Amice Calverley: A Legend & Legacy

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Date(s) - Sunday, November 8, 2015
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre


Exhibition Dates
November 7, 2015 – January 10, 2016

Opening Reception
Sunday, November 8, from 2:00 – 5:00pm
Live performance of Amice’s music at 3:00pm

Explore the life and art of Sybil Rampen’s aunt, Egyptologist Amice Calverley (1896-1959). Painted reliefs of the Seti I temple, relics from Ancient Egypt, photographs, artifacts and stories will be displayed to bring one of Oakville’s most fascinating past residents to life.

Join us at the opening tea party for a special performance of music written by Amice. Opera singer Tessa Laengert will perform Amice’s compositions at 3pm in the gallery.

About Amice Calverley
A century ago, Amice started her career as a composer at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. She participated in three wars, first as a masseuse at Christie Street Hospital in 1917, then in WW2 as a WAAF secret agent for the British Forces in North Africa, and later filmed Who Dares Victory during the Greek battle against Communism.

She drew, she nursed, she wrote an Opera, and she collected 800 Balkan embroideries for the Royal Ontario Museum as she drove her 7 horsepower sun-canopied Jowett from Egypt to England in 1939. Half of Amice’s life was spent recording the Temple of Seti I at Abydos for the Egypt Exploration Society and the Oriental Institute of Chicago. She was funded by her friend John D Rockefeller Jr. Under impossible situations, she photographed, she traced, and painted frescoes drawing with the aid of a camera lucida perched on a high platform.

In spite of many proposals and engagements she never married. Her life was dedicated to Seti I. She met and enjoyed kings, queens and peasants equally. She endured great hardships, and had extraordinary adventures reaching into the world with unbelievable energy, ability and courage.

“Putting together this exhibition, I have realized that Amice was my model for Joshua Creek. She continues to be a large part of my life. For both of us the treasuring of memories of yesterday and the appreciation of the now are the springboard for tomorrow.”
– Sybil Rampen, Founder & President of Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre

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