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Industrial Algoma and the myth of wilderness : Algoma landscapes and the emergence of the Group of Seven,.. Fletcher, Allan John 1989

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INDUSTRIAL ALGOMA AND THE MYTH OF WILDERNESS: ALGOMA LANDSCAPES AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE GROUP OF SEVEN, 1918-1920 by A l l a n John  Fletcher  B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1977 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES THE  DEPARTMENT OF FINE ARTS ART HISTORY  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d  standard  t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia November, v 1989 ©  Allan  F l e t c h e r , 1989  In presenting  this thesis in partial fulfilment of the  requirements for an  advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference  and  study. 1 further agree that permission for extensive  copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may department  or  by  his or  her  representatives.  be  It is understood  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be permission.  Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6  (2/88)  QCTOGCfr <3,  tiff-  granted by  the head of  my  that  or  copying  allowed without my  written  ii  ABSTRACT  In t h e summer topic,  I chanced  o f 1988, c a s t i n g a r o u n d  on some p h o t o g r a p h s w h i c h s t u n n e d  were p i c t u r e s o f v a r i o u s s i t e s r e g i o n w h i c h up t o t h a t t i m e only  from  idyllic  I, l i k e  The d i s c r e p a n c y  dockyards,  cities  and towns, dammed  smelters  and g i g a n t i c  contrast  t o the untouched  I felt illusion the  inject  northern  i t .  an a t t e m p t  had h e l p e d  revealed:  huge  depicted i n  foster the  ( a n d i s ) as p u r e and u n s u l l i e d My t h e s i s ,  then,  into  that  false  the a r t h i s t o r i c a l  wilderness  in their  i n the years  political, just  after  as  i s a t i t s most  s t r u c t u r e s of the north  tries  and o t h e r  was i n s t r i k i n g  looks at the mythical  economic u t i l i t y  knew  rivers,  forests,  wilderness  to counteract  some b a l a n c e  and s h i f t s  a  Land.  t h a t Algoma was  level  operations  that a r t historians  Group d e p i c t e d  basic and  The? Solemn  milling  razed  They  between t h e  What t h e camera  cavernous mines, mountains of s l a g ,  works l i k e  many C a n a d i a n s ,  p a i n t i n g s by J . E . H. M a c D o n a l d  s e t s o f images was s t a r t l i n g .  railyards,  me.  i n t h e Algoma t e r r i t o r y ,  members o f t h e Group o f S e v e n . two  for a thesis  impression record.  It  and t h e  s o c i a l and the Great  t o l o c a t e Algoma p a i n t i n g s made between  War and  1918 and 1920  within t h i s larger context.  The phenomenon of Tom Thomson,  the archetype of the "bush a r t i s t "  i s c o n s i d e r e d as are  i s s u e s of p r i v a t e and i n s t i t u t i o n a l patronage. p o t e n t i a l audiences  A c t u a l and  f o r Algoma a r t are examined, and a  number of t e x t s , promotional and c r i t i c a l are d i s c u s s e d .  In  the f i n a l c h a p t e r , four p a i n t i n g s , t h r e e by J . E. H. MacDonald and one by Frank  H. Johnston  are i n v e s t i g a t e d and  r e l a t e d to what I see as the primary task of much a r t i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n at t h i s t i m e — t o harmonize Canadian c u l t u r e with country's a c c e l e r a t i n g t r a n s i t i o n to a branch-plant  economy.  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS page INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER I:  Algoma and the Myth of Wilderness  15  CHAPTER I I :  "a new p i e c e of c o u n t r y "  46  CHAPTER I I I : P i c t u r e s and P o l i t i c s CONSLUSION  62 105a.  FIGURES  106  BIBLIOGRAPHY  118  V  LIST OF FIGURES Figure  Page  1.  Wooden T r e s t l e a t M i l e 104 of the Algoma C e n t r a l Railway.  106  2.  The L i t t l e  107  Fall.  J . E. H. MacDonald, 1919  (28 by 36 i n s . , London P u b l i c L i b r a r y and A r t Museum, London, O n t a r i o ) . 3.  The M i l d  River.  J . E. H. MacDonald, 1919  108  (53 by 64ins., The F a c u l t y Club, U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto). 4.  First  S n o w , A l g o m a . A. Y. Jackson, 1919-1920  109  (42 by 50 i n s . , McMichael C o n s e r v a t i o n C o l l e c t i o n , Kleinburg, Ontario).  F i r e - S w e p t . A l g o m a , Frank H. Johnston, 1920 110 (50.25 by 66 i n s . , The N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, Ottawa). 6.  A l g o m a C o u n t r y , Lawren S. H a r r i s , c. 1920 111 (40.25 by 50.75 i n s . , A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o ) .  7.  Falls.  Montreal  River.  J . E. H. MacDonald, 1920  112  (48 by 60.25 i n s . , A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o ) . 8.  The Solemn  L a n d , J . E. H. MacDonald, 1921  (48 by 60 i n s . , The N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, Ottawa).  113  vi  9.  Algoma S t e e l ' s f i r s t  rolling mill.  10.  M i c h l p i c o t e n Ore  11.  T h i s i s the type of caboose H a r r i s had r e f i t t e d for the boxcar t r i p s .  115  12.  The  115  13.  Woodland W a t e r f a l l . Tom Thomson, 1916 (48 by 52 i n s . , P r i v a t e C o l l e c t i o n , T o r o n t o ) .  14.  The T a n g l e d G a r d e n J . E. H. MacDonald, 1916 110 ( O i l on board, The N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, Ottawa).  Dock.  s k e t c h i n g grounds of the Group of Seven (Peter Mellen, The Group o f S e v e n , 25).  f  114 114  109  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would  l i k e t o express my a p p r e c i a t i o n t o Dr. C a s w e l l ,  the Department  of F i n e A r t s and the F a c u l t y of Graduate  S t u d i e s f o r g i v i n g me the o p p o r t u n i t y t o r e - e n t e r the program a f t e r an enforced h i a t u s and complete the requirements f o r my degree.  With r e s p e c t t o the r e s e a r c h  and w r i t i n g of t h i s t h e s i s , I am indebted t o John O'Brian, my a d v i s o r , f o r h i s p a t i e n c e , encouragement  and thoroughness  and t o Rose Marie San Juan, my second r e a d e r , f o r h e l p i n g t o b r i n g the p r o j e c t t o c o m p l e t i o n .  The generous  and i n d e f a t i g a b l e a i d of the good people at I n t e r l i b r a r y Loan deserves s p e c i a l mention as does the g r a c i o u s a s s i s t a n c e I r e c e i v e d from both c u r a t o r i a l and a r c h i v a l s t a f f a t the A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o .  Thanks are a l s o i n  order t o my f r i e n d , Joseph Muise, who prepared the photographs and t o my p a r t n e r , C r a i g Tompkins f o r h i s understanding and support.  1  INTRODUCTION The  north and  the wilderness  have been e s s e n t i a l  concepts i n the attempt to d e f i n e a d i s t i n c t i v e Canadian cultural  identity.  That p u r s u i t began i n earnest,  according  to most h i s t o r i a n s , immediately f o l l o w i n g World War both w o r d s — " n o r t h " and  "wilderness"—figured  One,  prominently i n  d i s c u s s i o n s of a kind of landscape a r t which favored t e r r a i n over the p a s t o r a l views popular collectors.  with  wealthy  century  Canadian  landscape p a i n t i n g , there have been few attempts to l e t alone d e f i n e , i t s meaning. served  other  wilder  In l i g h t of the number of times the north i s  mentioned i n d i s c u s s i o n s of t w e n t i e t h  has  and  Undoubtedly, such vagueness  the purposes of w r i t e r s on a r t and  s u b j e c t s as w e l l .  clarify,  writers  on  For, without a s p e c i f i c , or even  l e s s amorphous, d e l i n e a t i o n , the term i s s t r i p p e d of p a r t i c u l a r i z e d s i g n i f i c a n c e and  opened up to c o l o n i z a t i o n by  mental imagery which i s f r e q u e n t l y s t e r e o t y p i c a l , f a n t a s t i c or i d e a l i z e d . C r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s between the north as a geographic location  (a r e l a t i v e one  that varies according  to  the  vantage p o i n t of the o b s e r v e r ) , the north as an idea (a c o n s t r u c t separate s i t u a t i o n ) and  from, but r e l a t e d t o , i t s p h y s i c a l  the north as a myth (a s e t of b e l i e f s which  are c u l t u r a l l y determined and  may  have l i t t l e  to do  with  2 e i t h e r geographic a northern Although  north or the a b s t r a c t i o n used to r e p r e s e n t  l o c a l e ) are avoided  i n t h i s kind of w r i t i n g .  the m y t h i c a l usage predominates i n l i t e r a t u r e on  a r t , the term i s o f t e n employed as i f a l l three were  designations  interchangeable. While the myth of the north may be invoked  reasons  for similar  today, many i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s which were p r e v a l e n t i n  the e a r l y decades of t h i s c e n t u r y have been modified or supplanted.  Nonetheless,  the a h i s t o r i c a l , u n i v e r s a l i z e d use  of the c o n s t r u c t i o n , promoting as i t does the p a t e n t l y absurd  n o t i o n t h a t the phrase i s understood  manner a t a l l times  and i n any circumstances,  r u l e , r a t h e r than the e x c e p t i o n , and  the a r t s .  I feel  remains the  i n most w r i t i n g on c u l t u r e  i t i s imperative, t h e r e f o r e , t o r a i s e  the i s s u e of language and i t s manipulation beginning  i n much the same  from the  of t h i s a n a l y s i s because language i s the medium  here, and because m y t h i f i e d speech i s i n s e p a r a b l e from the a r t i t purports t o " e x p l a i n " . Wilderness,  as I mentioned e a r l i e r ,  f r e q u e n t l y been (and continues "the n o r t h " .  i s a word which has  t o be) used i n tandem with  A contemporary d e f i n i t i o n construes  i t as "a  t r a c t of land or a r e g i o n . . . u n c u l t i v a t e d and u n i n h a b i t e d by human beings" or as "an empty or p a t h l e s s area or r e g i o n " . What was i n d i c a t e d by the term, w i l d e r n e s s , teens"  i n urban O n t a r i o , though, bears  1  i n "the nineteen  little  resemblance to  3 t h i s more recent d e f i n i t i o n .  David S i l c o x i n Tom Thomson,  The S i l e n c e and the Storm a s s e r t s that "'the North' g e n e r a l l y meant any of the areas of the Precambrian Shield",  2  but i n p r a c t i c a l terms,  f o r middle c l a s s  d w e l l e r s , both words r e f e r r e d to something l i m i t e d and something  city-  c o n s i d e r a b l y more  which was not n e c e s s a r i l y o u t s i d e of  t h e i r experience. Algonquin Park, f o r i n s t a n c e , where Tom Thomson's b e s t known works were p a i n t e d , was r e f e r r e d to i n h i s l i f e t i m e , and f o r s e v e r a l decades a f t e r h i s death, as being i n "the North".  I t was not a park  i n the usual sense but a game  r e s e r v e , and a major reason f o r i t s c r e a t i o n  ( i n 1893) by a  p r o v i n c i a l government anxious to accommodate business i n t e r e s t s was t o enable l o g g i n g o p e r a t i o n s t o proceed unimpeded by c o m p e t i t i o n from s e t t l e r s and p o a c h e r s . hundred  One  3  f i f t y m i l e s n o r t h e a s t of Toronto, Algonquin, as  e a r l y as 1900, was c l o s e t o a number of good-sized communities,  and t h e r e was even a town, Mowat, l o c a t e d  w i t h i n i t s boundaries.  By 1915, when Thomson was e n t e r i n g  h i s most p r o d u c t i v e p e r i o d , passengers entered the "park" on e i t h e r of two r a i l w a y s ; access to i t s i n t e r i o r was accomplished by means of more than a hundred  m i l e s of  l o g g i n g roads and v i s i t o r s had a c h o i c e of four  hotels. * 1  T h i s was a p a r t of the country, then, t h a t was not e s p e c i a l l y northern or d i s t a n t or w i l d  i n the sense  that  4  those a d j e c t i v e s are made use of today. Algoma, i f Toronto i s taken as the r e f e r e n c e p o i n t , i s c o n s i d e r a b l y f u r t h e r north than Algonquin Park. a r r i v e d somewhat l a t e r  Industry  i n Algoma proper, but i t more than  made up f o r i t s t a r d i n e s s i n d i v e r s i t y and magnitude. the  1890's, development  almost f r a n t i c pace.  Since  had gone on t h e r e at an a c c e l e r a t e d ,  Steamship  l i n e s got o f f to an e a r l y  s t a r t s e r v i c i n g the e a s t e r n shore of Lake S u p e r i o r , but some of  the i n l a n d t e r r i t o r y proved n e a r l y  impassable.  T h e r e f o r e , tremendous amounts of money were spent by both the of  f e d e r a l and p r o v i n c i a l governments to ensure completion the Algoma C e n t r a l l i n e which became known as "the a l l  h i l l s and curves r a i l w a y " ( F i g . 1). his  first  trip  When Lawren H a r r i s made  i n t o the Algoma c o u n t r y with h i s f r i e n d  MacCallum i n the s p r i n g of 1918,  S a u l t Ste. Marie was  Dr. a  growing c i t y , and Algoma i n d u s t r i e s , n o t a b l y l o g g i n g , mining, s m e l t i n g and pulp and paper, employed thousands  of  workers. The name, Algoma, has come to be i d e n t i f i e d with a p a r t i c u l a r v i s i o n of the north a r t i c u l a t e d and r e f i n e d  in a  s e r i e s of p i c t u r e s p a i n t e d by J.E.H. MacDonald, Lawren H a r r i s , A.Y.  Jackson and Frank Johnston i n the years j u s t  a f t e r World War  One  ( F i g s . 2-8).  T h e i r Algoma i s v a s t ,  empty, rugged and powerful: a t h i c k l y wooded land of s u r g i n g r i v e r s , rocky c r a g s , p r i s t i n e l a k e s and s c e n i c w a t e r f a l l s .  5  One  n o t i o n above any other i s communicated through  images: t h a t t h i s intrusion.  And  these  i s a v i r g i n landscape, f r e e from human  y e t , f o r most Ontarians at the time, Algoma  would have summoned up a d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t s e t of associations.  Prom the t u r n of the century, Algoma had been  the s i t e of r a p i d  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n centered on the  p r o d u c t i o n of n i c k e l and s t e e l , pulp and paper  and  by h y d r o - e l e c t r i c power from a number of massive  fuelled  generating  stations. How  then, can these c a r e f u l l y c o n t r i v e d w i l d e r n e s s  v i s t a s be r e c o n c i l e d with the Algoma of resource e x t r a c t i o n and heavy i n d u s t r y ; of m i l l t o w n s , s t e e l t o w n s , lumber camps and miners' huts; of c l e a r c u t s , l o g chutes and c h i p y a r d s ; of o r e p i t s , smelters and  foundries?  Why  d i d these p a i n t e r s  stop i n c l u d i n g workers i n t h e i r compositions a f t e r the  War  i n favor of treatments of the north country as immense and u n i n h a b i t e d , devoid of any human r e f e r e n c e ? such works appeal, and why? d i f f e r e n t l y , who audience  To whom would  Or, to put the q u e s t i o n  were the patrons and who  were the p o t e n t i a l  f o r a"doctored" v e r s i o n of t h i s much t a l k e d  part of the province?  about  What s e t of circumstances made t h i s  type of m y s t i f i c a t i o n necessary and what purpose was i t intended to serve?  6 Toronto, O n t a r i o and Algoma a f t e r World War From 1900 to 1921, Canada grew by 618.4  One  investment i n manufacturing i n  percent ( s i c ) .  Most of t h i s  growth  occurred i n O n t a r i o , the n a t i o n ' s i n d u s t r i a l h e a r t l a n d and much of i t i n Toronto, i t s e l f , the hub of f a c t o r y p r o d u c t i o n i n the p r o v i n c e .  The c o u n t r y as a whole had absorbed a  8  g r e a t e r i n f l u x of immigrants between 1911 and 1914 any other time i n i t s h i s t o r y .  6  While B r i t i s h  than at  immigrants  made up a s m a l l e r p r o p o r t i o n of those a p p l y i n g than ever before and there were many more immigrants from other p a r t s of  Europe, most e n t r a n t s from B r i t a i n who  came from urban  environments g r a v i t a t e d to e a s t e r n Canadian c i t i e s .  This  f a c t o r , and a s i m i l a r tendency among Europeans of r u r a l o r i g i n to seek a f a m i l i a r h a b i t a t , combined intervention  with government  ( u s u a l l y geared to the s p e c i a l i z e d needs of  i n d u s t r y ) to ensure that Toronto remained r e s o l u t e l y AngloC e l t i c and P r o t e s t a n t . At  7  the apex of Toronto's s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y were  f i n a n c i e r s , i n d u s t r i a l i s t s and s p e c u l a t o r s . s u c c i n c t d e s c r i p t i o n s of these men  One  of the most  and the extent of t h e i r  i n f l u e n c e appears i n a r e c e n t book by C h r i s t o p h e r and H. V. N e l l e s .  8  Armstrong  Admittedly, the p e r i o d they're  d i s c u s s i n g i s an e a r l i e r one, around 1900 and the s i t u a t i o n nas  different  telling  i n s e v e r a l important r e s p e c t s , the most  divergence probably being an a l t e r e d o r i e n t a t i o n to  7 the south brought about by Canada's mounting dependence on American  markets and  investment.  Nonetheless, the image  they evoke i s a u t h e n t i c i n most r e s p e c t s at t h i s l a t e r as most of the key p l a y e r s remained  date  i n p o s i t i o n s of power.  Using an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l model, they c l a s s i f y Toronto, Montreal, as a " v i l l a g e " community which was  ( i n r e l a t i o n to London's f i n a n c i a l  g e n e r a l l y r e f e r r e d to i n business  p a r l a n c e as "the C i t y " ) wherein  f i s c a l a c t i v i t y was  d i r e c t e d by one of two c l a n s that dominated s e c t o r i n Canada.  the  largely  commercial  9  Toronto's centered around other prominent  like  Senator George A. Cox  and  " e l d e r s " such as Byron Edmund Walker, then  manager and l a t e r p r e s i d e n t of the Bank of Commerce, Joseph F l a v e l l e , the Methodist m i l l i o n a i r e who Munitions Board d u r i n g the F i r s t War c o n t r a c t o r , promoter  headed the Imperial  and W i l l i a m MacKenzie,  and partner i n Canada's t h i r d  transcontinental railway. 3  0  Armstrong  and N e l l e s  complete  t h e i r p o r t r a i t by s t r e s s i n g the s m a l l s i z e of t h i s a r i s t o c r a c y of wealth i n the two c i t i e s combined.  "The  core  c o n s i s t e d of approximately f o r t y i n d i v i d u a l s , known to each other and  i n a few i n s t a n c e s r e l a t e d by m a r r i a g e . "  r e f e r to t h i s t i n y cadre of c a p i t a l i s t s e a r l y on some a p p r e c i a t i o n of the degree over the Canadian  x l  I  because  of c o n t r o l they e x e r c i s e d  economy (and Canadian  society) is  necessary before going on to c o n s i d e r the r e l a t i o n s h i p of  8  art  i n s t i t u t i o n s and  patronage to w i l d e r n e s s  p a i n t i n g i n g e n e r a l and, the years 1919 Toronto's  and  landscape  s p e c i f i c a l l y , to Algoma scenes  in  1920.  r i s e to the s t a t u s of n a t i o n a l m e t r o p o l i s  was  based on i t s a g g r e s s i v e e x p l o i t a t i o n of the resources of the Canadian S h i e l d .  I n c r e a s i n g l y prominent i n economic and  a r t i s t i c spheres,  the northern p a r t of the p r o v i n c e  transforming p o l i t i c a l  life  as w e l l .  Sudbury businessman, became the f i r s t m i n i s t e r i a l post when he was of  was  Frank Cochrane, a northerner to hold a  given the newly formed M i n i s t r y  Lands, F o r e s t s and Mines by Premier  Whitney i n  F o l l o w i n g Borden's win over the L i b e r a l s i n 1911,  1905. Cochrane,  along with the many of the a b l e r p r o v i n c i a l T o r i e s , was e n t i c e d to Ottawa. In Cochrane's case, the plum was p r e s t i g i o u s Railways Back i n Toronto,  p o r t f o l i o and a c a b i n e t appointment.  f e l l o w n o r t h e r n e r , W i l l i a m Hearst, a  from S a u l t Ste. Marie, whom Cochrane had wing, became the new  M i n i s t e r of Lands, F o r e s t s and  J u s t three years l a t e r ,  i n 1914,  lawyer  taken under h i s  From t h i s p o i n t , Hearst's r i s e to power was  an e l e c t i o n c a l l ,  the  Mines.  swift.  when Whitney's death f o r c e d  Hearst gained both the p a r t y l e a d e r s h i p  and the premiership  i n a matter of weeks.  I t was  widely  b e l i e v e d t h a t Cochrane, c o n s i d e r e d by many the most adept Conservative t a c t i c i a n , had  engineered  Hearst's r a p i d  ascent  and t h a t Hearst would take orders from Cochrane's o f f i c e i n  9  the f e d e r a l c a p i t a l .  Whatever the circumstances  1 2  Hearst's a c c e s s i o n , d u r i n g the f i v e years he h e l d from October, Ontario was  1914  to October,  office,  the Tory machine i n  weakened and the f e d e r a l government assumed a  measure of c o n t r o l i n matters served to aggravate  of r e g i o n a l concern  which  existing tensions.  L a u r i e r ' s L i b e r a l s had the Borden regime had the obvious  1919,  of  spent  f r e e l y i n the n o r t h ,  and  l i t t l e c h o i c e but to c a r r y on d e s p i t e  f a c t t h a t s e v e r a l of the e n t e r p r i s e s i n t o which  both governments had  sunk m i l l i o n s proved  With an Algoman as premier  and another  to be  untenable.  northern Ontarian  as  the f e d e r a l M i n i s t e r of R a i l r o a d s , i t i s p l a i n t h a t the north was  high p r o f i l e , high p r i o r i t y and  highly p o l i t i c i z e d  d u r i n g these y e a r s . The p e r i o d immediately d i s c o n t e n t among farmers  and  a f t e r the War  saw  growing  the working c l a s s .  Farm  incomes and  r e a l wages d e c l i n e d while c o r p o r a t e  profits  soared, and  the wealthy few engaged i n an orgy of  conspicuous  consumption.  Even though the number of  u n i o n i z e d employees had d e c r e a s e d ,  X 3  r i o t s and  on the r i s e and o f t e n h a r s h l y r e p r e s s e d .  s t r i k e s were  Farmers p e r c e i v e d  r u r a l d e p o p u l a t i o n as a t h r e a t to t r a d i t i o n a l values i n t h i s , the most urbanized p r o v i n c e i n C o n f e d e r a t i o n , and burgeoning  the  a g r a r i a n r e v o l t merged with labor d i s c o n t e n t to  b r i n g down the C o n s e r v a t i v e s and  establish a coalition  10 government l a t e i n 1919. of northern  Frank Cochrane, t i r e l e s s  champion  i n t e r e s t s , had d i e d a month e a r l i e r , and,  with Hearst's  d e f e a t , the United Farmers c a l l i n g the  Algoma S t e e l ' s output m i l i t a n t and  cut by h a l f and  r e s t i v e , the magical  look c o n s i d e r a b l y more mundane. government and  i t s business  h o l e " , however.  The  shots,  northern workers  north was  beginning  to  In Ottawa, Borden's  supporters  expansion  now,  had  an "ace  i n the  of American newspapers had  given r i s e to an unprecedented demand f o r O n t a r i o pulp paper making t h i s new  and  i n d u s t r y the f a s t e s t growing i n the  Dominion. As a w e l l s p r i n g of i n s p i r a t i o n and the north was  probably at i t s l e a s t c o n v i n c i n g i n l o s e to  twenty years. "* x  Conservative)  hope f o r the f u t u r e ,  An  i n t e g r a l component of c o n s e r v a t i v e  (and  i d e o l o g y i n O n t a r i o f o r over a g e n e r a t i o n ,  t h a t v i s i o n had p u b l i c investment  i m p e l l e d , and subsequently  justified, a  of s t a g g e r i n g p r o p o r t i o n s .  There was  too much at stake to l e t t h i s optimism wane, and given  far the  apparent r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of the a g r a r i a n myth, a n t i t h e t i c a l to the modern e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l viewpoint  (which espoused mass  p r o d u c t i o n and s c i e n t i f i c management over c o o p e r a t i o n s e l f - d i r e c t e d e f f o r t ) t h a t prospect had to be seriously.  Even a s u b t l e tack to the l e f t was  and  taken too great a  r i s k because a t t e n t i o n could be d e f l e c t e d southward away from the e x p l o i t a t i o n of f i n i t e a s s e t s and  begin to focus  on  11 s m a l l e r , more i n t e n s i v e (what might today be  called  "sustainable") operations. R h e t o r i c had  to be a l t e r e d and  updated view presented objectification order.  capable  i n t o one  i n t e n s i f i e d and  of b l e n d i n g the  which e x t o l l e d a new  I see the Algoma p a i n t i n g s and t h e i r  l i t e r a t u r e as o p e r a t i v e s w i t h i n t h i s d i r e c t e d at m a i n t a i n i n g confidence  an  earlier economic  promotional  i n i t i a t i v e which  among the upper  was  and  middle c l a s s e s i n the f i n a n c i a l v i a b i l i t y of the northwest. These a r t i s t i c silent,  i n v e n t i o n s , r e a s s u r i n g v i s u a l i z a t i o n s of a  l i m i t l e s s domain, untouched and  r e s o u r c e s , emphasize the immense spruce S h i e l d country and Confidence here.  r i c h l y endowed i n f o r e s t s of the  i t s p l e n t i f u l supply of w a t e r . * 1  and reassurance  are the o p e r a t i v e words  H i s t o r i a n s u s u a l l y p o i n t to Canada's maturing  n a t i o n a l consciousness  to j u s t i f y the Canadian d e s i r e to  loosen Mother B r i t a i n ' s apron s t r i n g s a f t e r the War,  but  the  r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t B r i t i s h weakness a l s o s p e l l e d Canadian v u l n e r a b i l i t y , may explanation.  