Friday, June 16, 2017

Annora Brown: About book collections

Joyce Sasse - Spring cleaning is a good time to search your shelves for contributions to our Annora Brown Book Box collection. It’s a delight to discover new insights about this Fort Macleod native who was such an ardent conservationist and artist.

Old Man’s Garden and Sketches from Life top our collector’s list. Look also for the many books that so intentionally include her illustrations: Young Explorers and Proud Processions (1947); Winged Canoes at Nootca (1955); Totem, Tipi & Tumpline (1955); No Man Stands Alone (1965); Canaries on the Clothesline (1974). Has anyone saved magazine articles written by her?

We are also looking for books by or about those who influenced her thinking. She mentioned the Trail Blazers in Old Man’s Garden: Peter Fidler, David Thompson, Captain Palliser, Alexander Mackenzie, Captains Lewis & Clark, John Franklin. The records kept by them and their botanists were formative for Annora’s knowledge-base.

Next are possible mentors: Emily Carr, Gabrille Roy, Kootenai Brown, members from the Group of Seven, Nellie McClung, Rachel Carson. Local acquaintances like Bert Riggall and Andy Russel also need to be included.

Since Annora’s time, others have looked closely at her many contributions. Annora Brown: Forming a Regionalist Sensibility (2005) was a thesis by Patricia Alderson. A Delicate Art (2012) is by Mary-Beth Laviolette.

Publications with references to Annora Brown’s life and legacy include We Found Peace (1953) and Butter Side Up (1994) by Gray Campbell. In Good Hands is a history of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild. Plants & the Blackfoot (1987) shows many of her paintings in black and white.

Our Annora Brown Book Box collection is slowly growing and will be centred out of the Fort Macleod Library. This list of publications will grow, and your contributions are always welcome. It is through these stories and this collection that a new generation can further identify her legacy.

We are now looking for volunteers to help develop a publication, in colour, that will feature Annora’s paintings?

A Radio style drama “Annora Brown: Interpreter of the Foothills” will be presented by Joyce Sasse and Drew at the Falls Theatre, Waterton Park, on Sunday, June 18th at 7:30 pm as part of the Wildflower Festival. We hope to have 7 of Annora’s paintings for viewing at that time.

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