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Art Canadian

A Treasury of Tom Thomson

by (author) Joan Murray

producer Counterpunch Inc.

Douglas & McIntyre
Initial publish date
Sep 2011
Canadian, Artists' Books, Landscapes
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2011
    List Price

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Tom Thomson's most influential paintings as chosen by his friends and collectors, illustrating a moving, untold story in Canadian art.

In spring 1918, Lawren Harris and J.E.H. MacDonald, two members of the soon-to-be-formed Group of Seven, met in the Studio Building in Toronto. Their friend Tom Thomson had died the year before, and they determined to establish him as one of Canada's great artists. Most of his paintings and sketches were stacked up in the studio. They would select the best, mark their comments on the back of these works and make sure they got into Canada's most prestigious public and private collections.

These two great artists had been Thomson's mentors and friends, teaching him about current art movements and coaching him in painting techniques. The pupil would become the master -- and Harris and MacDonald, together with A.Y. Jackson, wanted to be sure that he would be recognized and remembered.

Art historian Joan Murray has constructed a beautiful, intimate treasury of Thomson's "best paintings," as chosen by these artist friends and later major collectors, and has written an insightful commentary on each one. Knowing the story that lies behind Thomson's great works helps us to view these paintings with new insight and appreciation. We understand what makes these works special.

A Treasury of Tom Thomson was published with two different covers to highlight the range of Tom Thomson's work.

About the authors

Joan Murray, an independent curator and art historian, is considered one of the most accessible of Canadian art writers and has studied and exhibited Tom Thomson for four decades. Since the late 1960s, she has been a curator of several institutions, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, and director of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa (1974-99) and the McMichael Canadian Art Gallery in Kleinburg (2005-6). Murray was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1992 and has been honoured with the Senior Award from the Association of Cultural Executives, the Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries and the Order of Ontario. She lives in Toronto, Ontario

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