be a more a c c u r a t e , i f l e s s p a l a t a b l e ,  Most of Canada's i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r i e d  r a t i o n a l i z e the switch from subservience  to B r i t a i n  to to  dependence on the United S t a t e s as a step toward n a t i o n a l autonomy, and was  r e s t o r i n g the imaginative potency of the  a c r u c i a l component i n t h i s e x e r c i s e .  The  "new  north  north",  as a c o n t i n e n t a l r a t h e r than a n a t i o n a l f r o n t i e r became a  12 symbol f o r Canada's "coming i n t o her own" American  as a North  nation.  My t h e s i s c o n s i d e r s Algoma imagery as p a r t of a program to revamp the n o r t h , to r e a l i g n the h i n t e r l a n d to another metropolis.  1 6  While t h e i r  involvement i n the r e o r i e n t a t i o n  procedure i s complex, I w i l l argue that the Algoma p a i n t i n g s had two p r i n c i p a l o b j e c t i v e s .  Firstly,  they sought to  r e g i s t e r northwestern O n t a r i o i n the minds of m e t r o p o l i t a n t r a v e l l e r s as a d e s i r a b l e d e s t i n a t i o n — a n a t u r a l , p e a c e f u l and r e j u v e n a t i n g r e f u g e - - a c c e s s i b l e by boat or r a i l major c i t i e s  on both s i d e s of the border.  Secondly, they  took Algoma, probably the most up-to-date and i n d u s t r i a l sector  mechanized  i n O n t a r i o , as t h e i r symbol of the  north, and redesigned i t to encourage c l a s s and i t s dependents  t h a t American  from  new  Toronto's business d o l l a r s would  continue to underwrite manufacturing i n Canada.  13 NOTES 1  v.  Webster's New I n t e r n a t i o n a l D i c t i o n a r y , 3rd ed. "wilderness".  Harold Town and David P. S i l c o x , Tom and the Storm (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and 197. 2  (1971) s.  Thomson, The S i l e n c e Stewart, L t d , 1977)  Richard Lambert, Renewing Nature's Wealth: A C e n t e n n i a l H i s t o r y of the P u b l i c Management of Lands, F o r e s t s and W i l d l i f e i n O n t a r i o (Toronto: O n t a r i o Department of Lands and F o r e s t s , 1967) 280. 3  4  Tom  Thomson, The  S i l e n c e and the Storm, 19 8  Michael J . P i v a , The C o n d i t i o n of the Working C l a s s i n Toronto, 1900-1921 (Ottawa: U n i v e r s i t y of Ottawa P r e s s , 1979) 4. s  There were more than a m i l l i o n e n t r a n t s , and, l a r g e l y as a r e s u l t of t h i s wave of immigration, Toronto's p o p u l a t i o n more than doubled from s l i g h t l y over 200,000 i n 1901 to j u s t under 450,000 two decades l a t e r . . The Canada Yearbook, 19161917 (Ottawa, 1917) 112. e  According to the 1921 census, n i n e t y - t h r e e percent of the c i t y ' s i n h a b i t a n t s l i s t e d t h e i r place of o r i g i n as an E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g country and seventy-seven percent were Protestant. S i x t h Census of Canada, 1921, Vol.1 (Ottawa, 1924) c i t e d i n P i v a , 9, 11. 7  C h r i s t o p h e r Armstrong and H. V. N e l l e s , Southern Exposure: Canadian Promoters i n L a t i n America and the Caribbean, 18961930 (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1988. a  9  1 0  The  other was,  Ibid.,  4-9.  of course,  i n Montreal.  14 1 1  Ibid.,  9.  Peter O l i v e r , " S i r W i l l i a m Hearst and the C o l l a p s e of the O n t a r i o C o n s e r v a t i v e P a r t y " i n P u b l i c and P r i v a t e Persons, The, O n t a r i o P o l i t i c a l C u l t u r e , 1914-1934 (Toronto: C l a r k e Irwin and Company L i m i t e d , 1975) 21. 1 2  X 3  Piva,  145.  * + P r e v i o u s l y , the r e p u t a t i o n of northern O n t a r i o probably h i t i t s lowest ebb with the c e s s a t i o n of i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y i n the S a u l t i n September of 1903. I ' l l have more to say on t h i s s i t u a t i o n and the events l e a d i n g up to i t l a t e r . Spruce, because of i t s f i b r o u s s t r u c t u r e , i s i d e a l f o r c o n v e r s i o n i n t o pulp i n g i a n t mechanized m i l l s and a p l e n t i f u l supply of water i s r e q u i r e d both to power the p l a n t and to process the r e s u l t . 1 S  " M e t r o p o l i s " i s used i n the a b s t r a c t . In r e a l i t y , s e v e r a l c e n t e r s i n the n o r t h e a s t e r n United S t a t e s f i t the bill. As London d r i e d up, American c r e d i t was i n c r e a s i n g l y important to O n t a r i o . New York may have been pre-eminent, but there were other banks and c o n s o r t i a eager to i n v e s t i n Canada. Algoma, f o r i n s t a n c e , was c o n t r o l l e d from Philadelphia. 1 6  15  CHAPTER I: ALGOMA AND  THE MYTH OF WILDERNESS  There are d i f f e r i n g accounts of where the name "Algoma" originated. for  One  v e r s i o n maintains that the word i s Ojibwa  Lake S u p e r i o r and another t h a t i t t r a n s l a t e s as "the  lake and the lands of the Algons" (one of the Algonquin tribes).  S t r e t c h i n g n o r t h from S a u l t Ste. Marie along the  1  e a s t e r n shore of Lake S u p e r i o r , the wooded reaches of Algoma are  differentiated  from the surrounding B o r e a l f o r e s t  belt  by the v a r i e t y of deciduous and evergreen s p e c i e s i t maintains.  L y i n g w i t h i n the Canadian  Shield, a vast  Precambrian  formation of g n e i s s e s and g r a n i t e s which  across Quebec, O n t a r i o , n o r t h e r n Manitoba and  i n t o the Northwest  Saskatchewan  T e r r i t o r i e s , Algoma i s a rugged  t e r r a i n of steep h i l l s , roaring waterfalls.  and  extends  r u s h i n g r i v e r s , deep canyons and  I t s dramatic topography  d i v e r s i t y of i t s f o r e s t s which r e s u l t  and  the  i n c o l o r f u l autumn  d i s p l a y s made i t a popular d e s t i n a t i o n f o r photographers s i g h t s e e r s when i t was 1890's. Its  opened up by the r a i l w a y i n the  2  a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t i e s have r a r e l y been the main  a t t r a c t i o n , however.  P r o f i t has proven a more e f f e c t i v e  l u r e , and the zone f i r s t European  assumed economic importance  r e s i d e n t s from the south when P i e r r e  to  Radisson  and  16 d i s c o v e r e d a l a r g e beaver p o p u l a t i o n there i n the 1650's. But, while Algoma y i e l d e d up beaver p e l t s i n l a r g e quantities,  i t s g r e a t e s t value to the f u r trade was the  n a v i g a b i l i t y of i t s waterways which made i t the most efficient  t r a n s p o r t a t i o n route between the northwest and  Hudson Bay.  With the d e c l i n e of f u r t r a d i n g , Algoma  returned t o i t s previous c o n d i t i o n - - a s p a r s e l y i n h a b i t e d backwater, home to a handful of hardy t r a p p e r s and homesteaders.  In 1858, the j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t  of Algoma was  d e f i n e d c o n s i s t i n g of 12,558,969 a c r e s , and by t h i s Algoma's timber exploited.  time,  and mineral resources were s t a r t i n g to be  A little  over t h i r t y years l a t e r , however, the  p l a c e would be more or l e s s r e i n v e n t e d assuming an unprecedented preeminence as a n a t i o n a l symbol. Clergue and the dream of the north Some elements of the Algoma myth--abundance, optimism and n a t i o n a l f e e l i n g — o r i g i n a t e concept  i n the l a r g e r , more g e n e r a l  of the northern f r o n t i e r ;  t h a t l i v i n g on the southern  i n other words, the e f f e c t  f r i n g e of an almost  boundless  h i n t e r l a n d has had on our e v o l u t i o n as a n a t i o n .  This i s  not to say t h a t the metaphor of the garden (and the p h i l o s o p h y of agrarianism) have been i r r e l e v a n t to Canadians.  T h e i r c r e d i b i l i t y and t h e i r  i n f l u e n c e have been  17 g r e a t e s t on the p r a i r i e s and  i n southern  Ontario,  but,  because n e i t h e r could embrace the p h y s i c a l r e a l i t y of the S h i e l d , they were never able to achieve the hegemonic l o y a l t y they commanded below the border.  Instead, a  a g r i c u l t u r a l , r e s o u r c e - d r i v e n d o c t r i n e supported  non-  by a  p o l i t i c a l system which, a f t e r the B r i t i s h model, i n v e s t e d each governing  body with the powers of a t r u s t , proved a  formidable contender. seminal  The  As H. V. N e l l e s argues,  in his  P o l i t i c s of Development: F o r e s t s , Mines  H y d r o - E l e c t r i c Power i n O n t a r i o , 1849-1941, the i n Canada i s i n s e p a r a b l e from the concept ( c o l l e c t i v i s t , conservative).  and  wilderness  of the s t a t e  "Instead of the homesteading  philosophy changing e s t a b l i s h e d ways of t h i n k i n g of land i n Ontario  [as i t had  occurred.  I n t e r e s t groups and  profoundly a l t e r e d Mining trade had  i n the United S t a t e s ] q u i t e the  it."  reverse  authoritarian instincts  3  ( e s p e c i a l l y of gold and  s i l v e r ) and  the  lumber  proven p r o f i t a b l e i n the l a s t decades of the s  n i n e t e e n t h century, but  "the n i n e t i e s " saw  technology,  e s p e c i a l l y h y d r o - e l e c t r i c power, being h a i l e d as the that would unlock  the t r e a s u r e s of the n o r t h .  t w e n t i e t h century drew nearer, the terms "New  As  the  Ontario"  "Empire O n t a r i o " came i n t o use r e f e r r i n g to what was seen as the almost u n l i m i t e d p o t e n t i a l of the h e a r t l a n d , and  the dream began to take shape.  key  and  then  province's A sentence  18 from a r e p o r t by O n t a r i o ' s M i n i s t e r of Crown Lands i s s u e d i n 1899  p r o v i d e s an i n d i c a t i o n of the scope of these  ambitions:  "The  resources of the New O n t a r i o i n s o i l , m i n e r a l s ,  timber,  water power and other raw m a t e r i a l s of c i v i l i z a t i o n are e x t e n s i v e and v a l u a b l e and q u i t e capable of becoming the home of a hardy, i n number."  t h r i f t y and prosperous  people many m i l l i o n s  4  It i s v e r y l i k e l y t h a t what was t a k i n g p l a c e i n Algoma as the M i n i s t e r wrote c o n d i t i o n e d h i s extravagant for Ontario's i n t e r i o r . 1903,  prognosis  Over the next three y e a r s ,  until  i t must have seemed t h a t a magical t r a n s f o r m a t i o n was  t a k i n g p l a c e , capable of j u s t i f y i n g any amount of optimism. The romance of w i n d f a l l p r o f i t s and the adventure of i n d u s t r i a l expansion  had c r y s t a l l i z e d  i n the person of one  F r a n c i s Hector Clergue, an American promoter who to many Ontarians embodied the New O n t a r i o . impact  C o n s i d e r i n g the l a s t i n g  h i s i n i t i a t i v e s and t h e i r untimely demise would have  on r e l a t i o n s between government and i n d u s t r y , Clergue's s t o r y , as c o l o r f u l as i t i s , i s not w e l l known. Before c r o s s i n g the border t o S a u l t Ste. Marie i n search of o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r wealthy American i n v e s t o r s i n the e a r l y 1890's, Clergue's e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l c a r e e r was something l e s s than i l l u s t r i o u s . biographers has observed  Indeed, one of h i s  t h a t Clergue's ventures, both i n  the United S t a t e s and abroad  had c o l l a p s e d with, i n h i s  19 words, "monstrous r e g u l a r i t y " .  Still,  0  Clergue possessed a  n e a r l y i r r e s i s t i b l e c a p a c i t y to convince, and by 1894 he had bought a defunct  power p l a n t on S t . Mary's r a p i d s  i n v e s t o r s and managed to make i t o p e r a t i v e .  from S a u l t  I t was t h i s  hydro f a c i l i t y which would go on to f u e l many of Clergue's m i l l s and s m e l t i n g  operations.  N e l l e s has attempted t o  e x p l a i n the potent s p e l l Clergue was able to c a s t over businessmen and p o l i t i c i a n s : "At the time, he was o n l y f u l l y animated  Ontario's  * c a p t a i n of i n d u s t r y ' and he played the  part with the boldness and a u d a c i t y  of the Robber Baron t o  be sure, but a l s o with some of the endearing a b s u r d i t y of Leacock's I d l e  Rich."  6  Another c o n t i n u i n g  aspect  of i n d u s t r i a l Algoma has  been, as I've suggested, government involvement. corporate  Clergue's  network at i t s peak i n 1902 i n c l u d e d pulp and  paper, the N i c k e l S t e e l Company, the Lake Superior Power Company, the Canadian E l e c t r o - C h e m i c a l  Company, the Algoma  C e n t r a l Railway, the Algoma Commercial Company interests  (embracing  from t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and timber t o r e a l e s t a t e and  mining) and the Algoma S t e e l Company. the tune of 150 m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . of O n t a r i o ,  I t was c a p i t a l i z e d to  George Ross, then premier  c o u l d , and d i d , c l a i m p a r t n e r s h i p  in this  colossal  operation  because, as N e l l e s phrases i t , the  province  "had p r a c t i c a l l y given away the i r o n ore and  pulpwood that fed the huge i n t e g r a t e d m i l l s and had l a v i s h e d  20 cash s u b s i d i e s , m i n e r a l - r i c h land grants and bond  guarantees  upon the r a i l r o a d s being l a i d to tap the r e s o u r c e s c o l o n i z e the h i n t e r l a n d . "  and  - 7  Algoma as a n a t i o n a l symbol As e a r l y as the end  of 1902,  the Clergue e d i f i c e  was  showing s i g n s of s e r i o u s i n s t a b i l i t y , and common shares i n Lake Superior C o n s o l i d a t e d were t r a d i n g at l e s s than a quarter the p r i c e they had commanded a few months e a r l i e r . The  f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g , the complex was  f o r e c l o s u r e and, S a u l t was  threatened  i n September of 1903,  suspended throwing  3500 men  with  p r o d u c t i o n at the out of work.  Because  3  they had gone without pay f o r some time, r i o t s ensued, but in s p i t e of t h i s seemingly  hopeless s c e n a r i o , i t would be  two more years before Clergue's demise was  complete.  In the  meantime, he turned h i s a t t e n t i o n to l o b b y i n g f o r concessions from the L a u r i e r L i b e r a l s who 1904,  granted t a r i f f  imported  eventually, in  p r o t e c t i o n of seven d o l l a r s a ton on  s t e e l r a i l s to s h e l t e r the Lake Superior S t e e l  C o r p o r a t i o n from American c o m p e t i t i o n .  9  Clergue's  urgings  a l s o secured an agreement to back c o n s t r u c t i o n of the M i c h i p i c o t e n branch  line  ( p r o v i d i n g harbor  access to i r o n  ore from the Helen Mine) at the r a t e of 30,000 d o l l a r s a mile.  1 0  21 Clergue's Consolidated Lake Superior Corporation was little more than an unstable symbiosis brought together by the d e s i r e of P h i l a d e l p h i a i n v e s t o r s to exact a p r o f i t from t h e i r investment and of Ontario politicians to see their v i s i o n of 'New O n t a r i o ' f l o w e r . 1 1  Neither over-extension, could be permitted however.  mismanagement nor  insolvency  to dim the s h i n i n g promise of the  north,  Algoma had come to r e p r e s e n t n a t i o n a l and r e g i o n a l  a s p i r a t i o n s to an e x t r a o r d i n a r y degree. considered the hallmark  Iron and s t e e l were  i n d u s t r i e s of a modern n a t i o n ,  and  economic n a t i o n a l i s t s had  advocated Canadian  s u f f i c i e n c y i n mining and  p r o d u c t i o n of those metals almost  from the i n c e p t i o n of the N a t i o n a l P o l i c y . years,  For  eighteen  i t looked as i f high-grade d e p o s i t s from the Helen  Mine would f u l f i l l 1918,  1 3  self-  the f i r s t  of these requirements,  they were exhausted and the d i g was  Despite t h i s setback, without  but,  by  shut down.  the manufacture of s t e e l , with or  n a t i v e ore, was  by t h i s p o i n t a c r u c i a l component of  Canada's n a t i o n a l image. Due  to the boom i n r a i l w a y b u i l d i n g , demand f o r r a i l s  high, and  the Algoma S t e e l C o r p o r a t i o n , the showpiece of  Algoma i n d u s t r i e s , had enterprise. 1915,  was  Every year but one  Algoma m i l l s had  Canada and,  a l l the earmarks of a s u c c e s s f u l (1909) between 1905  and  r o l l e d the m a j o r i t y of r a i l s made i n  t h e r e f o r e , s i n c e most cargo  and  passengers moved  22 on Algoma s t e e l , was (Fig.  9).  literally  T h e i r performance  1 3  h o l d i n g the country together i n the War  Effort  had  c o n t r i b u t e d an aura of p a t r i o t i s m to the r e g i o n and i t s facilities  as  well.  1 4  Algoma T r i p s , Background During the p e r i o d between January, 1918,  1914  and  September,  when Algoma r e p l a c e d Algonquin as t h e i r favored  s k e t c h i n g ground, the f i v e p a i n t e r s who  would l a t e r  nucleus of the Group of Seven--MacDonald, H a r r i s , Lismer and V a r l e y — w e r e  members of another  form the  Jackson,  confraternity.  I t has been r e f e r r e d to v a r i o u s l y i n the l i t e r a t u r e as the Algonquin Park School, the Algonquin School or the Algonquin Group.  Their interest  i n that area appears  s t i m u l a t e d by the enthusiasm Tom  Thomson.  1912, his  of t h e i r f r i e n d and c o l l e a g u e  Though Thomson f i r s t v i s i t e d  there i s no concrete evidence about  stay.  to have been  The experience must have l e f t  the park  in  May,  the d u r a t i o n of an impression,  however, s i n c e he r e t u r n e d the f o l l o w i n g year to explore and sketch f o r n e a r l y f i v e months. R a i l t r a v e l by a r t i s t s e x p r e s s l y f o r the purpose  of  d e p i c t i n g w i l d e r n e s s had begun at l e a s t a g e n e r a t i o n earlier.  S i r W i l l i a m Van Horne, p r e s i d e n t of the  P a c i f i c Railway, was  among the f i r s t to r e c o g n i z e  Canadian how  23 e f f e c t i v e l y landscape a r t ( s o l d or unsold) c o u l d generate p u b l i c i t y f o r s p e c i f i c Canadian o f f e r e d p a i n t e r s f r e e passage  locales.  In 1886, he  through the Rockies as part of  a scheme to a t t r a c t t o u r i s t s t o "the Canadian A l p s " and the C. P. R.'s new l u x u r y h o t e l at Banff. A c l o s e r p a r a l l e l , however, t o the box-car t r i p s on the Algoma C e n t r a l was a commission Northern Railway i n 1 9 1 4 .  1B  awarded by the Canadian  A. Y. Jackson, J . W. B e a t t y  (another member of the Algonquin School) and C. W. J e f f r e y s , were sent to make sketches along a new s e c t i o n of the Northern's main l i n e .  With the precedent of the C. P. R. as  encouragement, these images when reproduced  i n company  brochures would, i t was hoped, arouse i n t e r e s t  i n , and  i n c r e a s e r i d e r s h i p on, the f i n a n c i a l l y t r o u b l e d  "road".  L i k e the f i r s t  Algoma journey, the r e s u l t i n g works were  brought together and d i s p l a y e d , i n t h i s case at the Canadian National Exhibition, produced.  But u n l i k e Algoma, no f u r t h e r p a i n t i n g s were  X6  undertaken  i n 1915 and a s m a l l catalogue was  s i n c e the c o r p o r a t i o n was r e s t r u c t u r e d  f o l l o w i n g year  i n the  (1916) and n a t i o n a l i z e d .  The Search f o r a Subject H a r r i s r e c e i v e d a medical d i s c h a r g e from the army i n May of 1 9 1 8 ,  X7  and almost  immediately s e t o f f on an extended  journey t o r e s t , r e c u p e r a t e and do some s k e t c h i n g with h i s  24 f r i e n d , Dr. M a c C a l l u m . around  xs  MacCallum and H a r r i s had met  1910, and s i n c e 1913, when he was i n t r o d u c e d t o  Thomson, MacCallum had taken a keen i n t e r e s t by Thomson and the p a i n t e r s around  him.  i n landscapes  On the f i r s t l e g ,  they t r a v e l l e d along the shore of Georgian Bay and over to M a n i t o u l i n I s l a n d , d e c i d i n g to move on because,  according to  Dennis Reid, " H a r r i s was d i s s a t i s f i e d with the l a n d s c a p e . "  X9  From here, they s a i l e d a c r o s s Lake Huron's North Channel t o C u t l e r and took the C. P. R. to S a u l t Ste. Marie where they boarded  the Algoma C e n t r a l and headed n o r t h .  They continued  to M i l e 129 where they put up f o r a few days at a l o g g i n g camp before going on t o M i c h i p i c o t e n Harbour, destination.  their  final  2 0  Why MacCallum and H a r r i s chose t o v i s i t M i c h i p i c o t e n j u s t then i s an i n t r i g u i n g q u e s t i o n .  About halfway up  S u p e r i o r ' s e a s t e r n shore at the end of Clergue's expensive spur l i n e , the port handled  i r o n ore from the Helen Mine  ( F i g . 10). A f t e r a v e i n of n a t i v e ore was uncovered  there  i n 1897, the spot had been s u b j e c t e d t o i n t e n s e s c r u t i n y . Two years l a t e r , g e o l o g i s t s ' r e p o r t s confirmed the presence of the m i n e r a l and i t s e x c e p t i o n a l p u r i t y . facilities  Clergue had  i n p l a c e t o s t a r t e x t r a c t i o n by the f o l l o w i n g  year, and i n i t i a l  r e t u r n s were very encouraging.  More than  twenty times as much ore was recovered i n 1902 than had been unearthed  i n the e n t i r e p r o v i n c e three years b e f o r e , and  25 respectable,  i f less spectacular  amounts were generated  the mid-teens when i t became evident begun to peter  and  that the motherlode  had  out.  Formerly a s t o r e of p r i d e and Ontarians,  into  encouragement f o r  Canadians i n g e n e r a l ,  been shut down i n A p r i l ,  1918.  the mine had  finally  What the renowned  e c c e n t r i c Toronto ophthalmologist  and  and  his affluent a r t i s t  companion encountered o n l y a month l a t e r must have been the f o r l o r n s p e c t a c l e of i d l e equipment and Was  i t simply  empty dockyards.  c u r i o s i t y t h a t brought them there  of a c l o s u r e which dashed hopes f o r Canadian s u f f i c i e n c y in iron?  Perhaps H a r r i s and  on the  heels  self-  MacCallum f e l t  that  government support could be e n l i s t e d to b o l s t e r Algoma's p u b l i c p r o f i l e and demand and  o f f s e t dwindling  a c t u a l or threatened  reserves,  bankruptcies.  example of Algonquin Park f o r encouragement. became s c a r c e , their was  They had  at stake i n Algoma, and  great deal r i d i n g on  the  As good timber  the p r o v i n c i a l T o r i e s scrambled to  investment by promoting wilderness  tourism.  protect 2 X  More  both l e v e l s of government had  i t s f u t u r e , wouldn't they,  be even more i n t e r e s t e d i n s u p p o r t i n g advertised  slumps i n  an Algoma that was  a  therefore,  v i s u a l a r t which  ample, abundant and  inviolate?  26 F i r s t Excursion Back i n Toronto, H a r r i s had p r e p a r a t i o n s i n p l a c e f o r the f i r s t of the two famous boxcar August.  He had procured a wooden-sheathed caboose ( F i g . 11)  from the beleaguered equipped of  t r i p s by the end of  r a i l r o a d and had i t renovated and  with e v e r y t h i n g necessary f o r three weeks or more  s i g h t s e e i n g and s k e t c h i n g .  There would be two a d d i t i o n a l  companions t h i s time.  MacDonald and Johnston were j o i n i n g  MacCallum and H a r r i s .  E v i d e n t l y , the whole system had been  a l e r t e d t o t h e i r forthcoming v i s i t  and they would be able t o  make use of i t , more or l e s s , a t w i l l .  " H a r r i s a l s o made  arrangements [Dennis Reid r e l a t e s ] . . . f o r them t o enjoy the p r i v i l e g e of being shunted  from s i d i n g to s i d i n g by any  p a s s i n g f r e i g h t t r a i n on the Algoma C e n t r a l R a i l w a y . "  22  The A. C. R. and i t s s i s t e r o u t f i t , the A. E. R. (Algoma E a s t e r n Railway)  had been i n s o l v e n t s i n c e 1916 and  now, two years l a t e r , were two m i l l i o n d o l l a r s Surely, t h i s fact  i s not i r r e l e v a n t  in debt.  2 3  i n e x p l a i n i n g why  company e x e c u t i v e s agreed with apparent  a l a c r i t y to such an  unorthodox p r o p o s i t i o n any more than H a r r i s ' wealth and s o c i a l s t a n d i n g should be l e f t  out of the equation.  But,  n e i t h e r Reid nor M e l l e n , the most w i d e l y read w r i t e r s on the Group of Seven, r a i s e e i t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e .  24  Indeed,  27 Mellen, m i s t a k i n g H a r r i s ' excitement  about the p r o j e c t f o r  r e l i e f t h a t he ( H a r r i s ) hadn't been r e f u s e d , ingenuously  recounts  "Somehow he had managed to persuade the r a i l r o a d  to lend them a c a r . . . . "  2 3  On September 10 or 11, Dr. MacCallum and the three Toronto  a r t i s t s took the Canadian P a c i f i c t o S a u l t S t e .  