James Edward Hervey (J.E.H.) MacDonald (1873-1932)
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J.E.H. MacDonald was an English-Canadian painter, best known for his involvement in the Canadian school of painting known as the Group of Seven. MacDonald was born in Durham, England and immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of fourteen. Settling in the Province of Ontario, MacDonald studied at the Hamilton Art School from 1887 to 1889.
MacDonald later moved to Toronto where he continued his education at the Central Ontario School of Art and Design and became an active member of the Toronto Art Student League. In 1911 MacDonald showed early signs of success, exhibiting at the Arts and Letter club. The following year MacDonald showed with the Ottawa Society of Artists.
To support himself, MacDonald worked in various lithography print shops before joining a major commercial art company, Grip Ltd.
At Grip Ltd, MacDonald helped to organize painting sessions with his co-workers. The colleagues would take frequent painting trips around Ontario and Quebec to capture the wild, northern landscapes of Canada. Eventually MacDonald was accompanied by six enthusiastic artists, which later became known as the Group of Seven.
The Group of Seven was greatly inspired by an exhibition of Scandinavian paintings exhibited in Buffalo, NY as well as prints from China and Japan. MacDonald and the other Group of Seven painters frequented an area known as Algoma, on the north shore of Lake Superior. While MacDonald did most of his painting in Canada, he made seven trips to paint the Rockies in the United States.
While MacDonald is best known for his landscape paintings, he also dabbled in poetry, gardening and the decorative arts. MacDonald remained an active member of the Toronto art scene and taught painting at the Ontario College of Art until the end of his life. Though many of the Group of Seven painters began to paint more abstractly, MacDonald remained loyal to his post-impressionistic style.
J.E.H. MacDonald’s landscapes are now in major Canadian collections. Do you think you own a painting by Group of Seven member, J.E.H. MacDonald? Contact us. We are experts on J.E.H. MacDonald.