Arts

Group Of Seven Art To Travel To England

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Arthur Lismer's painting, A September Gale
Arthur Lismer’s “A September Gale.” This painting was purchased by the National Gallery of Canada in 1926. Many people thought it was terrible because the style was so different from what art looked like in Canada at that time which showed outdoor scenes more like a photograph than an artist’s view.

 

The Group of Seven was a very famous group of Canadian painters. Canadians are very proud of the work they did. Many Canadians feel their paintings captured the Canadian landscape in a very special way.

In October, 124 Group of Seven paintings and sketches will go to England to be the stars of a special exhibit called Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.

The art will be shown in London, England. The paintings are very famous in Canada and are mostly outdoor scenes, many of them featuring Georgian Bay and Algonquin Park in Ontario.

The paintings are very important because they helped to start a new trend in Canadian art.

However, the Group of Seven is not well known in other countries.

The artists who started the Group of Seven were Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, F.H. Johnston, Arthur Lismer, H.E.H. MacDonald and F.H. Varley.

Many people think the Canadian painter Tom Thomson is part of the Group of Seven. However, Tom Thomson drowned in a mysterious accident in Algonquin Park before the group was formed. It seems that he received a blow to the head on a canoe trip. Some reports say he drowned and some say there were no signs of drowning. The puzzle was never solved.

The West Wind, by Tom Thomson
The West Wind, by Tom Thomson

When the Group of Seven first started out in 1920, people here didn’t think that pictures of natural outdoor settings – or landscape art – made good art. In their first exhibition, many people rejected their style. But by 1930 it was recognized as an important form of art.

Now this important art will be shown to a new group of people who will have the chance to see Canadian nature depicted by some of our greatest Canadian artists.

The exhibition runs from October 2011 to January 2012 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, England.

Related Links

Learn more about the Group of Seven:
The McMichael Gallery is famous for its collection of paintings by the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.

The CBC Archives has many videos and audio programs about the Group of Seven.

Wikipedia offers an overview.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt

The article explains: “When the Group of Seven first started out in 1920, people here didn’t think that pictures of natural outdoor settings – or landscape art – made good art. In their first exhibition, many people rejected their style. But by 1930 it was recognized as an important form of art.”

Do you think landscape art is an important type of art?

Do you like landscape art, such as the paintings done by the Group of Seven and Tom Thompson? If so, why do you like it? If you don’t like it, explain why.

Maple Woods, Bare Trunks by Tom Thomson
Maple Woods, Bare Trunks by Tom Thomson

Reading Prompt

In school, students spend a lot of time reading different types of literary texts (such as stories, poems, novels) and informational texts (such as magazines, newspapers, textbooks and websites). Another type of text are graphic texts, which are images that we “read” to gain information. Paintings are a type of graphic texts.

Look at the paintings included in the article. Either write down or discuss what you know about Canadian wilderness by looking at the paintings.

Primary

Read some different texts, including literary texts, graphic texts and informational texts (OME, Reading: 1.1).

Junior

Read a variety of texts from diverse cultures, including literary texts, graphic texts and informational texts (OME, Reading: 1.1).

Intermediate

Read a wide variety of increasingly complex or difficult texts from diverse cultures, including literary texts graphic texts and informational texts (OME, Reading: 1.1).

Grammar Feature: Adjectives

Adjectives are words that describe a noun (person, place or thing). Some adjectives are: beautiful, grotesque, light, busy, dark, stormy, unusual.

When people describe paintings, they use adjectives to describe what the painting looks like and how it makes them feel.

Pick one painting from the article and write down as many adjectives as you can to describe the piece.