Expanding Horizons: Collecting the Group of Seven
December 5, 2015 – April 10, 2016
It was the one that got away. Norman MacKenzie had never shown much interest in the Group of Seven, but in 1927 one painting caught his eye: Arthur Lismer’s ‘Pine Tree and Rocks’. When he approached the artist, however, he was disappointed to learn that it had already been sold. A few months later, to his surprise and delight, the sketch arrived in Regina – a gift from Lismer.
‘Expanding Horizons’ unites, for the first time, the original sketch and finished painting as part of a wider discussion about the motivations for collecting and studying the Group of Seven.
Since ‘Pine Tree and Rocks’, the MacKenzie Art Gallery has added more than a dozen works by the Group of Seven to its collection. Many of these generous donations have never been exhibited, including canvases and water colours by Arthur Lismer, A.Y. Jackson, and A.J. Casson. Additional works from the Mendel Art Gallery and Museum London collections will also be displayed.
The Group’s influence on our collective perception of the Canadian landscape is felt even in Saskatchewan through the work of Illingworth Kerr, Ruth Pawson, and Kenneth Lochhead. ‘Expanding Horizons’ considers the Group of Seven’s enduring legacy.
1. Arthur Lismer, “Study for Old Pine Tree”, (1920), oil on board, 30.20 x 40.60 cm, Collection of MacKenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina Collection
2. Franklin Carmichael, ‘Untitled (La Cloche Landscape with Pines)’, circa 1935-45, watercolour on paper, 27.5 x 33.5 cm. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, gift of John R. Mastin
3. J.E.H. MacDonald, “The Little Fall”, (1919), oil on canvas, 71 x 91.4 cm, Collection of Museum London, F.B. Housser Memorial Collection, 1945