Canadian Painting in the Thirties

The 1975 exhibition: Other Venues

Dirty Thirties Art Enjoys Renaissance
The Herald
01 Aug 1975

© Calgary Herald

Article reviewing Canadian Painting in the Thirties, an exhibit organized by the National Gallery of Canada, at the Glenbow-Alberta Institute. The exhibition consists of 53 paintings by 33 artists, including A.Y. Jackson, Goodridge Roberts and Paul-Émile Borduas. The Group of Seven?s emphasis on Canadianism, as expressed in landscape, was challenged by artists interested in international trends. Canadian art in the 1930s saw a development towards European and American trends, as well as a shift from Toronto to Montreal and from the Group of Seven to the Contemporary Arts Society, under the leadership of John Lyman, Paul-Émile Borduas and Maurice Gagnon. The show is researched and organized by Charles C. Hill and accompanied by a catalogue and film series, including The World of David Milne, Varley and Lismer. The exhibition illustrates the artistic and social tensions, as the world set the stage for World War II. John Lyman?s Card Players, André Bieler?s Gatineau Madonna and Philip Surrey?s painting of farm folk are included in the show. David Milne is quoted as saying that ?artists stand depressions quite well.? The exhibition includes paintings of landscapes and social commentary of the Depression era. Article illustrated with a black and white reproduction of André Bieler?s Gatineau Madonna.


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.