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Item Name: Painting
Title: Last Mountain Lake, Regina Beach
Maker: Sarah Schafer
Year: 1923
Country: Canadian
Materials: Oil on fibre board
Measurements: overall: 38.9 cm x 44.6 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.48
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: The composition of this landscape by Sarah Schafer is a view from within the trees, looking out to Last Mountain Lake. In comparison to other prairie landscapes, this is an unusual point of view, but Shafer’s choice of subject matter, a winding path and picturesque trees, reflects her aesthetic education in the British landscape tradition. The composition and colours also reflect Shafer’s practice of painting “en plein air”, setting her easel up outside and painting sketches in the landscape. This method of working had become quite popular at the time, and members of the Regina Sketch Club often painted in the Qu’Appelle Valley and in the Regina Beach area. This painting was donated in Schafer’s memory to the RPL permanent collection in 1950 by the artist’s sister and brother, Nellie and Andrew MacBeth, who invited to the RPL board to select an artwork from their collection. Sarah (nee MacBeth) Schafer (1870 – 1935) was born in Walkerton, Ontario. She studied oil and water-colour painting. Settling in Regina in 1913, Schafer continued her study of painting with Ina and Inglis Sheldon-Williams, and J.T. Richardson, learning figurative work, and later in life, china painting. Schafer exhibited her artwork locally, taking part in the 1932 annual art show organized by the Women’s Art Association of Saskatchewan (WAAS). Schafer was an active member of Regina’s arts community, and a charter member of the WAAS, a group that developed from the membership of the Fine and Applied Arts Committee of the Local Council of Women (LCW) which formed in Regina in 1895. (Federally, the National Council of Women of Canada (1893) addressed social issues such as improved healthcare and votes for women.) In Regina, the arts committee and art association members worked to establish a civic art collection, and to support and raise the profile of the visual arts in the community by sponsoring exhibitions and workshops. Their work was significant for local artists, as at that time, there were no public art galleries or public funding. After Schafer’s death in 1935, the WAAS held a memorial exhibition of her work at the Regina College (now University of Regina, College Avenue Campus).