Marie where they s e t t l e d was  s t u d i o before i t  moved on t o Canyon, near the Agawa R i v e r , 113 miles  north two  i n t o t h e i r mobile  ( F i g . 12). From t h e r e , they would be t r a n s f e r r e d to  other s i d i n g s : Hubert, not f a r from the f a l l s at  Montreal  River and, f i n a l l y ,  Batchewana, before r e t u r n i n g to  the S a u l t and home. Three elements of t h i s adventure and noteworthy. in i t s e l f ,  F i r s t , MacCallum's presence  but the unconventional  i t s ambitious  i s interesting  nature of the m i s s i o n and  s c a l e are a l s o r e m a r k a b l e .  which comes immediately related?  s t r i k e me as p e c u l i a r  26  The q u e s t i o n  t o my mind i s : are these  Even though he maintains  factors  that the d e t e r m i n a t i o n to  r e v i s i t Algoma was a r r i v e d at j o i n t l y by H a r r i s and MacCallum, Dennis Reid goes on to imply that H a r r i s , conceived and arranged  the boxcar t r i p .  2 7  MacCallum's input have ended at t h i s stage?  alone,  Why should How can Reid be  c e r t a i n t h a t he took no p a r t i n the p r e p a r a t i o n s ?  Or,  is  Reid c o n v e n i e n t l y s h i f t i n g MacCallum out of the l i m e l i g h t  28 whenever he appears to be e x e r c i s i n g too much c o n t r o l and i t becomes necessary to r e a s s e r t the "independence" of the artist?  Mellen's v e r s i o n of the same events arouses f u r t h e r  skepticism.  Perhaps both of these r e c o n s t r u c t i o n s are  examples of a r t h i s t o r i c a l being  " s l e i g h t of hand", the object  t o gain ground f o r H a r r i s at the expense of MacCallum. Aside from some c h r o n o l o g i c a l c o n f u s i o n ,  2 8  Mellen's  c h r o n i c l e i s s i m i l a r t o Reid's, but c o n t r i v e s a g r e a t e r sense of immediacy by quoting  from one of H a r r i s  1  letters.  After h i s discharge from the army, H a r r i s had gone t o Georgian Bay and M a n i t o u l i n I s l a n d with Dr. MacCallum i n the s p r i n g of 1918. From t h e r e , they took the t r a i n up to S a u l t S t e . Marie and then the Algoma Centralwhere they were v i v i d l y impressed with the scenery. Eager to r e t u r n , Harris planned another t r i p and asked MacDonald to j o i n him. A short time l a t e r he had more e x c i t i n g news f o r MacDonald: "Well, James, Me boy, down on your knees and give great gobs of thanks t o A l l a h ! Sing his praises, yell terrific halleluyalis [sic]. That they may even reach i n t o His e a r s — w e have a c a r awaiting us on the Algoma C e n t r a l ! 1 ! " * 2S  Again, the t r a n s i t i o n from "they" to "he" i s n o t i c e a b l y abrupt and serves temporarily  t o f o s t e r the i l l u s i o n t h a t MacCallum i s  out of the p i c t u r e .  facetious exhortation  Positioning Harris*  d i r e c t l y a f t e r a reference to  MacDonald a l s o has a p r e d i c t a b l e e f f e c t .  The reader  29  assumes, q u i t e n a t u r a l l y , passage taken is  from  a letter  i n the  future,  H a r r i s w r o t e t o James M a c C a l l u m .  I t h i n k , i s t h a t M a c C a l l u m had  scheme, as  action  "James" a d d r e s s e d  i s James Edward H e r v e y M a c D o n a l d , y e t t h e words  clear,  this  t h a t the  and  he  had  i n the  p a s t and  t h a t p l a n n i n g was  taken  without  rarely,  are What  3 0  a part in designing  would have  i n the  i f e v e r , done  M a c C a l l u m ' s knowledge and  or  probably  his  approval. Before  proceeding,  relationship  with  interactions  with the  respectful as s o c i a l  of t h e equals.  of t h e  i t should  H a r r i s was other  had  a l l been d e s i g n e r s and  always c a l l e d An  MacCallum  enigmatic  literature  on  have e s c a p e d  figure,  are,  t o my  historical  a formal  always  serious scrutiny.  of t h e  one.  Murray  to has  i n the  and  actions  about h i s l i f e  pursued  who  3 X  intentions  Details  he  from  Thomson  Jim."  a r e s c a n t , and  initiatives  together  aspiring  i n the background  t h e Group, M a c C a l l u m ' s  his  was  i n order  before  ' d o c t o r ' , never  his d e a l i n g s with a r t i s t s discussions  uss  Thomson, as J o a n  was  from  were h u m b l e r , and  illustrators  "the r e l a t i o n s h i p  plane  t h e y came  deference  Even w i t h  MacCallum's  Though H a r r i s  p a i n t e r s whose o r i g i n s  status.  that  a different  artists.  Conversely,  rest  observed,  noted  o l d e r man's e r u d i t i o n ,  the  professional  on  be  and  thoughtful on  their  knowledge, n o n e x i s t e n t .  Critical  and  w r i t i n g s have d o w n p l a y e d  MacCallum's  behalf  art  30 p a r t i c i p a t i o n because  that was  e x a c t l y what i t was.  Having  eschewed the usual arm's l e n g t h p o s i t i o n that patrons t r a d i t i o n a l l y occupy,  the good doctor has placed p u b l i c i s t s  and commentators i n an awkward p o s i t i o n .  Anything more than  a c u r s o r y glance i n h i s d i r e c t i o n runs the r i s k of u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y r e v e a l i n g a "home t r u t h " : t h a t the p a t r o n a r t i s t r e l a t i o n s h i p g e n e r a l l y has more to do with power, c l a s s and money than with a l t r u i s m and c r e a t i v e freedom. What stands to be compromised, of course, by means of such exposure  i s the c h e r i s h e d f i c t i o n of a r t i s t i c  autonomy.  For students of a r t h i s t o r y , a catalogue compiled  by  Dennis Reid twenty years ago continues as the major source of b i o g r a p h i c a l m a t e r i a l on MacCallum.  He,  too, remarks  that MacCallum has, i f anything, been conspicuous by h i s absence  i n contemporary  accounts, and advances an  explanation. His [MacCallum's] shadowy appearances i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the p e r i o d are seldom more than n o t i c e s . This i s probably because the s t o r y of the Group of Seven being an a r t i s t s ' s t o r y , the presence of a layman, no matter how important, must somehow seem e x t r a n e o u s . 32  T h i s passage mythic e n t i t y .  serves the cause of a r t , the o v e r r i d i n g  E n f o r c i n g the boundaries of a r t , i t  r e i t e r a t e s that a r t ' s terms of r e f e r e n c e are e x t r a o r d i n a r y  31 and belong e x c l u s i v e l y to a separate and s u p e r i o r sphere which can, and must, be p r o t e c t e d from contamination l e s s e l e v a t e d arenas  l i k e the marketplace.  from  T h i s i s why  the  n a r r a t i v e of the Group of Seven, the most c e l e b r a t e d i n Canadian art  a r t , has to be r e l a t e d by an o f f i c i a l  h i s t o r i a n , who  Seven remains  n a r r a t o r , an  can ensure t h a t the s t o r y of the Group of  "an a r t i s t s s t o r y " and 1  only  an a r t i s t s '  story.  Second E x c u r s i o n On or around railcar  was  September 15 of the next year, 1919,  once more made a v a i l a b l e to the t r a v e l l e r s  the experience was year b e f o r e .  a and  repeated, f o l l o w i n g the same route as the  Jackson took MacCallum's p l a c e , however, so  that a l l four p a r t i c i p a n t s were p r a c t i s i n g MacCallum's absence i n t h i s  artists.  i n s t a n c e i s as mysterious as  was  his  presence the year b e f o r e , e s p e c i a l l y c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t  was  asked  to come up to Batchewanna f o r the f i n a l t h i r d  their stay.  Apparently, he d e c l i n e d .  3 3  Algoma had been accepted by the a r t i s t s , were under way  f o r the f i r s t  he  of  Perhaps, s i n c e and p r e p a r a t i o n s  Group of Seven show, MacCallum  opted f o r d i s c r e t i o n and e l e c t e d to s t a y behind the scenes.  32 Algoma Sketches and  Pictures  As MacCallum was  the Group a r t i s t s ' major p r i v a t e  backer, so S i r Edmund Walker was of  art institutions.  Walker was scene  t h e i r champion i n the realm  I t can be s a i d , u n e q u i v o c a l l y , that  the most powerful f i g u r e on the Canadian  i n 1919  and had been f o r a number of y e a r s .  P r e s i d e n t of the Bank of Commerce, chairman  3-a  of the board of  governors at the U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto, founder and of  the A r t G a l l e r y of Toronto, t r u s t e e and  first  (1913) of the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, he was believer  p a i n t e r s i n the summer of 1914 Harris printed Building.  3 B  trustee  chairman a firm  i n the "improving" c a p a c i t y of the a r t s .  began t a k i n g a s e r i o u s i n t e r e s t  cultural  Walker  i n works by f u t u r e Group when a l e t t e r  i n the Globe prompted a v i s i t  from Lawren to the Studio  Here, he s e l e c t e d p i c t u r e s by H a r r i s ,  Jackson,  Lismer and MacDonald f o r the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y . Walker was  the motive  f o r c e behind the establishment of  the A r t Museum of Toronto, c o n v i n c i n g ten of h i s a s s o c i a t e s to  put up 5,000 d o l l a r s each.  In so doing they became  o f f i c i a l B e n e f a c t o r s , and the g a l l e r y was grant of p u b l i c money matching contributions.  e l i g i b l e for a  the t o t a l of t h e i r  C r a f t e d by Zebulon Lash, Canada's  c o r p o r a t e lawyer, the b i l l  shrewdest  which gave the museum i t s l e g a l  33 standing  a l s o entrusted  i t s administration  up e n t i r e l y of Benefactors.  to a C o u n c i l made  "Thus," as Barbara  Marshall  sums up, "the f u t u r e course of a r t i n Toronto l a y i n the hands of wealthy b u s i n e s s m e n . " wealthiest  and most i n f l u e n t i a l  And they were  3S  i n Toronto's  some of the  "inner  sanctum"; George Cox, W i l l i a m Mackenzie, Joseph F l a v e l l e and Chester Massey were among the f i r s t  to s u b s c r i b e .  3 7  Walker probably met H a r r i s l a t e i n 1910 when the eminent banker, r e c e n t l y knighted, A r t s and L e t t e r s C l u b . paths crossed  3 3  was i n v i t e d to j o i n the  I t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e that  their  sooner s i n c e , as I've suggested, Toronto's  upper c r u s t was small and t i g h t l y k n i t .  3 9  A f t e r 1910  however, Walker became more c l o s e l y i n v o l v e d both with the H a r r i s f a m i l y and i t s business i n t e r e s t s .  The f o l l o w i n g  year, 1911, he and L l o y d H a r r i s , Lawren's c o u s i n and Member of Parliament f o r B r a n t f o r d , All  of the "Eighteen"  en masse  j o i n e d the "Toronto  were prominent L i b e r a l s who  t o Borden's T o r i e s  i n order  L a u r i e r government which favored United  Eighteen". defected  to b r i n g down the r e c i p r o c i t y with the  States.  T a r i f f s had brought American c a p i t a l , technology and e x p e r t i s e to the north,  but they a l s o helped p r o t e c t the  source of the H a r r i s e s ' p r o s p e r i t y , the farm implement g i a n t , Massey-Harris, from American c o m p e t i t i o n .  Walker  supported the measure f o r a s e v e r a l reasons, not the l e a s t  34 of which was  h i s s i z e a b l e investment  in  Massey-Harris.  T h i s , combined with h i s d e f e c t i o n , were v i s i b l e proof of h i s l o y a l t y to the cause of Canadian manufacturing translated year  and  i n t o a v o i c e i n the company's o p e r a t i o n s .  A  4 0  later,  i n 1912,  Walker took h i s seat on the board  at  Massey-Harris,  an o f f i c e he r e t a i n e d u n t i l h i s death i n  March of 1 9 2 4 .  4X  MacCallum's acquaintance  with Walker may  a l s o have  begun at the A r t s and L e t t e r s Club, but, c o n s i d e r i n g Walker's l o n g s t a n d i n g a f f i l i a t i o n with the U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto,  there i s a good chance they had  other there some time e a r l i e r .  Walker c u l t i v a t e d  4 2  academics, perhaps because of h i s own education, and MacCallum was  encountered each  a popular  lack of and  formal  colorful  p r o f e s s o r . In a d d i t i o n , l i k e most n a t i v e Ontarians c l a s s and  g e n e r a t i o n , they were I m p e r i a l i s t i n sympathies  (nominally, at any r a t e ) and Yet, the s u b j e c t of a r t was together  conservative in  outlook.  4 3  what u s u a l l y brought them  and dominated communications between them.  e a r l y as 1913, sketches  of t h e i r  As  MacCallum had sent t h r e e of Thomson's o i l  to Walker on a p p r o v a l .  4 4  From t h i s p o i n t  on,  MacCallum took every o p p o r t u n i t y to advance the r e p u t a t i o n s of Thomson and p e r s i s t e n c e was  his friends. beginning  By 1915,  the  to pay o f f , and  doctor's Jackson  was  able  to comment i n a l e t t e r to MacCallum t h a t " i t looks as though  35 your l i t t l e c o n v e r s a t i o n s been i n v a i n . " * t h a t , has  9  with S i r Walker J r . ( s i c ) have not  Walker's c o n v e r s i o n ,  L e t t e r s Club and  correspondence) of MacCallum and,  was  A c t i n g on behalf  responsible  f o r increased  of the Ontario  extent,  G a l l e r y , Walker  Lismer from annual showings d i s p l a y s at  Canadian N a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n over the next four  1915-1919, when the press  l e t up d u r i n g  the  the  years.*  later  period,  In t h i s venue, MacDonald,  Barker F a i r l e y kept the names of  these p a i n t e r s h i g h l y v i s i b l e and  tried  to convince p r i v a t e  c o l l e c t o r s that they o f f e r e d a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e to Dutch s c h o o l .  Well-known as a connoisseur of Dutch  Barbizon landscapes, these polemics l e f t Walker's taste r e l a t i v e l y unaffected,  but  G a l l e r y ' s p u b l i c l y funded  i n the  p a r t i c u l a r l y at the two i n 1913  and  personal him  National  collection.  Whereas government patronage continued Group's mainstay, smaller  the  e v i d e n t l y persuaded  t h a t they could be a p p r o p r i a t e l y i n c l u d e d  Canadian A r t i s t s  G  became an even more v i t a l  component of t h e i r campaign. Jackson, MacCallum and  lobbying  a c q u i s i t i o n s of works by  S o c i e t y of A r t i s t s and  d i d the pressure  called  through  to a l e s s e r  of the N a t i o n a l  Thomson, H a r r i s , MacDonald and  Nor  be  to be a t t r i b u t e d i n l a r g e measure to the  ( i n person at the A r t s and  Harris.  i f i t can  s a l e s had  to be the  future  been made to i n d i v i d u a l s  E x h i b i t i o n ( s ) of L i t t l e P i c t u r e s and  1914  by  at the Toronto Reference  36  Library.  Nonetheless, although they had  - 1 7  a t t r a c t a t i n y , but  loyal,  i n t e l l e c t u a l s , they had  managed to  f o l l o w i n g of middle c l a s s  yet to e n t i c e a s i n g l e m i l l i o n a i r e ,  w i l l i n g enough to pay thousands f o r a Weissenbruch or a Loon, to take a chance on one canvases.  The  1919.  of t h e i r modestly p r i c e d  Algoma E x h i b i t i o n may  p a r t , as an o p p o r t u n i t y  have been conceived,  in  to a l t e r t h i s s t a t e of a f f a i r s i n  Although the r a t i o n a l e u n d e r l y i n g  48  Van  Walker's  o r g a n i z a t i o n of the show i s , i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , impossible to r e c o n s t r u c t , I can't consideration.  help f e e l i n g t h a t the s u b j e c t  Reid condenses the s t o r y i n t o a s i n g l e  s e n t e n c e — a simple,  "statement of f a c t " — i n which events  unfold sequentially, l o g i c a l l y , car t r i p  merits  [he w r i t e s ] was  a r t i s t s , i n v o l v e d , and Edmund Walker, who  inexorably.  "The  first  f e l t to be a great success  i t gained  them the support  by  boxthe  of S i r  arranged f o r an e x h i b i t i o n of the Algoma  works to be held at the Art G a l l e r y of Toronto. ""*  9  Imperial United  a l l e g i a n c e waned a f t e r the War,  S t a t e s had  t i d e , and,  intervened  i n 1918  and  since  helped  to t u r n  d u r i n g the c o n f l i c t , American c a p i t a l had  i n t o Canada.  S u b s i d i a r i e s of mammoth American  the the  flooded  corporations,  once e s t a b l i s h e d north of the border, could s h i p goods anywhere i n the Empire as Canadian-made, thus p r e f e r e n t i a l treatment. the t a r i f f  T h i s was  w a l l which Walker had  due  securing  i n no small measure to  v o c i f e r o u s l y defended.  37 With New York f a s t r e p l a c i n g London as the country's main s u p p l i e r of c r e d i t , a r e o r i e n t a t i o n was i n progress t h a t n e i t h e r Walker nor h i s a s s o c i a t e s could a f f o r d to i g n o r e . One m o t i v a t i o n f o r mounting the show c o u l d have been the sense  of o b l i g a t i o n Walker must have f e l t concerning the  f e d e r a l government's n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the Canadian Northern Railway. twenty-eight  By 1916, the Bank had advanced more than  m i l l i o n d o l l a r s t o the l i n e ' s owners W i l l i a m  Mackenzie and Donald  Mann, and, unable  to recover i t s  c a p i t a l on the London bond market, would have faced c o l l a p s e without  the i n t e r v e n t i o n of P a r l i a m e n t .  f e d e r a l indebtedness  Given the extent of  i n Algoma, t h i s may have some b e a r i n g  on why Walker, one of very few who had c o n s i s t e n t l y denied Clergue's p e t i t i o n s a decade and a h a l f e a r l i e r , have agreed  s o  should  at t h i s l a t e r date to launch an e x h i b i t  c e l e b r a t i n g the r e g i o n . Something should a l s o be s a i d about the A r t Museum of Toronto  before c o n t i n u i n g on to a p p r a i s e the s t r u c t u r e and  content of the e x h i b i t i o n .  A f i r m d i s t i n c t i o n must be drawn  between i n t r o d u c i n g works i n a c i v i c Reference  forum l i k e the Toronto  L i b r a r y and p r e s e n t i n g them i n the A r t Museum of  Toronto, n o m i n a l l y a p u b l i c g a l l e r y but, i n a c t u a l i t y , a s o r t of p r i v a t e fiefdom.  As s t a t e d p r e v i o u s l y , apart from ,  c o n s t r u c t i o n c o s t s , the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the Museum was completely i n the hands of Walker and h i s c r o n i e s .  This  38 meant that a c c e s s i o n s were dependent on a consensus being achieved among r i c h and c a u t i o u s a c q u i s i t o r s who had so f a r r e s i s t e d a l l the blandishments  of the wilderness  landscape  crew and t h e i r propagandists.  In her t h e s i s on the  g a l l e r y ' s e v o l u t i o n , Susan Lowery evokes the s t o l i d r e s o l u t i o n t h a t shaped i t s p o l i c i e s : " . . . i t that the A r t G a l l e r y of Toronto developed  was by d e s i g n  i t s philosophy of  a l l o w i n g time t o t e s t the v a l i d i t y and the q u a l i t y of new art  movements."  51  39 N. and H. Mika, Places i n O n t a r i o , t h e i r name o r i g i n s and h i s t o r y ( B e l l e v i l l e , Ont.: Mika P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1977-1983) 1: 39, 41. 1  By 1916, Algoma r a i l l i n e s had f a i l e d to l i v e up to t h e i r exaggerated p o t e n t i a l and, i n s p i t e of attempts at r e o r g a n i z a t i o n , the Algoma C e n t r a l and the Algoma E a s t e r n were forced i n t o bankruptcy. These were o n l y the most recent examples i n a long l i n e of commercial d i s a s t e r s i n the t e r r i t o r y , the r e s u l t s of o v e r c a p i t a l i z a t i o n and mismanagement, which had t h e i r genesis i n the l a s t century. 2  H. V. N e l l e s , The P o l i t i c s of Development: F o r e s t s , Mines and H y d r o e l e c t r i c Power i n O n t a r i o , 1849-1941 (Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada, L t d . , 1974) 45. 3  Ontario Department of Crown Lands, Annual Report,1899 quoted i n Ian Radforth, Bushworkers and Bosses: Logging i n Northern O n t a r i o , 1900-1980 (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1987) 14. The phrase "raw m a t e r i a l s of c i v i l i z a t i o n " i s an accurate summation of the p r e v a l e n t a t t i t u d e to nature during t h i s period. 4  Donald Eldon, "The E n t r e p r e n e u r i a l Career of F r a n c i s H. Clergue", E x p l o r a t i o n s i n E n t r e p r e n e u r i a l H i s t o r y ( A p r i l , 1951) 254-268, quoted i n Duncan McDowall S t e e l at the S a u l t : F r a n c i s H. Clergue, S i r James Dunn and the Algoma S t e e l C o r p o r a t i o n , 1901-1956 (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1984) 30. s  6  Nelles,  57.  7  Nelles,  133.  a  Ibid.,  9  McDowall,  134. 37.  1 0  Ibid.,  43.  1 1  Ibid.,  44.  40 W i l l i a m Hamilton M e r r i t t who s a t on the Royal Commission on the M i n e r a l Resources of O n t a r i o , s t r u c k i n 1885, who was d i s s a t i s f i e d with i t s recommendations, remarked: "We cannot p o i n t to any n a t i o n i n the world t h a t amounts to anything which does not manufacture i t s own i r o n and s t e e l " ( N e l l e s , 127). The c o u n t r y ' s f i r s t prime m i n i s t e r , John A. MacDonald introduced the N a t i o n a l P o l i c y i n 1879. Its singular f e a t u r e at t h i s stage was the d o u b l i n g of p r o t e c t i v e t a r i f f s , a measure intended to guarantee s a f e domestic markets f o r Canadian-made goods. 1 2  1 3  McDowall,  50.  " Throughout World War One, Algoma S t e e l had c o n s i s t e n t l y outperformed more than four hundred other munitions producers, and Joseph F l a v e l l e had enthused about i t s " p a t r i o t i c " c o n t r i b u t i o n to Prime M i n i s t e r Borden. ( S t a t i s t i c s on Algoma S t e e l ' s wartime c a p a c i t y are taken from Lake Superior C o r p o r a t i o n , Annual Reports, 1916-1919 and c i t e d i n McDowall, 61. F l a v e l l e ' s comment i s from a l e t t e r to Borden, 5 Jan., 1917 which i s quoted on the same page.) x  D e t a i l s on t h i s episode are few. Jackson's economical r e t e l l i n g i s found on pp. 35-37 of h i s A P a i n t e r ' s Country. Other sources are K i n g s t o n , O n t a r i o , Queen's U n i v e r s i t y , Agnes E t h e r i n g t o n A r t Centre, J . W. Beatty, 1869-1941, 1981 ( t e x t by Dorothy M.'Farr) 28-29 and Banff, A l b e r t a , Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, A Wilderness f o r A l l : Landscapes of Canada's Mountain Parks, 1885-1960 ( t e x t by E l i z a b e t h Brown) 10. x s  A r e p r o d u c t i o n of the c a t a l o g u e i s contained i n Ottawa, N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada L i b r a r y , Canadian A r t Microdocuments, A. Y. Jackson. 1882-1974, 1980. x s  Ottawa, The N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, The Group of Seven, June 19-Sept. 8, 1970. Text by Dennis Reid, 127. 1 7  Dr. James MacCallum was an alumnus of the U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto who went on to study ophthalmology i n London, England. He taught at the U n i v e r s i t y ' s School of Medicine u n t i l 1929 and maintained a t h r i v i n g p r i v a t e p r a c t i s e . 1 8  41 I b i d . Reid quotes only secondary sources as c o r r o b o r a t i v e m a t e r i a l t h a t H a r r i s , alone, was unimpressed with the I s l a n d and doesn't e n t e r t a i n the n o t i o n that MacCallum may have engineered the f o r a y t o search f o r a new base of operations f o r h i s a s s o c i a t e s . I f my s c e n a r i o i s accepted f o r the moment, i t i s reasonable t o suppose t h a t both H a r r i s and MacCallum would have r e j e c t e d M a n i t o u l i n as an a l t e r n a t i v e t o Algonquin Park f o r s e v e r a l reasons. In a passage from h i s c o l l e c t i o n , Forever on the F r i n g e : S i x Studies i n the Development of M a n i t o u l i n I s l a n d (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1982, 140) W. R. Wightman encapsulates them admirably: X 9  ...like other agriculturally viable areas of the Upper Lakes, the M a n i t o u l i n s l i p p e d i n t o a q u i e t backwater of p u b l i c interest [ a f t e r 1900]....Found wanting i n the resources i n vogue, i t was....a picturesque place where one might v a c a t i o n under some vague i l l u s i o n of the natural. Yet l i k e the r e s i d e n t population, such visitors may have recognized the M a n i t o u l i n f o r what i t had become: an established rural cUT 6 cl • • • •  My v e r s i o n f o l l o w s Reid's r e c o n s t r u c t i o n s i n The MacCallum Bequest and The Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Jackman G i f t , Jan. 25-Feb. 23, 1969 (Ottawa: The N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada. Text by Dennis Reid) 25 and Group of Seven, 127. 2 0  Jackson d e s c r i b e d Algonquin as "a ragged country; a lumber company had s l a s h e d i t up and f i r e had run through it. Then the lumber company had gone bankrupt... and now [1914] a l l that was l e f t of the m i l l was the o l d boarding house that the F r a s e r s ran."