photograph courtesy Savary Island Heritage Society

photograph courtesy Savary Island Heritage Society

B.C. Art League (Charter Member 1921)
Vancouver School of Decorative & Applied Arts (Founding Student 1925)
Pioneer Art Students of Vancouver Art School (PASOVAS) (Founding Member)
Vancouver Art School Students Club (Founding Member)
Vancouver Art Gallery (Charter Member, 1932)
Federation of Canadian Artists (Founding Member 1941)
B.C. Society of Fine Arts (Elected Member 1942, Honorary Secretary 1947-1951) 

Selected Collections
The Feckless Collection, Vancouver, BC

Maud Sherman, 1900 - 1976

Maud Rees Sherman was born in Mission City, B.C. The family moved to Vancouver in 1903, where her father R.S. Sherman was employed as a teacher and then school principal by the Vancouver School Board. Under her father’s influence, she was encouraged to draw and paint from an early age and to appreciate nature. After completing elementary school, Sherman was tutored at home by her next-door neighbour Josiah Wilson McAdam, an architect and artist who moved to Vancouver ca 1910.

When Sherman was just 8 years old, she began yearly trips to Savary Island. Her father was involved in a development deal establishing the Island as a vacation resort and she would spend many of her summers there, sketching all aspects of life and nature. 

At 19, Sherman began illustrating her father's stories published in in a small pamphlet called School Days magazine. The magazine was published by the Vancouver School Board and used in elementary schools as a supplementary reader. Sherman would go on to create over 80 pen and ink drawings specifically for the magazine on a variety of subjects, this body of work would help establish her reputation as a confident and skillful illustrator. 

In 1920, Sherman began to garner more widespread appreciation of her work; she received a prize for a landscape watercolour at the Vancouver Exhibition and exhibited a piece in the Annual Exhibition of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts. She would continue to exhibit with them over the next 40 years. Both Sherman and her father became charter members of the B.C. Art League when it formed later that same year.

Sherman attended the inaugural class of the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, (now Emily Carr School of Art + Design), when it opened in 1925. There she studied with Group of Seven member, Fred Varley.

Classes with Varley exposed Sherman to new art styles and movements, however she had already developed her own style. Throughout her career, she continued to paint traditional landscapes and seascapes, her neighbourhood, and the city of Vancouver. Sherman also carved and painted wooden jewelry, of such subjects as wolves, birds, and other animals.

Sherman attended the Vancouver School of Art and Design for four years, however, she never earned a diploma from the school. There is speculation as to the reasons, however, she had already established a successful illustration career with J.M. Dent and Sons in Canada and England, a company that produced textbooks for most of the Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom; a diploma was not key to her success. 

Besides her professional illustrations, Sherman continued to support her father’s publications, (such as illustrating her father's 1931 article in Savary Island's Museum and Art Notes with a pen and ink sketch of an arbutus tree), and continued to exhibit locally, (showing at the 1933 B.C. Artists Christmas exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery).

Sherman was one of the founding members of the Federation of Canadian Artists in 1941 along with Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, A.Y. Jackson and Emily Carr. Her artwork was also included in the FCA's 1942 fundraising exhibition for the Canadian Red Cross at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

In the mid-1960s Maude Sherman became ill and was unable to continue painting, thus her art career finally came to an end. She died a decade later, in 1976, in a North Vancouver care home.