F. B. Housser, “The Beginning’’, in A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven, 1926.

[ King Street West gallery  ]

King Street West gallery , Unknown, 1900, Archives of Ontario, F 1140-7-0-3-8 / I0010335


The industrial and commercial idea which is supposed to be the slayer of the arts was, if possible, more heartily Canada’s religion in 1910 than it is now. Just previous to 1914, Industrialism and Commercialism were looked upon as sort of twin “Princes of Peace.” It was widely believed that they had made war impossible. Their prestige in this respect was afterwards destroyed.

But opposition and friction are functionaries of the creative process. Poor men in their adversity create wealth for themselves and likewise men conscious of spiritual poverty search out and accumulate spiritual wealth. The spiritual famine which follows the triumphant advance of material progress will eventually cause us to re-plant our fields so that we may harvest food for our souls as well as our bodies.

Canadian art budded from a civilization of iron and steel in Toronto, one of the chief industrial centres of the Dominion. What brought it to fruit was the law that accomplishes similar fruitages in all countries, in all ages.


Source: F. B. Housser, ""The Beginning", in A Canadian Art Movement" in A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven, (Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada, 1926), 32-33

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