Molly Lamb Bobak R.C.A.

Event in Ottawa (2)

oil on canvas board
6x12 in.

signed lower right

Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, Montreal;
Private collection, Montreal;
Sale of Waddington’s, Canadian Fine Art, Nov. 19, 2018, lot 126
Private collection

Molly Bobak lived her life surrounded by art and creativity. The daughter of art critic Harold Mortimer-Lamb, she was introduced to many Canadian artists – and would have been aware of their subjects and stylistic approach. It is perhaps because of this that she developed a style all her own, focusing on crowd scenes that are a play a movement, colour, and life. Bobak captures sundrenched beach scenes with blankets and tanned bodies, street scenes with rushing crowds loaded with packages and bundles, crowds skating, crowds racing, crowds sailing. She is lauded for her depictions of the celebrations that marked the end of the second World War, she was sent to England as an Official War Memorials artist – the first Canadian woman in the War Memorials program, creating over 400 works from V-E Day on.

This brilliant work by Bobak is especially resonant today, as we distance ourselves from our fellow humans, all caught in the grip of a world pandemic. Bobak’s people interact, they move shoulder to shoulder, lean head to head in pairs and larger grows, bustling through the scene, a hurry blurry of movement and life.


Molly Joan Lamb Bobak was born on 25 February 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied art at the Vancouver School of Art from 1938-1941 with Jack Shadbolt and Charles Scott. In 1942 she joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and became the first Canadian female war artist in 1945;…