Canadian Painting in the Thirties

The 1975 exhibition: Other Venues

Depression Art Mounted
Vancouver Province
12 Apr 1975

© Art Perry / The Province

A review of the National Gallery of Canada?s exhibition Canadian Painting in the Thirties, currently on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Group of Seven, including A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer and Lawren S. Harris, dominated the Canadian art scene in the 1920s. By the 1930s, however, only Jackson and Harris remained devoted to the Group?s nationalistic cause. Jock Macdonald and Fred Varley were by then teaching at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, and Lismer was working at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Bertram Brooker wrote at the time about the Group?s declining impact. Charles Hill, Assistant Curator of Post-Confederation Art and organizer of the exhibition, proves that there was a solid art consciousness in the 1930s, despite the difficult financial times. With severe budget cuts at the National Gallery, regional centres such as Vancouver became important, and Varley, Macdonald and Emily Carr dominated the British Columbia scene. There were also important independent artists, such as LeMoine FitzGerald in Winnipeg and David Milne. The article is illustrated with black and white reproductions of Harris?s Riven Earth 1, and Carl Schaefer?s Ontario Farmhouse.


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.