Ahoy ahoy!  Time to talk about the Group and T-squared!

“Drumroll, please.”

This was the joke Gemey made when it came to speaking about the Group in class yesterday.  And we all laughed.  Indeed, for most people, the Group is to Canadian art what milk is to cereal.  It’s all the first thing they think of! While consequently missing out on considering other things, like, oh cereal with marshmellows, baked as a treat or cereal incorporated into Mom’s homemade bits and bites.  There are other things to be had in Canadian art, besides the Group, just like cereal can be used for things besides just a quick breakfast with milk.

I digress.  So, for all you non-Group-groupies out there here is a quick overview of all of them:

J.E.H. MacDonald, the silver fox.

Franklin Carmichael, the ankle-biter of the bunch.

Frank Johnston, blink and you’d miss his prescence

Arthur Lismer, the influential philanthropist

Frederick Varley, the plucky portrait painter

Lawren Harris, the rich playboy.

A.Y. Jackson, the stranger who came to town.

Also, the artist Tom Thompson was heavily associated with the Group, though he died a mysterious death in 1917, 3 years before the group was formed, and they often included his work in their shows.  So now that I’ve set the stage for a good HBO show with all of these different personalities, it is interesting to think that so often, people will just know “Group of Seven” and not the actual names of the artists who were a part of the group!  Even further, the Group underwent numerous revisions to their lineup, people came and went.  Frank Johnston, for instance, was really only officially a part of the group for one year!  But I have decided to list the original members for you in hopes that the interesting descriptions I’ve applied to them will encourage you to seek out more information about them.

Group of Seven has come to be an iconic symbol in Canadian culture.  People who don’t even know what a painting by a Group member looks like will know WHO they are, which is actually pretty crazy!  That’s some pretty high-status celebrity right there!  I know this was a short post, but trust me, there is going to be so much more Group info coming your way very soon!

Also, when googling “Group of Seven”, I found this Canadian indie band called Group of Seven!  They have some cute songs.  This one is called Tahiti Treat:

Thats all!

Brit

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