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Friday, March 02, 2018

Following in the Footsteps of Canada’s Group of Seven Artists

Guest Post by Amy Perry Basseches

While vacationing last summer in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario, a few hours north of Toronto, my husband Josh and I ventured to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound. Many Americans are not familiar with the famous painters in the “Group of Seven,” but in Canada they are revered. Also known as the Algonquin School, these Canadian landscape artists worked from 1920 to 1933. The most famous name associated with the Group of Seven is likely Lawren Harris (1885 – 1970), who actor/comedian/art collector Steve Martin brought to the US via exhibits in Los Angeles and the MFA in Boston. One of Harris’ paintings sold for more than $3 million last November. Tom Thomson predated but seriously influenced the Group of Seven. He died before its official formation, mysteriously drowning in 1917 in Canoe Lake in Algonquin National Park, Ontario. Thomson grew up just outside of Owen Sound, an inlet on Georgian Bay, and the small museum there pays homage to his work and impact. I particularly enjoyed the early photography of the Group of Seven painters as they fished, swam, and camped, before setting up their easels “plein air.” If you are interested in seeing more paintings from the Group of Seven, visit the wonderful McMichael Canadian Art Collection, just outside of Toronto in the town of Kleinburg on your next trip to Ontario. 
 
Tom Thomson, sketch for The West Wind, Spring 1916, oil on wood. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/02/18 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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