updated on: April 3, 2017
Search for Serenity at Frank Johnston's Lake of the Woods
A visit to the Winnipeg Art Gallery spurs a boating trip to Northwestern Ontario in hopes of locating the origin of this Group of Seven classic.
In 1919, just after World War I was over, five men who worked together in a Toronto design firm would change Canadian art history. It was a period when, for some inexplicable reason, Canadian landscapes were not deemed worthy of fine art, according to many of the so-called critics of the day.
Thankfully, these five men – A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley, Franklin Carmichael, and Frank Johnston – did not agree. Later adding J.E.H. MacDonald and Lawren Harris, they would become a Canadian art powerhouse known as the Group of Seven. Together, they would capture on canvas the essence of Canada’s picturesque landscapes, particularly those in and around the lakes of Ontario.