VICTORIA, BC — TouchWood Editions is pleased to announce that E. J. Hughes: Canadian War Artist by official Hughes biographer Robert Amos is a finalist for the 2023 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Now in its 20th year, the prize is awarded to a Greater Victoria author for the best published book of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday, October 11.
E. J. Hughes: Canadian War Artist showcases Hughes’s service during WWII when he served as the most prolific artist in the war artist program. The book features seventy artworks from the Canadian War Museum’s holdings, expanded with many personal photos and sketches from the artist’s papers. Canadian War Artist has already been named a gold winner at the 2022 PubWest Book Design Awards and winner of the 2023 Basil Stuart Stubbs Book Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia.
On Tuesday, October 24, Robert Amos will be launching the final volume in the award-winning Hughes series with an event hosted by Steven McNeil, Chief Curator & Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Bolen Books. More information can be found at bolen.bc.ca/events.
In E. J. Hughes: Canadian War Artist, the third volume of an award-winning series on artist E. J. Hughes (1913–2007), Robert Amos turns his focus to Hughes’s service in the Second World War.
The narrative begins with Hughes’s cadet days with the Seaforth Highlanders in Vancouver, followed by his enlistment at the Work Point Barracks in Esquimalt in 1939. Named the first “service artist” in 1941, he spent two winters in Ottawa before being posted to London where he was attached to different regiments in England and Wales. His paintings of camp life and convoys reflect his keen attention to the details of vehicles, artillery, and uniforms. In 1943 on the Alaskan island of Kiska, he transformed sub-zero weather and howling gales into a powerful document of this remote theatre of war. He returned to Ottawa where he worked until 1946—Canada’s first, last, and longest-serving War Artist of the Second World War. He was also the most prolific.
Robert Amos has published eleven books on art—including four 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.