(A. Y. Jackson, A P a i n t e r ' s Country, The Autobiography of A. Y. Jackson (Toronto: C l a r k e , Irwin and Co. L t d . , 1958) 35) T h i s was the t y p i c a l s i t u a t i o n of southern wooded lands s i n c e a l l of the good stands of pine and other softwoods had been used up by the t u r n of the century, but the lands had been rendered a c c e s s i b l e to hunters, fishermen and other v a c a t i o n e r s . 2 1  42 Promulgating a w i l d e r n e s s ethos f o r Algonquin Park had r e s u l t e d i n the s a l e of Thomson's Northern Lake to the Ontario government i n 1913 encouraging him and the others to concentrate on such scenes. Subsequently d i s p l a y e d at the O n t a r i o S o c i e t y of A r t i s t s (0. S. A.) E x h i b i t i o n s and reviewed i n the p r e s s , they provided v a l u a b l e p u b l i c i t y f o r a p a r t of the province which, though served by road and r a i l , was g e n e r a t i n g l i t t l e revenue. The p o s s i b i l i t y , even l i k e l i h o o d , t h a t these p a i n t i n g s had a promotional aspect has, i n s p i t e of the f a c t t h a t most were produced by two p a i n t e r s (Thomson and Jackson) who had r e c e n t l y turned p r o f e s s i o n a l and three others who continued to take on commercial work to support themselves i s never e n t e r t a i n e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e . Reid does suggest, however, that Thomson's e a r l i e r journey by canoe with W i l l i a m Broadhead through the M i s s i s a u g a F o r e s t Reserve c o u l d have been embarked on as a photographic assignment f o r a magazine (Group of Seven, 52). 2 2  Group of Seven,  2 3  McDowall,  128.  65.  Peter M e l l e n , The Group of Seven (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, L t d . , 1970), a l a r g e , l a v i s h l y produced volume with many f u l l page c o l o r p l a t e s , was r e l e a s e d i n the same year as Dennis Reid's e x t e n s i v e and s c h o l a r l y e x h i b i t i o n catalogue to mark the f i f t i e t h a n n i v e r s a r y of the Group's f i r s t show. R e l a t i v e l y u n c r i t i c a l i n p e r s p e c t i v e , both remain u s e f u l a d d i t i o n s to the f i e l d , but Reid's e x p o s i t i o n i s more d e t a i l e d and g e n e r a l l y speaking, more a c c u r a t e . 2 4  Mellen, 80. Harris' anticipation l e t t e r quoted on the same page. 2 S  i s expressed  in a  The term " s c a l e " r e f e r s to the p r o d i g i o u s amount of work c a r r i e d out. 2 6  "Lawren H a r r i s was c l e a r l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i n i t i a t i n g and o r g a n i z i n g the f i r s t box-car t r i p to Algoma i n September 1918." Group of Seven, 128. 2 7  43 2 8  He confuses the 1918  2 9  M e l l e n , 80. See M e l l e n , 219,  and  1919  trips.  footnote 53.  Joan Murray, The Best of Tom P u b l i s h e r s L t d . , 1986) v i . 3 1  3 2  MacCallum/Jackman,  3 3  Group of Seven,  Thomson (Edmonton: H u r t i g  25.  138.  Given h i s wide-ranging i n t e r e s t s and the extent of h i s i n f l u e n c e , i t i s s u r p r i s i n g and somewhat d i s t u r b i n g that the only f u l l - l e n g t h p u b l i s h e d biography of Walker was w r i t t e n i n 1933. T h i s i s what makes Barbara M a r s h a l l ' s t h e s i s on Walker so v a l u a b l e . For a broader p e r s p e c t i v e on Walker's e n e r g e t i c involvement with the country's f l e d g l i n g museums and a r t g a l l e r i e s , see her f i n a l chapter, 'Lord of A r t at the P u b l i c Expense' i n " S i r Edmund Walker, Servant of Canada" (Master's T h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1971) 74-103. 3 A  H a r r i s ' l e t t e r c i r c u l a t e d i n the June 4, 1914 i s s u e of the Globe. Funded mainly by H a r r i s with some a s s i s t a n c e from MacCallum, the Studio B u i l d i n g was intended to supply l i v i n g and working space to a r t i s t s . I t opened i t s doors i n January of 1914. Thomson and Jackson were among i t s f i r s t tenants. 3 S  3 6  M a r s h a l l , 93.  3 7  M a r s h a l l , 137,  3 8  Ibid.,  97.  footnote 89.  44 Both f a m i l i e s maintained summer r e s i d e n c e s at Lake Simcoe, f o r i n s t a n c e . Walker's at De G r a s s i P o i n t was much more imposing however, t a k i n g i n some 600 a c r e s . M a r s h a l l , 20. 3 9  Walker's h o l d i n g s i n shares and bonds were valued at j u s t under one m i l l i o n d o l l a r s i n 1909, and the l a r g e s t s i n g l e amount, $195,000, was i n v e s t e d i n Massey H a r r i s . I b i d , 30. T h i s boardroom presence was to prove an a s s e t to A l f r e d Walker, one of four sons, who l a t e r obtained an e x e c u t i v e p o s i t i o n with the f i r m . I b i d . , 20. 4 0  I have accepted M e r r i l l Dennison's date of 1912 f o r the s t a r t of Walker's d i r e c t o r s h i p , but the year he says Walker stepped down (1925) i s harder to swallow. Harvest Triumphant, The S t o r y of Massey-Harris (Toronto: C o l l i n s , White C i r c l e Pocket E d i t i o n , 1949) 308. 4 1  Walker occupied v a r i o u s p o s i t i o n s i n the governing bodies of the u n i v e r s i t y from 1892 on. He was chairman of the board of governors from 1910 to 1923. I b i d . , 79. 4 2  MacCallum was, as were most p r o f e s s o r s , circumspect about h i s p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n s , and I've been unable to d i s c o v e r whether or not he a c t u a l l y belonged to the C o n s e r v a t i v e party. 4 3  L e t t e r from S i r Edmund Walker to Dr. James MacCallum, . Toronto, 8 December, 1913. S i r Edmund Walker C o l l e c t i o n , Thomas F i s h e r Rare Book L i b r a r y , U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto, Box 22. 4 4  L e t t e r from A. Y. Jackson, E m i l e v i l l e , to Dr. James MacCallum, Toronto, 23 A p r i l , 1915. N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, quoted i n Group of Seven, 87. 4 B  Group of Seven, 88-89. Of the three "core members" of the Group o n l y MacDonald was e x h i b i t i n g i n Toronto a f t e r the s p r i n g of 1916. Jackson and H a r r i s had both e n l i s t e d (Jackson i n the summer of 1915). 4 6  45 •*' E x h i b i t i o n space i n the c i t y was very l i m i t e d , and the s i t u a t i o n d i d n ' t change s u b s t a n t i a l l y u n t i l the new A r t G a l l e r y of Toronto (which included The Grange, home to the A r t Museum of Toronto s i n c e the year before) opened i n 1919. 7  Two other events: the S o c i e t y of Canadian P a i n t e r E t c h e r s and W i l l i a m Cruikshank, R. C. A. were seen c o n c u r r e n t l y and o u t l i n e d i n the same program. MacDonald and Johnston both s t u d i e d under Cruikshank. Could t h i s have been presented as an o p p o r t u n i t y to compare the u p s t a r t s with t h e i r r o o t s ? Or, perhaps these t r a d i t i o n a l and academic o f f e r i n g s were expected to draw viewers who would otherwise have s h i e d away from more d a r i n g p i c t u r e s . 4 8  4 9  Group of Seven, 128.  B O  McDowall, 44.  Susan J . Lowery, "The A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o , P a t t e r n and Process of Growth: 1872 t o 1966" (Master's T h e s i s , Concordia U n i v e r s i t y , 1985) 193. What i s now the A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o was o r i g i n a l l y the A r t Museum of Toronto, a name i t kept u n t i l 1919 (sometime a f t e r the Algoma E x h i b i t i o n ) , when i t became the A r t G a l l e r y of Toronto. S 1  46  CHAPTER I I : "A NEW  Fairley's  Preview  In t h i s s e c t i o n , how r e g i o n were c o n s t r u c t e d First,  PIECE OF COUNTRY"  the boxcar t r i p s and the Algoma  i n two t e x t s w i l l be  investigated.  I ' l l examine a preview of Algoma Sketches and  P i c t u r e s by Barker F a i r l e y , the most a r t i c u l a t e a p o l o g i s t f o r the "new" appeared  s t y l e of wilderness  i n the A p r i l ,  go on to look  at how  1919  landscape p a i n t i n g , which  i s s u e of The R e b e l .  the a r t i s t s themselves  1  Then I ' l l  characterized  t h e i r e f f o r t s i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n to the e x h i b i t i o n catalogue.  My purpose  i s to demonstrate  how  MacDonald,  H a r r i s , Jackson, Johnston and t h e i r supporters shape p e r c e p t i o n s t h e i r work.  of the area and i n f l u e n c e the r e c e p t i o n of  This exercise  the near t o t a l n e g l e c t Algoma p i c t u r e s .  t r i e d to  i s , i n p a r t , an e f f o r t to  redress  of such t o p i c s i n the l i t e r a t u r e  In the l i t e r a t u r e , a g e n e r a l i z e d ,  i d e a l i z e d and e s s e n t i a l l y dehumanized v i s i o n of Algoma f o r e s t a l l s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of Algoma as a l i m i t e d and vulnerable  physical  environment.  on  47 F a i r l e y ' s essay i s e n t i t l e d  "Algonquin and  even though he makes no r e f e r e n c e l a s t page and  second  little  A l l o t t i n g the word equal weight i n the space i n the p i e c e  of a n t i c i p a t i o n which F a i r l e y may to the e x h i b i t i o n i t s e l f . feel,  to Algoma u n t i l the  mentions the r e g i o n by name o n l y once, i n the  f i n a l paragraph. t i t l e but  Algoma",  Yet,  i n F a i r l e y ' s choice  itself  promotes a sense  have hoped would t r a n s f e r  there  i s more i n v o l v e d , I  of t h i s m e l l i f l u o u s a p p e l l a t i o n  than the d e s i r e to i n t r i g u e .  Given that each of the  five  f u t u r e Group of Seven p a i n t e r s mentioned i n the a r t i c l e identified  i n one  way  or another with Tom  Algonquin Park, F a i r l e y appears (and  Thomson and  i t ' s s a f e to assume, I  t h i n k , a degree of consensus between a r t i s t s and  writer)  be p l a y i n g the r o l e of h i s t o r i a n by marking the end p e r i o d and It  between these a r t i s t s , Algonquin Park and have become a l i a b i l i t y had a f t e r Thomson's death.  one  2  they continued  MacCallum and  connection  Tom  Because Thomson was  i d e n t i f i e d with the a r e a ,  Thomson would  to p a i n t  there  irrevocably  H a r r i s were  to f i n d another part of the p r o v i n c e ,  to t o u r i s t s , and possible.  to  to  announcing the beginning of another.  i s more than l i k e l y t h a t the s t r o n g  impelled  was  less familiar  as d i f f e r e n t from Algonquin Park  as  That d e c i s i o n — t o s h i f t the a t t e n t i o n s of  c i r c l e away from Algonquin to the more remote and  their  northerly  Algoma r e g i o n — m e a n t that Thomson's r e n d i t i o n s were  48  entrenched as the d e f i n i t i v e statements which, not i n c i d e n t a l l y , value of what was  now  on Algonquin  i n c r e a s e d the r a r i t y and hence the  a f i n i t e body of images.  A valuable  asset to the other a r t i s t s , the Thomson mystique s i n c e the drowning,  Park  had begun,  to assume legendary p r o p o r t i o n s .  3  Yet,  i n order f o r p r o s p e c t i v e Group p a i n t e r s : H a r r i s , MacDonald, Johnston, Jackson  (and to a l e s s e r extent, Carmichael,  Lismer and V a r l e y ) to p r o f i t  from Thomson's burgeoning  r e p u t a t i o n , t h e i r p u b l i c , e s s e n t i a l l y the same as Thomson's, had to be persuaded  to accept a more d i s t a n t and  rugged  locale. F a i r l e y names f i v e a r t i s t s Lawren H a r r i s , A.Y.  i n "Algonquin and Algoma":  Jackson. Frank Johnston,  Carmichael and J.E.H. MacDonald, who, represent the p r o g r e s s i v e element  Frank  in his opinion,  in a r t .  Ignoring the  usual a s s o c i a t i o n s of these p a i n t e r s with Algonquin, r e f e r s to them i n s t e a d as the "group of  'radicals'and  'northerners' about whom c o n t r o v e r s y t u r n s " .  4  t r i e s to d i s t a n c e them from the Park which had, Thomson's death, a t t r a c t e d unprecedented v i s i t o r s , and  from Thomson's work, now  f e t c h i n g premium p r i c e s ; e c l i p s e t h e i r own  3  MacDonald,  6  This strategy since  numbers of  i n demand and  a s i t u a t i o n which threatened to  a c t i v i t i e s and c r e a t i v e output.  h i s most powerful language  Fairley  f o r H a r r i s , Jackson  Reserving  and  F a i r l e y s i n g l e s out H a r r i s ' In the Ward Three  7  49 f o r " i t s almost h o s t i l e b l a z e of inner l i g h t " , and that Jackson's  insists  S p r i n g , Lower Canada " h i t s the t a r g e t with  amazing s w i f t n e s s and economy."  8  However, i t i s MacDonald  and h i s The Wild R i v e r , an Algoma s u b j e c t , which  inspire  F a i r l e y ' s most resounding vote of c o n f i d e n c e (as a r e j o i n d e r to what he terms " c r i t i c i s m which might have been more i n t e l l i g e n t or t e n t a t i v e . " )  According to F a i r l e y ,  9  Macdonald i s a p a i n t e r of "known v e r s a t i l i t y and power"  "who  can s a t u r a t e h i s p i c t u r e s with weather... c r i n k l i n g them with blown a i r , drenching them with moonlight, with f i e r c e s u n . . . . "  10  Algoma show, the opening  or smearing  them  In h i s c o n c l u s i o n , F a i r l e y t o u t s the of which c o i n c i d e d with the  p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s a r t i c l e .  "Any who  1 1  wish to  understand  and study the recent work of H a r r i s , Johnston and MacDonald should on no account miss the  exhibition...."  1 2  A r t and a r t i s t s of t h i s c a l i b r e , F a i r l e y i s a s s e r t i n g , are worthy of s c h o l a r l y d e l i b e r a t i o n . Rebel's readers who  approach  Those among The  the Algoma works with the same  earnest d e d i c a t i o n they devote to great l i t e r a t u r e w i l l amply rewarded.  be  Aside from MacCallum, the o n l y p r i v a t e  patrons these a r t i s t s had so f a r enjoyed were a handful of middle c l a s s p r o f e s s i o n a l s and bureaucrats who an i n t e r e s t  had  expressed  i n b r i g h t l y colored, heavily patterned, s e l f -  c o n s c i o u s l y "modern" landscape a r t . The Rebel, a p e r i o d i c a l devoted  1 3  Here, i n the pages of  i n p a r t to forming the t a s t e  50 of p o t e n t i a l consumers of c u l t u r e , F a i r l e y i s making use of t h i s e x i s t i n g base to e n l a r g e the a r t i s t s ' audience and perhaps g a i n e l i t e patronage.  Both of these i n i t i a t i v e s , i t  seems apparent, were major c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , while l e a v i n g Algonquin Park to head north has to be seen, as I've i n d i c a t e d , as an attempt to c a p i t a l i z e on the success of the "Thomson formula". '* 1  MacCallum was  I t should be kept i n mind too that  a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d i n promoting Thomson's work,  and that h i s a r t i c l e on Thomson had appeared Magazine,  i n The  Canadian  the n a t i o n ' s most e x c l u s i v e Anglophone c u l t u r a l  j o u r n a l , j u s t f i v e months e a r l i e r . Yet another f a c t o r which rendered Algoma an a t t r a c t i v e c h o i c e , as I've a l s o mentioned,  was  the desperate s i t u a t i o n  of the Algoma C e n t r a l Railway.  Harris l i k e l y discovered  that h i r i n g one car among many i n the company's r o l l i n g stock o f f e r e d a number of advantages. r e n t i n g and r e f i t t i n g the conveyance  unused The c o s t of  must have been  c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s than i t would have been with a r a i l r o a d i n b e t t e r f i n a n c i a l shape, and company o f f i c i a l s and almost c e r t a i n l y went out of t h e i r way  employees  to f a c i l i t a t e  e x c u r s i o n which might draw a t t e n t i o n to t h e i r  an  f i r m as w e l l  as to the r e g i o n . A c o n c i s e primer e n a b l i n g the neophyte  viewer to  d i s t i n g u i s h " r e a l " landscape from simple d e c o r a t i o n i s another part of F a i r l e y ' s mandate.  Emphasizing the s e r i o u s  51 and  c e r e b r a l q u a l i t i e s of landscape p a i n t i n g of t h i s s t r i p e ,  instruction  i s provided  on the a p p r o p r i a t e  to such an event as w e l l as spectator  information  should expect to f i n d t h e r e .  a t t i t u d e to  on what  the  But  last,  the  bring  and  perhaps the most important, s e r v i c e F a i r l e y p r o v i d e s i s to e x p l a i n the show's broader i m p l i c a t i o n s , to c o n t e x t u a l i z e i t by making p l a i n i t s p o s i t i o n as the linear progression  l a t e s t stage i n the  he proposes as the h i s t o r y of modern  Canadian landscape a r t . P o s s i b l y too i t [the e x h i b i t ] w i l l have h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e showing how some of our pioneers i n landscape have moved westward, leaving the solid straightforwardness of that other pioneer, J . W. Beatty and the c u r i o u s l y static imagination of Tom Thomson to interpret the s t e a l t h y sombreness of Algonquin Park and s t r i k i n g i n t o a new r e g i o n of ups and downs, w a t e r f a l l s and canyons." xs  While the g i s t of F a i r l e y ' s a s s e r t i o n i s r e a d i l y understood, a c l o s e reading oddly enigmatic passage.  r e v e a l s a r i c h l y a l l u s i v e and  C l e a r l y , c e r t a i n men  previously  a f f i l i a t e d with the Algonquin Park School are being promoted as a vanguard, o r i e n t e d praised  to the  for t h e i r contributions  relegated  to the past.  endeavor and  f u t u r e , while others to the movement but  the  firmly  To h i g h l i g h t the boldness of t h e i r  point up the d i s t i n c t i o n between  "adventurers" and  are  the  "stay at homes", F a i r l e y t r o t s out  the  52 pioneer analogy once more, but, t h i s time, i n an even more romantic c o n t e x t .  To the well-worn specter of the North, he  appends the f r e s h , young frontier  (American?) image of the western  f r e q u e n t l y i d e n t i f i e d with energy,  i n n o v a t i o n and o p t i m i s m .  16  initiative,  Because of Beatty's e a r l y  enthusiasm f o r w i l d e r n e s s themes i n c l u d i n g Algonquin Park and the i n f l u e n c e h i s work exerted on Thomson's e a r l y e f f o r t s , acknowledgement i s almost unavoidable, y e t F a i r l e y ' s comment r e g a r d i n g Beatty's " s o l i d straightforwardness" complimentary.  1 7  can s c a r c e l y be seen as  After a l l ,  F a i r l e y i s a s s i g n i n g the job of  i n t e r p r e t i n g the Park to two a r t i s t s : to B e a t t y , s t i l l and v i g o r o u s , and to "the c u r i o u s l y s t a t i c Tom  Thomson, dead f o r almost two  years.  alive  i m a g i n a t i o n " of  1 6  L i t e r a l coherence i n t h i s p e c u l i a r u t t e r a n c e , i t appears, has been compromised meaning.  f o r the sake of  implicit  The message, though, remains i n t a c t : Algonquin  Park as s u b j e c t matter f o r p a i n t e r s i s moribund,  as  incapable of r e s u s c i t a t i o n as Thomson h i m s e l f .  To t h i s  end,  F a i r l e y has c r a f t e d a c o n c l u s i o n which enhances  the impact  of t h i s sentence as a l i t e r a r y d e v i c e by framing i t between h i s p o e t i c t r i b u t e to MacDonald's p a i n t i n g a b i l i t y and a f u r t h e r e x c i t i n g development; different  "the response of three  f u l l y developed i n d i v i d u a l i t i e s . . . s t r i k i n g  new r e g i o n of ups and downs w a t e r f a l l s and c a n y o n s . "  into a 19  Both  53 Beatty and Thomson were, by i m p l i c a t i o n , not as developed"  as t h e i r s u c c e s s o r s , and p a i n t i n g  comes o f f as contained and experience.  "fully  i n the Park  l a c k l u s t e r compared to the Algoma  Even before Thomson's t r a g i c demise,  had a f o r l o r n q u a l i t y , but now,  i n the aftermath,  Algonquin with  a d j e c t i v e s such as "sombre" and  " s t e a l t h y " , F a i r l e y evokes  an atmosphere that i s s u l l e n and  faintly  troubling.  Discovered e a r l y i n the c e n t u r y by the Toronto A r t League, Algonquin Park had metropolitan a r t i s t s , depicted.  I t was  2 1  2 0  Students  long been a magnet to  while Algoma had r a r e l y been  as F a i r l e y c a l l s  i t "a new  p i e c e of  country", a f r e s h canvas r e l a t i v e l y unhampered by  artistic  precedents. To avoid a l i e n a t i n g a l l or p a r t of h i s f r i e n d s ' audience, F a i r l e y made use of a f a m i l i a r technique.  He  fashioned a t e l e o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e capable of l e n d i n g , not merely a sense of c o n t i n u i t y , but an a i r of a u t h o r i t y and aura of i n e v i t a b i l i t y to what was, c a r e f u l l y planned  and pragmatic  i n i t s s i m p l e s t terms, a  career move.  Such c a u t i o u s  yet elegant manoeuvres on F a i r l e y ' s p a r t provide an i n d i c a t i o n of why  he remained the Group's u n o f f i c i a l  h i s t o r i a n u n t i l t h e i r f u t u r e was  an  more or l e s s  assured.  54 The  Catalogue Algoma Sketches and  P i c t u r e s was  of Toronto between A p r i l consisted  of one  19 and  May  held at the A r t Museum  26 of 1919.  hundred f o r t y - f o u r p i e c e s  in a l l ,  from t i n y sketches to l a r g e f i n i s h e d canvases. the e x h i b i t i o n , as was containing was  a brief  printed.  the custom, a small  i n t r o d u c t i o n and  Considering  It  To  ranging accompany  pamphlet  a c h e c k l i s t of  paintings  t h a t i t s e t s out a program f o r  viewing which the a r t i s t s themselves presumably devised favored,  and  taking  i n t o account t h a t most v i s i t o r s  and  and  reviewers a v a i l e d themselves of these i n s t r u c t i o n s , the document i s , I t h i n k , a r e v e a l i ng Algoma's i n t e r i o r was r e q u i r e an outdoorsman s  one.  acce s s i b l e by means that s k i l l s but,  1  2 2  nonetheless, r e t a i n e d  the glamor of a f o r a y i n t o a pa r t of the north majority  of c i t y d w e l l e r s  had  Nonetheless, the r a i l - c a r was and  departure, emphasis may  To  t r a v e l l e d and stove,  lived  and  about.  p r e v i o u s l y been  the Algonquin Park  he l p compensate f o r t h i s  have be en placed  they supposedly endured f o r  the  a reminder of mechanization  r i g o r o u s l y excluded from Thomso n's 23  which  o n l y heard of or read  the modern world, elements which had  School's p u b l i c i m a g e .  didn't  on the p r i v a t i o n  the sake of a r t " : ...the a r t i s t s  i n an o l d f r e i g h t c a r , f i t t e d with a  bunks, e t c . " " 2 -  55 Hardiness and  determination, character  to the pioneer, are pointed adventure and  traits  up here j u s t as a s p i r i t  artist  c o l l e c t i o n may  be taken as evidence that Canadian  are  country."  2 0  incorporated  i n t h i s l a t e r quote: "The  interested  i n the d i s c o v e r y  sincere  h o s t i l e barbs of uninformed and  photographers who  creator  t r a v e l i n t o Algoma had  made exposures, not  w a t e r f a l l s , but  i t had  drawn  j u s t of c l i f f s ,  rapids  as  As a consequence of these images, a  painters  alike.  of government and  r e s o u r c e s of Algoma had  equally  f a c t that  the had  district.  come to stand f o r  the  Algoma's h y d r o - e l e c t r i c power  would f u e l i n d u s t r i a l growth; her Canada's place  be  Anglo-Canadian f i n a n c i e r s  become i n e x t r i c a b l y entwined with the  of E n g l i s h Canada.  f a c t o r to  Another  e n t i c i n g aspect, however, must have been the  future  to a t t r a c t  of the p u b l i c r e a d i l y i d e n t i f i e d p a r t i c u l a r  valued by patrons and  The  romantic  reactionaries.  failed  kinds of t e r r a i n with Algoma, a r e c o g n i t i o n  aspirations  own  suffering  of more t y p i c a l aspects such  of woodland.  good p o r t i o n  artists  of t h e i r  heartless  t o u r i s t s i n the numbers a n t i c i p a t e d ,  stretches  whole  i n t o t h i s " p e r s o n a l i t y c o c k t a i l " : the  Although r a i l  and  the  A t h i r d more t r a d i t i o n a l element i s a l s o  s t e r e o t y p e of the s e n s i t i v e and the  of  a sense of n a t i o n a l p r i d e are c a l l e d i n t o  s e r v i c e of the  generally  ascribed  minerals would guarantee  among modern n a t i o n s ,  her  timber would b u i l d  56  homes and  b u i l d i n g s , and  would be  swallowed  ensuring  jobs  up  her  by  an  domain t o T o r o n t o ' s a source  before So  she  of  t o a g r o u p who  be  tapped  and  tableaux,  distilled  might  secure  reinforced  t o use  context into  the  for ambition artistic  this  striking  interest.  doubtless  an  and  one,  i n an  i f i t could  memorable  enough t o c h a l l e n g e  the  and  pieces  a r t market  Canada's most r e c e n t  long  d e c o r a t i v e elements  like  Hague S c h o o l  a s e c t i o n of t h e  As  well established  baggage was  even p r o v e p o t e n t  n e a r hegemony of t h e and  a focus  cultural  A rich  market  heavily subsidized hinterland  and  sought  newsprint,  immigration.  