot beeswax mixed with pigment, encaustic painting first emerged in Ancient Greece, with the earliest surviving examples being the Fayum mummy portraits produced in Egypt between the first and third centuries CE. The medium experienced a resurgence in the twentieth century, with artists including Jasper Johns and Tony Sherman producing work in encaustic.

  • engraving

    The name applied to both a type of print and the process used in its production. Engravings are made by cutting into a metal, wood, or plastic plate with specialized tools and then inking the incised lines. The ink is transferred to paper under the immense pressure of a printing press.

  • Ennutsiak (Nunavik/Iqaluit, 1896–1967)

    An Inuit sculptor from northern Quebec, Ennutsiak gained early recognition for his scenes of everyday life; he tackled unusual subjects such as birthing scenes and groups of people reading the Bible.

  • Equinox Gallery

    Founded in 1972 by Elizabeth Nichol, Equinox Gallery, located in East Vancouver, presents contemporary art and photography. Featuring ten exhibitions a year, the gallery represents a mix of senior and emerging artists and artists’ estates. Equinox Gallery is committed to promoting the work of Canadian artists to help them earn international recognition.

  • Erickson, Arthur (Canadian, 1924–2009)

    The first Canadian architect to win an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (1986), Erickson completed numerous projects in Canada and internationally. His Vancouver office introduced modernist residential projects that brought new aesthetics to the city’s architecture in the 1950s. He went on to design contributions to Expo 67 and Expo 70 as well as permanent structures such as Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall and the original campus for Simon Fraser University.

  • Ernst, Max (German, 1891–1976)

    A prolific artist and pioneering member of both Dada and Surrealism. Ernst worked in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, collage, and printmaking, and invented the experimental artistic techniques of frottage, grattage, and decalcomania. Critical of what he saw as the irrationality of the modern world, Ernst was largely inspired in his work by the Surrealist interest in dreams and the unconscious.

  • Estes, Richard (American, b. 1932)

    A Photorealist painter whose pictures are often constructed from more than one photographic source image, thereby presenting a “reality” that never existed or could never be perceived by the naked eye. His preferred subject is the built environment, typically of New York City.

  • etching

    A printmaking technique that follows the same principles as engraving but uses acid instead of a burin to cut through the plate. A copper plate is coated with a waxy acid resist; the artist draws an image into the wax with a needle. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath, incising the lines and leaving the rest of the plate untouched.

  • ethnic art

    A term historically used to refer to art by non-Western artists, ethnic art was traditionally collected by ethnographic and natural history museums rather than art galleries. The term has been criticized for separating non-Western artists, including Indigenous artists, from their Western peers, and excluding them from art markets and discussions of art’s place in society both historically and in the present day.

  • Etrog, Sorel (Romanian/Canadian, 1933–2014)

    A painter, illustrator, draftsman, and filmmaker, Etrog was known principally as a sculptor, creating variously sized abstract works reflecting the human form. One of his many commissions was the bronze statuette known from 1968 to 1980 as the Etrog, the award for excellence presented to Canadian filmmakers, subsequently called the Genie. His work is in important public and private collections in Canada, the United States, and Europe. (See Sorel Etrog: Life & Work by Alma Mikulinsky.)

  • Evans, Katharine (American, 1875–1930)

    An American artist who from 1895 to 1898 served as the first principal—and first woman leader—of the Victoria School of Art and Design (now NSCAD University). She graduated from the School of Industrial Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris, and was best known for her watercolours and still-life paintings.

  • Evergon (Canadian, b.1946)

    Based in Montreal, Evergon (born Albert Jay Lunt) is an artist, educator, and activist with alter-egos including Cellulose Evergoni, Eve R. Gonzales, and Egon Brut. His wide-ranging contributions to photography have taken the form of photo-collage, colour photocopying, and experiments with the cyanotype, Polaroid, and hologram processes. He is celebrated for his elaborately staged tableaux, striking self-portraits, and sustained exploration of queer sexuality, masculinity, and social constructions of gender.

  • Ewart (née Clay), Mary (American/Canadian, 1872–1939)

    American-born painter who settled in Winnipeg in 1907. Ewart trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and with John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler. She was a strong advocate for the establishment of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Winnipeg School of Art, arguing for social as well as aesthetic reasons. Ewart also served as president of the Western Art Association.

  • Ewen, Paterson (Canadian, 1925–2002)

    Born in Montreal and later settling in London, Ontario, Ewen was involved with the Automatistes, the Plasticiens, and the London Regionalists, although he was never fully identified with a single movement. His mature works embraced experimentation with colour combinations and textures, and the use of gouged plywood as a painting surface. These invoked landscape and natural elements through abstract and geometric gestures. (See Paterson Ewen: Life & Work by John Hatch.)

  • ex-libris

    An ex-libris (or bookplate) is a personal engraving pasted into the front of a book that indicates ownership. The term originates form the Latin phrase ex libris meis, which signifies that the book is a part of someone’s collection.

  • ex-voto

    Directed at a god or saint, an ex-voto is an offering: for something desired, or in gratitude for something that has been received. These offerings may be in the form of pictures, printed Bible verses, figurines, crucifixes, other religious objects, or small personal items such as clothing, jewellery, or toys.

  • Exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Painting (“Southern Dominions Exhibition”)

    Titled in full the Exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Painting: Arranged on Behalf of the Carnegie Corporation of New York for Circulation in the Southern Dominions of the British Empire, this show was first held at the Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1936. It subsequently toured major cities in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii from September 1936 to April 1939.

  • Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Artists of the British Empire Overseas (“Coronation Exhibition”) London, England, 1937

    An exhibition held at the Royal Institute Galleries, London, that formed part of the celebrations for the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on May 12, 1937. The Canadian section subsequently toured to several English regional galleries until April 1938.

  • exoticism

    Exoticism is most often used to describe a quality of unusualness or unfamiliarity. When the term “exoticism” is used to discuss works of art or attitudes toward them, it refers to a way of looking at something that focuses on its otherness. Often, this means valuing a different culture specifically for its difference, rather than attempting to understand the numerous complex ways in which culture shapes society.

  • Expo 67

    The world’s fair of 1967, held in Montreal, was a celebration of Canada’s Centennial. With sixty-two participating nations and attendance of more than 50 million people, Expo solidified Montreal’s reputation as an international city and Canada’s as a place for innovation.

  • Expo 86

    Fifty-five countries participated in this world’s fair, held in Vancouver in celebration of the city’s centennial. Attended by over 22 million people, Expo 86 is now recognized as having been instrumental to the growth and development of Vancouver and to raising the city’s status internationally.

  • Exposition Universelle

    The French term for a large international exhibition that showcases national achievements in areas such as industrialization, agriculture, exports, and art. Known as the World’s Fair in English, these public exhibitions were popularized in the nineteenth century and had great influence on tourism, art and design, and international relations.

  • Expressionism

    An intense, emotional style of art that values the representation of the artist’s subjective inner feelings and ideas. German Expressionism started in the early twentieth century in Germany and Austria. In painting, Expressionism is associated with an intense, jarring use of colour and brush strokes that are not naturalistic.

  • exquisite corpse

    A collaborative method of creating a work, invented by the Surrealists. A participant draws on a sheet of paper, folds it to conceal the illustration, and passes it to the next player to extend the drawing. André Breton wrote that the technique, adapted from an old parlour game of words, emerged among artist friends at 54 rue du Château, Paris. Early participants were Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert, Man Ray, and Joan Miró.

  • Extractivism

    The process of removing natural resources from the earth and selling them on the global market. Linked to colonial expansion, capitalism, and neoliberalism, extractivist practices often involve exploitation and contribute to environmental degradation.

  • Eyland, Cliff (Canadian, b.1954–2020)

    An artist, writer, curator, and professor of painting at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Since 1981 Eyland has concentrated on creating small-format drawings and paintings, the size of index cards. A permanent installation of over one thousand of his small paintings opened at the Millennium Library in Winnipeg in 2005, and another at Halifax Central Library in 2015.

  • Eyre, Ivan (Canadian, 1935–2022)

    A lauded, prolific, and widely collected painter, sculptor, and draftsman. Eyre’s significance lies equally in his teaching; a professor of painting and drawing at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg for more than three decades, he has worked closely with generations of Canadian artists. He is known primarily for his majestic prairie landscapes.

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