Canadian Painting in the Thirties

The 1975 exhibition: Catalogue Reviews

Cahier des Arts
Le Devoir
10 May 1975

Claude Gosselin offers a critique of the National Gallery of Canada?s Canadian Painting in the Thirties exhibition catalogue. The choice of this period may have been in response to the current interest in retro style. An abbreviated version of the exhibition will soon be presented at the Musée d?art contemporain de Montréal. The journalist quotes Charles Hill, Assistant Curator of Post-Confederation Art, to summarize this period in Canadian art history. The 1930s were characterized by a ?movement between polarities?: between nationalism and internationalism; the Group of Seven and the Contemporary Arts Society; Toronto and Montréal. The journalist praises the wealth of information included in the catalogue, such as the account of the economic context of the 1930s, the difficulties that artists experienced, their interest in the role of art in society and their opinion of politics. Art initiatives in Montréal are of particular interest to him; he says that up until then, they were unheard of. He expresses the desire that this particular period in art history be developed in the perspective of better situating Montréal ?in relation to English Canada during that period?.


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.