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Above: 50th birthday topographical study; right: contribution to the Artropolis 2001 Self-Portrait Exhibition
I, Michael Kluckner, am a Canadian
writer and artist/illustrator. As I add things to this website,
I put them on to a "Newstuff" page
– the closest thing to a blog. My Facebook
page has some blog-like entries too, but it is not so
systematic about following what I'm doing.
My early books on the history of Canadian cities, heritage,
planning issues and art, include Vancouver The Way It Was,
Vanishing Vancouver, Paving Paradise, and British
Columbia in Watercolour. They received some acclaim,
including the Duthie Prize, the Vancouver Book Prize, the
Toronto Book Prize (short list), the Hallmark Society (Victoria)
Award of Merit, and the Heritage Canada Medal of Achievement.
All of them are out of print but can be obtained on used book
websites such as abebooks.com,
or found in libraries throughout Canada. They are listed on this
site on the books page.
Also at the bottom of that page are three
early self-published titles – an outgrowth of a job
I had in the late 1970s running the publications
department for the Student Association at BC Institute of
Books in the 1990s included Michael Kluckner's Vancouver,
a collection of paintings, and The Pullet Surprise: A Year
on an Urban Farm, which reflected on our move from the
city to the country. My 1998 book, Canada, A Journey of
Discovery explored the places and countryside that made up
my childhood image of Canada. I followed up The Pullet
with a farm-noir sequel, a tale of mind over mutton, entitled Wise
Acres, published in 2000. Vanishing
British Columbia, which developed on this website, was
published by UBC Press in 2005. Vancouver
Remembered was published in 2006 by Whitecap Books and
completed (I thought at the time) the cycle of books I began on
BC more than 20 years earlier. Vanishing
Vancouver: The Last 25 Years, published in 2012,
looks back to my earlier period living in Vancouver while
recording and analyzing the remarkable changes that have
recently transformed the city.
Here & Gone,
published in 2020, is a collection of artwork – watercolours,
chiaroscuro (brush-ink) drawings, and pencil work – beginning in
Vancouver but extending through British Columbia and around the
world, using work from my travel sketchbooks going back 30
I had an early, brief career in 1979-80 as a newspaper cartoonist. An ongoing interest, more linked to the writing I've done and the small watercolours that illustrated it, is painting and drawing in a sketchbook as I travel: the travel index page links to these wanderings, and the Here & Gone book noted above reproduces some of them. My different types of artwork are linked from the artwork index page.
I lived from 1993 to 2006 on a farm in rural Langley, British
Columbia, where I raised sheep and chickens and helped my wife
maintain her large garden. My wife, Christine Allen, is the
author of Roses for the Pacific Northwest (1999, Steller
Press), Gardens of Vancouver (1999, Raincoast Books),
and Climbing Up (2002, Steller Press), and regularly
contributes to gardening magazines including "BC Home &
Garden." Her A
Year at Killara Farm, published by Harbour in 2012,
includes my illustrations of our years of country living.
In 2006, we moved to Australia. We lived in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney from 2007-9 before returning to live in Sydney. The page of Australia paintings shows some of what I was up to during those three years. In 2010, we returned to Canada to live in Vancouver.In 1991 I was the founding president of the Heritage Vancouver Society, and served as president of the Langley Heritage Society from 1993 to 1998. From 1996 until 2001, I was the British Columbia member of the board of governors of the Heritage Canada Foundation, and served as chair from 1998-2000. I chaired the Vancouver Heritage Foundation in 2002-3. I am chair of the Vancouver Heritage Commission (a civic agency) and have been president of the Vancouver Historical Society since 2015. We live in the Grandview area near Commercial Drive.
Killara Farm, Langley, British Columbia, Canada (watercolour for
Harrowsmith magazine, 2002), where we lived from 1993 to 2006.