Meet the Group of Seven

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

Wow, what an interesting book! I know very little about Canadian art, and am very glad to have had this introduction to the Group of Seven. While this book is aimed at children, I found it very interesting, and it gave a good overview of the Group's work, what was so different about their work, what the artists' aims were, etc. The art theory bits of the text were informative and accessible, helping the reader understand aspects of looking at art more easily- a favorite of mine is about J.E.H. MacDonald's "The Solemn Land." We see a photograph of the view MacDonald painted, and the painting itself, along with this quote: "Why does the painting look so different from the photo? MacDonald is showing you what it was like for him to stand alone looking at this scene. He wants you to know not only what it was like to see the landscape, but also to feel the movement of the water and the clouds, to hear the sound of the wind and to smell the scent of the forest." In another section, we get opinions from several different people on the meaning of a painting, showing how the meaning of art is subjective. I don't recall seeing such ideas in art books as a child, and I wish I had. We also get tidbits of the lives of the artists, reactions from critics of the time, and examples of how their work influenced artists who came after them. The art itself is quite lovely, and I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite! Hopefully this book will make its way into U.S. classrooms- we're taught sadly little about our neighbor to the north in schools.
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A must-read for all art lovers. Although aimed at children, it’s a perfect introduction to the work of the Group of Seven for adults as well. There are plenty of photos, illustrations and reproductions of their work, and a simple, straightforward text. I enjoyed it and found it a useful summary.
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*received from netgalley for honest review* This was a really interesting book! I don't know much about Canadian art but I what I really liked about this book is it didn't just show their art or talk about them it also tried to make you think about their art and so much more!
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A very good book, although I doubt anyone outside Canada will have ever heard of, let alone need a book about, this particular G7 for this age group.  But I liked what I saw of the expressionist landscapes of these artists, and this portrait of how they worked, what pointers they left us of their environment and more, is a nice one.  A strong four stars.
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I thought this looked like an interesting non-fiction picture book. Unfortunately, I found it to be an utter bore. It reads very "young", and yet I don't know how many children in that age group are going to find this book of dry facts and art criticism very entertaining.

By far, the most interesting parts of this book are the bit about Tom Thomson's untimely death and the theories surrounding it (ironic, since he wasn't even an official member of the Group) and the brief examples of other non-Group art that was being done at the time as well as after. Aside from the short bios of the men, most of the rest of the book is taken up by reproductions of their work and--most annoyingly--explanations of what the paintings mean. Unfortunately, these interpretations are undermined by the section that talks about how everyone interprets art differently. (This is part of why the book seems "young" to me. There's almost a hand-holding aspect throughout much of it, where the authors have to tell the reader what the paintings mean. Why bother, if everything's open to interpretation?)

I think part of the problem is that I don't really like most of the Group's work. When I mentioned to my mom that I was reading this book, she told me that I'd been to see a Group of Seven exhibit. (She was partly joking. I was an infant at the time, so I obviously don't remember it!) She also said she wasn't that impressed with the paintings, and that she preferred Emily Carr's work instead. Carr is mentioned in this book, as she was acquainted with some of the Group, and her art is in the same sort of vein. But I must admit, I'm of the same opinion as my mom; Carr's work is much more pleasing to the eye, and I think I would've rather read a book about her.

Unless someone really loves the aesthetic of the Group of Seven, they're probably going to have a hard time engaging with this book. It's dry, pedantic, and a little condescending. The layout and look of the book are fine... but if you're not all that interested in the subject matter, none of that's going to make much of a difference.
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This is a lovely book and a great introduction to these Canadian artists.  It is appropriate for children or even for adults who are unfamiliar with the Group of Seven.  Even younger children, who are not yet ready to read about them, can appreciate the artwork.  I enjoyed this book!
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A very nice introduction to these artists. If you want to get yourself or your kids (or relatives) into knowing them or any artwork, this is nicely done. Quick to points, not in-depth.
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Being Canadian I was already fairly familiar with The Group of Seven's work.
The history behind the art was just as fascinating as the work they all created.
My favourite piece (Pine Wrack by: Arthur Lismer) was even featured in the book.
Thank you NetGalley and Kids Can Press for my DRC.
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A good book to discover original painters from Canada. It presented their works, techniques and life as well.  Very well done and accessible. I personally really enjoy the art of Harris!
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Although this is lovely book is directed towards children it is in fact a perfect introduction to the Group of Seven. The information is brief and to the point but illustrates clearly the groups thoughts and ideas about art and the natural world. I like the way each section is used to explain a particular aspect of their thoughts and style of painting. A gem of a book that would sit well in any school, public or personal library.
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What a beautiful book.  So nice to see a book that honours a truly remarkable talented group of people.  The artwork was beautiful.  The write ups informative.  I can’t wait to see this in book form.  A must buy for schools.
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