A reminder that the Archives will be closed from noon on December 24, 2021, until 10 am on January 4, 2022, for the holiday season.
This year’s greeting features a holiday card created by Rous and Mann, Limited. Rous and Mann was a Toronto-based printing company that began its operations in 1909.1 In 1922, the company started their production of the Canadian Artist Series holiday cards as a way of to bring season’s greetings to people, while promoting the work of Canadian painters. In the first year of production, the series consisted of letterpress reproductions of past artists. The following year, in 1923, they began printing designs by living artists, and began using the Dell’Acqua colour process for the cards, of which this card is an example. In this technique, an outline of a scene is printed. A stencil is then placed over the outline, and other colours are applied by hand.
These cards, considered art prints, were exhibited annually in the lobby of the National Gallery of Canada from 1924 to 1928. When the Depression hit in 1929, Rous and Mann reverted to the letterpress reproduction techniques due to the high cost of producing Dell’Acqua, and the more restricted financial situations of their customers. The Canadian Artists Series continued until 1952, but were most popular between 1922 and 1937, and was such an important revenue stream for the company that two of the four floors of their building were dedicated to the printing of these cards.[i]
[i] Much of the information regarding Rous and Mann were found in Sinclair, Catherine, Season’s Greetings in Canada: Gender and Nationalism in Rous and Mann, Limited’s Canadian Artists Series Christmas Cards, 1923-1929. 2006. Carleton University, MA Thesis. CURVE, doi.org/10.22215/etd/2006-07925