Emily Carr As I Knew Her

By (author): Carol Pearson
Foreword by: Robert Amos
ISBN 9781771511742
Softcover | Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Book Dimensions: 6 in x 9 in
168 Pages

About the Book

Out of print for more than 40 years, this is an intimate and heartwarming biography that throws a whole new light on one of Canada’s most beloved and iconic artists.

In 1916, Emily Carr wasn’t famous. She was poor, and she taught art classes to children to make a living. One of her students was seven-year-old Carol Pearson. Pearson spent hours every day with Carr: they painted together at the water’s edge, and she helped care for the dogs, birds, monkey and other animals that Carr kept as pets. Carr nicknamed Pearson “Baboo,” and Carol called her “Mom.” The two were as close as mother and daughter for twenty-five years, up until Carr passed away.

This touching tribute to Carr illustrates a gentleness and sensitivity not seen in other biographies. Originally published in 1954 and long out of print, this very unique biography reveals Carr’s personality more fully than any other. With a new foreword by Robert Amos, Canadian art historian.

“No more penetrating picture will be given us of the great person who was Emily Carr than this … Humour is mixed with tragedy, and tales that never appeared in Klee Wyck were told to Carol.” —the Globe & Mail

About the Author(s)

Robert Amos has published eleven books on art—including five bestselling volumes on the life and work of beloved Canadian artist E. J. Hughes—and was the arts columnist for Victoria’s Times Colonist newspaper for more than thirty years. Amos was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1995 and is an Honorary Citizen of Victoria. He lives in Oak Bay, British Columbia, with his wife, artist Sarah Amos.

Carol (Williams) Pearson first came to know Emily Carr when her parents enrolled her in art classes with the celebrated painter. Young Pearson soon became one of Carr's closest friends. Their intimate friendship lasted even after Pearson moved to Ontario in 1926. Pearson was a horsewoman and animal trainer, a skill she learned from Carr. She lived in Ontario until her death.


“Pearson depicts a Carr few people got to know—a practical lady with a sharp sense of humour, a kind-hearted person, and an ardent naturalist. Her book is a beautiful read that you will not want to put down.” —Beverley Tallon, Canada’s History

“A charming and engaging read with fine descriptions of Carr’s studio, her monkey, several of her dogs, her hired help, her sketching events, and much more. Pearson’s stories have an internal consistency and authenticity. They take the reader into Emily Carr’s private life.” —The Ormsby Review