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Item Name: Mixed Media
Title: Prairie Elevator
Maker: Charles Barker
Year: 1942
Country: Canadian
Materials: veneer inlay on wood
Measurements: overall: 51.6 cm x 61.5 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.1

Extended Label Info: Entitled “Prairie Elevator”, this prairie landscape scene was created with inlaid wood, a method known as intarsia. The subject matter of the grain elevator, a common sight in the prairies during the 20th century, was popularized by the painter and print-maker Robert Hurley in the 1930s. This artwork was one of several works from the collection selected by Andrew Hunter to be shown as part of the exhibition “Billy’s Vision” when it toured to Dunlop Art Gallery in 2000. Hunter curated works from the Dunlop Collection to combine with artifacts from his own collection to construct a ficto-historical narrative through art and memorabilia about a “mysterious drifter known only by the name of Billy” who may have lived near Saskatoon in the 1930s. Charles Edward Barker made art and artisanal works from the early 1940s to 1972. He worked in a variety of media, including intarsia or inlaid wood, lapidary or polished stone works, furniture, and watercolour painting. His retrospective, the “C.E. Barker Memorial Exhibition” was curated for the Glenbow-Alberta Institute in 1975 by Andrew Oko. It included an exhibition catalogue published by McClelland and Stewart West (1975). The catalogue includes an essay by Barker on creating his “Alberta Story”, a series of 24 wooden inlay images.