Artworks and Artists
Lawren S. Harris
Born in Brantford, Ontario, 23 October 1885
Died in Vancouver, British Columbia, 29 January 1970
Photography: M.O. Hammond Collection, National Gallery of Canada Archives

Lawren S. Harris

Unlike the other members of the Group of Seven, who struggled to maintain their careers as artists, Lawren Harris came from a wealthy Brantford family, co-owners of the successful farm machinery company Massey-Harris. After attending a private school in his youth, and a brief period in university, he spent four years studying art in Europe. Returning to Toronto in 1908, he immersed himself in the cultural activities of the city, becoming an early member of the Arts and Letters Club.

For the first twenty years of his artistic career, Harris embraced a variety of subjects, painting both poor and prosperous areas of cities as well as the wilderness. An intellectual man with a philosophical approach to art, Harris's explorations of the Canadian landscape were tied to his personal search for a language that would enable him to express his spiritual beliefs. For Harris, the purpose of art was to reveal "the essential order, the dynamic harmony, the ultimate beauty, that we are all in search of, whether consciously or not."