Image source:   Vancouver Art Gallery Library: Canadian Artist Files

Image source: Vancouver Art Gallery Library: Canadian Artist Files

Awards and Groups
Vancouver School of Art (Diploma 1932)
B.C. Society of Fine Arts (1941, Life Member 1964)
Federation of Canadian Artists (Founding Member 1941)
Canadian Society of Graphic Artists (1946)
Canadian Group of Painters (1948)
Royal Canadian Academy (Associate 1954, Member 1966)

Selected Collections
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, AB
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC, Vancouver, BC
Heffel Gallery Ltd., Vancouver, BC
The Feckless Collection, Vancouver, BC

 

Bertram Charles Binning, 1909 - 1976

Bertram Charles (B.C.) Binning was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta on February 10, 1909. One of Canada’s foremost modern artists, architectural innovators, and influential educators, Binning made major contributions to modern art and architecture in British Columbia. 

At a young age, Binning moved with his family to Vancouver, B.C., this exposure to the West Coast would leave a lasting impression on Binning and influence a lifetime of his work. Binning had originally intended to follow his grandfather into architecture, but found himself drawn to being an artist.  

Binning studied at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts under Charles H. Scott, Fred Varley, and Jock MacDonald. He went on to attend school in the USA and the UK before returning to Vancouver to teach at the Vancouver School of Art. 

Binning taught at the Vancouver School of Art from 1939 to 1949. During this time, Binning began to move towards the abstract by introducing bright colours, calligraphy-based forms and shapes into his drawings, developing a semi-abstract style that was still reminiscent of his coastal subjects. In 1954, the National Gallery of Canada exhibited his work, Ships in a Classical Calm, at the Venice Biennial.

In 1949, Binning moved into a teaching position at the University of British Columbia and in 1955 Became the Founding Head of the Fine Arts Department and Director/Curator of the Department’s Gallery. He retired from teaching in 1974. 

In 1963 Binning worked in an advisory role with the Canada Council, winning a Senior Fellowship. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1971.

Binning would hold 4 exhibitions of his work at the Vancouver Art Gallery over his career, a major retrospective was shown in 1974.

1976 Binning passed away in Vancouver at the age of 67.
 In 1988 the Heffel Gallery mounted a major B.C. Binning retrospective covering his life's work. 

Over his career, Binning would exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the University of British Columbia Fine Arts Centre, Montreal’s Dominion Gallery, and the Bau-Xi in Vancouver.