l o c u s of c o n c e r t e d  and  to  American  m e t r o p o l i s , Algoma was  became t h e  e m b l e m a t i c way.  waves o f  and  inspiration  much e m o t i o n a l  asset  insatiable  t o s u s t a i n new  most e x t e n s i v e l y s u r v e y e d  as  pulpwood, t u r n e d  "mock B a r b i z o n " f o r works w h i c h  i n c a r n a t i o n as  America's  northern h i n t e r l a n d . Adherence to a r e d u c t i v e p r o c e s s , specific evident  ideals  throughout  selection In t h e  and  sentence:  where t h e  "The was  characteristic.",  topographical  preface.  with d i s t i n c t  country  "characteristic"  a l l e g i a n c e to a symbolic this  process  2 S  conformity  c a r was  especially  the  refer  left  terms  on d i f f e r e n t  picturesque  that a  sidings  and and  arrangements  e l e m e n t s w h i c h were b e s t  are  i s in operation.  "picturesque"  to those  certain  imperative  I t i s apparent criteria  to  suited  of to the  kind  of  57 d e c o r a t i v e treatment  made famous by Thomson and p r a c t i s e d  with i n c r e a s i n g r e c o g n i t i o n by other members of the Algonquin Park School. A disavowal  of l i t e r a l n e s s  e l i m i n a t i n g extraneous  i n the i n t e r e s t s of  d e t a i l and a c h i e v i n g something  simpler and more elemental sentence  2 7  is clearly articulated  i n a two-  e x p l i c a t i o n of the a r t i s t s ' c r e a t i v e process: "The  l a r g e r p i c t u r e s shown were painted...as e f f o r t s to reproduce,  with deeper t r u t h of f e e l i n g or c h a r a c t e r , a  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e scene.... Others were p a i n t e d as i m a g i n a t i v e summaries of impressions made by the country on the mind of the a r t i s t . "  2 8  The word "impressions" i s used twice, the  i m p l i c a t i o n being that H a r r i s , MacDonald and Johnston i n c o r p o r a t e d the l e s s o n s of Impressionism,  but go beyond  r e c o r d i n g o p t i c a l e f f e c t s to concentrate v i s u a l data more meaningful  and h i g h l y charged  imagery.  have  into  Prominence i s  given to p a i n t i n g as an i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y , as an e x a c t i n g search f o r hidden meaning and, u l t i m a t e l y ,  truth.  A quest of t h i s nature r e q u i r e s d i l i g e n c e , s e n s i t i v i t y and s t u d i o u s h a b i t s i n v o l v i n g not j u s t the mind, but i t s h i g h e s t f a c u l t y , the imagination. An unmistakable  t e n s i o n between the p o e t i c and the  p r o s a i c permeates the s h o r t a r t i c l e .  A glance at the l i s t  of works r e v e a l s t h a t most are u n t i t l e d , designated i n s t e a d by a note on the l o c a t i o n where they were p a i n t e d .  2 9  Of the  58 p a i n t i n g s t h a t are named, o n l y two non-specific, romanticized  titles.  (both Johnston's) have It i s also  3 0  d i s c e r n a b l e from the brochure t h a t each p a i n t e r ' s work  has  been hung to simulate a s c e n i c tour f o l l o w i n g the route  of  the r a i l w a y from Canyon, the northernmost p o i n t of journey,  their  to Batchewanna, t h e i r f i r s t stop out of S a u l t  Ste.  Mar i e . A need seems to have been f e l t balance  i n p r e p a r i n g the t e x t to  a number of d i f f e r e n t elements.  A good d e a l of  concrete  i n f o r m a t i o n concerning  chronology,  seasonal  v a r i a t i o n s , p r e c i s e s i t u a t i o n s and  been i n c l u d e d to c r e a t e a semblance of  weather, place names has  scientific  o b j e c t i v i t y i n keeping with the " e x p l o r e r " r o l e cultivated.  Not  being  only were f i g u r e s of t h i s type popular  and  newsworthy, but t h i s was  j u s t the s o r t of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n  which had  f o r Thomson who  been fashioned  would remain, the prototype painters.  f o r Canadian  was  already,  and  wilderness  3 X  In a d d i t i o n , c o n j u r i n g up such a s s o c i a t i o n s could m y s t i f y what was,  a f t e r a l l , only a t r a i n t r i p ,  neither  e s p e c i a l l y long nor arduous, i n t o an area with r e g u l a r l y scheduled  r a i l s e r v i c e , transforming  i t i n t o a t a l e of  courageous d a r e d e v i l s braving the unknown. s i n c e the most famous and had  I t could a l s o ,  " h e r o i c " e x p l o r e r s were those  who  undertaken p o l a r e x p e d i t i o n s , cause Algoma, n o r t h e r l y  59  only  in relation  more n o r t h e r n  than  Anchoring have been  to Ontario's i t actually  to counter  of t h e i r  i n h i s essay,  in certain  convinced effects  situation,  regarding the  M a c C a l l u m had d e f e n d e d  accusations  (inthis  o f Thomson's s k e t c h e s  f o r himself  veracity,  either  before  specific  by w i t n e s s i n g t h e  o r o b t a i n i n g a u t h e n t i c a t i o n f r o m someone  the  just  often their  work  [the author  ignorant, c r i t i c i z e d  nature." Yet,  such  i s given  i t i s a c c u r a t e and formlessness  or a l a c k  are being  met head on.  cautions]  is ridiculed  by  unsympathetic  i t had no t r a c e a b l e  connection  3 3  an a p p a r e n t l y m e t i c u l o u s  devoid  and  methodical  to the notion that  of p r e t t y t i t l e s  were mere i l l u s t r a t i o n s . differentiate  In t h e  3 3  exceptions,  a d v e r s e l y by an  approach c o u l d a l s o g i v e r i s e renderings,  that  the n a t u r a l world  n a r r o w n e s s o f mind, as t h o u g h with  three  Charges of vagueness,  3 - 4  of c o n t a c t w i t h "Too  view, with  referents suggesting  verifiable.  in  he became  whose knowledge o f t h e woods was u n i m p e a c h a b l e . every  case, h i s  h i s i n c r e d u l o u s r e a c t i o n t o t h e forms and  of t h e i r  catalogue,  may  "Tom Thomson: P a i n t e r o f t h e N o r t h " ,  w h i c h he r e c o u n t e d colors  3 2  criticisms  creations.  Thomson's work f r o m s i m i l a r own)  was.  each p i e c e t o i t s g e o g r a p h i c  intended  authenticity  l a r g e urban c e n t e r s , t o appear  There  and f l o r i d  their  description,  i s an e v i d e n t d e s i r e t o  t h e show f r o m o t h e r  landscape  d i s p l a y s by  60  presenting  i t i n a cut-and-dried,  manner, s i m i l a r  i n content  this  of s t r e s s i n g underpinnings while  Harris , 1  art i s t .  I feel,  these  At the  the perceived n e c e s s i t y theoretical  e n d e a v o r s as " h i g h " a r t  an e x c e p t i o n a l p r o f i l e  f o r themselves  o f a number o f components: t h e g r i t t y  determination daring  by a p h o t o g r a p h e r .  M a c D o n a l d ' s and J o h n s t o n ' s  to reinforce  tailoring  consisting  occasioned,  journalistic,  and s t r u c t u r e t o t h e k i n d o f  w o r k i n g d i a r y w h i c h m i g h t be k e p t same t i m e ,  almost  of the s e t t l e r - c u m - p r o s p e c t o r ,  o f t h e e x p l o r e r and t h e s p i r i t u a l  the s k i l l  and  a s p i r a t i o n s of the  61 The Rebel began as a student p u b l i c a t i o n at the U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto i n 1917 and continued under that t i t l e u n t i l 1920 when i t changed i t s name to The Canadian Forum. 1  As Audrey Saunders has expressed i t : "...of a l l the a r t i s t s who ever painted t h e r e , or may come to p a i n t , to alone [Thomson] belongs the t i t l e of 'The Algonquin Artist'." Audrey Saunders, Algonquin Story (Toronto: Ontario Department of Lands and F o r e s t s , 1948) 175. 3  him  Thomson drowned i n Canoe Lake on J u l y 8, 1917. Four months l a t e r i n November, MacDonald's "A Landmark of Canadian A r t " was p r i n t e d i n The Rebel. P r a i s i n g Thomson as "a n a t u r a l genius", MacDonald r e c r e a t e d the i n s c r i p t i o n on a c a i r n r e c e n t l y erected to commemorate the a r t i s t and i n s t r u c t e d v i s i t o r s on where to f i n d the monument. ("A Landmark..." i s r e p r i n t e d i n Doug F e a t h e r l i n g , ed., Documents i n Canadian Art (Peterborough, Ont.: 1987) 37-42.) A l e n g t h i e r more e l a b o r a t e a p p r e c i a t i o n by MacCallum, "Tom Thomson: P a i n t e r of the North", adorned with photographs of Thomson, h i s "shack" and f i v e r e p r o d u c t i o n s of h i s p a i n t i n g s , made i t s appearance i n the s p r i n g of 1918 (The Canadian Magazine 50: 5 (March, 1918) 375-385). 3  "Algonquin and  Algoma".  The  Rebel 3:6  (April,  1919)  281.  As executor of Thomson's e s t a t e , MacCallum, who had taken an a c t i v e r o l e i n s e l l i n g the a r t i s t ' s work as e a r l y as 1913 (See l e t t e r : MacCallum to S i r Edmund Walker, Dec. 8, 1913, Box 22, Walker Papers, Thomas F i s h e r Rare Book L i b r a r y , U n i v e r s i t y of T o r o n t o ) , was a shrewd n e g o t i a t o r . In 1918, he concluded a d e a l with the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y i n Ottawa to buy a number of Thomson pieces as a group, an unprecedented arrangement f o r a Canadian a r t i s t , l i v i n g or dead. The p r i c e r e c e i v e d was a l s o e x c e p t i o n a l f o r the time and MacCallum's p e r s p i c a c i t y was d o u b t l e s s welcomed by Thomson's f a m i l y who were the p a i n t e r ' s b e n e f i c i a r i e s , but the Doctor's a c t i v i t i e s on t h i s f r o n t shouldn't be construed as e n t i r e l y a l t r u i s t i c f o r they had the a d d i t i o n a l e f f e c t of i n f l a t i n g the worth of h i s own c o l l e c t i o n , the l a r g e s t accumulation of Thomson landscapes i n p r i v a t e hands. s  62 The t h r e e "core members of the Group of Seven are a l s o p r a i s e d b,y MacCallum i n "Tom Thomson, P a i n t e r of the North". 6  The p a i n t i n g s mentioned were on view at the S p r i n g O n t a r i o S o c i e t y of A r t i s t s E x h i b i t i o n i n March of 1919. 7  8  9  1 0  Fairley,  "Algonquin and Algoma",  282.  Ibid. Ibid.  The d i s p l a y had not been mounted at t h i s p o i n t so F a i r l e y had yet to see i t . 1 1  1 2  "Algonquin and Algoma",  282.  Almost ten years o l d now, Mary Vipond's "The N a t i o n a l i s t Network: E n g l i s h Canada's I n t e l l e c t u a l s and A r t i s t s i n the 1920's" (Canadian Review of S t u d i e s i n N a t i o n a l i s m (1980) 32-52) touches on some of the i s s u e s that concern me here. A standard source on the s u b j e c t , i t r e s t r i c t s i t s e l f to t a b u l a t i n g d i s t i n c t i v e f e a t u r e s of Anglo-Canadian i n t e l l e c t u a l s as a group and avoids the more d i s t u r b i n g i m p l i c a t i o n s of the r e s u l t i n g p r o f i l e . Regardless of these shortcomings, however, Vipond has c o l l e c t e d v a l u a b l e documentation, and her prose i s e n l i v e n e d by the o c c a s i o n a l passage which i s d i r e c t , i n s i g h t f u l and c o n c i s e . Among the l a t t e r i s her d e s c r i p t i o n of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a and i t s loyalties. 1 3  63 By and l a r g e , the i n d i v i d u a l s who may be identified as English Canada's i n t e l l e c t u a l s i n the 1920's were of the same class and background as the business, political and professional leaders across the country....The i n t e l l i g e n t s i a was an i n t e g r a l p a r t of a broader English-Canadian elite ... an e l i t e of education and p o s i t i o n , almost e n t i r e l y B r i t i s h - C a n a d i a n and resident in the major urban centres. The intelligentsia was not radical...its members were not so much s o c i a l c r i t i c s as a s p i r i n g s o c i a l l e a d e r s and moulders of p u b l i c o p i n i o n . . . . They saw themselves an i n t e l l e c t u a l s and a r t i s t s performing the c r i t i c a l f u n c t i o n of c r y s t a l l i z i n g community identity by dispensing meaningful symbols and articulating common goals.(33-34) Thomson's s t y l e i s d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter 3. An i n d i c a t i o n of how much i n f l u e n c e MacCallum, as h i s mentor, exerted on the e v o l u t i o n of Thomson's s t y l e can be gained through the Doctor's own r e c o l l e c t i o n of p a r t i n g advice he gave the p a i n t e r as Thomson s e t o f f to j o i n Jackson i n Algonquin Park.  Before l e a v i n g me, we had a long t a l k about his work. I said to him: * Jackson....has a b r i g h t e r c o l o r sense, but he has not the f e e l i n g you have. You can l e a r n much from him, and he from you, but you must not t r y to be another Jackson.(MacCallum, 376) These remarks echo comments made e a r l i e r on the same page about h i s i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n to Thomson's sketches: "Dark they were, muddy i n c o l o r . . . . " , and t a k i n g i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n that MacCallum was not a man noted f o r h i s r e t i c e n c e , i t i s probable t h a t he l o s t l i t t l e time i n a p p r i s i n g Thomson of t h i s and other d e f i c i e n c i e s he p e r c e i v e d i n h i s work. A f u r t h e r i n s t a n c e which could be e n l i s t e d i s MacCallum's d e s c r i p t i o n , i n the same p i e c e , of one of Thomson's nocturnes as "bare b i r c h tops forming b e a u t i f u l peacock fans a g a i n s t the c o l d blue s k i e s , . . . . " ( 3 8 2 ) , a cogent i n d i c a t i o n of the p r o f e s s o r ' s fondness f o r a r t nouveau m o t i f s .  64 I b i d . F a i r l e y ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of Beatty i s r e m i n i s c e n t of a commentary by E r i c Brown on Beatty's Morning, Algonquin Park of 1914. P u b l i s h e d i n A r t of the B r i t i s h Empire Overseas (London: The Studio (1917) 7), i t had a t t r i b u t e d to Beatty "a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d s i m p l i c i t y of technique and grasp of the s u b j e c t as a whole which achieves r e s u l t s both powerful and c o n v i n c i n g . " T h i s excerpt a l s o provides perhaps the most compelling demonstration of how F a i r l e y ' s use of language r e i n f o r c e s the sharp d i s t i n c t i o n he draws between a r t t h a t i s "advanced" and i t s l e s s e x c i t i n g counterpart. Note here, f o r example, the c o n t r a s t achieved between the cumulative e f f e c t of a d j e c t i v e s l i k e " s o l i d " , " s t a t i c " , "sombre", and the i n j e c t i o n of the dynamic verb phrase, " s t r i k i n g i n t o , " a t the end of the sentence to h i g h l i g h t the kind of b r i s k d e c i s i v e a c t i o n he a t t r i b u t e s to the Algoma p a i n t e r s . x s  On the s u b j e c t of i n n o v a t i o n , the Algoma event was as I've suggested, unusual i n a number of r e s p e c t s , not the l e a s t of which was i t s i n c l u s i o n of i n f o r m a l s t u d i e s i n a d d i t i o n to more r e f i n e d o f f e r i n g s . I t was designed, as F a i r l e y s t a t e s , to "admit the layman i n t o the k i t c h e n i n s t e a d of s e a t i n g him i n the drawing room."("Algonquin", 282.) In other words, some of the process would be d i s c l o s e d through the hanging of p r e l i m i n a r y works, the raw m a t e r i a l s of the f i n i s h e d s t u d i o p i e c e , along with the s t a i d , p o l i s h e d , and o f t e n overworked, productions which were standard f a r e f o r most Canadian g a l l e r y - g o e r s . x s  x v  Ibid.  1 8  No wonder i t was "Algonquin and  "static"!  Algoma",  282.  I b i d . I t i s d i f f i c u l t to imagine that anyone i n The Rebel's r e a d e r s h i p would not have known about Thomson's career and h i s premature demise. D e s c r i p t i v e s such as " s t e a l t h y " and "sombre" would almost c e r t a i n l y have f u n c t i o n e d as reminders of the rumors concerning f o u l p l a y which had c i r c u l a t e d (and continued to c i r c u l a t e ) f o l l o w i n g Thomson's death. 2 0  65 Three young p a i n t e r s , W. W. Alexander, David Thomson and Robert Holmes of the Toronto A r t Students League appear to have been the f i r s t to s k e t c h i n Algonquin Park i n the summer of 1902. Frequented by a r t i s t s f o r over ten years before Thomson began to p a i n t t h e r e , "By 1 9 1 2 , . . . [ i t ] was w e l l known i n Toronto as i d e a l p a i n t i n g c o u n t r y . " Saunders, 163. 2 1  Pamphlets l i k e t h i s one, a v a i l a b l e f o r a s m a l l fee ( u s u a l l y about ten c e n t s ) , were i n f l u e n t i a l because most g a l l e r y - g o e r s purchased or borrowed one. As a r e s u l t , they had a s a l i e n t r o l e to p l a y i n s e t t i n g up c o n d i t i o n s f o r viewing, and c r i t i c s o f t e n r e f e r r e d to them i n t h e i r responses to e x h i b i t i o n s . 2 2  Although t h e r e had been r a i l s e r v i c e i n t o Algonquin Park from e a r l y i n the c e n t u r y and the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway l i n e through the Park was completed i n 1915, canoe and snowshoes are the o n l y modes of t r a n s p o r t mentioned i n accounts of Thomson's a c t i v i t i e s u n t i l many years a f t e r h i s death. 2 3  "* Toronto, The A r t Museum of Toronto, Catalogue of Three E x h i b i t i o n s , A p r i l 26-May 19, 1919, 8. A d e s c r i p t i o n of Algoma Sketches and P i c t u r e s by J . E. H. MacDonald, A. R. C. A., Lawren H a r r i s and Frank H. Johnston and a l i s t of works in the show i s i n c l u d e d under a separate cover on pages 8 and 9 of the p u b l i c a t i o n . 2  2 5  Ibid.  2 S  Ibid.  W r i t t e n a few months e a r l e r , Jackson's "Foreword" to the f i r s t l a r g e r e t r o s p e c t i v e of Thomson's work had summed up the Group's methodology. 2 7  66 We f e l t t h a t there was a r i c h f i e l d f o r landscape motives throughout the north country i f we f r a n k l y abandoned any attempt after literal painting and t r e a t e d our s u b j e c t s with the freedom of the d e c o r a t i v e d e s i g n e r , ....We t r i e d to emphasize c o l o r , l i n e , and p a t t e r n even if necessitating the sacrifice of atmospheric q u a l i t i e s . (November, 1918. Montreal, The A r t s Club, Catalogue of an E x h i b i t i o n of P a i n t i n g s by the Late Tom Thomson, March 1-21, 1919, n. p.) 2 8  Ibid.  I b i d . , 9. For example, the second e n t r y under the heading J.E.H. Macdonald, A.R.C.A. reads "No's. 13 to p ai nt ed i n the v i c i n i t y of Hubert." 2 9  I b i d . These are Numbers 78 and the World, r e s p e c t i v e l y . 3 0  83, Last Gleam and  25,  Top  of  Thomson, as MacCallum (and l a t e r F.B. Housser and many others) d e l i n e a t e d him, was i n f u s e d with the s p i r i t of the Canadian w i l d s . Robust, q u i e t and almost without t r a i n i n g (Thomson's career i n commercial a r t was i g n o r e d ) , Thomson, they contend, developed an intimacy with nature so complete that she spoke to him d i r e c t l y and he, i n t u r n , t r a n s m i t t e d these confidences through the medium of the p a i n t e d image. 3 1  No doubt he [Thomson] put his own impress on what he p a i n t e d , but the country he painted ever grew i n t o h i s s o u l , stronger and s t r o n g e r , r e n d e r i n g him shy and s i l e n t , f i l l i n g him with longing love for its b e a u t i e s . . . .A technique a l l h i s own,... sprang into being, not as a r e s u l t of any labored thought or experiment, but because i t could not be otherwise.(MacCallum, 378)  67 MacCallum's conception of a r t i s t i c genius depends h e a v i l y on Ruskin's blend of P r o t e s t a n t m o r a l i t y and Romantic aesthetics. P a r t of the reason f o r s e t t i n g o f f i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n i n the f i r s t p l a c e must have been the e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g f a s c i n a t i o n with the North. I t was a prime element i n the agenda of the f l e d g l i n g Group as i t had been f o r i t s predecessor, the Algonquin Park S c h o o l . 3  2  3 3  MacCallum,  376-377.  I f , as I have p o s i t e d , these p i c t u r e s were supposed to perform as advertisements f o r the s c e n i c wonders a v a i l a b l e to r i d e r s on the Algoma C e n t r a l , t h i s t a c t i c c o u l d have served another purpose. Literary, universalizing t i t l e s tend to d i s t a n c e the landscape from an a c t u a l p h y s i c a l context, whereas these m a t t e r - o f - f a c t monikers have the opposite e f f e c t . They a c t as i n d i c a t o r s , s i g n - p o s t s , i s s u i n g an open i n v i t a t i o n to r e p l i c a t e the journey, to "see for y o u r s e l f " . 3  4  Catalogue, 8. Note the emphasis on i n t e l l e c t , emotion and i m a g i n a t i o n . The term "summaries of impressions" i s a neat, c o n c i s e way of l o c a t i n g symbolism as a v a r i a n t of Post-Impressionism, and e x p l a i n i n g i t to the layman. " T r a c e a b l e " i s a c r u c i a l word i n the q u o t a t i o n : " t r a c e a b l e " as a route on a map i s t r a c e a b l e . 3  0  68  CHAPTER I I I : PICTURES AND Roland  POLITICS  Barthes, one of the few modern  t h e o r i s t s who doesn't  cultural  exclude v i s u a l a r t from h i s  d e l i b e r a t i o n s , has w r i t t e n on the a b i l i t y of p a i n t i n g , l i t e r a t u r e , to evacuate formation of meaning.  the concrete and p a r t i c u l a r  1  from the  " P i c t u r e s become a kind of w r i t i n g as  soon as they are meaningful: iexis."  like  l i k e w r i t i n g , they c a l l  I t i s by means of t h i s lexis  for a  that paintings  e x e r c i s e t h e i r m y t h i f y i n g c a p a c i t y , that they p a r t i c i p a t e i n the o r d e r i n g of the v i s i b l e world a c c o r d i n g to a s e t of conventions belonging t o , i n t h i s case, one s c h o o l of European landscape a r t .  Instead of a s s e s s i n g these images  as extensions o f , or amendments t o , a p a r t i c u l a r tradition,  artistic  I have chosen to focus on how p o l i t i c a l  events  and economic c o n d i t i o n s i n t e r a c t e d with p e r v a s i v e totemic structures  (the north and the w i l d e r n e s s ) to a l t e r  their  p r o d u c t i o n and r e c e p t i o n . Returning to Barthes f o r a moment may i n t h i s chapter and, f o r that matter,  i l l u m i n e my p l a n  i n the whole e x e r c i s e .  69 The function of myth i s t o empty r e a l i t y . . . [ i t ] does not deny t h i n g s , on the c o n t r a r y , i t s f u n c t i o n i s t o t a l k about them, i t makes them innocent, i t gives them a natural and eternal j u s t i f i c a t i o n , i t g i v e s them a c l a r i t y which i s not t h a t of an e x p l a n a t i o n but that of a statement of f a c t . 2  " D e p o l i t i c i z e d speech" i s a phrase coined  by Barthes t o  b r i n g home the dangerous " n e u t r a l i t y " of mythical My hope i s t h a t I can, t o some extent,  language.  "reindustrialize"  Algoma, "recommercialize" a r t (reconnecting  i t with the  business m i l i e u from which i t was, and i s , i n s e p a r a b l e ) , as part of the e f f o r t to  " r e p o l i t i c i z e " the " d e p o l i t i c i z e d  speech" of Canadian a r t h i s t o r y . The  first  p a i n t i n g I want to consider  i s MacDonald's  The  Little Fall,  (1919, 28 by 36 i n s . , London P u b l i c L i b r a r y  and  A r t Museum, F i g . 2) A medium-sized o f f e r i n g worked up  from a t i n y o i l sketch  (not among those i n c l u d e d  Algoma show ) , i t was on d i s p l a y at the Ontario 3  i n the S o c i e t y of  A r t i s t s E x h i b i t i o n p r i o r to Algoma Sketches and P i c t u r e s and the Canadian N a t i o n a l  E x h i b i t i o n l a t e r that autumn.  Though  i t was hung h a l f a dozen times between 1919 and 1922 and reproduced i n the 0. S. A. catalogue,  The L i t t l e F a l l  failed  to gain much a t t e n t i o n from the c r i t i c s and i s r a r e l y discussed  i n the l i t e r a t u r e .  F a i r l e y , who considered  i t one of MacDonald's f i n e s t  accomplishments to t h a t date, concludes h i s almost  rhapsodic  70  assessment of the p a i n t e r ' s a b i l i t i e s  i n "Algonquin and  Algoma" with t h i s sentence: "The stones at the f o o t of The L i t t l e F a l l are a quiet- monument to the f a c t that he [MacDonald]  i s growing i n power."  4  While F a i r l e y hasn't  i d e n t i f i e d p r e c i s e l y what i t i s about the stones he compelling, i t could w e l l have been t h e i r s o l i d appearance.  This e f f e c t  finds  and weighty  i s achieved by opposing t h e i r  rigid  i m m o b i l i t y to the a c t i o n of the c h u r n i n g , b u b b l i n g c u r r e n t and t h e i r r e l a t i v e c l a r i t y which are l e s s d i s t i n c t .  to the forground and  background  Quiescence and monumentality were  s u i t a b l e p r o p e r t i e s f o r an enchanted s i l v a n  retreat.  P o i n t e d l y detached from the Algoma of n o i s y  factories,  b e l c h i n g smokestacks  The L i t t l e  and denuded h i l l s i d e s ,  Fall  presents the n o r t h e r n f o r e s t as i t was conceived i n gentlemen's c l u b s and Rosedale p a r l o r s : as a r e f r e s h i n g d i v e r s i o n from commercial city.  l i f e and s o c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s  i n the  s  A b r i e f mention by E. R. Hunter more than twenty years later  i s another i n f r e q u e n t r e f e r e n c e to the p i c t u r e .  