Chronology

1863
Richard Carr and his wife Emily Saunders Carr arrive in Victoria, British Columbia.

1871
Emily Carr is born on December 13 in Victoria. She is the fifth child in a family of five girls: Edith, Clara Louise, Elizabeth Emily, Alice Mary and Emily.

1875
A brother, Richard, is born.

1880
Begins her first drawing lessons with Emily Woods.

1886
On September 21, Emily Saunders Carr dies after a long battle with tuberculosis.

1888
Richard Carr dies.

1890-1893
Attends the California School of Design in San Francisco.

1893
Returns to Victoria and teaches children's art classes in her studio in the cow barn on her family's property.

1899
With her sister Lizzie, makes her first trip to a First Nations village, Ucluelet (Hiitats'uu)1, to visit a Presbyterian mission. Meets William Mayo Paddon aboard the steamship Willipa. Receives the nickname Klee Wyck, "the laughing one," from the community in Ucluelet. Travels to London to study at the Westminster School of Art. On September 5 her brother Richard dies in a sanitarium in California.

1900
Mayo Paddon visits London. Carr refuses his numerous proposals of marriage.

1901
Spends the winter in St. Ives, Cornwall, a rural artist colony, studying under Julius Olsson and his assistant Algernon Talmage.

1902
Goes to Bushey, Hertfordshire, and joins the studio of John Whiteley.

1903
Admitted to the East Anglia Sanatorium on January 11 after suffering a breakdown. Remains for eighteen months.

1904
Returns to Canada in June.

1905
In Victoria, teaches art classes and is a political cartoonist for The Week, a Victoria paper.

1906
In January, moves from Victoria to Vancouver after getting a job as an instructor at Vancouver Ladies' Art Club. The employment is short-lived, and Carr begins teaching children's art classes in her studio. Exhibits at the Studio Club. Meets Sophie Frank, a First Nations woman who became a close friend until Frank's death in 1939.

1907
Along with her sister Alice, visits Alaska and is exposed to Northwest Coast Aboriginal monumental carving. Becomes inspired to document what she views as a rapidly dying culture.

1908-1909
Begins travelling to First Nations villages to record their art and culture. Visits Alert Bay ('Yalis), Campbell River (Tla'mataxw) and other communities on northern Vancouver Island.

1910
On July 11 begins her journey to France with her sister Alice, stopping in Calgary, Edmonton and Quebec along the way. On August 12 sails for France aboard the Empress of Ireland. Enrols at the Académie Colarossi. Leaves Colarossi and studies under John Duncan Fergusson. Falls ill and enters the infirmary at the American Student Hostel.

1911
Released from the infirmary in January. Suffers a second breakdown and travels to Sweden with Alice to recover. Returns to Paris and follows British expatriate William Phelan "Harry" Gibb to Crécy-en-Brie to attend a sketching class. In June, when Alice returns to Canada, travels to St. Efflam with Gibb. Her funds dwindling, Carr leaves St. Efflam in September and spends her final weeks in France studying at Concarneau with New Zealand expatriate Frances Hodgkins. Has two paintings in the 1911 Salon d'Automne exhibition in Paris. Returns to Canada.

1912
Moves to Vancouver into a studio on West Broadway. On March 25 holds an exhibition of seventy of her French watercolours and oils, and introduces Fauvism to Vancouver. In July embarks on a six-week sketching trip to First Nations villages. Travels along the east coast of Vancouver Island to Alert Bay ('Yalis), Village Island ('Mi'mkwamlis), New Vancouver (Tsadzis'nukwaame'), Turnour Island (Kalugwis), Cape Mudge (T'sakwa'lutan) and Gilford Island (Gwa'yasdams). Then heads to Prince Rupurt and up the Skeena River ('Ksan/Xsi'yeen) to Hazelton (Gitanmaax), Hagwilget, Kispiox (Ans'pa yaxw), Kitwanga (Gitwangak) and Kitsegukla (Gitseguekla). Travels to the Haida villages of Skidegate (Hlragilda 'llnagaay), Haina (Caynaa 'llnagaay), Tanu (T'anuu 'llnagaay), Skedans (Q'una 'llnagaay), Cumshewa (Hlqin7ul), Chaatl (Ts'aa7ahl 'llnagaay) and Yan (Yaan'lanngee).

