The Group of 7
Canada’s Group of 7 art movement defined the aesthetic of the nation for decades, emphasizing natural beauty and the fundamental need to be immersed in it. Founders Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley, Frank Johnston, and Franklin Carmichael met as employees of the design firm Grip Ltd. in Toronto. Their inspiration, Tom Thomson, was the first to employ the free-feeling visual style for which the group is so well loved. J. E. H. MacDonald mentored and stabilized the group. In 1913, they were joined by A.Y. Jackson and Lawren S. Harris who blazed trails of artistic adventure in the wilderness. After World War 1, the group was formally launched and began collective exhibits in 1920. In 1921, A.J. Casson replaced Frank Johnston who moved West. This seminal Canadian art movement launched the individual painting careers of its founders and paved the way for future groups championing the development of visual art in Canada.