R e l a t i n g i t to two others of about the same s i z e , The Dam  Beaver  and Leaves i n the Brook, Hunter r e f e r s to a l l three as  "important s m a l l e r canvases" that are "genuine n a t i v e  art".  MacDonald's loose brushwork  i n The  Little Fall  and s u p p r e s s i o n of d e t a i l  are both condemned and lauded by Hunter:  6  73.  "despite a c e r t a i n  i n s e n s i t i v e n e s s i n the background...,  the  g r a n d l y p a i n t e d water rushes forward, seeming to d i s r e g a r d the frame."  -7  In the c l i f f  face, these q u a l i t i e s are  " i n s e n s i t i v e " but the t o r r e n t i t s e l f  i s , to Hunter's eye,  "grandly p a i n t e d " presumably because  i t s s w i f t n e s s warranted  such "abandon".  Both o b s e r v a t i o n s p i n p o i n t  characteristics  which separate t h i s composition from MacDonald's e a r l i e r r e n d i t i o n s of s i m i l a r s,ubjects  a  and i n d i c a t e a change i n  o r i e n t a t i o n which can be observed i n a number of Algoma works. Hunter, remarks the i n f o r m a l i t y of MacDonald's composition i n which the borders s l i c e through the a c t i o n r a t h e r than c o n t a i n i n g i t . s i n g u l a r f e a t u r e of  T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n f a s t e n s on a  MacDonald's The L i t t l e F a l l ,  one  i s o l a t e s the p a i n t i n g from most of Thomson's oeuvre was  which  which  i n t i m a t e l y concerned with more academic approaches to  framing.  Here, MacDonald has abandoned part of the "Thomson  formula", the use of rocks and t r e e s as repoussoir  devices,  but r e t a i n e d another Thomson t a c t i c : c l o s i n g o f f the background.  Indeed, though MacDonald's cascade i s s m a l l e r ,  i t s b a s i c c o n f i g u r a t i o n i s s i m i l a r to what Thomson's Woodland W a t e r f a l l , 1916  (48 by 52 inches, P r i v a t e  C o l l e c t i o n , Toronto, F i g . 13) a s i d e view of the might look l i k e  falls,  i f seen at c l o s e r range, from the f r o n t .  9  Woodland W a t e r f a l l however, i s a more t h e a t r i c a l performance.  Slender t r e e trunks and a canopy of leaves  form a border r e m i n i s c e n t of c u r t a i n s and a proscenium  arch,  while c a r e f u l l y arranged boulders g e n t l y lead the eye up to the pool at the base of the c a t a r a c t .  Conversely,  L i t t l e F a l l has the immediacy of a photograph.  The  Dispensing  with foreground i n the u s u a l sense, i t achieves a g r o t t o l i k e q u a l i t y through e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t techniques such as graduated  focus and  "cropping".  G e n e r a l l y speaking, the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of photographic i l l u s i o n i s m i s the most s t r i k i n g d i f f e r e n c e between Algoma works and e a r l i e r Algonquin School p r o d u c t i o n s . Developments i n p i c t u r e - t a k i n g as a method of " c a p t u r i n g " scenery have had a b e a r i n g on the e v o l u t i o n of modern Canadian  landscape p a i n t i n g which i s r a r e l y acknowledged.  More t e l l i n g however than the s t r u c t u r a l and  technical  changes t h a t occurred i n response to the photographic may  have been the prominence given to c o l o r  process.  C o l o r photography  image,  i n the p a i n t i n g  d i d n ' t pose a s e r i o u s t h r e a t  u n t i l the 1930's g i v i n g landscape p a i n t e r s an advantage over t h e i r camera-toting r i v a l s  i n the i n t e r i m , an edge which  a s s i d u o u s l y e x p l o i t e d by the Group. In The L i t t l e F a l l ,  "modern" a t t r i b u t e s  like  s p o n t a n e i t y , v i t a l i t y and dynamism are evidenced form, but the appeal of the l o c a t i o n may  i n the  l i e in i t s  was  73  s e c l u s i o n and  i t s promise of r e v i v i f i c a t i o n .  The  p o s s i b i l i t y of spontaneous engagement with nature or  the  enjoyment of r e f r e s h i n g s o l i t u d e surrounded o n l y by rock pure, s p a r k l i n g water could be expected to a t t r a c t t o u r i s t s and  camera b u f f s .  and  anglers,  T h i s image as a t e s t i m o n i a l to  Algoma's r e c r e a t i o n a l p o t e n t i a l takes i t s p l a c e as a counterpart  of Thomson's v i s t a s which t r i e d to l u r e v a c a t i o n  d o l l a r s to Algonquin Park to o f f s e t the p r i v a t i o n s of  the  wartime economy. A l s o u n v e i l e d at the 1919  was  The  Wild River  47th 0. S. A.  (1919, 53 by 64  i n the s p r i n g of ins., Faculty  Club,  U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto, F i g . 3), MacDonald's l a r g e s t opus from the f i r s t  Algoma t r i p .  From a vantage p o i n t on or near  the t r e s t l e bridge spanning the Montreal R i v e r , t h i s i s MacDonald's f i r s t  r e n d i t i o n of Montreal F a l l s , a theme  a s i t e ) he would r e t u r n to a year l a t e r . contrivance  favored  c l o s e up cut across accents  1 0  Here, another  by Thomson i s e n l i s t e d : a p a i r of t r e e s the p i c t u r e plane,  providing  vertical  to anchor an i n t r i c a t e l y modulated s u r f a c e  with r h y t h m i c a l  movement.  n e i t h e r task undulation  pictorial space,  in this application.  and  the deep blue  the r i v e r comes to r e s t are  filled  A maneuver Thomson used  f r e q u e n t l y as a means of o r i e n t i n g the s p e c t a t o r o r g a n i z i n g a shallow  (and  1 1  and  i t succeeds at  Both the amount of  i n t e r i o r of the p a i n t i n g where i n a c o n t i n u a l tug-of-war  with  74  these " s t a b i l i z e r s " and with each o t h e r . a s s e r t s "I f i n d  it difficult  As Barker  Fairley  to r e c o n c i l e the f l a t planes of  the p i c t u r e with i t s u n r e s t f u l t e x t u r e . "  1 2  While commenting on i t s flaws, however, F a i r l e y completes  h i s i n s t r u c t i o n s on how  can be d i s t i n g u i s h e d  t r u e landscape  painting  from d e c o r a t i o n .  There is strength in this uneasy tapestry with the two giant pines clamped a c r o s s i t but there i s not t h a t intense hold on r e a l i t y that MacDonald's admirers cannot h e l p l o o k i n g f o r . Not, of course, the literal photographic r e a l i t y t h a t some would have, but the deeper r e a l i t y of h i s own experience out of which the p i c t u r e g r e w . 13  An i n t e n s i f i e d and v i s c e r a l d i s t i l l a t i o n , d e r i v e d from the a c t u a l and p h y s i c a l , yet d i s t i n c t  from them, t h i s  i s the  u l t i m a t e c r i t e r i o n set f o r t h by F a i r l e y and r e i t e r a t e d i n the e x h i b i t i o n catalogue i n n e a r l y i d e n t i c a l Photography,  terms.  the c o m p e t i t i o n s — m e c h a n i c a l , u n i n s p i r e d ,  b a n a l - - i s mentioned  to r e i n f o r c e F a i r l e y ' s defence of the  a r t i s t as the i n d i s p e n s a b l e r e f i n i n g agent  i n the  art-making  process. Other than Hector Charlesworth's paragraph Night which r e s t r i c t s treat  itself  i n Saturday  to g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s and  doesn't  i n d i v i d u a l works, * the o n l y other review of t h i s 1  event I've managed to unearth shares F a i r l e y ' s  discomfiture.  Although The Wild R i v e r i s n ' t named, i t i s r e a s o n a b l y  75  certain  that the r e p o r t e r had the p a i n t i n g i n mind when he  q u a l i f i e d t h i s remark: "Mr. Macdonald [ s i c ] f e e l s the grandeur and immensity of what i s before him, and sometimes he 'gets i t out' to us, and sometimes he i s merely incoherent and c h a o t i c . " "immensity" are r e q u i s i t e while  1 6  Since attributes  "chaos" and "incoherence"  "grandeur" and of an i d e a l  wilderness,  are i n c o n c e i v a b l e i n t h i s  context, MacDonald, has, i n t h i s i n s t a n c e , proved to the t a s k .  Similarly,  the " r e s t f u l " and "easy"  t r a n q u i l i t y of Algoma have eluded MacDonald, suggests,  but he c r e d i t s  Nonetheless,  Fairley  h i s f r i e n d ' s conception  " s t r e n g t h " , an e q u a l l y admirable north.  inadequate  hallmark  with  of the m y t h i c a l  the l i t e r a r y c o n t o r t i o n s F a i r l e y  engages i n to t u r n h i s condemnation i n t o  f l a t t e r y serve to  emphasize how uncomfortable he was, faced with the unresolved  conflict in this picture.  Both observers  assume t h a t MacDonald's e x e r t i o n s were  d i r e c t e d at c r e a t i n g a p o r t r a i t  of Algoma which would l i v e  up to t h e i r e x p e c t a t i o n s , but f a i l e d ; t h a t he wanted to g i v e them t h e i r p e r f e c t n o r t h l a n d , but somehow couldn't out".  Intent on excusing  "get i t  the a r t i s t , F a i r l e y maintains  that  MacDonald had t e m p o r a r i l y l o s t h i s " i n t e n s e hold on r e a l i t y " and  was  "workting] on more hasty and p a r t i a l l i n e s . "  there i s no evidence with the r e s u l t .  Yet,  t h a t MacDonald, h i m s e l f , was d i s p l e a s e d  MacDonald was, by t h i s p o i n t , a seasoned  76  p a i n t e r with an estimable command of h i s medium. a l s o an impecunious one.  He was  Thus, i t i s h i g h l y u n l i k e l y t h a t a  s t u d i o p i e c e of t h i s s i z e , the l a r g e s t and most imposing of h i s c a r e e r , was anything but c a r e f u l l y thought out and executed.  I t i s s a f e to say, I f e e l , t h a t The Wild R i v e r i s  n e i t h e r a f a i l u r e on MacDonald's part to r e a l i z e h i s i n t e n t i o n s , nor i s i t something he dashed o f f q u i c k l y without  much d e l i b e r a t i o n or l e f t  i n an u n f i n i s h e d s t a t e .  Among the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s inherent i n these d i z z y i n g f l u c t u a t i o n s of shape, p a t t e r n and plane between wildness  and w i l d e r n e s s .  i s the dichotomy  Macdonald had broken an  unspoken Canadian p r o h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t g i v i n g form to the r i o t o u s aspects of nature  i n The Tangled  Garden ( O i l on  board, 48 by 60 i n s . , N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, F i g . 14) three years b e f o r e .  Now he had extended i t beyond the  domestic m i l i e u i n t o an arena which, because i t was i n t i m i d a t i n g and dangerous, couldn't be given a p l a c e i n civilized  s o c i e t y unless contained  parameters of myth. inanimate  and c o n t r o l l e d w i t h i n the  D i s t i n c t i o n s between animate and  are broken down and e v e r y t h i n g i s energized,  caught up i n a s e e t h i n g , s w i r l i n g motion.  What was read as  MacDonald's b l a t a n t d i s r e g a r d f o r r a t i o n a l i t y incensed the M a i l and Empire reviewer the i n i t i a l  when The Wild River was i n c l u d e d i n  showing of the Group of Seven i n 1920.  77  Mr. MacDonald has done a p i e c e so f a r removed from realism, from 'photography , from actual nature — r i v e r s do not flow u p h i l l , even climb over a hump--that one wonders if Canadian a r t w i l l ever grow so much more r a d i c a l t h a t the Wild River w i l l appear as c o n v e n t i o n a l as the Tangled Garden. 1  3 7  Of a l l the panels t h a t adorned the w a l l s of the A r t Museum's new  e x h i b i t i o n rooms, The Wild River alone has a  s e e t h i n g , c a u l d r o n - l i k e aspect, an atmosphere not out of keeping with a c t u a l c o n d i t i o n s i n Algoma i n I S I S .  Tall  1 8  s p i n d l y p i n e s , s o l i t a r y s u r v i v o r s of the lumber t r a d e , lean r a k i s h l y out over the abyss w h i l e , f u r t h e r down the r i v e r b a n k , a grove of spruce, dark and v i g o r o u s l y at the sky. f a l l s transmit t h e i r  lush, thrust  Crashing down the mountainside,  the  i r r e s i s t i b l e momentum to e v e r y t h i n g  around them. By j u x t a p o s i n g two  d i s t i n c t modes of  painting--one  which t r e a t s the p i c t u r e as a s u r f a c e to be modulated the other which sees  i t as an o p p o r t u n i t y to render  and  deep  space--MacDonald has c r e a t e d d i s c o r d a n t passages which enable him to o r c h e s t r a t e a tumultuous performance. t h i s c o n j u r a t i o n i n c r e a s e s the v i s u a l complexity  While  of The  R i v e r , i t a l s o a f f i r m s i t s connection with Thomson and nascent  Group, a s i n g u l a r f e a t u r e of whose products was  i n t e r p l a y between two-dimensional  and  three-dimensional  Wild the the  78 techniques of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . MacDonald, by exaggerating t h i s c o n f r o n t a t i o n , i n v e s t s the scene with a r e s t l e s s n e s s and a g i t a t i o n s u i t e d to both the f o r c e and w a t e r f a l l the unharnessed Why,  though,  p o t e n t i a l of the n o r t h .  would MacDonald embark on a course of  a c t i o n almost guaranteed was  f u r y of a g i a n t  to s t i r  up c o n t r o v e r s y ?  Why,  indeed a " r e l u c t a n t r e v o l u t i o n a r y " as M e l l e n has  i f he tagged  him, a f t e r Charlesworth had a l r e a d y heaped opprobrium over the i n f l a t e d s i z e and  on  him  " c r u d i t y " of The Tangled Garden,  would he d e v i s e a s i m i l a r composition, elemental and even more t u r b u l e n t , on a l a r g e r c a n v a s ?  1 9  Both p i e c e s were  presented i n the f i r s t Group e x h i b i t i o n but n e i t h e r offered  for sale.  t h a t , though of  Could i t be that MacDonald had  they might be unmarketable,  was  realized  they were capable  c o n f e r r i n g a n o t o r i e t y on him and h i s c o l l e a g u e s t h a t  money c o u l d n ' t buy? aroused more c r i t i c a l  A f t e r a l l , The Tangled Garden had r e a c t i o n and generated more p u b l i c i t y  than any p r e v i o u s p i e c e .  2 0  Hector  Charlesworth's  v i t u p e r a t i v e a t t a c k and MacDonald's s p i r i t e d defence  i n the  press r a i s e d MacDonald's p r o f i l e and s t i m u l a t e d i n t e r e s t i n the movement to an extent which was  unprecedented.  21  Isn't  i t c o n c e i v a b l e then t h a t The Wild R i v e r ' s i n c l u s i o n i n the 0. S. A. d i s p l a y a month before the scheduled opening of Algoma Sketches and P i c t u r e s may provoke  a similar  response?  have been intended to  F a i r l e y looks to be arguing f o r an a r t t h a t i s i n t e n s e r a t h e r than e s o t e r i c , s i n c e he f i n d s Johnston's  work  f r i v o l o u s and  l a t e r upbraids H a r r i s f o r moving too c l o s e to  abstraction.  For F a i r l e y , p a i n t i n g s can be experimental as  long as they continue to be r e a d a b l e .  Apart from  F a i r l e y ' s e x p e c t a t i o n s are not that d i f f e r e n t MacCallum's or Walker's.  this,  from  Landscape p a i n t i n g and, above  t h i s type of landscape p a i n t i n g , should be c o n t r o l l e d , and contemplative. River appears  What t r o u b l e s him most about  The  all, calm  Wild  to be i t s untamed q u a l i t y , and MacDonald's  having s t r a y e d beyond the accepted s e t of conventions f o r representing wilderness.  The b a s i c commonality of  and values i n the upper s t r a t a of Toronto e x e m p l i f i e d here by F a i r l e y ,  society,  i s one reason why  able to put together i t s audience  interests  the Group  was  from seemingly d i s p a r a t e  sources. It appears  that the d e a r t h of c r i t i c a l r e a c t i o n to  Algoma Sketches and P i c t u r e s was  r e l a t e d to the  u n e n t h u s i a s t i c r e c e p t i o n of the g a l l e r y - g o i n g p u b l i c .  2 2  I  can f i n d nothing to j u s t i f y Mellen's u n s u b s t a n t i a t e d c l a i m that "many of the c r i t i c s p r a i s e d t h i s s h o w " , - - i f 23  t h i s kind was  indeed p l e n t i f u l , why  one oft-quoted phrase  prose of  would he make do with  from Charlesworth as h i s s o l e  e x p r e s s i o n of f i r s t h a n d o p i n i o n .  2 4  Reid contents h i m s e l f  with an excerpt from the c a t a l o g u e , and comes c l o s e to  so acknowledging t h a t the Algoma e x h i b i t i o n was than r e j e c t e d ) .  By way  ignored  of e x p l a n a t i o n , he o f f e r s a  d i s c l a i m e r : " i n view of the ending of the war of the v i c t o r i o u s t r o o p s , a r t was Both Mellen and  Reid have, i n my  c o n t r i b u t e d to a f a l s e impression impact.  not r e a l l y  and  (rather blanket  the r e t u r n  news.  23  estimation,  of the e x h i b i t i o n and i t s  Making c r i t i c i s m a c a p t i o n f o r an  lumping s e l e c t i o n s from v a r i o u s sources  illustration  and  years  or  into a  kind of "nosegay" of commentary as Mellen does renders i t v i r t u a l l y meaningless as h i s t o r i c a l evidence.  Yet  i t allows  him to f o s t e r the n o t i o n t h a t the p r o j e c t drew widespread comment, much of i t f a v o r a b l e .  The  d i s m i s s i v e approach  taken by Reid r a t i o n a l i z e s away the t e p i d r e c e p t i o n to what he, an important  and and  accorded  a r t h i s t o r i a n s i n g e n e r a l , have regarded praiseworthy  event.  His general  and  a h i s t o r i c a l statement implying t h a t the Algoma show was v i c t i m of post-War euphoria  i s reasonably  would be d i f f i c u l t to prove or d i s p r o v e .  safe since i t Making i t ,  however, i m p l i e s t h a t there i s a r a t i o n a l b a s i s f o r b e l i e v i n g t h a t , had Reconstruction,  Canadians been l e s s preoccupied  the merit  Honesty and  accuracy  s a c r i f i c e d by both a u t h o r i t i e s , i n t e n t i o n a l l y or unintentionally,  with  i n these remarkable p a i n t i n g s  would have been r e c o g n i z e d .  i n favor of  lionization.  as  are  a  81  My o r i g i n a l  i n t e n t i o n was t o d e a l only with p a i n t i n g s  which were a c t u a l l y i n the Algoma show, but r e s u r r e c t i n g i t s exact contents  has proved next  to impossible because few of  the p a i n t i n g s had t i t l e s and the names which were appended were mostly  generic.  The L i t t l e F a l l and The Wild River are  the only f i n i s h e d p i c t u r e s which were d e f i n i t e l y i n the exhibition.  To provide a more e x t e n s i v e account of Algoma  works and t h e i r s o c i e t a l  implications, I ' l l  end the chapter  with an overview of the O n t a r i o i n 1919 and a d i s c u s s i o n of two works which r e s u l t e d from the second boxcar t r i p and were e x h i b i t e d i n 1920. Though the A r m i s t i c e was d e c l a r e d on November the aftermath  of the War wasn't f u l l y f e l t  f o l l o w i n g year.  u n t i l the  Contrary t o the tone of Reid's  1919 saw more bread  11, 1918,  summation,  l i n e s than brass bands as returned  s o l d i e r s swelled the ranks of the n a t i o n ' s unemployed. and  1918 had ushered  nationwide,  i n double d i g i t  inflation,  men poured i n t o the c i t i e s  3 6  1917  and,  i n search of j o b s .  Due to e a r l y i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and a s t r o n g resource base,' Ontario's p o p u l a t i o n had become urbanized s i t u a t i o n was somewhat d i f f e r e n t . 1919, desperate  sooner, and the  When, i n the s p r i n g of  c o n d i t i o n s i n the inner c i t i e s caused urban  workers to stage general s t r i k e s from coast t o c o a s t , Ontario took p a r t , but, t h e r e , the storm broke out, not i n the m e t r o p o l i s , but i n the h i n t e r l a n d .  82  Quebec was  not the o n l y c o n s t i t u e n c y a l i e n a t e d when  Borden's wartime Union government i n s t i t u t e d c o n s c r i p t i o n . The  United Farmers of O n t a r i o were outraged,  h o s t i l i t y combined with other l o n g - s t a n d i n g gained momentum i n the f i r s t year  and  this  grievances  of peacetime.  T h i s zealous new spirit was directed against the causes of rural decay, n o t a b l y the p r o t e c t i v e t a r i f f and the 'old-line' p o l i t i c a l parties. I t was the t a r i f f , above a l l t h a t caused the country's problems: combines and t r u s t s , the high cost of living, excessive profits, overpriced farm machinery, r u r a l d e p o p u l a t i o n , and the c o r r u p t i o n of p u b l i c l i f e . " 2  I n t e r e s t i n g l y , i t was  two  7  by-elections in Manitoulin Island  that returned the f i r s t United Farmers of O n t a r i o members to the p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e , i t s l e a d e r , had won accomplish twelve  2 3  and by October, E. C. Drury,  the r i g h t to form a government.  t h i s , Drury had  to persuade a m a j o r i t y of the  Independent Labor P a r t y M. P.'s  Hearst  and  h i s government had  to enter a c o a l i t i o n .  a l s o ignored the growing  s t r e n g t h of the Canadian labor movement. country was  there a more concentrated  union membership than  i n Algoma.  r i d i n g of S a u l t Ste Marie,  Nowhere i n the  or b e t t e r  2500 l i v e d  organized  i n Hearst's  the only c i t y i n Canada, where  the Trades and Labor C o u n c i l embraced every l o c a l t h e r e f o r e , presented comparatively  To  a common f r o n t .  2 9  and,  While wages were  high, workers were pushed t o , and  beyond,  own  S3  their  l i m i t s , and a g i t a t i o n reached  elsewhere,  i t s peak here, as  i n the s p r i n g and summer of 1919.  from e i t h e r government or i n d u s t r y were not however, and the anger  and  forthcoming,  f r u s t r a t i o n t h i s occasioned  manifest i n Hearst's d e f e a t .  was  U n i o n i s t , J . B. Cunningham,  head of the United Brotherhood won  Concessions  of Carpenters and  by a s i z e a b l e margin i n the f a l l  Joiners,  e l e c t i o n , and headed  south to Toronto. An a n t i - e s t a b l i s h m e n t m a j o r i t y i n Queen's Park, to  p r o t e c t i o n , the manufacturers'  guise was  opposed  lobby and b i g money i n any  (and has remained) an a b e r r a t i o n .  whose r e l a t i o n s with Whitney's, and  Edmund Walker,  l a t e r Hearst's, T o r i e s  were very cosy, could count on few f r i e n d s i n those same o f f i c e s over the next three y e a r s .  Lawren H a r r i s had  too  much money, came from the wrong f a m i l y and had the wrong f r i e n d s to mix leaders.  e a s i l y with farmbelt p o l i t i c o s and labor  As f o r MacCallum, who  played h i s p o l i t i c a l  cards  c l o s e to the c h e s t , h i s income and h i s a s s o c i a t e s were more than enough to preclude c l o s e t i e s with the new this drastically different p o l i t i c a l on how  had  Did  c l i m a t e have a b e a r i n g  the Algoma p a i n t e r s f a b r i c a t e d t h e i r  wilderness?  regime.  A f t e r a l l , t h e i r support was  f a n t a s i e s of  l i m i t e d and  they  l o s t a p o r t i o n of i t which had helped to mold t h e i r  style.  Again, a p a i n t i n g of MacDonald's seems to manifest a  p e r c e p t i b l e change i n d i r e c t i o n .  84 Both MacDonald's F a l l s , Montreal R i v e r (1920, 48 by i n s . , A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o , F i g . 7) and Frank  60  Johnston's  Fire-swept Algoma (1920, 50.25 by 66 i n s . , N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, F i g . 5) are i n d i c a t i v e of a trend accommodation which was  probably i n i t i a t e d  but becomes more apparent what The Rebel  e a r l y i n 1920.  (an organ which had,  3 0  the year b e f o r e , In response  itself,  from i t s founding p r i n c i p l e s ) had c a l l e d Ontario",  toward  been r e t r e a t i n g  "the debacle i n  items penned by F a i r l e y , MacDonald and  l o s t much of t h e i r edge.  Modernism was  impatience with outmoded ideas was  discussed less,  admirers by  on a " d i s c r i m i n a t i n g " p u b l i c the a t t r i b u t e s of  break with the past, was  Jackson and  d i s p l a c e d by a more  i n g r a t i a t i n g posture which s o l i c i t e d  refinement and s o p h i s t i c a t i o n . One  to  bestowing  intelligence,  method of downplaying  to s t r e s s that these a r t i s t s ,  " n a t i v e sons", were c a r r y i n g on a new  the  as  t r a d i t i o n with i t s own  s h o r t but r e s p e c t a b l e f a m i l y t r e e . Once more Barker F a i r l e y , whose "Tom  Thomson and  Others" made i t s appearance i n the pages of The Rebel  i n the  same month as the f o r t y - e i g h t h 0. S. A. opened i t s d o o r s , c o n t r i v e d a genealogy  complete  course, B r i t i s h ) antecedents p o s i t i o n of h i s chums. reformulated  32  with venerable  (and, of  to l e g i t i m i z e the c u r r e n t  Thomson, the touchstone, i s  i n t h i s e x e r c i s e , s i n c e F a i r l e y , though he  c r e d i t s Thomson's naive genius, c h a l l e n g e s h i s p o s i t i o n  as  3 1  85 the " f a t h e r of the movement".  