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list price: $45.00
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
category: Art
published: March 2018
ISBN:9780774834988
publisher: UBC Press

Alan Caswell Collier, Relief Stiff

An Artist’s Letters from Depression-Era British Columbia

edited by Peter Neary

0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $45.00
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
category: Art
published: March 2018
ISBN:9780774834988
publisher: UBC Press
Description

Alan Caswell Collier was one of Canada’s most admired and successful landscape painters, but during the Depression he worked alongside other single, unemployed men in government-run relief camps. Labouring for twenty cents a day, he detailed camp life and politics in letters to his fiancée and depicted fellow “relief stiffs” and the BC landscape in character sketches and paintings. Incisive and candid, his letters reveal a born contrarian with a strong sense of social superiority over his fellow “twenty centers.” But his letters also offer a fresh perspective on the hopes and dreams of an eminent Ontario artist and of the generation who came of age at a time of economic upheaval and class conflict.

About the Author
Peter Neary is a professor of history and Dean of the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World, 1929-1949, and has published a number of other works on Newfoundland.

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Contributor Notes

Peter Neary is a historian and the editor and author of several books, including White Tie and Decorations: Sir John and Lady Hope Simpson in Newfoundland, 1934–1936 and On to Civvy Street: Canada’s Rehabilitation Program for Veterans of the Second World War. He is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Western Ontario.

Editorial Reviews

Peter Neary has done a real service by bringing Alan Collier’s letters to a wide public audience. Collier’s views of the politics of the camps, while contentious, provide a useful comparison to the more familiar leftist reading of the era. More importantly, his letters, along with the paintings and photographs that Neary has collected, provide an intimate and detailed glimpse, a view from the inside, of the relief camp system, a short-lived but embryonic experiment in social control during a time of economic crisis.

— The Ormsby Review

[Collier] was a skilled letter writer and his lively narrative is free of pretension. He attempted to record the toughness of the life in a way that was authentic, while no doubt taking off a few rough edges and embellishing anecdotes, as all writers do … This book is an easy read and will appeal to general readers, as well as those interested in the 1930s life or Canadian art. This fascinating slice of social history forms a Canadian counterpart to the volume of Pollock family letters.

— alexanderadamsart

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Other Titles by Peter Neary

On to Civvy Street

On to Civvy Street

Canada's Rehabilitation Program for Veterans of the Second World War
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : social policy
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White Tie and Decorations

White Tie and Decorations

Sir John and Lady Hope Simpson in Newfoundland, 1934-1936
edited by Peter Neary
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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