Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven
Exhibition Facts

Download as PDF

Description:  Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven presents their work as a journey, from woods to sky, from close-up to endless vista, from sketch to finished work, from Algonquin to the Arctic. The exhibition is framed by Tom Thomson’s views of the lakes and trees of Algonquin Park, and by Lawren Harris’s lonely and vast visions of Lake Superior, the Rockies, and the Arctic. Between these two ‘poles’ the exhibition charts a progress of expanding horizons represented by the very best of Thomson and the Group. Even if you think you know the Group of Seven, this groundbreaking exhibition will make you think again, and challenge you to see these artists with fresh eyes, revealing why they continue to have such iconic status in our cultural heritage.

Five galleries of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (galleries 1-5).

When: November 3, 2012 to January 6, 2013.

Curators: The three-person curatorial team is lead by Ian Dejardin, Director, Dulwich Picture Gallery, in partnership with Katerina Atanassova, Chief Curator, McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Dr. Anna Hudson, Associate Professor of Canadian Art History, York University.

What’s unique:
  • This major exhibition of Canadian art is the largest in history to travel to Europe, featuring an astonishing 122 paintings as well as Tom Thomson’s sketch box.
  • It is the first time that an exhibition on Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven brings together iconic masterpieces with their sketches (often housed in separate collections).
  • Painting Canada is the only presentation of this exhibition in Canada and exclusive to the McMichael. Only on view for ten weeks, the exhibition incorporates works from private Canadian collections rarely seen before in public.

Number of works:
122 works, including master works such as Tom Thomson, West Wind (AGO); Tom Thomson, The Jack Pine (NGC); A.Y. Jackson, First Snow, Algoma (McMichael); Lawren Harris, Icebergs, Davis Strait (McMichael); and Franklin Carmichael, October Gold (McMichael).


Type of works and themes: A selection of the best paintings by Thomson and the Group of Seven is displayed and a special feature of the show is the juxtaposition, wherever possible, of the initial sketch with the finished canvas. Images and art tools collected from various sources are also interspersed throughout the exhibition, providing illustration of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven at work. The topics covered in the exhibition include:
  • Tom Thomson and Algonquin Park
  • Canoe Lake, July 8, 1917
  • Sketches by the Group of Seven
  • Algoma
  • Georgian Bay
  • Quebec
  • The Rockies and British Columbia
  • Man, Nature, Spirit – Lawren Harris


Catalogue: The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated 216-page catalogue produced by Dulwich Picture Gallery and published by Philip Wilson Publishers. The paperback version retails at a cost of CDN $45, the hard cover version at $75. Buy Online!