Teachers Lesson Plans

Aboriginal Voices in Canadian Contemporary Art

1895

  • J.E.H. MacDonald joins the design firm of Grip Limited (Toronto).



1907

  • Tom Thomson joins Grip


Toronto
Thomson joins Grip, where he meets J. E. H. MacDonald, head designer at Grip, and later Arthur Lismer (1911) and Fred Varley (1912), all three future members of the Group of Seven.

1908

  • Frank Johnston begins work at Grip
  • The Arts and Letters Club is founded



1910

  • Franklin Carmichael becomes an apprentice at Grip



1911

  • Arthur Lismer emigrates from Sheffield and is hired at Grip
  • A.Y Jackson exhibits The Edge of the Maple Wood at the Ontario Society of Artists exhibition, Toronto
  • MacDonald exhibits sketches at the Arts and Letters Club exhibition, and meets Lawren Harris



1912

  • Frederick Varley emigrates to Canada, works briefly at Grip, and then at Rous and Mann where Thomson and Carmichael now work
  • Thomson visits Algonquin Park for the first time.


From July to September, he canoes through the Mississagi forest reserve, from Biscotasing to Bruce Mines, with William Broadhead, a colleague from Grip. He begins his northern sketches.

1913

  • Harris and MacDonald see the "Exhibition of Contemporary Scandinavian Art" in Buffalo
  • Harris purchases Jackson's The Edge of the Maple Wood
  • Jackson moves to Toronto and meets MacDonald, Lismer, Varley, and Harris



1914

  • Studio Building on Severn Street in Toronto opens; Jackson, Thomson and MacDonald are the first occupants
  • Thomson leaves Rous and Mann to begin painting full-time
  • The First World War breaks out
  • Thomson, Jackson, Lismer, and Varley paint together at Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, in October



1915

  • Thomson works as a guide in Algonquin Park
  • Jackson enlists in the army
  • Lismer begins teaching at the Ontario College of Art



1916

  • MacDonald exhibits The Tangled Garden at the Ontario Society of Artists show; most critics are shocked and a controversy ensues
  • Harris joins the army; Lismer moves to Halifax



1917

  • Thomson drowns in July, in Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park
  • Jackson sketches for the Canadian War Memorials in France



He drowns in Canoe Lake on July 8. He is buried in Algonquin Park, but his remains are later transferred to the cemetery in Leith, Ontario. His friends erect a commemorative cairn at Canoe Lake bearing a bronze plaque designed by J. E. H. MacDonald.

1918

  • Varley goes to England to paint for the Canadian War Memorials
  • Lismer and Johnston paint the war preparations in Canada for the Canadian War Memorials
  • Johnston, MacDonald, and Harris take a first boxcar trip to Algoma in September



1919

  • Jackson, Varley, and Lismer return to Toronto
  • Harris, MacDonald, Johnston, and Jackson take a second Algoma boxcar trip
  • A.J. Casson is hired as an assistant to Carmichael at Rous and Mann



1920

  • The Group of Seven is officially created. Its first exhibition is held at the Art Gallery of Toronto in May
  • Jackson, Harris, and Lismer return to Algoma

Installation view of the first exhibition of the Group of Seven, Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto.
Courtesy the Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.



"Seven Painters Show Some Excellent Work"
Toronto Star, May 7, 1920

"Young men seek to interpret Canada in original manner."
Mail and Empire, May 10, 1920

"The work of all these artists shows the breadth and directness which characterizes the tendency of the modern school."
Globe, May 11, 1920

"Are These New Canadian Painters Crazy?"
The Canadian Courrier, May 22, 1920

1921

  • Second Group of Seven exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto
  • Jackson and Harris paint on the north shore of Lake Superior; Jackson also paints in Quebec
  • MacDonald joins the staff of the Ontario College of Art
  • Johnston moves to Winnipeg



1922

  • Third Group of Seven exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto



1923

  • Lismer goes to Lake Superior with Harris and Jackson



1924

  • Works by Thomson and Group of Seven works exhibited at Wembley, England, and praised by the British press
  • MacDonald travels to the Rocky Mountains for the first time and paints at Banff
  • Harris and Jackson paint at Jasper Park


Captivated by the Rockies, MacDonald returns there every summer for seven consecutive years.

1925

  • Fourth Group of Seven exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto
  • Varley begins teaching at the Ontario College of Art
  • The Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour is founded by Casson, Carmichael, and Frederick Brigden
  • Carmichael visits the north shore of Lake Superior for the first time with Harris and Jackson



1926

  • Fifth Group of Seven exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto
  • Varley moves to Vancouver to teach at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts
  • Casson becomes a member of the Group



1927

  • Lismer leaves the Ontario College of Art and becomes the Educational Supervisor at the Art Gallery of Toronto
  • Jackson and Dr. Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin, take a trip to the Arctic



1928

  • Sixth Group of Seven show at the Art Gallery of Toronto
  • Jackson goes to the Northwest Territories



1929

  • MacDonald becomes principal of the Ontario College of Art
  • Edwin Holgate of Montreal becomes a member of the Group



1930

  • Seventh Group of Seven show at the Art Gallery of Toronto



1931

  • Eighth and last Group of Seven show at the Art Gallery of Toronto



1932

  • L.L. Fitzgerald of Winnipeg becomes a member of the Group
  • MacDonald dies 26 November



1933

  • The Group of Seven expands into the Canadian Group of Painters; Harris is elected its first president, Jackson, its vice-president.