Books by Robert Amos

Robert Amos has published many books in the past 50 years. Some of them remain in print, and can be ordered from your favourite local book store. We recommend Munro’s Books in Victoria.

E.J. Hughes: Canadian War Artist by Robert Amos. TouchWood Editions, Victoria (2022). 206 pages. $35.

The paintings of E. J. Hughes (1913-2007) from his post-war period sell for millions of dollars at auction. Not so well known is his work as a Canadian War Artist. Now a richly-illustrated volume tells the full story of Canada’s first, longest serving and most productive War Artist.
Working with the cooperation of the Canadian War Museum and the Estate of E. J. Hughes, author and artist Robert Amos follows Hughes through his military service in this fourth book in his award-winning series on this great painter from Vancouver Island. 

The E. J. Hughes Book of Boats (TouchWood Editions, 2020). 88 pages. ISBN 978-1-77151-33-64 $22. 

In the course of his long career one of BC’s most celebrated painters, E. J. Hughes (1913-2007) depicted paddle wheelers, steamships, freighters, fishing boats and car ferries. The E. J. Hughes Book of Boats brings many of his coastal paintings of boats together in one handsome volume, for art lovers and boating enthusasts alike. Like his other books on Hughes, Amos has included never-before-seen family photos, sketches and large colour reproductions of the artist’s best-loved paintings.

E. J. Hughes Paints British Columbia (TouchWood Editions, 2019). 204 pp. ISBN 978-1-77151-13-04 $35.

As official biographer of E. J. Hughes, Robert Amos draws on the unparalleled archive of Hughes material to describe this artist’s travels throughout the province. Beginning with his trips up the coast, this book then follows him on journeys in search of subject matter across the Interior as far as The Rockies.
“From the luminous cover depicting Mount Cheam and the Fraser River… we delight in the vibrant vision of one of Canada’s greatest painters. Amos has supplemented these superbly reproduced works with replicated letters, handwritten notes, photographs, a lively text providing context and historical and geographic references.”
BC Magazine Spring 2020
“How can I review a book that renders me breathless even before I open it?…Amos combines the vocations of artist and writer with an obsession with the artistic process…. he can talk about art but he can also tell a good story… The book is a significant contribution to Canadian art history and a thing of beauty, worthy of the artist E. J. Hughes, who was described by Michael Scott in the Vancouver Sun as “British Columbia’s quiet superstar”.”
Phyllis Reeve in The Ormsby Review December 1, 2019


E. J.Hughes Paints Vancouver Island (TouchWood Editions, 2018). 204 pp. ISBN 978-1-77151-255-8 $35.

Second only to Emily Carr, E. J. Hughes (1913-2007) is Western Canada’s most celebrated artist. In 1951 Hughes made a contract with Canada’s most important commercial art gallery, the Dominion Gallery of Montreal. From that time, they bought every art work he made. Hughes treasured the peace this gave him, and lived a reclusive life at Shawnigan Lake and Duncan on Vancouver Island. His profoundly patient observation of the landscape near his home brings something sublime to everyday scenes.
“This book is essential reading for all who love the work of this singular artist. It provides a wealth of new information and new images, and provides deep insight into the life and work of one of our most important painters.”
Ian Thom, Vancouver Art Gallery
“With enthusiasm and delight, Robert Amos has written a superb account of the artist’s life and art.”
Charles Hill, National Gallery of Canada
“Amos has produced a brilliant book, well-written, fascinating, with gorgeous illustrations. This book, quite sincerely, should be considered a must-have by every person who loves Vancouver Island. This is more than just a book for art-lovers… in itself it is a work of art.”
Finalist, B. C. Book Prize: Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.
Finalist, City of Victoria Book Prize

Harold Mortimer-Lamb: The Art Lover (Touchwood Editions, 2010). 144 pp. $24.95.

During a lifetime of 99 years, Harold Mortimer-Lamb excelled as a “pictorialist photographer”, was the first champion of A. Y. Jackson, and fathered artist Molly Lamb Bobak. He was a founder of the Vancouver Art Gallery and Vancouver School of Art, and was the first great benefactor of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. And, when he was 70, he married the beautiful and talented Vera Weatherbie, who was then 30 years old. In his eighties, he took up painting to the exclusion of much else. This biography accompanied the exhibition Amos curated for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
“Harold Mortimer-Lamb might be the most important art lover you’ve never heard of… Not surprisingly, it is beautifully illustrated… It is also beautifully written, and has the right look for a book that celebrates art and an art lover.”
Dave Obee, editor in Chief of Times Colonist, Nov 10 2013

Hometown: Out and About in Victoria’s Neighbourhoods (TouchWood Editions, 2013). 160 pp. $19.95

Anny Scoones moved from Glamorgan Farm to the quirky James Bay neighbourhood of Victoria. In the ensuing year she visited all the Victoria neighbourhoods and reported back on life there, in her amusing and thoughtful style. While she was doing this Robert Amos created more than one hundred of his fresh and engaged watercolour sketches of the scenes she visited and wrote about. 
“Reading Hometown is the best way to experience the real Victoria. This is not the Victoria of the tourist brochures. This is the town where we live.”
Jo-Ann Roberts, CBC Radio

Inside Chinatown (TouchWood Editions, 2009). 158 pp. ISBN 978-1-894898-91-1. $29.95

Robert Amos and Kileasa Wong spent years visiting each of the member organizations of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of Victoria. This book tells of how these 29 organizations came to be and what they do. A unique set of panoramic photo-collages takes us inside these private clubs and shows their antiques and treasures. The book is fully bilingual, in Chinese and English.
“A lavish and living homage to the meeting halls of the city’s Chinese-Canadian community. Even more compelling are the images that appear on almost every page. Amos, one of the city’s best-known painters, has made collages of overlapping photographs that are sometimes enhanced by strong brush strokes.”
Lucinda Chodan, editor Times Colonist, sept 13 2009
“Visually engaging, historically vital and full of insight and stories.”
Dean Fortin, Mayor of Victoria Sept 19 2009
“A well-researched and comprehensive record of both past and present, it offers a rare glimpse into the rich cultural traditions, rituals and daily way of life of the Chinese-Canadian community in British Columbia.”
Heritage BC Award of Outstanding Achievement June 4 2010

Artists in their Studios

Artists in Their Studios (TouchWood Editions, 2007). 158 pp. ISBN 978-1-894898-58-4. $44.95

During his many years as art writer for the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper, Robert Amos had access to a stunning array of artists’ studios. To provide context for his articles, he made elaborate photo-collage panoramas of these  unique sites. This book reproduces the works of 33 of the finest artists in Victoria and up the island, and you’ll enjoy privileged access to the spaces “where art is born”. 
Emily Carr, Fenwick Lansdowne, Ted Harrison, Robert Bateman, E. J. Hughes - this is the only compendium of the great artists who called this place home. The original photography Amos created for this book, and for Inside Chinatown (2009), was purchased by the Special Collections Library of the University of Victoria.

and a special addition

Sarah’s Tea Time (TouchWood, 2008). 40 pp. ISBN 978-1-894898-76-8 $19.95

Sarah Amos, who is the wife of Robert Amos, has created an utterly charming - and useful - book. In it she shares the traditions of afternoon tea and farm life which she brought with her from her early years in Britain. Beautifully designed and richly illustrated with her paintings, this compendium of sure-fire recipes and engaging stories has been a popular favorite for all ages.
“She inspires longing for a tradition few people have established in these so-called modern times: The book is deliciously old-fashioned all the way round.”
Allison Vail, in the Ladysmith Chronicle September 15, 2008.