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Molly Lamb Bobak: Talk of the Town

Molly Lamb Bobak

Molly Lamb Bobak: Talk of the Town
January 19-April 8, 2018 | Lower Gallery

Molly Lamb Bobak (1920-2014), raised in Burnaby, was famous for her wildflower watercolours and crowd scenes, painted in oil. This exhibition explores her early architectural views and city panoramas, primarily from the 1940s to the 1960s. Bobak’s work as a set designer, as well as her position as the first female Canadian official war artist during World War II, were vital influences on her cityscapes. While her depictions of crowds often portray faceless groups of people, her buildings are carefully worked and significantly individualized. For Bobak, buildings and cities seem to represent a stable counterpoint to human chaos and inconsistency. 

This exhibition features work from the City of Burnaby Permanent Art Collection and on loan from the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Canadian War Museum, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and multiple private collections. 

About the Artist
Molly Lamb Bobak was raised in Burnaby and began her formal artistic training studying with Jack Shadbolt at the Vancouver School of Art. In 1942, she enlisted in the Canadian Women's Army Corps, becoming the first female Canadian war artist and was deployed to Europe. She met her husband, fellow Canadian war artist, Bruno Bobak, in London, returning with him to Canada after the war. From the early 1950s, Bobak and her family lived and worked in the Vancouver area before travelling back to Europe through various grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the French government. The Bobaks moved to Fredericton, NB, in 1962, where she lived and worked until her death. 

Public Programs

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 18, 7-9pm | Free, Everyone Welcome
Join us for the opening reception at the Burnaby Art Gallery. The evening will feature opening remarks, followed by a reception. The evening will also include the opening reception of artist Julie McIntyre's exhibition Travel Stories in the Upper Gallery. 

Curator's Tour: Sunday, January 28, 2pm | Free, Everyone Welcome
Join us in the Lower Gallery as curator Dr. Hilary Letwin leads a tour of the Molly Lamb Bobak: Talk of the Town exhibition. Continue upstairs and join artist Julie McIntyre and Director/Curator Ellen van Eijnsbergen in a hands-on tour of Travel Stories. Tea will be served in the Fireside Room following the tours. 

Lecture: Sunday, February 25, 2pm | Free, Everyone Welcome
Join curator, Dr. Hilary Letwin as she examines both contemporary and historical artistic influences that inspired Bobak's work. 

Image Credit: Molly Lamb Bobak, Oslo (detail), 1960, conté, wash on paper, 41.8 x 54.7 cm, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with the financial support of the Canada Council Joint Purchase Award and the Vancouver Art Gallery Women's Auxiliary, VAG 61.39, Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery