Thomson—Algonquin / Algonquin—Thomson

Sunlight falls on a forest scene. The brilliant autumn foliage of birch and maple screens a view of lake, hills and sky. In the foreground is dense undergrowth. The sunlit colour dazzles – ranging from dark reds through oranges and pinks to the deep greens and blues of shadows. The scene is one of great tranquility, of nature perceived so acutely by the painter that its representation is arresting.

It is one of Tom Thomson’s most famous paintings, The Pool, Winter 1915–16 (1915-1916.25) .1 A great favourite of Canadians, it is reproduced in innumerable books, classrooms, hotels and hospitals, to say nothing of one-thousand piece jigsaw puzzles. Thomson painted it from sketches he had made in Algonquin Park, as the essence of what he identified with Canadian nature. The subtle and elegant ways in which Thomson plays colour off colour and contrasts form against form distinguish him immediately as a painter with his own style and emotional tone.

Is the scene a depiction of an actual spot or an invention using motifs he had found? We do not have much in the way of written documents to answer the question. Thomson’s trajectory as a painter condensed a tremendous range of physical and emotional energy into an unbelievably short amount of time. He painted the first works recognized by his peers as important in 1912. In 1917, he died at age thirty-nine, leaving behind the body of work recorded here.

In painting landscape, Thomson had the idea that an accurate representation of nature meant honesty and truth. If we look again at The Pool, we see that what is constant is the information in the work. It’s what Thomson focuses our eyes on: the slim verticals of the birches, the graceful young trees which crisscross in diagonals, the lush foliage and bushes ablaze with colour, the light flashing out from more muted areas. As in so many of his landscape paintings, the colours sing.

A good story exists about what he felt he was doing in painting nature. In talking with a friend, Algonquin Park forest ranger Mark Robinson, Thomson is said to have looked at the different shades of grey in the colour of an old pine stump he was sketching and told Robinson that the artist “must get them in perfect or the sketch is a fraud….”2 To explain what he meant, Robinson said, Thomson added a metaphor drawn from music, saying that in the same way that imperfect notes destroy the soul of music, imperfect colour destroys the soul of the canvas.3

Prologue

Born August 5, 1877, in Claremont, Ontario, Thomas John Thomson grew up on a farm in Leith, a small town near Owen Sound to which his family had moved when he was a few months old. He was the sixth of ten children of Margaret J. Matheson and John Thomson. His mother, although hardworking, was never too busy to read the daily Globe, according to a daughter.4 She also loved literature and, due to her influence, the family had a good library. It contained the standard books on archaeology, geology and astronomy, as well as poetry (Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott were special favourites) and fiction, particularly Charles Dickens and George Eliot.5 Besides the hard work of the farm the family also had leisure for music, and most of them played instruments or sang, or both. Tom played the cornet, violin and mandolin, and had a fine tenor voice. Almost all the family sketched. Thomson’s father was a man of high, even rigid, principles as well as something of a naturalist,6 an interest he passed on to Thomson.

Thomson’s childhood was basically happy. The only thing that marred it was an illness, perhaps weak lungs, which kept him at home and out of school.7 Since part of the treatment, along with appropriate rest, is exercise, he was encouraged to wander freely through the countryside, and enjoyed long, uninterrupted hours of fishing and hunting. In this way, he developed his love of the outdoors. Later, he gave up shotgun and rifle, having found the look in a dying deer’s eyes too human, 8 but he stayed with fishing, a much-loved family pastime. With fishing, for Thomson, came art. 

His brother Henry, who roomed with him from 1902 to 1905, wrote of Thomson in this period that they “always had time to go fishing whenever the fishing was good, but Tom always carried his sketch pad and pencils. Whenever an unusual scene showed up, I knew it meant curtains as far as the fishing was concerned.”9 A watercolour of a boy fishing, titled Sufficiency by Thomson, is an image which appears several times in his early work, and suggests his keen involvement with the subject. Its title tells us how Thomson felt about fishing, that he believed all that a person needed for recreation was the art of angling.

In Thomson’s mature work, he turned to the theme with renewed interest, showing a fisherman in action, casting a line, in both a major canvas and a sketch. In another sketch, he recorded his “catch” Autumn, Three Trout, Fall 1916 (1916.116) , a subject he frequently photographed. In photographs by others, he appears rod-in-hand or with fish. Writers have conjectured that, as a result of his love of fishing, Thomson sought out fishing spots such as streams and other good places – running water often appears in his sketches from 1908 on.10

An interest in reading, particularly of poetry,also offers clues to Thomson’s character. His early work reveals an admiration for Robert Burns – a family favourite. He often painted Burns’s “Blessing” with a decorative surround, usually of landscape, as a gift for family members and friends. He also illustrated a short message of Henry van Dyke’s –  “The Foot Path to Peace,” which exhorts the reader “to be glad of life because it gives you a chance to love, and to work, and to play, and to look up at the stars…and to spend as much time as you can with body and with spirit in God’s out-of-doors.”

Later, he continued to draw pen “decorations,” using the van Dyke words or other quotations. Two are drawn from Rudyard Kipling’s book The Light That Failed (1913). The quotation from van Dyke would likely have been Thomson’s way of telling the world that he loved the outdoor life.11 The quotes from Kipling concern the day’s work – that “four-fifths must be bad, but the remainder is worth the trouble for its own sake” and that “the artist must do his own work and live his own life in his own way, because he’s responsible for both,” ideas with which he was probably sympathetic.

Thomson had a period of unfocused searching before he settled into his first real job, in commercial art. In 1899, he apprenticed as a machinist in a foundry in Owen Sound, but quit after eight months. He followed this false start with attendance at two business schools, one in Chatham, Ontario – the Canada Business College (1900), and one in Seattle – the Acme Business College, run by his eldest brother George and a friend, F. R. McLaren (1902). With the aid of this training, and no doubt with the help of his brother, he found work with a company in Seattle – Maring and Ladd, as a graphic artist and engraver. Soon he moved to the Seattle Engraving Company. It was only on Thomson’s return to Canada, late in 1904 or early in 1905, that he made up his mind to be a professional artist.12

It was in Toronto, about 1906, that Thomson received his first fine art training. He took lessons from the academician William Cruikshank (1848-1922), either through night school at the Central Ontario School of Art and Design, or privately, at Cruikshank’s studio. A Scot by birth, Cruikshank had had a thorough academic background during the late 1860s and early 1870s, having attended the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and Royal Academy Schools in London, as well as the Atelier Yvon in Paris. By the early 1900s, he was well respected as a keen recorder of Canadian rural life. His Breaking a Road (National Gallery of Canada), painted in 1894, and included in the prestigious Universal Exposition in St. Louis of 1904, examines the way in which an ox-team opens a snow-bound road. The setting, distant trees and house, animals, men, cart and carriages indicate the painter’s keen appetite for the appearance of things and belief in observation from nature, precepts he inculcated in his many students.

As a result of his training with Cruikshank, Thomson essayed one small painting which, in its attempt at a truthful rendering of Canadian nature, shows Cruikshank’s influence. It also received his encouragement – the small, clumsy, but boldly painted Young Man with Team of Horses, 1907 (1907.04) . The work has a poetic, but realistic subject – a youth contemplates a vivid sunset before he unhitches his team. The result, though modest, caught Cruikshank’s attention. When he saw the oil, he told Thomson, “You’d better keep on.”13   

Luckily for Thomson, through a job at Grip Limited, a well-known and thriving commercial art firm in Toronto, where he started to work about 1909, he met a lively new group of artists who helped him “keep on.”

When Thomson joined Grip, the company was at an ambitious stage of its development. Much Canadian advertising had been placed with agencies and commercial artists in New York, and Grip aimed to break into the market by offering artwork of a competitive quality. It engaged a good art director, A.H. Robson, and a painter, J.E.H. MacDonald, who was considered the anchor of the design team. Robson recalled later that when he hired Thomson, he looked at samples of his work, mostly lettering and decorative designs applied to booklet covers and some labels. He found there, he wrote, a “feeling for spacing and arrangement, an over-tone of intellectual as well as aesthetic approach….”14

One of the designs Thomson may have shown Robson was an illustration of a bust of a woman in profile wearing a wreath of maple leaves in her hair which he had made for a cover of the Canadian Home Journal Woman's Head in Profile with a Wreath of Maple Leaves, c.1908 (1908.10) . The silhouette shape recalls a cameo, but one with a distinctly Canadian quality.

Since design was clearly Thomson’s strong point, Robson placed him in the design section of the firm, under the tutelage of MacDonald. At Grip, with this kindly man’s support, Thomson’s natural ability began to flower. The two men were kindred spirits: both loved nature and literature. “Mister” MacDonald (as Thomson always called him) even wrote poetry. Thomson must have found him full of information, and must have followed developments he suggested with the greatest interest. MacDonald, it was, for instance, along with other members of the firm, who looked into art journals of the period such as The Studio, published in England since 1893. Such magazines allowed commercial artists to follow the latest developments in works of artists in Britain such as William Morris. Through such publications, artists could learn about developments in the fine arts such as Art Nouveau, the name adopted for the “new art” style that had appeared in France toward the end of the nineteenth century and rapidly spread throughout Europe. Its aim was to express a modern sensibility through design inspired by nature. Often asymmetrical, the refined patterns of Art Nouveau were inspired by Japanese models.

Gradually, under the impact of his work at Grip, Thomson began to be more than just a craftsman. He would have followed MacDonald’s advice, whether it concerned Thomson’s work at the firm or the sketches he painted on weekends.

The next step in Thomson’s development occurred after two camping trips he took in 1912, the first to Algonquin Park, the second to canoe the Mississagi River, west of Sudbury, Ontario. On both trips, as was his habit when he fished, he painted. The sketches he made, such as Mississagi, 1912 (1912.29) , of water and shoreline, were of tremendous importance to his peers, who recalled these dark, but truthful works as a record of rough bush country. Later, these early efforts by Thomson were regarded as the first stirrings of the movement that would become known – three years after Thomson’s death – as the Group of Seven.

Other sketches painted the previous spring and the following summer when he visited Algonquin Park, show that he saw the place in which he painted as a world of rhythmic repeats, of trees, bush and lake at different times of day and different seasons. The land had been heavily logged and he painted its fallen trees with meticulous care, as in Fallen Timber, 1912 (1912.02) or Forest Interior, 1912 (1912.06) . Sky and water also receive careful attention, as do the trees and boulders at the water’s edge as in Northern Lake, 1912 (1912.15) , Lake Scene with Boulder, 1912 (1912.18) and Pine Stump and Rocks, 1912 (1912.22) .

The reason the sketches were of such interest to this nascent group is that their subject matter provided a way to break with Academic art. The group was attracted by the idea of developing an art that expressed qualities in Canadian nature they saw as sympathetic to themselves – rougher, bolder, wilder and more northern – than the country recorded by earlier painters. Lawren Harris, a friend of Thomson since 1911 when they met at a show of MacDonald’s, had written that year in a magazine that what was needed by artists was a new version of Canada: “…a true Canadian note, not so much in choice of subject as in the spirit of the thing done.”15

Thomson’s work was thought to embody that spirit.

From the World of Nature to a Purchase by the Ontario Government

Part of the adventure in the story of the formation of the Group of Seven, however, was the reaction of Thomson’s friends, artists he considered his peers, and the way in which they helped him turn his sketches into a major painting – his first.

These artists, recognizing in Thomson’s small sketches of 1912 a new imagery and way of handling it, drew together to help him transform his work into his first professional painting, Northern Lake, Winter 1912–13 (1912-1913.01) . A new friend of Thomson’s, A.Y. Jackson, whom he had met late in 1913, influenced Thomson at this point. He selected a sketch from the group Thomson had painted as the one to serve as a catalyst towards a larger work Northern Lake, Spring or fall 1912 (1912.17) , 16 probably because of its simple, effective composition. Thomson’s finished painting shows much the same view of a lake framed by trees to either side; though now in the foreground lie huge boulders over which we must look to see wind-blown water, distant shoreline and sky. The result is far more dramatic than the sketch, and a far better painting.

The creation of this powerful, assured painting meant a huge step forward for Thomson. It comes as no surprise that the work, shown in the spring exhibition of the Ontario Society of Artists, was judged of sufficient merit to be purchased by the Education Department of the Government of Ontario (today it is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto).

Northern Lake was a marker on Thomson’s path. Because of his success, he decided to paint full-time and asked for a leave of absence from his commercial art firm for a trip north. That summer, he returned to Algonquin Park to paint. By the following winter, he had joined Jackson in studio number one in the new Studio Building in Toronto, built by Harris and Dr. J.M. MacCallum, an ophthalmologist and his patron, to encourage and accommodate artists – mostly those of the new movement that was forming.

To clarify Thomson’s sources, an examination of one of his canvases, Moonlight, Winter 1913–14 (1913-1914.07) , painted in the Studio Building during the winter of 1913-14, is a useful example. In this exceedingly beautiful work, we see a luminous sky composed of firm strokes of green and pale lavender in which floats the moon. Light falls on a small section of distant landscape and on the lake at the bottom of the picture, and the painting, though strangely empty, feels full of radiance. Something about the land’s darkness adds to the effect – it looks mysterious. Colour, light, dark – these are the subject of the painting as well as its pictorial focus. With these elements as his base, Thomson, at the age of thirty-five, was beginning to develop his particular strategy – the use of colour to create an effect – that developed into an aesthetic.

In painting Moonlight, Thomson might have recalled MacDonald’s fascinating moonlight subject, painted in 1912, Early Evening, Winter (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto), exhibited that year at the Annual Ontario Society of Artists show as well as the Canadian National Exhibition, where it was purchased for the collection. The painting combines a popular subject of the time – one related to the nocturnes of James McNeill Whistler – with Impressionism, the strong new force which had entered Canadian art. We can see the latter in the intricate tapestry-like web of colour and rich impasto handling MacDonald used to indicate the snowy hillside which occupies half the picture, and the green clouds that surround the moon.

Thomson may have recalled the green clouds of MacDonald’s Early Evening, Winter in the strokes of green paint he used to indicate the radiant moonlit sky in Moonlight. But his composition is far simpler and more powerful than MacDonald’s and his handling far bolder.

Who, then, influenced Thomson at this moment? According to A.Y.Jackson himself, it was he who influenced Thomson.

Later, he was happy to tell interviewers about his special relationship with Thomson. He had been in France for four years and had seen all the Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist artists, particularly Monet, Pissarro, Sisley and Seurat.17 He and Thomson used to talk about how “to work the brushes with little strokes … with colours all mixed up.”18 Jackson believed that the dot technique Thomson used in paintings like Moonlight and many others was the result of his influence. “Clean cut dots…,” he liked to stress.19 Jackson pointed out that he even had books on the Impressionists he showed Thomson. Besides, he added, he knew more about the style of Pointillism than anyone else at the time.20 In paintings created in France and Italy on his trip to Europe of about 1910 to 1913 Jackson began to introduce Post-Impressionist effects into his own work, providing a colour feast of golds and oranges, greens, purples and blues and using a “dot” technique.

A look at the Thomson catalogue corroborates Jackson’s words. Jackson said that he told Thomson about Seurat. Likely he would have included in his discussion the way in which the Neo-Impressionists were investigating the psychology of perception and had placed the optical principles of Impressionism on a scientific basis. During the winter of 1913-14, in response to Jackson, Thomson did begin to use small, firm strokes of colour to indicate the vibrating intensity of light.

However, in Moonlight, Thomson specifically directed the viewer to his primary concern, the truthful record of Canadian nature. The moon appears in one of its phases: half illuminated, in its first quarter. The light, too, seems accurate, even if Thomson only discovered it by stepping out of the Studio Building into Rosedale ravine one night that January to help him translate the effect of moonlight through sensuous gradations of colour. That he indicates the exact phase of the moon is a significant detail through which Thomson speaks to us much as he spoke to Robinson when he said that he had to get the colour “in right,” or the result would be a sham.

To understand Thomson’s art from 1914 on, we should look to two more key trips to Algonquin Park, one made with artist Arthur Lismer, a fellow worker from Grip, during the spring of 1914, and another made with Jackson, Lismer, and artist F.H. Varley, yet another Grip staff member, during the autumn of 1914. Both trips had a great deal of meaning for Thomson: his friends helped him to see Algonquin Park, and especially its colour, more fully. They gave him new strength in recording colour, new decision to his form.

To understand the impact of these visits, we can look at two examples: one from the spring and one from the autumn of 1914: Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, Spring 1914 (1914.09) and Autumn, Algonquin Park, Fall 1914 (1914.83) .

“Down at the water’s edge grow the spruce, cedar, pine, with a few birch, then behind come the hardwoods, maple mostly…” wrote Lismer in words which describe Thomson’s new way of seeing colour that spring.21 In Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, the first range of trees in the background is dark green. Above it, we see a second range of purplish pink trees – the hardwoods. That autumn Thomson’s colour changed even more, becoming bolder, purer and higher in key – the second sketch features a distinctly yellow tree (once its title). Other sketches have pinks, oranges, reds and yellows. Lismer remarked on Thomson’s way of selecting his material carefully and using a finer sense of colour than he had shown in previous work; he attributed the change to Jackson.22 (Jackson modestly wrote that both Thomson and Varley were using richer colour due to the group’s uplifting presence.)23 All agreed that the autumn colour was glorious.

Mark Robinson, the park ranger from whom we quoted at the start of this essay, had a good story about the group this season too. He told an interviewer that as he paddled his canoe by a little island where the group was camping, he overheard Thomson’s friends say about the fall colour, “Tom, you did not overdo it, it’s all there and a lot more.”24     

From the Studio Building to Algonquin Park and Home Again

From 1914 to 1917, Thomson followed a regular pattern in his work, travelling in the spring to Algonquin Park to camp on Canoe Lake or stay at a hotel called Mowat Lodge. He sketched there and worked as a guide, then returned to Toronto during the late autumn to develop his sketches into finished canvases. In the Park he continued to enjoy visits from friends such as Lawren Harris and Dr. MacCallum. These visits, and the camaraderie they encouraged, as well as the companionship he found through the Studio Building, reinforced the combination he had discovered the fall of 1914, of nature-based work with vivid, but accurate colour.

In the sketches he painted during the following three years, he continued to translate the tangle and confusion that is wilderness into happy colour motifs, using a rich paint vocabulary of dabs, dots, and graceful lines. He meant to use some of these works as source material for canvases upon his return to Toronto. One of them, Petawawa Gorges, Fall 1916 (1916.94) , was marked on the verso by MacDonald as an idea Thomson intended to make into a major canvas. However, it is clear that Thomson loved to make such sketches for their own sake. He cast his net widely over various subjects he found in Algonquin Park, embracing the phenomena of the sky from the gusts of wind that heaved the clouds and bent the trees, to the lightning of the thunderstorms, the northern lights, sunrise or sunset, twilight and moonlight. Another favourite subject was flowers, painted growing wild in nature as he found them. He also loved the evidence of the lumber trade, its dams or cribs or machinery, and the colour of the trees in the forest interior, particularly in autumn. Movement fascinated him, especially of water breaking loose in the spring.

The technique he applied to such sketches was by no means uniform, but might vary according to subject matter, as we can see from the different approaches he used for four sketches he made during a single trip – Round Lake, Mud Bay, Fall 1915 (1915.113) ; Dawn on Round Lake [Kawawaymog Lake], Fall 1915 (1915.115) ; The Tent, November 1915 (1915.114) and Early Autumn, Algonquin Park, Fall 1915 (1915.116) . Painted within the space of a few days in November 1915 on or near an island in Round Lake (today Kawawaymog Lake), at the northwest part of Algonquin Park, each of them reveals Thomson’s firm hand in laying down paint.

In the Park during the autumn of 1915 and increasingly the following autumn, he sometimes dispensed with detail and ironed out the dot notation and heavily worked surface of his panels into smoother, flatter patterns. It is tempting to call such works “abstract,” but the term must be used with caution since Thomson may have intended some of them as colour notes for use in the studio – or perhaps, because most of them are on the verso of sketches, they were unfinished.

Thomson’s gains over this period were mainly in terms of the sketch medium. He developed a subtlety of expression, using a brisk but delicate handling. In terms of the larger canvases, which he would have considered the important part of his production, an even more painterly result was arrived at from a stronger sense of design and a more integrated composition, reinforced by a greater sense of depth, enhanced colour and a richer, denser paint surface. If we compare, for instance, The Pool with The Jack Pine, Winter 1916–17 (1916-1917.16) , we can see the difference – the picture of the jack pine on a section of shoreline in Algonquin Park is far stronger and more three-dimensional than the earlier work, and the paint handling, with its large blocks of harmonious colour, unites the surface. The paint is more thickly applied too, and the effect of depth far greater than in The Pool, which, by contrast, looks two-dimensional.

Likely the sketches and the way he kept reinventing them in his work helped Thomson find himself as an artist. The process he followed developed his ability so that, in the large canvases – particularly during the last winter of his life – he attained a newfound monumentality.

The sketches of Thomson’s final spring in Algonquin Park provide a touching coda. Sometimes small, they show the progress of the seasons. In them the viewer finds mostly scenes of wintry to spring-like skies, partially frozen lakes, and melting snow, a subject which offered rich and changing possibilities. Thomson thought of these works as a day-by-day diary and in conversation with his friend Robinson he called these works his “records,” or so Robinson recalled.25

Sometime in early July, he died. The coroner’s report, now lost, returned a verdict of accidental drowning. Although his death is the subject of one book after another, no hard facts have ever emerged. The story, however, is irresistible and ironically meaningful in terms of his art: the cliché of a painter, a tall, handsome man seeking the truth, whose life ended mysteriously during the course of that search.

After looking at his work, the viewer can understand the admiration of his fellow painters, and in time, all of Canada, for Thomson’s remarkable sensitivity to chromatic harmony. His paintings, prior in time to those of the Group of Seven, have earned him a kind of torchbearer status, as the maker of beautiful, sometimes exquisitely colourful artworks.

Thomson’s talent was the very real thing and his death a tragedy. In art, as elsewhere in life, there is nothing like loyalty, and his friends did a service by reminding Canadian art of his achievement. Today, of course, his work has attained iconic status. It exemplifies what art is really good for: channeling a country’s thoughts, feelings and fantasies into visual form. Thomson’s legacy, the attachment to the land with its immediate sense of the physical world we find in paintings like The Pool, lives on in the practices of art today.

Epilogue

Most of the paintings of Tom Thomson remained unknown when he died. As the reader can see from the catalogue, he experienced his most productive period during the last year of his life – the time of his largest group of sketches and canvases. His was truly a promising career cut short, as one of his friends, Franklin Carmichael, wrote.26 If he had lived he would surely have developed into one of the members of the Group of Seven, founded in 1920.

Notes

1. The catalogue numbers throughout this essay refer to the work by Thomson listed in the text. They start with the year, followed by sequential numbers which attempt to date them in approximate chronological order, from the few facts known.

2. Mark Robinson to Blodwen Davies, 23 March 1930. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Blodwen Davies fonds (MG30 D38).

3. Ibid.

4. Minnie Henry [Thomson’s younger sister] to Blodwen Davies, 2 February 1931. Blodwen Davies fonds, ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. G.M. Brodie to Blodwen Davies, 29 May 1931. Blodwen Davies fonds, ibid.

7. Louise, Thomson’s older sister, recalled Thomson as delicate with several attacks of congestion and inflammation of the lungs. Louise Henry to Blodwen Davies, 11 March 1931; his younger sister Minnie recalled “rather weak lungs and a touch of inflammatory rheumatism,” Minnie Henry to Blodwen Davies, 2 February 1931. Both letters are found in Blodwen Davies fonds, ibid.

8. Louise Henry, ibid.

9. Henry Thomson to Blodwen Davies, written by Ralph Thomson, 19 October 1946, Blodwen Davies fonds, ibid.

10. For a full discussion of the importance of fishing in Thomson’s work, see Andrew Hunter, “Mapping Tom,” Tom Thomson (exhibition catalogue). Toronto and Ottawa: Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada, 2002: 26-29.

11. In his love of nature, Thomson would have been encouraged by his family. He gave his aunt, Henrietta Mathewson a book by the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier, SNOWBOUND, in 1909. Whittier’s dedication, “TO THE MEMORY OF THE HOUSEHOLD IT DESCRIBES” would have touched a chord with Thomson. Either he or his aunt marked favourite sections of the book. Thomson and his family likely would also have often referred to a distant cousin, Dr. William Brodie (1831-1909). Brodie was a well-known naturalist of the day and assembled large collections of specimens, later divided between the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (for more information about Brodie see Louise Herzberg, A Pocketful of Galls: William Brodie and the Natural History Society of Toronto, (Toronto: Louise Herzberg, 1996)). Thomson collected specimens for Dr. Brodie in the area of Scarborough Bluffs, which would have occurred between about 1905 when Thomson moved to Toronto, and 1909 when Brodie died. (Interview with Jessie Fisk by Joan Murray, 23 April 1971, hand notes, Joan Murray Tom Thomson Papers).

12. Interview by the author with Margaret Thomson Tweedale, 12 February 1971, typed hand notes, Joan Murray Tom Thomson Papers.

13. Minnie Henry to Davies, 2 February 1931. Blodwen Davies fonds, ibid.

14. Albert H. Robson, Tom Thomson. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1937: 5.

15. Lawren Harris, “The R.C.A. Reviewed.” The Lamps 1, no. 2 (December 1911): 9.

16. Interview with F.H. Varley by Lawrence Sabbath, 1960, typed copy, Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Queen’s University, Kingston.

17. Interview by the author with A.Y. Jackson, 4 March 1971, typed hand notes, Joan Murray Tom Thomson Papers.

18. Ibid.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid.

21. Arthur Lismer, “Algonquin Park, First Impressions, May 1914,” typed manuscript, lightly edited, estate of Marjorie Lismer Bridges.

22. Lismer to MacCallum, 11 October 1914. Archives, National Gallery of Canada, ibid.

23. Jackson to MacCallum, 13 October 1914, ibid.

24. Interview by Alex Edmision with Mark Robinson, 1952, transcript. Robinson had some confusion, however, concerning the individuals who were present, but since, as Hunter points out (see “Mapping Tom,” Tom Thomson (2002), 40), Robinson was away from the Park from the fall of 1915 to the spring of 1917, he likely was recalling the 1914 trip.

25. Robinson to Davies, 23 March 1930, ibid.

26. Franklin Carmichael to Arthur Lismer, n.d. [July, 1917?]. McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg.