In 1955, the artist, Ruth Massey commissioned Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey to design one of their earliest projects, a simple modern house incorporating a studio as well as living spaces. Located on a rocky peninsula in West Vancouver, the private and challenging site she chose jutted into Howe Sound with expansive ocean and mountain views. Killam was an atypical client in that she was a single woman commissioning two young and relatively inexperienced architects to design for her an unconventional house on a large waterfront lot. Before the project was completed, Killam would form a relationship with Geoffrey Massey, later marrying him. Their house became a locus of West Vancouver’s artistic community, where the Masseys hosted such notable guests as Bill Reid, Tony Onley, Takao Tanabe, Gordon Smith, and B.C. Binning, many of whom would become lifelong friends.

On May 6th, join Dr. Hilary Letwin as she explores the life and work of Ruth and Geoffrey. This event is a co-presentation of the West Vancouver Art Museum and the Kay Meek Arts Centre.

Dr. Hilary Letwin is Museum Administrator/Curator at the West Vancouver Art Museum. She holds a PhD in Art History from Johns Hopkins University. Letwin has held curatorial fellowships at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the British Museum, and has worked at the Burnaby Art Gallery, the Richmond Art Gallery, and the Seymour Art Gallery. Recent exhibitions that she has curated include Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Genius Loci (2021); Saints, Sinners and Souvenirs: Italian Masterworks on Paper (2019), and Talk of the Town: Molly Lamb Bobak (2018).

Photo credit: Ruth Massey, Arbutus Trees, Hidalgo Point, c. 1990, oil on canvas, 86 x 76 cm.
Collection of Raymond Massey and Tina Arnold.

Event Details

The Masseys of West Vancouver: Geoffrey Massey and Ruth Killam
May 6, 2024 – 7:30 to 9:30pm
Kay Meek Arts Centre
1700 Mathers Avenue
West Vancouver, BC