ManorHill Fine Art

Goals of The Group of Seven

The artists of The Group of Seven remain the most celebrated in Canadian history. Their ambitions went far beyond winning a market for their own paintings. What they set out to do was considerably more:

To these ends, they not only exhibited and circulated their own paintings, but consistently included the work of other artists whom they respected and wished to support in their Shows.

The artists banded together to make visible a unified message of individual expression and quality in Canadian art. Their collaboration represented a co-operative effort in the form of mutual support, intellectual stimulation and the sharing of ideas. This is what was at the core of the Group experience. Yet each artist had his own history which coloured his art and intentions. As individual artists and together, they had a major and constructive influence on the development of Canadian art. Group members did not confine their interests to easel painting. They illustrated Canadian books, published portfolios, designed stage sets, decorated public buildings, painted murals, wrote poetry, worked with musicians, participated in folk festivals and inspired writers, dramatists, musicians, poets and a whole generation of younger artists.

No other group of artists worked so hard in Canada to bring their art and ideas to public attention. Their goal was effectively to change Canadian taste and values through the distribution of paintings, publications of articles, and encouragement of collectors of Canadian art. The Group of Seven defined a communality of spirit and argued for the appreciation and affirmation of Canadian creativity in all its forms.

Sources: The National Gallery and 'The McMichael Collection'