Canadian Painting in the Thirties

The 1975 exhibition: Other Venues

The Survivors of the Harsh Decade Look Back
The Globe and Mail
03 Jun 1975

Permission from the Globe and Mail

Report by James Purdie of the opening of Canadian Painting in the Thirties at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and organized by the National Gallery of Canada. Carl Schaefer, the Ontario landscape artist, along with Paraskeva Clark, Louis Muhlstock, André Biéler and Yvonne McKague Housser and other chroniclers of the Great Depression, attended the opening. The novelist Morley Callaghan was successful during the 1930s, unlike most of the artists, including Jack Humphrey. Paraskeva Clark officiated the reunion of surviving artists, quoting David Milne. Louis Muhlstock discussed his painting Open door of Third House, Groubert Lane, Montreal (1939). Andre Biéler lamented that artists such as Picasso wiped out the kind of art that Canadians were creating in the 1930s. Yvonne McKague Housser suggested that the artists were searching for meaningful social roles. The painters of the 1930s lived with little support and patronage. The national development of art suffered until the 1940s, when Canada opened its doors to international styles and advances. The article is illustrated by black and white photographs of Paraskeva Clark with her Self-portrait and Morley Callaghan with his portrait.

Note: Due to a typescript error in this article, it is missing content.


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.