Sunday, March 25, 2018

Group of Eight?

Birch Trees and Lake, Florence McGillivray, c. 1917

A recent article in Canadian Art proposes that a little-known woman painter, Florence McGillivray, was a major influence on Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.

McGillivray (1864-1938) was born in Whitby, Ontario and later lived in Toronto and Ottawa. She studied with Matisse in France in 1913, but her experience in Europe was cut short by the outbreak of World War I. She had a close relationship with Tom Thomson, often visiting his wilderness camps and painting alongside him. She is even said to have mentored him, sharing what she had learned during her European studies.

The first major survey of her work will be staged at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in 2020.

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