Group of Seven National Historic Event

The Group of Seven was designated a national historic event in 1974.

Historical importance: First exhibited in 1920, Canadian landscape painters.

Commemorative plaque: 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, OntarioFootnote 1

Coming together in Toronto, Frank Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and F.H. Varley set out to give Canada a truly national form of painting. Spurred on by an association with Tom Thomson (1877-1917), these artists sought inspiration initially in the rugged northern Ontario landscape. They later expanded their horizons, making all of Canada their territory. Their first exhibition as a group, in 1920, was controversial, but their bold style attracted attention to Canadian painting and eventually won an enthusiastic following.

 

Poster of an art exhibition, showcasing a landscape with mountains and water
Poster of exhibit, 1970
© Library and Archives Canada / Acc. No. 1984-4-37
A landscape painting hanging on a gallery wall
The West Wind, 1917, by Tom Thomson. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
© Parks Canada

 

Black and white photo of a group of man seated at a table in a public space
Frederick Varley, A. Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris, Barker Fairley (not a member), Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, and J. E. H., circa 1920.
© F 1066, Public domain / Archives of Ontario, I0010313
Poster of an art exhibition showcasing a landscape with mountains and water
Poster of exhibit, 1977
© Library and Archives Canada/R11274-0-6-E

 

Commemorative bronze plaque installed on a brick wall
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada commemorative bronze plaque for Group of Seven National Historic Event, located in Kleinburg, Ontario.
 
Post stamp featuring an art piece of a landscape
Postage stamp, The Group of Seven, Harris, From the North Shore, Lake Superior, 1923
© Library and Archives Canada/Canada Post Corporation/R169-5
Post stamp featuring an art piece of a landscape
Postage stamp, The Group of Seven, Fitzgerald, Pembina Valley, 1923
© Library and Archives Canada/Canada Post Corporation/R169-5

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process

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