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 Paul Rand  (1896 - 1970)

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Lived/Active: British Columbia/Quebec / Canada/Germany      Known for: mountain landscape, shorelines, nudes, genre and industrial scene painting

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Otto Schellenberger is primarily known as Paul Rand

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Paul Rand FCA, BCSA (1896 - 1970)

A prominent British Columbia painter, draftsman and commercial artist, Paul Rand (AKA: Otto Schellenberger) was born in Bonn, Germany and died in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he had lived since 1927. (1) (2) (3)

His mediums included oil, watercolor, gouache*, graphite, ink, charcoal, pencil, black crayon and mixed mediums. His subjects were landscapes, tree studies, mountains, shorelines, industrial activities, farming activities, mining, genre*, nudes, and interiors. The locations were in the province of British Columbia. His styles included Realism*, Social Realism*, Fauvism*, Impressionism*, and early 20th century Modernism*. The AskART images are good illustrations of his work. (4)

His art education includes a year (1911) of art school in Frankfurt, Germany before coming to Canada. In Vancouver he attended night classes at the Vancouver School of Art (1927 - 1933) where he studied under Charles H. Scott, William P. Weston, J.W.G. Macdonald, and Frederick Varley. (5)

Rand worked as a commercial artist from 1934 to 1965. His employers included the Vancouver Sun (1939 - 1956) and Evergreen Press Limited (1956 - 1965). He was also an art instructor at the "Polytechnic Institute" (Fall term 1937); and taught night classes in life drawing for the "Canadian Legion War Services, Pacific Command" (1944). (6)

He was a member of the British Columbia Society of Artists* (1934) serving as its Vice-President (1944 - 1945) and its President (1948 - 1950), and a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists* (1942).

He exhibited with the BCSA (1933 to 1954 and 1960 to 1962); in the B.C. Artists Annual Exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery (1935, 1936, 1937, 1943, 1944 and 1945); with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* (1942, 1944, and 1945); and in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Spring Exhibitions (1945, 1947 and 1952).

His work was also included in the "Southern Dominions Exhibition" of 1936, which was organized by the National Gallery of Canada and sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation, the exhibition traveled for three years appearing in the South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the Hawaiian Islands.

Posthumously, he was the subject of retrospectives held at the Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby, B.C. in 1972 and at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, B.C. in 1980. His work was also included in two landmark exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery - the 1983 inaugural exhibition "Vancouver Art and Artists - 1931-1983" and the 2004 exhibition "A Modern Life: Art and Design in British Columbia, 1945 - 1960".

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites, his works are in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (B.C.), Vancouver Art Gallery (B.C.), and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). (7)

His awards include a bronze medal for outstanding watercolor at the 1937 Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition; the Gilcrafter Honour Award from Gilbert Paper Company for best letterhead (1944); and The Bruce McAllister Memorial Award [for industrial art] (1946).
(1) Otto Schellenberger changed his name to Paul Rand on May 12, 1941. Source: NGC Information Form completed by Paul Rand and dated February 18, 1946.

(2) In 1912 Rand was sent to Canada for two years by his father; however Rand was in Canada when World War I broke out and couldn't return home. Between 1914 and 1927, he lived on the Canadian Prairies, working on a ranch in southern Alberta and as a builder in Coleman, Alberta before coming to Vancouver. Sources: Ibid; and From Desolation to Splendour: Changing Perceptions of the British Columbia Landscape (1977), by Maria Tippett and Douglas Cole (see AskART book references).

(3) Please note: The National Gallery of Canada Information Form dated February 18, 1946, says he came to Vancouver in 1927 as does the "MacDonald" dictionary, several other sources say it was 1926.

(4) Please note: His archives (see footnote 7) include printmaking materials but his work as a printmaker is not discussed in any sources, nor are there any examples of his prints in museum collections or in reported auction results...yet.

(5) All artists mentioned in this biography have their own pages in AskART.

(6) The source for his teaching experience is a photo copy of the National Gallery of Canada Information Form completed by hand (probably by Rand) and dated February 18, 1946. The quotation marks identify the exact words used on the form, we do not know the address locations of the places he taught, but they were probably in Vancouver. - MDS

(7) The Vancouver Art Gallery is the repository of Paul Rand's archival materials. They include photographs, slides, scrapbooks, correspondence, collectors lists, art works, graphic materials and copper and linocut printing plates. Source: The British Columbia Archival Information Network.
A Modern Life: Art and Design in British Columbia, 1945 - 1960 (2004), by Ian Thom and Alan C. Elder (see AskART book references)
Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)
The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references)
The Encyclopedia of British Columbia (2000), edited by Daniel Francis (see AskART book references)
Art and Architecture in Canada (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson (see AskART book references)
A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume 7, Rakos to Sadowski (1990), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Spring Exhibitions 1880 - 1970 (1988), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references)
Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931 - 1983 (1983), by Luke Rombout (see AskART book references)
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibitions and Members, 1880 - 1979 (1981), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references)
From Desolation to Splendour: Changing Perceptions of the British Columbia Landscape (1977), by Maria Tippett and Douglas Cole (see AskART book references)
National Gallery of Canada Information Form dated February 18, 1946.
Canadian Heritage Information Network*
The Archives Association of British Columbia (
National Gallery of Canada (library and exhibitions records)
Art Gallery of Ontario (catalogue summaries online)

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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