1913
In April rents Drummond Hall in Vancouver and mounts a large exhibition of almost 200 paintings on First Nations subject matter. Also delivers a public lecture entitled "Lecture on Totems." Returns to Victoria and builds a four-suite apartment house on her share of her family's estate. Constructs a studio for herself and takes up duties as a landlord.

1918
Employed as a cartoonist for the Western Women's Weekly, a short-lived feminist publication.

1919
Sisters Edith and Clara die.

1924 and 1925
Exhibits in Seattle with Artists of the Pacific Northwest.

1926
Dr. Marius Barbeau of the National Museum of Canada visits her studio and shows interest in her work. Carr enrols in a short-story writing course.

1927
Eric Brown, director of the National Gallery of Canada, visits her studio and selects works for a show he is co-curating with Barbeau on Canadian west coast art. In November, Carr travels to Ottawa for the opening of Canadian West Coast Art - Native and Modern. Stops in Toronto to meet members of the Group of Seven and visit their studios.

1928
After returning from the east, begins painting with renewed vigour. Begins extensive correspondence with Lawren Harris. In the summer makes a two-month sketching trip to First Nations communities. Returns to Alert Bay ('Yalis), visits Fort Rupert (Tsaxis) and again heads up the Skeena River ('Ksan/Xsi'yeen) to Kitwanga (Gitwangak), Kispiox (Ans'pa yaxw), and Kitsegukla (Gitseguekla). Visits Kitwancool (Gitanyow) for the first time. Travels along the Nass River (Xsitxemsen) to Gitiks and Angida. Ends her trip in the Queen Charlotte Islands, visiting the villages of Skidegate (Hlragilda 'llnagaay), Skedans (Q'una 'llnagaay) and Cumshewa (Hlqin7ul). In September, Seattle artist Mark Tobey conducts a master class in her studio.

1929
Her article "Modern and Indian Art" is published in the Supplement to the McGill News. In May travels to communities at Friendly Cove (Yuquot) on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

1930
Has solo shows at the Canadian National Railway office in Ottawa, the Crystal Garden in Victoria and the Art Institute in Seattle. Invited for the first time to exhibit with the Group of Seven in one of their own exhibitions. Heads east in March, stopping in Ottawa to see her show, in Toronto to see the Group of Seven show and in New York to spend a week visiting galleries. Meets Georgia O'Keeffe.

1931
In May goes on a sketching trip with Edythe Hembroff to Cordova Bay. In August sketches in Sooke Hills and Goldstream Park.

1932
Sketches at Braden Mountain and Mount Douglas.

1933
Purchases a caravan (camper), which she names "the Elephant," to take on sketching trips. Makes her final trip east to the Chicago World's Fair and to Toronto in November. Becomes a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters.

1934
Attends a summer-school course in short-story writing and writes "Cow Yard," a story about her childhood. In May and September takes "the Elephant" on a sketching trip to Esquimalt Lagoon.

1936
Sells Hill House and moves to 316 Beckley Avenue. Sister Lizzie dies.

1937
Suffers first heart attack. Begins writing stories about her experiences in First Nations villages while recuperating. Has a solo show at the Art Gallery of Toronto.

1938
Has her first solo show at the Vancouver Art Gallery, an event that was held annually thereafter until her death. Included in the exhibition A Century of Canadian Art, held at the Tate Gallery in London and organized by the National Gallery of Canada.

1939
Suffers second heart attack. Sophie Frank dies.

1940
Moves in with her sister Alice and has a serious stroke. Klee Wyck stories are broadcast on CBC Radio.

1941
Klee Wyck is published and wins the Governor General's Literary Award for non-fiction.

1942
The Book of Small, memoir of her childhood, is published. In July goes on her final sketching excursion, a ten-day trip to Mount Douglas Park. Establishes the Emily Carr Trust. Suffers another heart attack.

1943
Has a retrospective at the Art Gallery of Toronto and solo shows in Montréal, Vancouver and Seattle.

1944
The House of All Sorts is published. Has a solo show at the Dominion Gallery in Montreal, her first exhibition at a commercial venue.

1945
Has a heart attack on March 2 and is pronounced dead at St. Mary's Priory. Has a memorial exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.

1946
Growing Pains is published.

1953
Pause and The Heart of a Peacock are published. Alice Carr dies in October.

1966
Hundreds and Thousands is published.

1972
Fresh Seeing is published.

1 All First Nations names from Gerta Moray, Unsettling Encounters: First Nations Imagery in the Art of Emily Carr (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006).