Left ArrowA. Y. Jackson (1882 - 1974)


Photograph of A.Y. JacksonBorn and educated in Montreal, Jackson went to Paris in 1910 to continue his art studies. There he learnt about the techniques of the Impressionist painters. Upon returning to Montreal, he attempted to apply this knowledge to his painting of the Canadian landscape. He soon adapted a bolder treatment with his paints in response to the light, colours and imagery of Canada.

It is through one of these paintings that he came to the attention of Lawren Harris, who purchased the work.. Jackson made his first trip to Georgian Bay in 1913 and on the way, he stopped off in Toronto, where he met J.E.H. MacDonald, who introduced him to fellow artists, Arthur Lismer and Frederick Varley and other member of the Arts and Letters Club who were employed by the "Grip". His next trip was to Algonquin Park with Tom Thomson in 1914. By 1920, the Group of Seven was formed with Jackson serving as its principal spokesman. When the first world war broke out, he enlisted as a private. As a war artist, he created an outstanding collection of war paintings, many of which are in the collections of the National Gallery and the Canadian War Museum. Throughout his long career as an artist, Jackson continued to paint the Canadian landscape. In his later years he was the artist-in-residence for the McMichael Gallery. 

Jackson first made small sketches on wood panels when he was on his sketching trips to Northern Ontario, to the lower St. Lawrence region in Quebec and in Southern Alberta, where he taught in the summer for the Banff School of Fine Arts. His sketching was not restricted to one particular season. He was as comfortable painting snow scenes as he was the forests, lake, mountains of summer. When he was not out sketching, Jackson could be found in his studio in Toronto working up his sketches to larger canvases.

The first funds for the purchase of artworks for Hart House were set aside when the building opened in 1919. The first painting, however, was not purchased until 1922 when Georgian Bay, November was acquired. This was the start of an active acquisition program which formed one of Canada's finest collections of Canadian art.

Original Group Members

Franklin Carmichael
Lawren Harris
Arthur Lismer
J.E.H. MacDonald
Fred Varley

Later Members

A.J. Casson
Lemoine Fitzgerald
Edwin Holgate

 

Links

Tom Thomson
Memorial Gallery