The Drift: The ‘picturesque ruins’ of Cobalt make their debut at the McMichael gallery – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 21, 2023)

Upcoming exhibition will showcase new landscape art from Cobalt’s mining history and how it became a gathering place for women painters

The historic northeastern Ontario mining town of Cobalt will be in the spotlight this fall at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, north of Toronto. The exhibition, which runs at the Kleinburg gallery from Nov. 18 to April 21, will display, for the first time, the wave of art that was produced during the 1920s and 1930s from many leading and up-and-coming artists of the time.

The show, entitled Cobalt: a Mining Town and the Canadian Imagination, will feature pieces by A.Y. Jackson, Franklin Carmichael and Lawren Harris of Group of Seven fame, Bess Harris, Yvonne McKague Housser, Isabel McLaughlin, Dr. Frederick Banting, and earlier visiting artists such as John Wesley Cotton and Lady K.S. Robertson.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new book on the artwork of Cobalt by noted Canadian art scholar Catharine Mastin, the show’s guest curator, the former executive director of the Art Gallery of Windsor, and the granddaughter of Franklin Carmichael.

“So much of our identity and the reality of life in Canada for so many Canadians is around mining,” said Sarah Milroy, chief curator at the McMichael and the brainchild behind the show.

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