Travel & Leisure

The Group of Seven: 100 Years of Great Art

Canada Post celebrates the 100th anniversary of seven Canadian icons

By Erika Morris


May 7, 2020, was the 100th anniversary of the first exhibition by the famous Canadian artists known collectively as the Group of Seven. To celebrate, Canada Post has issued a set of stamps that allows people to take home some of the Group’s celebrated paintings in miniature.

The set includes “In the Nickel Belt” by Franklin Carmichael; Lawren Harris’s “Miners’ Houses, Glace Bay”; A.Y. Jackson’s famous “Labrador Coast”; “Fire-swept, Algoma” by Frank H. Johnston; “Quebec Village” by Arthur Lismer; J.E.H. MacDonald’s “Church by the Sea”; and finally, “Stormy Weather” by Frederick Varley.

Each stamp includes the artist’s name at the bottom with the title and date of the painting printed on the right side. They are self-adhesive and come in a booklet in a souvenir sheet. Canada Post also created one Official First Day Cover for each stamp in the set, that is, an envelope featuring a photo of the artist and the stamp cancelled on a significant date (in this case, May 7) in a location of significance to that artist.

Canada Post said in a release that these artists “changed the way Canada was viewed at home and abroad” and that they “gave birth to a unique Canadian aesthetic that influenced generations of artists.”

In another centenary intitiative, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, an art museum in the village of Kleinburg, ON, that built its collection around works by the Group of Seven, has been working with Google to digitize as many as 200 of the group’s paintings—creating what will be the largest Group of Seven digital collection. Though the project is still in the works, you can already take a virtual tour that matches a number of Group of Seven paintings with the current Google Street View of the locations they depict.

In addition, the Group of Seven will be included among the Canadian works on display in Frankfurt, Germany, in an exhibition scheduled to open in late September. Titled “Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting 1910-1940,” the show is expected to continue at the Schirn exposition hall through early January 2021.

Photo: Canada Post Corporation.