Elza Mayhew

Green Queen, 1975

bronze, edition 2 of 6

17 in

 17 x


 43.18 x


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About the work

This magnificent bronze sculpture rises from its wooden base, an architectural form that exhibits strength but also evokes an airiness in the light welcomed through the central opening. Green Queen features an emerald patina that reminds the viewer of imperial robes and, although rigid in its structure and form, the crown element at the top speaks to the reverence of the throne. Mayhew was considered to be aligned with the style and principles of brutalism and Green Queen embodies this in its palatial mass. Its round and arched features, as well as the etched geometric shapes, highlight Mayhew’s assertion that her artworks “always relate to the human form.”


Medium Sculpture
Signature Signed
Frame Unframed
Condition Excellent
Seller Private
Location Victoria. Canada
Provenance The Artist; Private Collection, Victoria, Canada.

Elza Mayhew


Elza Mayhew was a Canadian sculptor whose monumental sculptures were recognized internationally, being featured around the world and at major events, such as the 67′ and 86′ Expos. Much of Mayhew’s oeuvre is considered to be aligned with the aesthetic principles of brutalist architecture which she applied to her own regional modernist practice, resulting in a distinctiveness and uniqueness. Today, her award-winning work can be found in many private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Royal British Columbia Museum.

Artist CV

Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia. January 19, 1916.


B.A. University of B.C. Double Honours, French and Latin, 1936.
Studied with Jan Zach in Victoria, 1955 – 58.
M.F.A. University of Oregon, Honours Sculpture, 1963.


Five-month world trip, 1952; one year in Japan, 1953 – 54; several visits to Europe; Yucatan, 1963.

Work in Public Collections:

: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa: Onlookers.
: National Capital Commission: Meditation Piece, by the Rideau Canal, Ottawa.
: Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI : Column of the Sea.
: Royal British Columbia Museum: Spirit (column), Caryatid.
: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: Demeter, Persephone, Sphinx, Board of 10.
: University of Victoria: Coast Spirit (column), Bronze Priestess.
: Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C.: Guardian II.
: Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario: Concordia (column).

Commissions (Murals, Monuments):

: 1967 B.C. Archives and Museum, Victoria. Spirit.
: 1967 Expo, Montreal. Two major commissioned works, Concordia and Meditation Piece.
: 1968 Bank of Canada, Vancouver. Bronze mural. In 1999, walled in by new owners of the building.
: 1973 Confederation Centre, Charlottetown, P.E.I. Column of the Sea, Centennial Project.
: 1988 University of Victoria, Bronze Priestess.

Exhibitions: Juried or Invited.

: 1960 Outdoor Exhibition of Sculpture, Quebec City.
: 1962 Contemporary Sculpture Show, Ottawa (Travelling).
: 1964 Sculpture Today, Dorothy Cameron Gallery, Toronto. Five Canadians.
: 1965 International Trade Fair, Tokyo. Aluminum sculpture.
: 1966 Canadian Religious Art Today, Toronto. Holy Man.
: 1967 Centennial Sculpture Exhibition, Vancouver.
: 1976 Spectrum Canada, RCA Show for the Olympic Games.
: 1978 Sculpture Canada ’78, Toronto, London, Brussels, Paris.
: 1983 Contemporary Canadian Sculpture, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
: 1984 North Park Gallery, Victoria, Opening Invitational.
: 1986 EXPO 86, Vancouver. ZONG, Supplicant.
: 2009 Vision Into Reality: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Early Years 1951 – 1973 (The Colin Graham Legacy), Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

One-Artist Shows:

: 1960 The Point Gallery, Victoria. Also in 1962.
: 1961 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Indoor-Outdoor.
: 1961 Fine Arts Gallery, U.B.C.
: 1963 Lucien Campbell Plaza, University of Oregon, Eugene.
: 1964 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
: 1964 Venice Biennale, Canadian Pavilion.
: 1965 Dorothy Cameron Gallery, Toronto.
: 1971 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Retrospective.
: 1978 Backroom Gallery, Victoria. “Small Sculptures.”
: 1979 Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
: 1980 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver.
: 1980 Albert White Gallery, Toronto.
: 1981 Wallack Gallery, Ottawa.
: 1988 Port Angeles Fine Art Centre, Washington, U.S.
: 1992 Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria. With Bob de Castro.


: 1962 Sir Otto Beit Medal from the Royal Society of British Sculptors.
: 1967 Purchase Award, B.C. Centennial Sculpture Exhibition.
: 1989 Honorary Doctorate, Fine Arts, University of Victoria.


: 1974 Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy.
: 1968 – 79 Board of Directors, International Sculpture, Kansas.
: 1974 – 76 Consultant, Government of British Columbia, Committee on Art.
: 1983 – 85 Acquisitions Committee, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Unfinished work:

Moonpiece. Height 8 ft.

Source: http://www.elzamayhew.com/about.html


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