Fonds - Gladys M. Johnston fonds

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Title proper

Gladys M. Johnston fonds

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  • Textual record

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Dates of creation area


  • 1906-1983 (Creation)
    Gladys M. Johnston
    Salmon Arm

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Physical description

16 cm textual records

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Biographical history

Gladys Marie Foster Johnston was born in Birch Hills near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Her parents, William and Catherine Isabella Harriet Foster, acquired W. Armstrong's farm in Silver Creek in November, 1907. The fosters had five children: Harvey, Charlie, Jenny, Gladys and Dorothy. Seaman Harvey Foster died in 1918 in Halifax Harbour.

At age 19, Gladys Foster returned to Prince Albert, SK and took a painting class in Saskatoon. In 1926 she married Ernest Johnston (1881-1968) from Sheffield, England, twenty-four years her senior. Ernest Johnston had a homestead in the Cariboo. No record of Johnston's homestead has been found in the Western Land Grant database.

The Johnstons had three sons: Harvey Norquay, Laurence, and William.

Gladys Johnston helped support the family by writing, painting, housekeeping, and child minding for others. She literally pedaled her paintings door-to-door, traveling by bicycle and charging $5 to $15 a piece for them. Later in life she took a short course in nursing at U.B.C. and ran a small nursing home in Salmon Arm. Gladys' interests also included reading tea cups and playing piano for services at St. John's Anglican Church in Salmon Arm. She died in 1983.

Gladys Johnston's work was shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery three times. She was also "discovered" by artist Chris Cran. In 1988 he co-curated an art show with Patricia Ainslie at the Glenbow in Calgary. 52 pieces of Gladys' art were shown with her sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all in attendance for the opening.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of the writings of Gladys Johnston and ephemera related to the author.

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Description record identifier

Institution identifier

MS 135 (Salmon Arm Museum)

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Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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