Canadian Painting in the Thirties

The 1975 exhibition: Catalogue Reviews

The Concept of 'regionalism' in Canadian Art History
The Journal of Canadian Art History (Vol. 10, No. 1)
01 Jan 1987

Article by Virginia Nixon that examines the term ?regionalism? as applied to Canadian art of the 1930s and 1940s.The author states that the term has been derived from American art discourse. Its meaning varies with the attitude of the writer towards figurative art and the term never set roots in Canadian art writing. Initially, the word compared Canadian and American rejection of European-style modernism. Charles Hill?s Canadian Painting in the Thirties applies more than one meaning to the term: it is related to nationalism in the ?Regionalist Manifestations in Quebec? and it is a description of a traditional way of life. Hill?s regionalism as nationalism is distinct from American regionalism, as he introduces the Francophone conception of the term in an Anglophone context. Nixon supports her premise with articles and books by Charles Comfort, R.L. Hubbard, Russell Harper, Paul Duval, Dennis Reid, Joan Murray and other American authors. She uses comparisons between works of art by Carl Schaefer and Charles Burchfield, Henri Masson and André Biéler, Miller Brittain and Reginald Marsh, as well as Clarence Gagnon, William Morrice, Louis Muhlstock, Jack Humphrey, Goodridge Roberts, the Group of Seven, Jean Paul Lemieux and L.L. FitzGerald.


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.