Historic Art | J.E.H. MacDonald R.C.A.

Little turtle lake c1920 op 5
Algoma 1919 ob 8 On mongoose lake algoma sept 1920 certified thoreau 8

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Little Turtle Lake, c.1920

Technique: oil on panel

Dimensions: 5.5x8.5 in.

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About the Artist

MacDonald took his first trip to the Rocky Mountains in 1924, and returned every August afterwards between 1924-1930. This made a total of seven trips, and it has been noted by Paul Duval that his “…affection grew with acquaintance,” and that he “found peace and joy in the Rockies.” MacDonald’s colour palette differs from his earlier autumnal Algoma work, as he utilizes softer blues, greens and greys. Mount Goodsir, near Lake O’Hara dates to MacDonald’s 1929 Rocky Mountains visit. Through her extensive research of the area, Lisa Christensen noted in The Lake O’Hara Art of J.E.H. MacDonald and Hiker’s Guide that one of MacDonald’s favourite haunts was “the outstanding views from the slopes of Odaray Mountain below the glacier, southwest to the Goodsirs and southeast to the colossal ampitheatre surrounding Lake O’Hara. Not only was MacDonald fond of visiting the Rocky Mountains for their inspiring subject matter for sketches, he remarks affectionately about his time spent at the Lake O’Hara Lodge. But there was human interest too, in that Mountain Valley. In my stay I saw many come and go, artists and professors and young millionaires. I hope they are remembering O’Hara as I remember it and them. The quaint log cabin interiors of our dining room, with its bright wood fire and the axe-hewn settee covered with Indian blankets striped red and yellow and black and green, is surely a happy memory in Cambridge lecture rooms and New York flats. Then there were the horses, Micky and Pearl and Billy and Harvey Wright, and all the extra ones who came in sometimes singly or in a pack train, with guides and riders going past our cabin window like a wild west show. This is a great colour band in my memory.
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