In F a i r l e y ' s eyes,  this  v e r s i o n i n v e r t e d the t r u t h : the s u p p o r t i v e network of a r t i s t s a l r e a d y e x i s t e d , and that nexus "gave b i r t h " t o Thomson. Thomson i s equated with the E n g l i s h Thomas G i r t i n  watercolorist,  (1775-1802) f o r h i s s h o r t l i f e and c o l o r i s t i c  i n n o v a t i o n s while MacDonald, H a r r i s , Jackson and the r e s t are equated  with h i s contemporaries who c a r r i e d on to  develop the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y E n g l i s h landscape s c h o o l . The s i t u a t i o n was as h e a l t h y a one as that i n which Turner, G i r t i n , Cozens, Cotman and others were h e l p i n g one another discover the true English landscape a c e n t u r y and a h a l f ago or less. 3 3  E n l i s t i n g such an analogy i s a f a r c r y from F a i r l e y ' s d e s c r i p t i v e technique of a year e a r l i e r when drawing o u t s i d e comparisons would have been e n t i r e l y out of keeping with h i s d e l i n e a t i o n of experimental and c h a l l e n g i n g works and the bold i n d i v i d u a l i s t s who c r e a t e d them.  86  Two  short paragraphs are a l l t h a t Reid devotes to  second boxcar t r i p  i n h i s book, The  F a l l s , Montreal River with  i s one  Group of Seven,  of eleven  the  and  pictures associated  i t (the t r i p ) which are reproduced without comment.  In Mellen's volume, although a c o l o r p l a t e of The  Wild  i s p a i r e d with a f u l l  i s no  reference  page of r e l a t e d t e x t , there  at a l l to the l a t e r p a i n t i n g .  explanation  f o r why  l i t e r a t u r e may show i n May.  i t has  34  River  A possible  3 9  been passed over i n the  have been i t s absence from the Group of Seven Being j u s t d a r i n g enough to hold on to a  f o l l o w i n g which conceived  i t s e l f as p r o g r e s s i v e ,  yet  decorous enough not to j e o p a r d i z e t h e i r ongoing program to l u r e wealthy purchasers,  while  remaining a c c e s s i b l e enough  to r e t a i n the a s s i s t a n c e of Walker and  the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y  i s the kind of j u g g l i n g act i n which F a i r l e y , Macdonald the others were engaged. predicament and  Some a p p r e c i a t i o n of  clarify, and  I t h i n k , the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n  the emergence of t h i s p a i n t i n g .  production,  the circumstances I've  r e l e v a n t to why at  the R.  C. A .  their  the p r e v a i l i n g u n c e r t a i n t y of middle  upper c l a s s Torontonians i n the f i r s t  the work was 36  months of 1920  helps  At odds with h i s former o u t l i n e d are a l s o  seen at the 0.  but would have been an  of the Group of Seven.  and  in Fairley's writing  S. A. and  later  inappropriate  o f f e r i n g from MacDonald, a l e a d i n g member, at the presentation  and  initial  87 Slightly River  smaller than The  Wild R i v e r , F a l l s ,  Montreal  (1920, 48 by 60.25 i n s . , Art G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o ) ,  The L i t t l e F a l l , i n t e g r a t e s the vocabulary  of the camera  i n t o the language of p a i n t i n g .  f o r what  Prototypes  like  MacDonald does here are found not so much i n academic landscapes,  though there are c e r t a i n a f f i n i t i e s , but  high q u a l i t y photos used to i l l u s t r a t e volumes on wonders" which were f a v o r i t e g i f t s families. i n The there  Whereas branches and  i n middle and  i n the  "scenic upper c l a s s  the s e n t i n e l pines  intervene  Wild R i v e r keeping the viewer at a d i s t a n c e , here i s no such b a r r i e r and  something to  experience,  the p i c t u r e , r a t h e r than  becomes a f a c s i m i l e of  These mechanisms, a p r e c a r i o u s viewpoint  and  being  experience.  photographic  " n a t u r a l i s m " , along with MacDonald's more f a m i l i a r  tricks,  such as handling p a i n t to convey motion, are deployed to i n t e n s i f y the v e r t i g i n o u s T h i s has  descent.  to be seen, I f e e l , as the  i n t r o d u c t i o n of an  a l t e r n a t e tendency away from s o - c a l l e d " d i f f i c u l t " a r t , a r e t u r n to a p r e - I m p r e s s i o n i s t  mode of p a i n t i n g .  3 7  Instead  of a border around a pigmented s u r f a c e , the frame r e v e r t s to the s t a t u s of a window, and  the o b j e c t i v e i s to provide  c o n v i n c i n g simulacrum of d i r e c t apprehension. hue  and  aerial  gradations  Variations in  i n t o n a l i t y , the nuances of l i n e a r  p e r s p e c t i v e are p a i n s t a k i n g l y adjusted  v a l l e y , r o l l i n g h i l l s or whatever extend  a  and  so that a  "realistically"  88  i n t o the d i s t a n c e .  3 8  As f o r the s u b j e c t m a t t e r , i t s e l f , t h i s falls,  l o o k i n g down on them from above and  "take" on the j u s t beyond where  they roar over the p r e c i p i c e , e m p h a t i c a l l y announces the height of the mountain, the f o r c e f u l n e s s of the d r i v i n g water and the amplitude hillsides  of h e a v i l y f o r e s t e d r i v e r b a n k s and  i n the d i s t a n c e .  An unbroken sea of f o l i a g e ,  this  l u x u r i a n t carpet i s so t h i c k t h a t i n d i v i d u a l t r e e s are v i r t u a l l y i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e even at i t s edges which resemble s o l i d w a l l s of v e g e t a t i o n .  MacDonald has borrowed from  l e x i c o n of popular c u l t u r e and  the  Salon a r t to make F a l I s ,  Montreal River more r e c o g n i z a b l e and  less intimidating  than  i t s predecessor, The Wild R i v e r . Couched i n the phraseology  of the p i c t u r e s q u e and  s p e c t a c u l a r , t h i s address, more c o n v e n t i o n a l and more b l a t a n t than e a r l i e r works i s aimed d i r e c t l y at the business class.  An enchanted  p l e n t y , Algoma pours  cornucopia, a horn of i n e x h a u s t i b l e out her t r e a s u r e s before t h e i r  eyes.  F a s t becoming O n t a r i o ' s s i g n a l a s s e t s , those p r e c i o u s i n g r e d i e n t s , meltwater and woodfiber converted to pulp and newsprint Ontario.  c o u l d be  readily  and had drawn investment  to  Though the end products along with most of the  p r o f i t s were shipped south, the boost  i n export value they  occasioned had saved the p r o v i n c i a l economy from a g e n e r a l d e c l i n e i n manufacturing  which f o l l o w e d the War.  39  Still  89  more important however, now that a lack of i r o n ore had c u r t a i l e d Canadian  hopes of becoming a major s t e e l  the c o n s t r u c t i o n of l a r g e automated pulp and paper  producer, mills  meant that American  technology and know-how would continue  to  In F a l l s , Montreal River t h e r e are j u s t  flow northward.  two s u b j e c t s : c l e a n , r u s h i n g water and a l i m i t l e s s r i c h i n spruce and f i r . p a r l a y i n g nominal  4 0  As the m a t e r i a l s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r  investments  i n t o phenomenal r e t u r n s ,  they more than dominate the f i e l d ; they are Dissimilar  4 1  the f i e l d .  i n many ways to h i s then c o l l a b o r a t o r s ,  Johnston wrote l i t t l e uninterested  forest  f o r p u b l i c a t i o n and appeared  i n d e v e l o p i n g a p u b l i c persona.  T h i s , along  with h i s a b o r t i v e a f f i l i a t i o n with the Group e x p l a i n s i n some measure why i n f o r m a t i o n about him i s s c a t t e r e d and scant.  Thoroughly schooled i n the t e c h n i c a l s i d e of  p a i n t i n g , he was an accomplished  and p r o l i f i c  craftsman.  R e s i s t i n g the a f f e c t a t i o n s of the "bush a r t i s t " , he continued to dress and behave l i k e a middle  class  businessman. F a i r l e y c o n s i d e r e d Johnston's work s u p e r f i c i a l , but made use of i t i n "Algonquin and Algoma" f o r d i d a c t i c purposes.  D i s d a i n i n g s p e c i f i c mention  he holds up Johnston's  of p a r t i c u l a r works,  e n t i r e c o n t r i b u t i o n to Algoma  Sketches and P i c t u r e s as an example of s l i c k and s o u l - l e s s decorative s k i l l ,  i n f e r i o r to the m e n t a l l y and s p i r i t u a l l y  90  demanding a r t of p a i n t i n g .  As i f to remove any doubt  about  h i s contempt f o r Johnston's e f f o r t s , he compares them u n f a v o r a b l y to a p i c t u r e by Carmichael, the j u n i o r member of the Group. It w i l l be i n t e r e s t i n g to see whether he [Johnston] w i l l continue i n h i s present v e i n of l u x u r i a n t d e c o r a t i o n or submit more p a t i e n t l y to something deeper. H i s present manner a t t r a c t s and f a t i g u e s at once. Frank Carmichael's Winter Uplans is a peculiarly interesting picture, highly arbitrary i n i t s treatment of t r e e and sky and yet f u l l of r e a l i t y . It s t a y s i n the mind as a landscape, not a decoration. 4 2  Whereas H a r r i s , MacDonald and Jackson courted highbrow p u b l i c s , Johnston u s u a l l y made h i s p i t c h to middlebrow middle income p i c t u r e - b u y e r s , and, i n so doing, succeeded i n a t t r a c t i n g a broader c r o s s - s e c t i o n of support. Johnston's  inclusion  Indeed,  i n the Group might have been c a l c u l a t e d  to b r i n g i n a wider range of viewers.  Once i n s i d e , they  would have the o p p o r t u n i t y to peruse "more s e r i o u s " work. Whether or not h i s f e l l o w a r t i s t s disapproved, as F a i r l e y d i d , of Johnston's pandering, they may have come to r e s e n t the f a v o r a b l e n o t i c e s he r e c e i v e d  4 3  and the s a l e s that were  beginning t o come h i s way. Johnston was i n a d i f f e r e n t p o s i t i o n from MacDonald, who, a f t e r Thomson, was the a r t i s t who d e r i v e d the most  x.  91  b e n e f i t from MacCallum's l a r g e s s e . to r e l y on purchases  arranged  Neither had he been able  by Walker, whose i n t e r c e s s i o n  with the p r o v i n c i a l government and stewardship  of the  N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y and  i t s budget had become, i f not an ample,  at  source of funding f o r MacDonald.  least  a reliable,  S e v e r a l o b s t a c l e s kept Johnston Group.  True, h i s I r i s h  the "odd man  out" i n the  immigrant background wasn't as  s o c i a l l y a c c e p t a b l e as MacDonald's E n g l i s h b i r t h p l a c e , t h i s disadvantage and t h e i r  was  but  probably e a s i e r f o r h i s f e l l o w a r t i s t s  mentors to overlook than h i s lack of  intellectual  p r e t e n s i o n and h i s brash openness about the commercial aspects of making and s e l l i n g a r t . Aggressive and ambitious, Johnston  had managed, with  Walker's h e l p , to keep p a i n t i n g d u r i n g the War, the War  Records commissions, Walker had proven  about a c q u i r i n g Johnston's correspondence University  work.  with MacCallum, h i s c o n t a c t s at the with the  ideologues of the emergent " n a t i o n a l s t y l e " not untoward to surmise  savants. acquired.  in art, i t is  a r e s i s t a n c e to Johnston  output on Walker's p a r t as w e l l . what he saw  reticent  C o n s i d e r i n g h i s durable  and h i s p u b l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  4 4  but p r i o r  A spirited  and h i s  advocate  of  as a h e a l t h y r a p p o r t between businessmen and  Walker seemed to savor the r e p u t a t i o n he Only too aware t h a t Johnston's  h i g h l y valued  i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l  had  stock was  community, why  not  would  to  92  Walker j e o p a r d i z e the tenuous  acceptance he had  i n that  sphere by backing him? Fire-swept Algoma (1920, G a l l e r y of Canada), c r e a t i o n s , may  something  50.25 by 66 i n s . , The  National  of an anomaly among Johnston's  have been h i s b i d to change a l l t h a t .  in the 0. S. A. e x h i b i t i o n Montreal R i v e r ) ,  i t was  Academy e x h i b i t i o n l a t e r  Also  (along with MacDonald's F a l l s ,  not sent on to the Royal i n the y e a r . *  Canadian  I t d i d , however,  4  along with a s u b s t a n t i a l number of f i n i s h e d works by Johnston, form part of the Group of Seven show i n May. bit  A  bigger than MacDonald's p i e c e , i t too borrows from the  photograph,  but that v a r i e t y of i l l u s i o n i s m i s not pursued  by J o h n s t o n .  Instead i n t h i s venue, he adheres  4-7  quite  c l o s e l y to the schema which had become something  of a  trademark  heirs  i n d i s q u i s i t i o n s by Thomson's o f f i c i a l  A Northern Lake.  Rocks, stumps and burnt branches  the  immediate  the  d i s t a n c e necessary f o r pensive a p p r a i s a l .  foreground i n t h i s p a i n t i n g and how i n any fundamental  tradition.  litter  Extended  imbued with a c e r t a i n p r e c a r i o u s n e s s  by being sheared o f f where i t abuts the d i s t a n t  break  since  foreground, e r e c t i n g a b a r r i e r which permits  f u r t h e r than u s u a l , and  the  46  mountains,  i t i s managed don't  r e s p e c t with the Thomson  4 6  Trees, or what's l e f t  of them, are l i n e a r  reinforcements to the shape of the frame.  They are markers  g u i d i n g the progress  of the eye and  o r i e n t i n g the  observer  as w e l l as l i n k i n g mechanisms which k n i t the s t r u c t u r e together.  Behind, a f l a t backdrop i s suspended as i n  c o u n t l e s s other p r e s e n t a t i o n s by Thomson and partners  i n the Group, and  the i n t e r p l a y between a h i g h l y  modulated a n t e r i o r " s h e l f " and plane  i s , as I've  recognized unusual and than how  prospective  a two-dimensional p o s t e r i o r  s t r e s s e d , one  of the most e a s i l y  f e a t u r e s of the Group's e a r l y s t y l e . novel  What i s  i n the work has more to do with the theme  i t ' s handled.  Four days i n t o the run of the 0. S. A., Commission was  a Timber  s t r u c k by Drury's c o a l i t i o n to i n v e s t i g a t e  a l l e g a t i o n s of c o r r u p t i o n i n the M i n i s t r y of Lands, F o r e s t s and Mines under the C o n s e r v a t i v e s . previous M i n i s t e r , had known as "the  Howard Ferguson,  the  imposed few r e s t r i c t i o n s on what  o l d Tory timber  ring".  l e a d i n g up to the October, 1919 time as the second Algoma t r i p ) , resource management was  4 9  election  During  was  the campaign  (around the same  government d u p l i c i t y i n  a major i s s u e and Ferguson,  was  c a s t i g a t e d by a l l three c h a l l e n g e r s : the Independent Labour P a r t y , the L i b e r a l s and  the United Farmers of  L i b e r a l c h i e f , H a r t l e y Dewart c a l l e d him i n f l u e n c e i n the Government", one  piece of l e g i s l a t i o n  50  Ontario.  "the most c o r r u p t  but Ferguson had  introduced  i n h i s career which even h i s  d e t r a c t o r s found d i f f i c u l t  to f a u l t .  His espousal  of  forest  p r o t e c t i o n , though induced by the safeguards, had of  for  brought about the F o r e s t F i r e P r e v e n t i o n  Act  1917. Has  (and  industry's desire  Johnston, then, adapted the Group's methodology  mythology) to take on the a d d i t i o n a l and  prerogative  topical  of b o l s t e r i n g morale among that p o r t i o n of  the  i n t e l l e c t u a l e l i t e which comprised the Group's p u b l i c ?  Was  Johnston narrowing h i s focus at the same time t h a t MacDonald was  broadening h i s ?  in Ontario,  A f t e r a decade and  professionals, c i v i l  no doubt come to consider i n d u s t r i a l i s t s and order of t h i n g s .  servants  each t i e r  what could  i t may  the F o r e s t  had  natural  seem today,  might have operated i n  reminder of a past  triumph: of  be a t t a i n e d through the c o - o p e r a t i o n  entrepreneurs and  s c i e n t i s t s (Ferguson had  also  of reorganized  S e r v i c e ) , a v i n d i c a t i o n of p r o f e s s i o n a l i z a t i o n .  If t h i s was  Johnston's a l l - o u t b i d to gain acceptance from  that r a r i f i e d  segment of the middle c l a s s , perhaps i t  too s u c c e s s f u l . favorably  academics  of government to be the  As p e c u l i a r as  sense as a r e a s s u r i n g  and  a sense of shared purpose between  Johnston's image of s t a r k c o n t r a s t s one  a h a l f of Tory r u l e  At any  received  and  Walker f o r the N a t i o n a l Exhibition.  Was  r a t e , Fire-Swept, Algoma became the  was  was  l a r g e s t purchase made by  G a l l e r y from the Group of Seven  r e c o g n i t i o n of the not  so v e i l e d a l l u s i o n  i n Johnston's p a i n t i n g a f a c t o r i n c o n v i n c i n g  Walker to  a c q u i r e Fire-Swept, A l g o m a ?  81  Though o l d e r than the present  generation of b e t t e r educated and more s p e c i a l i z e d c o r p o r a t e capitalists,  3 2  Walker p l a i n l y supported the t r e n d .  I must i n j e c t here that I'm  not  s a y i n g that t h i s i s  what the p i c t u r e "means", but o f f e r i n g an a l t e r n a t e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which b r i n g s i n t o p l a y a r e a d i n g , a v a i l a b l e (given the high p r o f i l e of the c o n t r o v e r s y ) to many i n i t s audience.  T h i s adds another dimension to Fire-Swept,  3 3  Algoma's a f f i r m a t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n dramatic, superabundant  i n the v i s i o n of a b o l d ,  Algoma, an Algoma i n which a s c a r r e d  foreground simply serves to accentuate the w a l l of f o r e s t beyond. All  four p a i n t i n g s  ( r e t u r n i n g to Barthes' terminology)  " t a l k about" Algoma u s i n g the lexis which was  itself  of the " n o r t h " , a  lexis  being m o d i f i e d to meet the needs of  f i n a n c e , i n d u s t r y and the s t a t e .  Algoma might  be seen as a  haven, a storehouse of energy and r e s o u r c e s , an "open sesame" to a new  era of p r o s p e r i t y and ease, but, these  d e f i n i t i o n s , though themselves  resembling e a r l i e r usage, were  changing.  o c c u r r i n g because redefined.  Each of these t r a n s i t i o n s  the word " n o r t h " i t s e l f was  Northernness  as f a r as Canada was  was  being concerned  had  u s u a l l y r e f e r r e d to p o i n t s north of p o p u l a t i o n c e n t e r s which were, almost without e x c e p t i o n , c l u s t e r e d along i t s southernmost  boundary.  In a d d i t i o n , f o r E n g l i s h  Canadians,  96  as Cole H a r r i s has  pointed  out, being  c a r r i e d an added c o n n o t a t i o n - - i t was with B r i t a i n . *  4  But,  a northern a p o i n t of  nation connection  as B r i t i s h investment d e c l i n e d i n  Canada a f t e r the Great War  and  p l a c e , both the r e g i o n a l and  American input took i t s  g l o b a l determinations  of  the  word "north" began to be r e p l a c e d by a c o n t i n e n t a l frame of reference.  97  Roland Barthes, "Myth Today" i n Mythologies H i l l and Wang, 1972) 110. x  2  Ibid.,  (New  York:  43.  T h i s study e n t i t l e d The L i t t l e F a l l s was not shown p u b l i c l y u n t i l 1933 and i s now i n the Art G a l l e r y of Ontario. See Group of Seven, 128. 3  4  "Algonquin  and Algoma",  282.  A s h o r t survey by Douglas Cole ( " A r t i s t s Patrons and P u b l i c : An Enquiry i n t o the Success of the Group of Seven", J o u r n a l of Canadian S t u d i e s 13:2 (Summer, 1978) 69-77) takes up t h i s angle, r e l a t i n g the r i s e of a "wilderness 'ethos'" and the c o t t a g i n g movement to the r e c o g n i t i o n achieved by the Group. While Cole's premise has merit and he has uncovered some f a s c i n a t i n g m a t e r i a l (much of i t , f r u s t r a t i n g l y , undocumented), he p r o j e c t s an e n v i r o n m e n t a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e backwards a s c r i b i n g to Ontarians i n the twenties and e a r l i e r a s e t of a t t i t u d e s which d i d n ' t become widespread u n t i l much l a t e r . That the north was experienced as a playground by a growing body of w e l l - t o - d o southerners and t h a t t h i s was the o n l y i n t i m a t e knowledge of i t that many of them possessed should be taken i n t o account. But i t must a l s o be acknowledged t h a t t h i s emendation i s h a r d l y a d r a s t i c one nor does i t c o n s t i t u t e a c h a l l e n g e i n any r e a l sense to the a r t h i s t o r i c a l l e g a c y . Cole's terminology i s vague and h i s chronology muddled, yet what d i s t o r t s h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n s t i l l more, I t h i n k , i s h i s almost complete n e g l e c t of the economic base i n the near and middle n o r t h . Reading Cole, one would t h i n k t h a t h o t e l s and r e s o r t s were the o n l y commercial undertakings i n t h i s s e c t i o n of the p r o v i n c e . s  E. R. (Edmund Robert) Hunter, J . E. H. MacDonald: a biography and catalogue of h i s work (Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1940) 24. 6  98  7  Ibid.  S p r i n g Rapids, 1912 ( o i l on board, 7 by 9 i n s , N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, Ottawa), one of the f i r s t of MacDonald's works purchased by Dr. MacCallum, bears the most s t r i k i n g resemblance. MacDonald c e r t a i n l y knew of the Doctor's keen d e l i g h t i n rough water (See A P a i n t e r ' s Country f o r Jackson's account of s a i l i n g and canoeing with MacCallum, and how "even when he was past s i x t y he would take chances going through or over s h o a l s . . . i n passages h a r d l y wide enough t o t u r n about." 86) and i t i s p o s s i b l e that h i s awareness of t h i s p r e f e r e n c e and the r e c e n t a c q u i s i t i o n of two s m a l l sketches of r o i l i n g r i v e r s by Thomson, Dark Waters and S w i f t Waters,(both very l a t e , probably from the s p r i n g of 1917), may have i n f l u e n c e d Macdonald i n h i s d e p i c t i o n . 3  The most famous examples of Thomson's v a r i a n t on the venerable technique of e n f o r c i n g r e c e s s i o n by p o s i t i o n i n g a shape or f i g u r e i n the extreme foreground are probably The West Wind, 1917 (Art G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o ) and The Jack Pine, 1917 ( N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada). 9  Plans f o r a pulp and paper development on the Montreal River had been i n p l a c e f o r some time, but d i d n ' t go ahead u n t i l a f t e r the War. Drummond, 82. 1 0  1 1  Thomson, i n t u r n , probably learned  X 2  "Algonquin and Algoma", 281.  1 3  I b i d . , 281-282.  i t from Jackson.  In t h i s i n s t a n c e , t h i s was l i t e r a l l y t r u e s i n c e the event which d i r e c t l y preceded the Algoma show was the E x h i b i t i o n of B r i t i s h Naval Photographs i n C o l o u r . Sponsored by B r i t a i n ' s Department of P u b l i c Information, and f e a t u r i n g photos of the Royal Navy i n a c t i o n , i t ran from A p r i l 2 t o A p r i l 22 drawing r e c o r d crowds. A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o , Minute Books, 17 2. 1 4  " P a i n t e r - E t c h e r s and Others", Saturday Night 23:31 (May 17, 1919) 3. 1 =  99  "Glimpses of Nature", u n i d e n t i f i e d newspaper c l i p p i n g , n. p., n. d., (Art G a l l e r y of Ontario A r c h i v e s , F i l e 1: A. 4 .1. 3 ., Box 3) x s  1 7  10,  "Seven A r t i s t s I n v i t e C r i t i c i s m " , M a i l and 1920 quoted i n Mellen, 82.  Empire,  May  I introduce t h i s suggestion to b r i n g i n a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n on Algoma, not to intimate that MacDonald was r a d i c a l i n any sense of the word. Indeed, even though Algoma S t e e l was well-known as one of Canada's f i r s t l a r g e s c a l e experiments i n mass p r o d u c t i o n ( C r a i g Heron, Working in S t e e l (Toronto: McLelland and Stewart L t d . , 1988) I61) a circumstance which could have been e x p l o i t e d to i d e n t i f y Algoma with modernity, t h i s seems more denied than a f f i r m e d by the p a i n t i n g ' s content and i t s t e x t u a l r e i n f o r c e m e n t s . F u r t h e r , while i t i s tempting to c o n s t r u c t an analogy between the d i s q u i e t of The Wild River and labor unrest i n Algoma, g i v i n g i n to that urge would be c o n t r i b u t i n g to the common and f a l l a c i o u s equation of " r a d i c a l a e s t h e t i c s " with p o l i t i c a l radicalism. Indeed, MacDonald's more a b s t r a c t canvas i s probably even more removed from everyday human concerns than other Algoma c r e a t i o n s . The p l i g h t of Algoma workers was a desperate one (Passage i n t o law of b i l l s aimed at l i m i t i n g working hours were s u c c e s s f u l l y blocked by Canadian s t e e l companies. As a r e s u l t , twelve hour days and seven day weeks (with a s i n g l e day o f f every two weeks) remained the norm i n Canadian m i l l s long a f t e r the e i g h t hour day was w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d i n the United States and Europe. Algoma and Nova S c o t i a held out the l o n g e s t , f i n a l l y c a p i t u l a t i n g i n 1935. 