Ernest Lindner Studio on Fairy Island
Links and documents
1935/01/01 to 1935/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Ernest Lindner Studio is a Provincial Heritage Property located on Fairy Island in Emma Lake, approximately 50 km north of the city of Prince Albert. The property features a log studio, constructed in 1935, surrounded by a 48.144 hectare mixed wood forest. The studio is located near the island’s north eastern shore.
The Ernest Lindner Studio on Fairy Island is significant because of its association with nationally renowned artist Ernest Lindner. Lindner emigrated from Austria in 1926 and settled in Saskatchewan. Lindner initially worked as a farm labourer, sketching and drawing in his free time. In 1931, he began a 30-year career teaching art at the Saskatoon Technical Collegiate Institute. During the 1930s and 1940s Lindner hosted regular “Saturday Night” meetings that helped form Saskatoon’s artistic community. Lindner was also an active participant in the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops during the 1950s and 1960s. After retiring from the Technical Collegiate in 1962, Lindner focused on painting. Lindner’s images of Saskatchewan’s boreal forests are among his best-known works. The influence of the landscape near his Emma Lake summer home can be seen in his paintings of the forest floor. Lindner’s work has been widely exhibited and is held in many public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada.
The Ernest Lindner Studio is also significant because of its design, craftsmanship and setting. In the summer of 1935, Lindner travelled to Emma Lake and stayed at Murray Point, the site chosen for the University art school camp where the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops would later be held. Lindner and his wife Bodil discovered an uninhabited island just across the lake from the campus which they named Fairy Island. The secluded island with its large trees, dense forest, thick underbrush and pristine setting attracted Lindner who chose a location on the island’s north east shore, now called Lindner Point, to build a summer home and studio. The studio, which is the only remaining structure on the island, was constructed using spruce logs cut from the island. A saddle notch was carved into the bottom of each log and the logs were stacked vertically to create the studio’s walls. A large north-west facing corner window where Lindner often sat to paint provided natural light and views of the surrounding landscape, which came to inspire many of Lindner’s works. In 1961, Lindner sold his Fairy Island studio to the University of Saskatchewan and it has since been used by the Department of Biology as a provincial research area for biologists and other researchers interested in botany, zoology, limnology and the environment.
Province of Saskatchewan, Notice of Intention to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under The Heritage Property Act, December 21, 2006.
Province of Saskatchewan, Order to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under The Heritage Property Act, April 11, 2007
The heritage value of the Ernest Lindner Studio on Fairy Island resides in the following character-defining elements:
- those elements that reflect its association with Ernest Lindner including the studio’s corner window at the north west, the studio’s siting on a peninsula on the north east shore of Fairy Island and the island’s undeveloped environment; and
- those elements associated with the studio’s design and craftsmanship including its log construction and linseed oil finish on the interior.
Government of Saskatchewan
Heritage Property Act, s. 39(1)
Provincial Heritage Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Post-Secondary Institution
- Commerce / Commercial Services
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Conservation Branch,
Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport,
3211 Albert Street,
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 5W6
Cross-Reference to Collection