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Circulated by: Museum London

With Carl Schaefer: Storm on the Horizon, curator Andrew Hunter explores critical aspects of the career of Hanover, Ontario born painter Carl Schaefer. Focusing on major works from three critical periods in the artist’s life, Hunter argues that Schaefer’s works are significant responses to key events of the mid-20th-century (the Depression and WWII in particular) and of continuing relevance.

Hunter’s goal is to present a long overdue major exhibition of Schaefer’s work that engages important historical events while reflecting on such current issues as the influences of the urban and global on rural and “regional” culture.

The exhibition is funded in part by the Museums Assistance Program and is accompanied by a full colour publication.


Schaefer was a distinguished Canadian artist, noted not only for his work as a painter and printmaker but also for his service as an official war artist and his role as a teacher and mentor. Born in Hanover, Ontario, Schaefer is often identified as a regionalist, based on his attachment to the rural landscape, which provided inspiration for his work. From 1921 to 1924, he studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, under the direction of J.E.H. MacDonald (1973-1932), Arthur Lismer (1885-1969), G.A. Reid (1960-1947), Robert Holmes (1961-1930) and other. Schaefer began teaching at Toronto’s Centre Technical School in 1930, and subsequently held a number of teaching positions, including long tenure at the Ontario College of Art (1948-1970).

Schaefer had many friends among painters and poets. From his student days, he was closely associated with members of the Group of Seven, and occasionally exhibited with them. When the Group disbanded in 1933, Schaefer became a charger member of its successor, the Canadian Group of Painters (1936). Schaefer’s memberships in other art associations include the Canadian Society of Graphic Art (1932), Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (1933), Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (associate 1949; academician 1964; companion 1972) and Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1977). Among numerous honours, he received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1941, the first awarded to the Canadian. In 1978 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

[Courtesy of the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archive]



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