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Out of the Woods: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven

The Group of Seven was Canada’s first self-proclaimed organization of modern artists. The original members befriended each other between 1911 and 1913 and included Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and Frederick Varley. Tom Thomson, though never a member of the Group because of his death in 1917, was an integral and influential part of this circle in the early years. United in their disdain for 19th century academic painting and its constraints, the Group began to present themselves as a landscape school after their first exhibition at the Art Museum of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) in 1920. Between 1926 and 1932, three more artists joined—A.J. Casson, Edwin Holgate and L. L. FitzGerald—ultimately attempting a more national school of painting (the latter two artists being from Montreal and Winnipeg respectively). Together, they contributed to the relationship that now exists between ideas of wilderness, ‘northernness’ and Canadian identity.

Out of the Woods: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven features works from the Art Gallery of Alberta collection by the members of one of Canada’s most influential artistic collectives. Showcasing both rarely-seen and familiar works done in the Group’s characteristic style, this exhibition welcomes viewers to enjoy Group of Seven works done ‘out of the woods’, beyond the Ontario landscape, from Caribbean seascapes, cities and cottage scenes to portraits, prairies and prints.

Out of the Woods: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven is curated by Laura Ritchie. Organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta and presented with the support of Capital Powered Art, an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power Corporation. 

Laura Ritchie

Laura Jane Ritchie is the Curator at the Kelowna Art Gallery. She holds a BA in Art History from Mount Allison University and an MA in the same from Western University. Laura Jane has worked in collections and exhibitions management and visual arts administration for and with such Canadian art organizations as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the New Brunswick Crafts Council, the New Brunswick Arts Board, Museum London, the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery and the Commonwealth Association of Museums. Formerly the Head of Exhibitions and Collections Management at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Laura Jane’s curatorial projects focus on showcasing permanent collection treasures. She is a fellow of the Getty Leadership Institute’s NextGen, Executive Education for the Next Generation of Museum Leaders. 


Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-5pm
Sunday: closed


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General admission
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2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2C1