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The Art of Season’s Greetings 10: Canadian Artists Series Serigraphs

(Added 25 December 2008)

Until 1928, the Canadian Artists Series Christmas cards were printed with the Dell’Aqua process, giving them the stylized graphic appearance shown in preceding Leisure Letter postings. This process was expensive because of the labour required for hand-colouring. After 1929, because of the onset of the Depression, Rous and Mann, Ltd. reverted to the more economical letterpress process of printing where both black and coloured ink were applied to a relief image. Examples of cards by artists from this later era can be distinguished by their uniform borders and resemblance to serigraph oil paintings, such as this card by Paul Caron. The change in appearance of the cards coincided with the diminishment of their sales. This could have been due to their new look, but was also certainly a result of the Depression, which reduced the population’s expenditures on items potentially considered frivolous, such as Christmas cards.

Graham W. Garrett, “Canadian Christmas Cards.” Paper held in Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, n.d.

Image: Paul Caron, Canadian Artists Series, n.d., Joan Murray Fonds, Library and Archives Canada. Inside inscription reads: “Kind thoughts and Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year.”

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