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The Arthur Lismer Collection of personal items is returning to Canada

March 14, 1959: Painter Arthur Lismer came back to Toronto from Montreal for the opening of a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Laing galleries.

John Boyd/The Globe and Mail

A little piece of the Group of Seven is finally coming home.

The so-called Arthur Lismer Collection, comprising hundreds of personal items accumulated during the artist's life, has been acquired by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection with the assistance of $73,820 in funding from the federal government.

The items, which extend back to Lismer's childhood in Sheffield, England, include drawings, cartoons, films, diaries, manuscripts, correspondence, sketches and photographs of the artist out in the wild, as well as a 30-page autobiography, two notebooks outlining his ideas on art education, and an unpublished manuscript entitled Drawing and Sketching for Men of Action.

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The collection has been held by the estate of Lismer's family in the United States since his death in 1969. His daughter Marjorie Lismer Bridges died in 2006.

"The McMichael is thrilled to be returning the Arthur Lismer Collection to Canada," said Victoria Dickenson, the gallery's executive director and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "It is the McMichael's mission to encourage research and scholarship by sharing and preserving material that contributes to a better understanding of our national history. The gallery is honoured to provide this unique collection with a permanent home."

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About the Author
Senior Media Writer

Simon Houpt is the Globe and Mail's senior media writer, charged with covering the industry's transformation. He began his career with The Globe in 1999 as the paper's New York arts correspondent, covering the cultural life of that city through Canadian eyes. More

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