88-89), but MacDonald, a w h i t e - c o l l a r wage-earner with a l i m i t e d education scrambling to be accepted by an i n c r e a s i n g l y l i t e r a t e e l i t e would have been an u n l i k e l y a l l y . 1 8  Mellen r e f e r s to MacDonald as "a r e b e l i n s p i t e of h i m s e l f " and to " h i s unwanted r o l e as a r e v o l u t i o n a r y " and Charlesworth c a s t i g a t e d the p a i n t e r f o r making The Tangled Garden "much too l a r g e f o r the r e l a t i v e importance of the s u b j e c t " and c o n c e n t r a t i n g on "the c r u d i t y of the c o l o u r s r a t h e r than the d e l i c a t e t r a c e r y of a l l v e g e t a t i o n . . . " Mellen, 64 (an excerpt from Charlesworth's n o t i c e i s quoted on the same page). 1 9  F i r s t shown at the 44th 0. S. A. from March 11 to A p r i l , 15, 1916, The Tangled Garden has s i n c e become, i n Dennis Reid's words, "the s i n g l e most d i s c u s s e d work i n Canadian art." Group of Seven, 12 4. 2 0  100 C h a r l e s w o r t h s " P i c t u r e s That Can Be Heard" came out i n Saturday Night on March 18, 1916, and MacDonald's r e p l y , "Bouquets From a Tangled Garden", was p r i n t e d i n the Globe on March 27. 2 1  1  S l i g h t l y more than 1100 people twenty-three days ( f o r an average f o r t y - f o u r ) compared to more than see the c o l o r photos of the Royal 2 2  2 3  v i s i t e d the show over d a i l y t o t a l of about 8,000 a week who came to Navy. Minute Books, 172.  M e l l e n , 82.  Ibid. The sentence i n f u l l (from which Mellen quotes seven words here i t a l i c i z e d ) sounds, to my ear, as i f the a d j e c t i v e s " v i t a l " and "experimental" would be f o l l o w e d by the phrase " i f nothing e l s e " were i t not f o r Charlesworth's s a r d o n i c a f f e c t a t i o n of gentlemanly r e s t r a i n t . "Yet 2 4  another  display  which  is  at  least  vital  and  experimental  is  a c o l l e c t i o n of sketches and p i c t u r e s , made along the route of the Algoma C e n t r a l Railway l a s t autumn by J . E. H. Macdonald ( s i c ) , Lawrence ( s i c ) H a r r i s and Frank H. Johnston, of Toronto." I t a l s o occurs to me that the m i s s p e l l i n g of MacDonald's and H a r r i s ' names may have been d e l i b e r a t e , intended to be m i l d l y i r r i t a t i n g and to d i f f e r e n t i a t e them from Johnston, whose work Charlesworth could approve. Group of Seven, 131. T h i s i s s i n g u l a r l y u/jinformative s i n c e a r t "was not r e a l l y news" i n Canada, g l o b a l c o n f l a g r a t i o n or no. 2 5  Robert C r a i g Brown and Ramsay Cook, Canada, 1896-1921: A Nation Transformed (Toronto: McLelland and Stewart L i m i t e d , 19 7~4), 309. 2 S  2 7  Ibid.,  317.  W. L. Morton, The P r o g r e s s i v e P a r t y i n Canada, (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1950) 71-72. 2 8  C. D. M a r t i n , "Algoma Labour Becomes P o l i t i c a l l y A c t i v e , 1914-1922" i n John F e r r i s , ed., F i f t y Years of Labour i n Algoma, Essays on Aspects of Algoma's Working-Class H i s t o r y (Sault Ste. Marie, O n t a r i o : Algoma U n i v e r s i t y C o l l e g e , 1978) 65. 2 9  3 0  The Rebel went on:  C o n s o l a t i o n may come from the f a c t that three years must pass before an appeal to the people i s necessary, and from the r e f l e c t i o n that w i t h i n three years much may happen to shake the purpose of the insurgent forces of r u r a l and urban labour. A p p a r e n t l y t h e r e i s no m i s t r u s t of t h e i r mandate, no r e c o g n i t i o n of the f a c t t h a t they were e l e c t e d on war-time i s s u e s and a war-time f r a n c h i s e , [women were e n f r a n c h i s e d i n O n t a r i o i n 1917.] f o r e v e r to be abominated. " P o l i t i c s and People", The Rebel 4:4  (Jan., 1920)  161.  The Rebel 3:6 (March, 1920) 244-248. O s t e n s i b l y , F a i r l e y was r e v i e w i n g a memorial e x h i b i t i o n which came to Toronto for the l a s t two weeks i n February. See Group of Seven, 133. 3 1  A l s o m o t i v a t i n g F a i r l e y may have been f a l l o u t from h i s summary treatment of Thomson i n "Algonquin and Algoma". I t i s not u n l i k e l y that s i n c e f a s c i n a t i o n with Thomson and h i s s t o r y were undiminished, that F a i r l e y r e a l i z e d (or had i t pointed out to him) that the stance he had taken toward the drowned a r t i s t had been a t a c t i c a l e r r o r . 3 2  3 3  Ibid.,  246.  120 Reid's account can be found on pages 136 and 138 i n Group of Seven and F a l l s , Montreal R i v e r i s i l l u s t r a t e d on page 141 (No. 99). Reference i s made to the p i e c e i n one of Reid's more recent books as" one of MacDonald's best p i c t u r e s , and among the very f i n e s t produced by the Group". Nonetheless, t h i s doesn't seem to be enough to j u s t i f y a deeper a n a l y s i s , and we f i n d out o n l y that i t i s " r i c h l y d e c o r a t i v e " and "profound with the blown f u l l n e s s of l a t e autumn." See Dennis Reid, A Concise H i s t o r y of Canadian P a i n t i n g (Toronto: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1973) 146 3 - 4  Mellen, 82-83, No.  3 B  102.  The f o r t y - s e c o n d annual e x h i b i t of the Royal Canadian Academy was held at Montreal i n November of 1920. 3 6  From the e a r l y 1920's, more " n a t u r a l i s t i c " works marked by g r e a t e r i l l u s i o n i s m and deep r e c e s s i o n become a r e g u l a r part of the Group's r e p e r t o i r e . 3 - 7  In c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n to t h i s i s the more modern, i n a r t h i s t o r i c a l terms, p r o p o s i t i o n of c o n c e i v i n g the canvas as a plane upon which a composition i s d e v i s e d to stand f o r , not to masquerade as, the scene i n nature. 3 0  In the four year p e r i o d , 1918 to 1922, the manufacture of pulp i n c r e a s e d by 400 percent, and i t s export value along with newsprint, reached t h i r t e e n m i l l i o n d o l l a r s (compared to two m i l l i o n i n 1900) p r o p e l l i n g i t to f i r s t p l a c e as the n a t i o n ' s most important product. Donald MacKay, Heritage L o s t , The C r i s i s i n Canada's F o r e s t s (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1985) 66. 3 9  AO " T pulp m i l l s ' need f o r black spruce and balsam f i r . . . g a v e Canada, i n e f f e c t , a new commercial f o r e s t r e l a t i v e l y untouched." Ibid. n e  -* Whereas d i v i d e n d s from manufacturing brought l i t t l e b e n e f i t to l o c a l entrepreneurs, g r a f t along with i n e p t i t u d e i n O n t a r i o " s Department of Lands, F o r e s t s and Mines ensured that "mining f o r pulpwood" was a l u c r a t i v e e n t e r p r i s e . 1  The wood c o u l d be obtained by buying up the returned s o l d i e r s ' land g r a n t s , by s e t t l i n g patented lands and stripping them of pulpwood, and by outright trespass But the most effective method of o b t a i n i n g wood was t o stake a mining c l a i m , which at the time gave the claimant r i g h t s to a l l timber except pine over an area of ten square miles.(Lambert, 264)  103  Another i n s t a n c e of the c o r r u p t p r a c t i s e s engaged i n under Howard Ferguson's a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the Department ( r e v e a l e d at the L a t c h f o r d - R i d d e l l E n q u i r y i n 1920) was the n e a r l y two thousand square miles of timber r i g h t s s o l d without tender between 1918 and 1920.(Ibid., 266) 4 2  "Algonquin and Algoma",  281.  Charlesworth, r e v e r s i n g F a i r l e y ' s stand, d i s m i s s e s MacDonald and H a r r i s as s k i l l e d draughtsmen and t h e i r Algoma s u b j e c t s as " s e l f - c o n s c i o u s " and " c l e v e r " while c r e d i t i n g Johnston with "the most p o e t i c f e e l i n g " (Hector Charlesworth, " P a i n t e r - E t c h e r s " ) . "Mr. Johnston sees nature much as a huge d e c o r a t i o n " , d e c l a r e s an anonymous r e p o r t on the same show. F i n d i n g t h i s a p e r f e c t l y s u i t a b l e way, seemingly, of "seeing nature" he/she concludes with an admiring (?) e v o c a t i o n of Johnston's scene: "the blue and purple mountains with a glimpse of orange sky, the s p a r k l e of autumn f o l i a g e a g a i n s t the molten grey of a p l a c i d l a k e he [Johnston] e l i m i n a t e s d e t a i l and f i n d s w i l d , unbroken expanses. ("Glimpses of Nature" (See note 16.)) 4 3  These took i n the e d i t o r s of The Rebel (one of whom was MacDonald), a p u b l i c a t i o n Walker h e a r t i l y approved. In 1918, he wrote them to commend the j o u r n a l f o r not l i v i n g up to i t s name. 4 4  May I as one of your Constant Readers say how much I enjoy The Rebel. I suppose p a r t of the enjoyment arises because you are not r e a l l y r e b e l s but are merely expostulating with the Government [of the U n i v e r s i t y ] sometimes with the times and the manners but always with a p o i n t to your attack which i s f a i r l y new and s t a r t l i n g . L e t t e r to The Rebel from S i r Edmund Walker. Walker Papers, Box 24.  Jan. 12,  1918.  104  The f o r t y - e i g h t h annual e x h i b i t of the O n t a r i o S o c i e t y of A r t i s t s took p l a c e at the A r t Museum of Toronto from March 5 to A p r i l 14, 1920, and the f o r t y - s e c o n d showing of the Royal Canadian Academy was held at Montreal i n November. Among the Museum's best-attended o f f e r i n g s t h a t year, the O. S. A. drew c l o s e to 8,000 s p e c t a t o r s . Minute Book, 208 4 5  A r t Museum of Toronto, Group of Seven, May 7-27, 1920, a catalogue was p u b l i s h e d . Johnston had more works f o r s a l e than any other Group a r t i s t . 4 6  As i t i s , f o r example, i n the e a r l i e r " s e n s a t i o n a l " B e a m s v i l l e (72 i n s . by 54 i n s . , N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada) i n which Johnston "apes" a e r i a l photography. 4 7  Burnt over h i l l s i d e s were common i n Algonquin Park and painted by Thomson h i m s e l f . One of these, Fireswept H i l l s (reproduced i n Tom Thomson, The S i l e n c e and the Storm, 89) has some s t r i k i n g a f f i n i t i e s with Fire-Swept Algoma. 4 9  Peter O l i v e r ' s "G. Howard Ferguson, the Timber Scandal and the Leadership of the O n t a r i o C o n s e r v a t i v e P a r t y " i n h i s P u b l i c and P r i v a t e Persons, The O n t a r i o P o l i t i c a l C u l t u r e , 1914-1934 (Toronto: C l a r k e Irwin and Company L i m i t e d , 1975) i s a readable overview of the h e a r i n g s , what p r e c i p i t a t e d them and t h e i r aftermath. 4 9  s o  I b i d . , 46, quoting from the Globe,  Oct. 8,  1919.  I t was bought f o r 750 d o l l a r s from the Group of Seven e x h i b i t i o n , 19 20. Group of Seven, 135. 5 1  105  This modern corporate e l i t e was i n p l a c e by 1914. Tom Traves, The State and E n t e r p r i s e , Canadian Manufacturers and the F e d e r a l Government, 1917-1931 (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1979) 6. 3 3  An o b l i q u e r e f e r e n c e to the F o r e s t S e r v i c e i s contained i n Augustus B r i d l e ' s n o t i c e on the Group of Seven show. He compares Fire-Swept, Algoma t o a "tremendous hoarding upon which the great F i r e Ranger of the e t e r n a l f o r e s t a d v e r t i s e s S o l i t u d e f o r the M u l t i t u d e . " "Are These New Canadian P a i n t e r s Crazy?" The Canadian C o u r i e r 25 (May 22, 1920) 20 a 3  *•* Cole H a r r i s , "The Myth of the Land i n Canadian N a t i o n a l i s m " i n Peter R u s s e l l , ed., N a t i o n a l i s m i n Canada (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1966) 38.  105g.  CONCLUSION In c o n c l u s i o n ,  l e t me t o respond t o the questions I  posed i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n .  I t i s my c o n t e n t i o n  t h a t workers  disappeared from Group p a i n t i n g s because they were being removed, pushed out of the consciousness, and, to a c e r t a i n degree, the l i v e s of t h e i r  "superiors".  s c i e n t i f i c management of the c i t y i t s e l f suburbs) and of the work f o r c e c a s t e and the extension  S p e c i a l i z a t i o n and (the phenomenon of  (the growth of a managerial  of t h i s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e  f e r v o r to  i n c l u d e home and f a m i l y through the advent of the s o c i a l worker) arose because l a b o r e r s were no longer equanimity, but as a t h r e a t .  The northern  viewed with  work f o r c e ,  d i s c i p l i n e d and v o c a l , had demonstrated that i t could c r i p p l e i n d u s t r y , e l e c t i t s own r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s a l l i a n c e s which threatened "northern  wilderness"  and forge  the e s t a b l i s h e d order.  As the  became l e s s d i s t a n t and more populous,  i t a l s o became more i n t i m i d a t i n g and the g l a r i n g  discrepancy  between i t s c l a s s and e t h n i c composition and Toronto's were more d i f f i c u l t  t o ignore.  T h i s made i t imperative  to shore  up the crumbling facade of the imaginary "north", t o refurbish  i t as a p a r a d i s i a c a l refuge or an o c c u l t dimension  with i n f i n i t e r e g e n e r a t i v e  powers.  For Algoma and the Group's l a t e r work, patrons and p u b l i c were, i n the s i m p l e s t  terms, those who b e n e f i t t e d  d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y from the enlargement of  l O f bmanufacturing superimposed  in Ontario.  These can be e n v i s i o n e d as two  l a y e r s , mutually s u p p o r t i v e t o a s m a l l degree,  but with the lower rank s u s t a i n e d almost t o t a l l y by the upper.  Manufacturers, f i n a n c i e r s and the governments who  served them occupied the top l e v e l , and middle  class  p r o f e s s i o n a l s with an i n t e l l e c t u a l bent, many of whom were employed by government or i n s t i t u t i o n s funded by government and endowed by b u s i n e s s , c l u n g t e n a c i o u s l y to the t e r r i t o r y below. The purposes which were served by the Group's of Algoma from the years 1918 to about t h e r e are two t h a t stand out. discussed  i n the f i r s t  imagery  1922 were many, but  The l e s s e r of the two was  h a l f of my t h e s i s : the part  these  p a i n t i n g s may have played i n paving the way f o r t o u r i s m . When s e c t i o n s of Algoma became worthless to the e x t r a c t i v e i n d u s t r i e s , they c o u l d be r e h a b i l i t a t e d as r e s o r t p r o p e r t i e s , a procedure which was by now w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d and  from which p a i n t e r s had p r o f i t e d f o r decades.  second more i d e o l o g i c a l l y loaded purpose last section.  The  was taken up i n the  During what might be r e f e r r e d t o as Canada's  i n t e r c o l o n i a l p e r i o d , i n the face of B r i t a i n ' s  declining  i n f l u e n c e , these p a i n t i n g s provided v i s i b l e reassurance t h a t the country would not be abandoned, that another " p r o t e c t o r " was w a i t i n g i n the wings. north's  imperialist  They confirmed the  (and, t h e r e f o r e , Canada's) awesome p o t e n t i a l as  s u p p l i e r of raw m a t e r i a l s to i t s advanced, prosperous and powerful southern neighbor.  F i g . 1. Wooden t r e s t l e at mile 104 on the Algoma C e n t r a l Railway  Fig.2. The L i t t l e F a l l , J . E. H. MacDonald, 1919 (28 by 36 i n s London P u b l i c L i b r a r y and A r t Museum, London, Ont.)  108  F i g . 3. The Wild R i v e r , J . E. H. MacDonald, 1919 F a c u l t y Club, U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto)  (53 by 64 i n s . ,  109  F i g . 4. F i r s t Snow, Algoma, A. Y. Jackson, 1919-1920 (42 by 50 i n s . , McMichael Conservation C o l l e c t i o n , K l e i n b u r g , Ont.)  F i g . 5. Fire-Swept, Algoma, Frank H. Johnston, 1920 i n s . , N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, Ottawa)  (50.25 by  Ill  Fig. 6. Algoma C o u n t r y , Lawren H a r r i s , c. Art G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o , Toronto)  1920  (40.25  by  50.75 i n s . ,  112  F a l l s . Montreal R i v e r , J . E. H. MacDonald, 1 9 2 0 (48 by ins.7 Art G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o , Toronto)  60.25  113  The'solemn Land, J . E. H. MacDonald, N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, Ottawa)  1921  (48 by 60 i n s . ,  114  F i g s . 9 and 10. Algoma S t e e l ' s f i r s t Michipicoten.  rolling  m i l l and  the ore dock at  11  F i g s . 11 and 1 2 . The type of caboose H a r r i s had r e f i t t e d f o r the "box-ca t r i p s " and the s k e t c h i n g grounds of the Group of Seven.  116  F i g . 13. Woodland W a t e r f a l l , Tom Thomson, 1916 P r i v a t e C o l l e c t i o n , Toronto)  (48  by  52  ins.,  117  F i g . 14. The Tangled Garden. J . E. H. Macdonald, 1916 ( O i l on board, 48 by 60 i n s . , N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, Ottawa)  BIBLIOGRAPHY  A. BOOKS Addison, O t t e l y n . Tom Thomson: The Algonquin Years. Toronto: The Ryerson P r e s s , 1969. Armstrong, C h r i s t o p h e r , and N e l l e s , H. V. Southern Exposure: Canadian Promoters i n L a t i n America and the Caribbean, 1896-1930. Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1988. 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The Making of the Canadian Toronto: McGraw H i l l Ryerson, 1978.  Media.  Saunders, Audrey. Algonquin S t o r y . Toronto: O n t a r i o Department of Lands and F o r e s t s , 1948. S u l l i v a n , A l a n . The Rapids. Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1972. I n t r o d u c t o r y essay by Michael B l i s s . Thompson, John Heard, with Seager, A l l e n . Canada 1922-1939: Decades of D i s c o r d . Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1985. Town, Harold, and S i l c o x , David P. Tom Thomson: The S i l e n c e and the Storm. Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1977. Traves, Tom. The S t a t e and E n t e r p r i s e : Canadian Manufacturers and the F e d e r a l Government, 1917-1931. Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1979. Wightman, W. R. Forever on the F r i n g e : S i x S t u d i e s i n the Development of M a n i t o u l i n I s l a n d . Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1982. Wilson, Dale. The Algoma C e n t r a l Railway S t o r y . N i c k e l B e l t R a i l s , 19847  Sudbury:  B. ARTICLES Altmeyer, George. "Three Ideas of Nature i n Canada, 18931914." J o u r n a l of Canadian S t u d i e s 11 (1976) 21-36. Benedickson, Jamie. "Temagami and the Northern O n t a r i o Tourist Frontier." L a u r e n t i a n U n i v e r s i t y Review 11 (February, 1979) 43-70. B r i d l e , Augustus. "Are These New Canadian P a i n t e r s Crazy?" Canadian C o u r i e r 25 (May, 22, 1920) 6, 10, 22. Charlesworth, Hector. " P a i n t e r - E t c h e r s and Others." Saturday Night 23:31 (May 17, 1919) 3. Cole, Douglas. " A r t i s t s , Patrons and P u b l i c . " J o u r n a l of Canadian Studies 13:2 (Summer, 1978) 69-72.  124 Davidson, Margaret F. R. Seven."  "A New Approach to the Group of  J o u r n a l of Canadian Studies 4:4  (1969) 9-16.  F a i r l e y , Barker. "Algonquin and Algoma." ( A p r i l , 1919) 279-282.  The Rebel  . (B. F.) "Studio T a l k . " ( J u l y , 1919) 168-170. . "Tom Thomson and Others." (March, 1920) 244-248.  3:6  The Studio 77:316 The Rebel  3:6  G i l l i s , R. P e t e r , and Roach, Thomas R. "The American I n f l u e n c e on Conservation i n Canada: 1899-1911." J o u r n a l of F o r e s t H i s t o r y 30 (October, 1986) 160-74. "Glimpses of Nature." U n i d e n t i f i e d newspaper c l i p p i n g , n. p., n. d. A r t G a l l e r y of Ontario A r c h i v e s ( F i l e 1:A. 4 . 1. 3, Box 3 ) . Greenwood, M i c h a e l . "Myth and Landscape: an i n t r o d u c t i o n . " artscanada 35 (October-November, 1978) 1-8. H a r r i s , Lawren S. "The Group of Seven i n Canadian H i s t o r y . " The Canadian H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n : Report of the Annual Meeting Held a t V i c t o r i a and Vancouver June 1619, 1948, 28-38. Jackson, A. Y. "Sketching i n Algoma." (March, 1921) 174-175. Lamb, Mortimer. "The R. C. A." (March, 1917) 30-34. L i t t l e , Dr. R. P. Canoe Lake."  Canadian Forum  I n t e r n a t i o n a l Studio 61  "Some R e c o l l e c t i o n s of Tom Thomson and C u l t u r e 16:2 (June, 1955) 198-205.  Larisey, Peter. " N a t i o n a l i s t Aspects of Lawren S. H a r r i s ' s Aesthetics." B u l l e t i n 23 (1974) The N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada, 3-9. MacCallum, James M. "Tom Thomson, P a i n t e r of the North." The Canadian Magazine 50:5 (March, 1918) 375-385. MacDonald, J . E. H. 1919) 33-39.  "A. C. R. 10557."  The Lamps (December,  125 . "A Landmark of Canadian A r t . " The Rebel (November, 1917) Documents i n Canadian A r t , 37-42. MacTavish, Newton. " S i r Edmund Walker's C o l l e c t i o n of A r t . " The Canadian Magazine 52 (February, 1919) 833-41. " P o l i t i c s and People."  The Rebel  4:4  (January, 1920) 161.  Scheinberg, Stephen. " I n v i t a t i o n to Empire: T a r i f f s and American Economic Expansion i n Canada." E n t e r p r i s e and N a t i o n a l Development, 80-100. Tennyson, B r i a n D. "The O n t a r i o General E l e c t i o n of 1919: The Beginnings of A g r a r i a n R e v o l t . " J o u r n a l of Canadian S t u d i e s 4 (Februrary, 1969) 26-36. "The New Canadian A r t . " 27, 1919, 7.  Belleville  "Thomson and the Algonquin S c h o o l . " February 21, 1920, 18.  I n t e l l i g e n c e r , September The M a i l and Empire,  Vipond, Mary. "Best S e l l e r s i n E n g l i s h Canada: 1919-1928." J o u r n a l of Canadian F i c t i o n ( S p e c i a l Issue: P o l i t i c s and L i t e r a t u r e ) 35-36 (1986) 73-105. . "The N a t i o n a l i s t Network: E n g l i s h Canada's I n t e l l e c t u a l s and A r t i s t s i n the 1920's." Canadian Review of Studies i n N a t i o n a l i s m (1980) 32-52. Wadland, John. "Wilderness and C u l t u r e . " Park News ( S p e c i a l Issue: Wilderness and the A r t s ) 19:2 (Summer, 1982) 12-13. Wrenshall, H. E.  " A r t Notes."  Sunday World. May 21, 19 20.  C. EXHIBITION CATALOGUES Banff, A l b e r t a , Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. A Wilderness f o r A l l : Landscapes of Canada's Mountain Parks. 1885-1960. November 6-December 8, 19 85. Travelling Exhibition. Text by E l i z a b e t h Brown. Kingston, O n t a r i o , Queen's U n i v e r s i t y , Agnes E t h e r i n g t o n A r t Centre. J . W. Beatty. 1869-1941. February 8-March 22, 1981. T r a v e l l i n g E x h i b i t i o n . Text by Dorothy S. F a r r .  126 Montreal, The A r t s Club. Catalogue of an E x h i b i t i o n of P a i n t i n g s by the Late Tom Thomson. March 1-21, 1919. "Foreword" by A. Y. Jackson (dated November, 1918). Ottawa, The N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y of Canada. The Group of Seven. June 19-September 8, 1970. Text by Dennis Reid. . The MacCallum Bequest and The Mr. and Mrs. Jackman G i f t . January 2 5February 23, 1969. Text by Dennis R e i d . Toronto, A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o . Lawren H a r r i s : Urban Scenes and Wilderness Landscapes. January 14-February 26, 1978. Text by Jeremy Adamson. . S i r Edmund Walker, P r i n t Collector. November 22, 1974-January 12, 19 75. Travelling Exhibition. Text by K a t h e r i n e A. Jordan. . Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven: S e l e c t e d Works from the C o l l e c t i o n of the A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o . 19 82. Text by David Wistow. Toronto, A r t G a l l e r y of Toronto. J . E. H. MacDonald, R. A., 1873-1932. November 13-December 12, 1965. Travelling Exhibition. 1910-1948.  Travelling  C.  . Lawren H a r r i s : P a i n t i n g s Exhibition.  Toronto, A r t Museum of Toronto. Catalogue of Three E x h i b i t o n s : The S o c i e t y of Canadian P a i n t e r - E t c h e r s , J . E. H. MacDonald, A. R. C. A., Lawren H a r r i s and Frank H. __J oh n s t on, and W i l l iam Cruikshank, R. C. A. . Ap r i 1 19-May 26, 1919. D. UNPUBLISHED MATERIALS: Manuscript and C o l l e c t i o n s , Theses and D i s s e r t a t i o n s  Archival  Thomas F i s h e r Rare Book L i b r a r y , U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto. Walker Papers. Art  G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o . Exhibition Files.  A r c h i v e s , Minute Books and  127 Davis, Ann. "An Apprehended V i s i o n : The P h i l o s o p h y of the Group of Seven." P. H. D. D i s s e r t a t i o n . York U n i v e r s i t y , 1973. Lowery, Susan J . "The A r t G a l l e r y of O n t a r i o , P a t t e r n Process of Growth: 1872-1966." Master's T h e s i s . Concordia U n i v e r s i t y , 1985.  and  M a r s h a l l , Barbara R. " S i r Edmund Walker, Servant of Canada." Master's T h e s i s . U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1971. E. REFERENCE MATERIALS: B i b l i o g r a p h i e s , B i o g r a p h i c a l and S t a t i s t i c a l Sources  Indexes,  Almanacs;  Bishop, 01ga B. B i b l i o g r a p h y of Ontario H i s t o r y , 1867-1976. 2 vols. 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