Alice Ravenhill to Noel Stewart (Feb.24, 1941)


Alice Ravenhill to Noel Stewart (Feb.24, 1941)


Alice Ravenhill informs Noel Stewart on the progress of his and his students' book of Legends: she writes that the committee is hard at work deciding what the shape and format will be for "an attractive little booklet for the coming Tourist season." She also expresses appreciation for his continued efforts, lamenting the lack of response from the educators at the schools at Alert Bay and Hazleton, and inquires as to whether his students might be interested in producing larger artworks for a special show to be held at the National Gallery in Ottawa.


Alice Ravenhill


Royal BC Museum, BC Archives (F/I/R19)


Feb.24, 1941


confine their “art instruction” to set copies, giving no scope for the exercise of the childrens latent gifts; and of course copies

February 24th 1941 .

Dear Mr. Stewart,

I think I must have tried your patience in keeping your Legends so long without further information as to the action being taken towards their publication; unfortunately I have been in bed again (though I hope now to become a reformed character) and the Committee met after a long interval only last Friday. I reported the disinclination to consider any suggestion by the firm I thought would surely say “yes”; and that I am engaged curtailing the letter press and putting the suggested booklet in shape before a further venture. A member of our Committee, in the thick of our artistic business here, a practical lithographer, at once said he would break ground with another source and hopes to secure what we want; an attractive little booklet for the coming Tourist season. So that is that for the moment.

Next; do your boys actually produce any drawings on a larger scale, or at present do they concentrate on these humorous little illustrations. I ask because I am trying to interest the National Gallery of Canada in the idea of an Exhibition of pictures from our B.C. Indian Schools. This arose from the visit here of a notable artist from the east greatly struck with the uncommon genius of the lad who illustrated the “Tale of the Nativity” and who pressed on the Director of the National Gallery the importance of showing his pictures at Ottawa. It seems no “one man” show is allowed and the director writes asking me if pictures though less gifted are available from other Indian schools in B.C. This is not easy thing to find out, especially as most [page break] confine their “Art instruction” to set copies, giving no scope for the exercise of th childrens latent gifts of imagination or skill, and obviously copies do not count. I imagine neither Cape Mudge or Hazelton teachers intend to answer my letters; so all the more I value the kind interest, valuable evidence of St. George’s school’s work and my introduction to Mr. Lett and yourself. I hope to report progress to you shortly; meanwhile what in your idea supposing we succeed in our proposal; what proportion of profits have you in mind for yourself and the school. Obviously a percentage would be due to our Committee for their “risk” and work; but in the event of our success I want to know your ideas on the subject. Our sole funds have been the surplus from the distribution and all costs of “The Tale of the Nativity”; the work developing on me has been immense; not that I advance any claim except for out of pocket costs; but without some financial help our work could not proceed, economical as I am in its conduct. for the moment it is a matter of mutual assistance to advance our objects.

Please remember me kindly to Mr. Lett, and tell him how grateful I am for his practical interest; I am desperately sorry I cannot accept his invitation to come and meet you all.

Yours very sincerely,

[Alice Ravenhill]




Alice Ravenhill, “Alice Ravenhill to Noel Stewart (Feb.24, 1941),” The Story is More than Itself, accessed December 13, 2018,