Lindley Crease was a member of a socially prominent family in Victoria which played a significant role in the founding and subsequent development of the Island Arts and Crafts Society.
He was a “man of parts” and a distinguished citizen in his own right, and although it was Lady Sarah and her daughter Josephine who are best known for their contribution to the local art scene, Lindley did in fact display evidence of the family’s artistic gifts and showed his work in the Society’s annual exhibitions from 1913 to 1935.
Born in New Westminster, BC, in 1867, Lindley Crease followed in the footsteps of his father, Sir Henry, a Justice of the BC Supreme Court. Educated in England, he studied law and was called to the BC bar in 1890, and later founded his own law firm. He was actively involved in Church affairs and in Provincial politics and among other distinctions he was President of the Island branch of the League of Nations.
He was a devoted lover of the arts and is remembered for an impassioned speech before the Victoria Real Estate Board in 1935 in which he advocated the establishment of an art gallery for the City of Victoria to be considered without delay. He suggested that a permanent art gallery would not only foster and stimulate art but would have utilitarian value as an additional major tourist attraction and would give visitors a flattering impression of the city’s aesthetic sense.
Crease’s artistic ability found expression in his hobby of mountaineering, drawn by his sense of natural and environmental values. He derived much enjoyment from attending the annual camps of the Alpine Club of Canada in the Canadian Rockies. He was a keen climber and scaled the likes of mount Arrowsmith and Mount Baker in Washington State. However, his main concern was finding vantage points to savor vistas of snow-clad peaks, icefields, and glaciers. This afforded him the chance to exercise his talents in sketching and painting.
His drawing ability is demonstrated in two early sketches of the Island’s Maltby Lake (shown here) though to have been done in the 1892-93 period. Apart from being an avid sketcher he was also, as illustrated, a competent landscape artist.
Lindley Crease, K, C., widely respected for his integrity, kindness, and social consciousness, died at the Victoria family home, Pentrelew, in 1940 at the age of seventy-two.