McMichael - Canadian Art | Collection d'art Canadien

The Group’s Contemporaries

While the McMichael is perhaps best known for its collection of works by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, we are also passionate about artists who were contemporaries of the Group.

Artists such as David Milne, Thoreau MacDonald, J.W. Morrice, Clarence Gagnon, Albert H. Robinson, Maurice Cullen, and Emily Carr add to the richness and diversity of our permanent collection.

Collectively, the art created by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries increases our awareness of the breadth and variety of the Canadian landscape, and heightens our understanding of Canada's cultures and history in the early part of the twentieth century.

Two Such Artists

Among the contemporaries of the Group who are represented in the McMichael's collection are Emily Carr and Clarence Gagnon.

Emily Carr (1871–1945)

Emily Carr, the only woman artist included as a contemporary of the Group, is Canada's most remarkable West Coast painter. In 1927, Carr travelled east to participate in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada. It was then she met with the members of the Group of Seven. Lawren Harris's encouragement is said to have rekindled her then waning urge to paint. Carr painted and wrote passionately over the next decade-and-a-half until her death.


Learn more about Carr and the compelling stories of other artists and works on art!facts, a McMichael Learning Resource developed in collaboration with the Virtual Museum of Canada.

Open art!facts now

Kitseyucla c.1928
watercolour on paper
54.9 x 38.5 cm
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Gift of Mr. Wallace R. Joyce

Clarence Gagnon (1881–1942)

Clarence Gagnon was already well known in Canada and France as a painter, illustrator and engraver when he was commissioned in 1928 by Les Éditions Mornay of Paris to illustrate a special limited edition of Louis Hémon's classic French-Canadian novel Maria Chapdelaine.

The McMichael acquired all fifty-four of Gagnon's original mixed media illustrations through the generosity of Colonel R.S. McLaughlin. (Displayed on a limited basis due to the fragility of the works.)

Dawn (illustration for Maria Chapdelaine), 1928–1933
gouache, watercolour and oil pastel on paper
22.2 x 29.8 cm
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Gift of Col. R.S. McLaughlin

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