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Item Name: Painting
Title: The Sioux, Qu'Appelle Valley
Maker: Ethel Barr
Year: n.d.
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on canvas
Measurements: overall: 39.2 cm x 49.3 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.3
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Donated to Regina Public Library in 1951, this landscape by Ethel Barr features a sweeping view of the Qu’Appelle Valley lakes region near Regina where the artist owned a summer home. A life-long amateur painter, Ethel Barr was also known to have experimented with locally gathered clay pigments and poppy seed oil to make her paint. The naturalistic colours and representational composition in this painting suggest that Barr developed this paintings en plein air, sketching and painting outdoors to capture a momentary experience with the environment. It is speculated that the title The Sioux, Qu’Appelle Valley may allude to the land bridge seen in the distance that is geographically referred to as the Sioux Crossing, an area dividing Echo and Pasqua lakes. Ethel Laureen (nee Dawson) Barr (1883 – 1963) was born in Ontario and moved with her family to Regina in 1883. She took her first art classes from Marie Swanston in 1895, and later worked as a stenographer in Norman MacKenzie’s law office. After marriage to George H. Barr, she and her family grew to be fundamental members in Regina’s earliest artistic circles. Ethel was a founding member of the Orpheus Club; the Canadian Club; the Arts and Letters Committee of the Regina Council of Women; the Regina Women's Musical Club; the Regina Art Centre Association; and the Regina Sketch Club. Under her leadership in the 1920s, the Local Council of Women began collecting paintings with the hopes of establishing a permanent Regina Art Gallery. This collection was displayed at Regina Public Library until 1954 when the artworks were donated to the newly built Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery. This painting was one of the first artworks acquired as a part of the RPL Permanent Collection.