Canadian Painting in the Thirties

The 1975 exhibition: Media Index

Canadian Painting in the Thirties
Canadian Antiques Collector (Vol. 10, No. 1)
01 Jan 1975

The cover of Canadian Antiques Collector, January/February 1975, with an article by Charles Hill about Canadian painting in the 1930s. Hill describes the transition in Canadian art from the Group of Seven in the 1920s to the Contemporary Arts Society in the 1940s. Emily Carr, David Milne and André Biéler represent the main currents of the 1930s. The Group of Seven?s Arthur Lismer, A.Y. Jackson and Lawren S. Harris were key figures in the founding of the Canadian Group of Painters. The Group of Seven inspired Fred Varley and Emily Carr, and Jock Macdonald was, in turn, influenced by Varley. J.E.H. Macdonald?s student Carl Schaefer turned to still life and Ontario landscapes. LeMoine FitzGerald, David Milne, Bertram Brooker, Paraskeva Clark and Jack Humphrey focused on new themes. Edwin Holgate, Lilias Newton, Prudence Heward and Biéler developed a group of figurative artists in Montreal. John Lyman brought European trends to Montreal and founded the Contemporary Arts Society, along with Paul-Émile Borduas, Goodridge Roberts and Fritz Brandtner. James Wilson Morrice replaced Tom Thomson as an inspiration for new Canadian art. Biéler?s social concerns led to the founding of the Federation of Canadian Artists and are reflected in his own work, as well as that of Louis Muhlstock. Brandtner, Pegi Nicol MacLeod and Roberts contributed political cartoons and illustrations to the Marxist publications The Canadian Forum and New Frontier. Clark?s Petroushka is an overt political commentary on capitalism and the Popular Front. The article is illustrated with black and white reproductions of Carr?s Tree (c.1932-33), Schaefer?s Yellow Apples on a Fall Landscape (1939), Milne?s Red Nasturtiums (1937), Lyman?s Jori Smith in Costume (1936), Biéler?s Gatineau Madonna (1940), and Clark?s Petroushka (1937).


Images of the exhibition's installation, the opening ceremony and official visits.

Media Coverage

Almost 200 newspaper and magazine articles in English, French and other languages: reviews, details of the Canadian tour, lectures, films and special events.


Audio clip of curator Charles Hill interviewed by CBC's Carol Bishop. Includes Pierre Trudeau's opening speech.

NFB Film

Derek May's 1977 documentary Pictures From the 1930s looks at the exhibition in the context of the Depression, with newsreel footage of the day.