Myfanwy Pavelic

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Myfanwy Pavelic
Portrait of Myfanwy Pavelic.jpg
Myfanwy Spencer

(1916-04-27)April 27, 1916
DiedMay 7, 2007(2007-05-07) (aged 91)
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
EducationPrivately by Emily Carr
Known for Painting
Notable work
"Katharine Hepburn", "Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau"
MovementPost Modern, Contemporary
Awards Order of Canada
Order of British Columbia
Canadian Portrait Academy

Myfanwy Pavelic, CM, OBC, CPA, (April 27, 1916 May 7, 2007) née Spencer, was a Canadian portrait artist.


Early life and career

Born in Victoria, British Columbia to an upper-class family, her first interests in fine art came after meeting with Emily Carr on Vancouver Island who later gave a brief series of instruction to Pavelic. Aside from a few months of study with a Yugoslav artist, she was self-taught as a painter. [1] She studied at Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School in Montreal, Canada as a boarder. [2] [3] During the Second World War, she held a one-person exhibition of portraits in Canada and donated the proceeds to the Red Cross. She later married a diplomat and had one daughter who suffered a disability.

Pavelic lived a life of privilege and as an adult. Her childhood home was later donated to the City of Victoria and converted into the first art gallery.

Pavelic was one of few Canadian artists who had their work shown at the National Portrait Gallery, [4] where her portrait of Yehudi Menuhin [5] was displayed. She later donated the portrait of her friend to the National Portrait Gallery, making her the first known Canadian-born artist to be represented in their permanent collection.

Awards and honours

In 1984, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. [4] In 1984 she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Victoria and awarded the Order of Canada. [6] In 2001, she was made a Member of the Order of British Columbia.

In 1997 she became a founding member of the Canadian Portrait Academy (CPA) and in 1998 won the F.H. Varley Medallion for Best Portrait Painting for her portrait of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. She was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. [7]


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  1. Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic: A Selection of Works. Burnaby, BC, Canada: Burnaby Art Gallery. 1978.
  2. 1 2 "Order of Canada citation".
  3. "Myfanwy Pavelic". National Portrait Gallery.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Myfanwy Pavelic: Inner Explorations. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. 1994. ISBN   0-88885-178-2.
  5. "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.