September 30, 2014, KLEINBURG ON – One of the most anticipated exhibitions of the fall season opens at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on Friday, October 10, 2014. Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse takes visitors on a pictorial journey through the sunbathed landscapes and bustling marketplaces of exotic painting locales around the world, including Venice, Paris, North Africa, and the West Indies.

Media are invited to a special exhibition preview at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on Thursday, October 9 between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. To attend, RSVP to Rachel Weiner, Media Relations and Communications Coordinator, 905.893.1121 ext. 2210 or by email [email protected].

More than 130 works by Canadian expatriates James Wilson Morrice (1865-1924) and John Lyman (1886-1967) frame a selection of rarely seen canvases and drawings by the internationally acclaimed French master, Henri Matisse (1869-1954). This is the first exhibition to consider the connection between the three artists, who encountered one another in Paris in the early years of the twentieth century. In the Company of Matisse traces their artistic paths over more than five decades and explores their quest to capture shimmering light and vibrant colour.

“It was admittedly a bold move to bring together the work of these three artists,” said exhibition curator Michèle Grandbois of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. “Although they left little contemporary evidence of their meetings, their associations resulted in a creative surge that had a powerful impact on the conventional Canadian art milieu of the time.”

The exhibition approaches the work of the two Canadian artists in a global context, examining the ways in which they were influenced by their experiences abroad and revealing the impact of their legacy on the development of modern art in Canada.

Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse reflects the McMichael’s commitment to bringing exhibitions that are unconventional and surprising, and that present new ways of looking at Canadian art,” said Katerina Atanassova, McMichael Chief Curator.

In the Company of Matisse has been reinterpreted and enlarged for the McMichael by Atanassova through the addition of works from private collections in Toronto and Montreal, including paintings and drawings by Matisse, that expand upon the themes of exoticism and the nude. Audiovisual, textual, and archival material offer insight into the lives and experiences of the artists, and works from the gallery’s permanent collection, as well as loaned works by Robert Wakeham Pilot (1898-1967), Will Ogilvie (1901-1989), and Franklin Brownell (1857-1946), position Morrice and Lyman within a broader artistic context.

Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse is accompanied by a richly illustrated 256-page catalogue, co-published by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

The exhibition has received generous support from Exhibition Patron, the A.K. Prakash Foundation; Presenting Sponsor, RBC Wealth Management; as well as financial assistance from the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.

“The Trustees of A.K. Prakash Foundation are pleased to provide support for this exhibition at McMichael,” said Ash Prakash, Chairman of the A.K. Prakash Foundation. “The Foundation is committed to promote scholarship on historical Canadian art and promoting its critical contribution to Canadian identity, nationally and internationally.”

Tamarie Dobias, Head, Global Sponsorship Marketing & Donations for RBC Wealth Management stated, “At RBC, we believe in the power of art to enrich our lives and enhance our communities. We are proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of this exhibition and excited to work with McMichael to provide Canadians with the opportunity to explore this extraordinary collection.”

Exhibition Programming:

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 905.893.1121 ext. 2209.

Arabian Nights

Friday, October 17, 8:00 p.m.

This special concert blends the music of Africa and the Middle East with contemporary jazz. The performance will be preceded by a tour of the exhibition Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse at 6:30 p.m. General public: $49 A+ seating; $39 A seating; $19 students; McMichael members: $39 A+ seating; $31 A seating.

J.W. Morrice and Henri Matisse in Search of the Exotic, with Katerina Atanassova

Saturday, October 18, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This talk offers visitors an opportunity to hear from McMichael Chief Curator, Katerina Atanassova, on the modernist quest for light and purity of colour as embodied by the art and travels of James Wilson Morrice and Henri Matisse. $29 general public; $15 for students with valid ID; $24 McMichael members.

Morrice and Matisse: Bedfellows under the Sign of Modernism, with John O’Brian

Saturday, November 1, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

John O’Brian, the author of Ruthless Hedonism: The American Reception of Matisse and articles on James Wilson Morrice, including an essay in the exhibition catalogue, will highlight the personal and artistic relationship between Morrice and Matisse in Paris and Tangier in the period leading up to the First World War. $29 general public; $15 for students with valid ID; $24 McMichael members.


Lyman and Matisse, with François-Marc Gagnon

Saturday, November 22, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

With a critical eye and legendary repartee, François-Marc Gagnon will examine John Lyman’s time at the Académie Matisse and his visit to Matisse’s studio in Issy-les-Moulineaux. Gagnon is Professor Emeritus at the University of Montreal and a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University. At 10:30 a.m., there will also be an informal conversation in French focussing on modernism in Quebec. Coffee and light refreshments will be available. $29 general public; $15 for students with valid ID; $24 McMichael members.

About the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Canadian artists, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. The gallery is located on 100 acres of northern landscape and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan. For more information:

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec: A Museum in a Park

Located in the heart of Québec City’s magnificent National Battlefields Park, one of the most splendid urban parks in the world, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec has a stunning view of this oasis of greenery as well as of the St. Lawrence River. A magnificent sculpture garden also borders the Musée’s buildings. The Musée’s collection provides a comprehensive overview of the history of Quebec art. With more than 38,000 works dating from the seventeenth century to the present day, this is the most complete and most commanding collection of Quebec art anywhere. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, prints, and decorative art objects highlight Québec’s heritage in the Musée’s numerous exhibition galleries. Four monographic galleries have recently been devoted to four major figures of Quebec modern art: Jean Paul Lemieux, Alfred Pellan, Fernand Leduc and Jean-Paul Riopelle.

At present, the MNBAQ is made up of three pavilions. The neo-classical architecture of the Gérard Morisset pavilion impresses with its sculptured ceilings, columns topped with capitals, and noble materials. The Charles Baillairgé pavilion is fascinating, because for more than a century it served as the Québec City jail. Some of the building’s jail cells have been preserved. The central pavilion, full of light with its transparent glass walls, granite facing, and rooftop garden, was inaugurated in 1991. The hub of the Musée, it is the central point connecting the other pavilions. In 2015, the Musée will open a new pavilion with contemporary lines, the Pierre Lassonde pavilion, a spectacular design by the architectural firm OMA. This signature building will anchor the future Quartier des arts. For more information:

About the A.K. Prakash Foundation

The mission of the A. K. Prakash Foundation is to advance the scholarship, appreciation, and understanding of Canadian historical art, and to improve health outcomes and quality of life in Canada and abroad. The Foundation addresses these two foci by making grants to charity partners.

About RBC’s Commitment to Community and Sustainability

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) is Canada’s largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector, and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S., and 40 other countries. For more information, please visit RBC is recognized among the world’s financial, social, and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index, and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, and one of Canada’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships, and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at

About the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund

The Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF) was established in 1999. It has two aims: to increase cultural tourism by providing investments to assist Ontario organizations to develop, promote and present one-off or first time events, or a significant expansion of existing activity, which are designed to attract new tourists and visitors to cultural events; and to increase the earned revenue capability of the applicant organization.

Media Contact:

Rachel Weiner

Media Relations and Communications Coordinator

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

905.893.1121 ext. 2210

[email protected]


The exhibition is organized and circulated by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, a government corporation funded by the Ministry of Culture and Communications of Québec. The Museum acknowledges the generous support of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Canada.