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 J. E. H. MacDonald

J. E. H. MacDonald

Original Name James Edward Hervey
Birth
Durham, Durham Unitary Authority, County Durham, England
Death 26 Nov 1932 (aged 59)
Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Burial Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Plot Section 11 Lot 310
Memorial ID 10481 · View Source
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Artist. He was one of the original members of the Group of Seven, a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933 that also included Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, and Frederick Varley. Born James Edward Hervey MacDonald in Durham, England, he emigrated with his English mother and Canadian father to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1887. He studied at the Hamilton Art School and in 1889 his family moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada where he studied commercial art at the Central Ontario School of Art. He worked at Grip Ltd. In Toronto from 1895 to 1911. In November 1911 he exhibited sketches at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto which brought him to the attention of artist Lawren Harris, who encouraged him to keep painting and show his work whenever he could. In 1912 he won acclaim for his role in an exhibition at the Ottawa Society of Artists. The following year he travelled to Buffalo, New York where he found in an exhibit of Scandinavian Impressionist paintings an uninhibited approach to northern wilderness that could be adopted by Canadian painters. By that year, other Toronto-based commercial artists who were also interested in the potential of original Canadian expression were beginning to congregate around him and Harris. In March 1916 he exhibited his painting "The Tangled Garden" at the Ottawa Society of Artists, which was derided by art critics of the day. In the fall of 1918 he travelled to Algoma region of Ontario, Canada in a specially outfitted railroad car that functioned as a mobile studio and would follow this routine annually for the next several years. From this "travelling studio" he did some of his most acclaimed paintings, including "The Solemn Land" (1920). In 1922 he accepted a full-time teaching position at the Ontario College of Art. In 1924 he began making annual trips to the Rocky Mountains every summer and mountainous landscapes dominate his later work. By this time he had become somewhat alienated from the rest of the Group of Seven, as many of the younger members were beginning to paint in a more abstract manner. From 1928 until his death he served as the Principal of the Ontario College of Art, and he painted with less frequency and less consistent success. He was also a writer and a volume of his poetry, "West by East," was published posthumously in 1933. He died in Toronto at the age of 59.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 9 Jul 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10481
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for J. E. H. MacDonald (12 May 1873–26 Nov 1932), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10481, citing Prospect Cemetery, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave .