Title: The Picnic Artist: Erica Rutherford Image size: 21 x 28” (53.3 x 71.1 cm) Description: Serigraph on paper. #12 of 20. Titled and numbered in pencil by artist at bottom left. Signed in pencil by artist at bottom right. (Image is a variant of one appearing in the artist’s book, The Owl and the Pussycat - “They dined on mince and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon.”)
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Erica Rutherford (1923-2008) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but over the years would live in England, France, South Africa, Spain, Italy, and a variety of places in North America. Apart from painting and printmaking, Rutherford was an actor, a designer for the theatre, filmmaker, farmer, teacher, and author. Rutherford studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, and at L'Academie Julien, in Paris. She helped establish the Printmakers Council of P.E.I. workshop in Charlottetown. Her work was selected by Canada Post for a stamp representing P.E.I. for the Canadiana Fund, and she was a designer for the Confederation Centre Theatre. Her publications included, “The Island Alphabet” (children’s book), “Yoga for Cats” (humor), “Dance for Cats” (humor), and “The Owl and the Pussycat” (children’s book). Her autobiography, “Nine Lives”, was published in 1993. In it, she documented her struggle with gender identity that led to her decision to undergo transsexual surgery. Rutherford was admitted to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1999. A scholarship in her name is awarded by the University of Prince Edward Island. Rutherford died in Charlottetown.