Our holiday trip
Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada
THE McMICHAEL GALLERY, home of the Group of Seven Collection.
(Photography was not allowed, however, I was able to capture a large number of paintings and other art on display. This took the co-operation of a look-out, my wife, who kep an eye out for the location of security).
The Group of Seven.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, circumstances brought together several artists who were committed to exploring, through art, the unique character of the Canadian landscape. Collectively they agreed: Canada’s rugged wilderness regions needed to be recorded in a distinctive painting style. This style would break from European tradition and reflect an increasingly nationalistic sentiment.
In 1920, eight artists – Tom Thompson, Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley, Frank Johnston, Franklin Carmichael and A.Y. Jackson – decided, for the first time, to exhibit as the Group of Seven. Tom Thomson would not live to see the birth of the Group of Seven. Yet, despite his untimely death in 1917, Thomson’s name became synonymous with the Group. His sketches and finished canvases created a painting style truly representative of the Canadian landscape and experience. The Group’s first exhibition opened at the Art Gallery of Toronto in May 1920. This marks the founding of the Group.
From its birth in 1920 to the early 1930s, the Group was immensely influential. The final Group of Seven exhibition was held in 1931. Yet, their legacy resonates to this day. Today, these men are among Canada’s most famous artists. For many, their works have come to symbolize what is the distinctly Canadian identity.