||December 23, 2010
More Books Worth a Look 2010
I usually write about history and
occasionally about art. There are some fine new art history books available that
would make ideal Christmas gifts for you or the artist on your list.
Roy MacGregor with deep roots in
Algonquin Park and Huntsville has taken a break from his work at the Globe &
Mail to write about the ongoing mystery of Tom Thomson – Canada’s most famous
painter. MacGregor has been researching the story for 30 years and knew Winnie
Trainor who played such an important part in Thomson’s life.
||Cover of Roy MacGregor’s
book on Tom Thompson 2010
MacGregor wrote a novel about Thomson
called Cahoe Lake, originally published as Shorelines years ago but has now
written a fascinating non-fiction book. The cause of Thomson’s death at age 39
on 17/7/17 is not fully solved but a clear position is taken on Thomson’s love
life. It is rich in detail and reads like a mystery book.
The book-Northern Light- reads according
to a Globe & Mail review as “a biography, mystery, travelogue and forensic
I had a special interest in the book
because I have written several articles on Thomson. In one I talked about a
story I got from Ken Cooper in South River whose mother was a daughter of Tom
Wattie a Park Ranger who befriended Thomson. A quantity of camping gear was left
with Tom Wattie by Thompson in 1917. They were going on a trip together.
MacGregor found this a significant
factor in his theory about Thomson’s life. We exchanged a couple of emails and
he mentioned me in the book noting that no previous biographer had known about
the cache of equipment.
MagGregor, an award winning magazine and
newspaper writer has been described as one of Canada’s “most gifted story
Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of
Ross King a Governor General’s
Award-winning author tells the story of the Group of Seven (and Tom Thomson) and
their remarkable impact on Canadian Art. Their modernist
style developed in the wild and in studios in Toronto changed Canadian Art to
the present day.
I have read his articles in Walrus
Magazine (Nov 2010) and read some of his critically acclaimed and best selling
historical works. Check him out on Wikepedia.
Painters Eleven The Wild Ones of Canadian Art
If the Group of Seven changed Canadian
art one of the the next groups that did the same was 11 painters (2 women and 9
men) who introduced abstract expressionism in Canada and were forerunners of a
lot of the progressive work being done today.They called themselves The Painters
Eleven. My wife, and expressionist painter for 40 years and I received the book
as a gift from a good friend recently and we have spent hours reading and
Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art. 2010
The book by Iris Nowell who was Harold
Town’s partner ( one of the eleven) and is an excellent writer wrote the book.
Unlike many art books this book profiles the artists in a frank and open and
personal way and describes the groups seven years together and later impact on
Canadian art.The reproductions are state of the art.
One reference in the Alexandra Luke
profile noted that Luke’s mentor was Dorothy Van Luven a long standing art
teacher at O’Neill Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Oshawa where Luke
lived. When Van Luven retired my wife followed her as the art teacher there and
had her first one person art show in Oshawa in 1965.
Random Acts of Culture – Reclaiming Art and Community in
the 21st Century
The book above
written by my son Clarke is hot off the press and is receiving good reviews.
Clarke teaches at Queen’s University in the Film Studies and Cultural Studies
Departments. He has written the book based on his 30 years of research as a film
maker and culture vulture. Google any of these books for further information.
All of the above books are available at Gullivers’ Books and Toys and
other fine book stores and online
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