Celebrating 100 years of the Group of Seven

Celebrating 100 years of the Group of Seven

Publication: Canadian Geographic

Author: Angelica Haggert

Published: May 7, 2020

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Founded in 1920, the Group of Seven was a school of landscape painters focused on modern art. Their boreal forest panoramas of the Canadian Shield have become symbols of Canadian strength and independence.

The first members of the group included Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and F.H. Varley. In 1926, Johnston resigned and A.J. Casson joined the group. Edwin Holgate and L.L. FitzGerald joined in 1930 and 1932 respectively, expanding the group’s borders beyond Toronto.

Tom Thompson, who died in 1917, never ended up an official member of the Group of Seven, but was a great influence on the group, encouraging them to paint the Northern Ontario landscapes that then became famous.

Their first exhibition was May 7, 1920 at what is now the Art Gallery of Ontario. Eric Brown, the director of the National Gallery of Canada, was a huge supporter of the group and ensured they were well-represented at British exhibitions.

The group disbanded in 1933.

The paintings below are included in the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s exhibition “A Like Vision”: The Group of Seven at 100.