"Author did not know artist", Regina Leader-Post, Oct. 16, 1956

Miss Blodwen Davies, Saskatchewan Arts Board executive secretary, added fresh fuel Tuesday to the 40 – year controversy on the death and burial of drowned in 1917.

Author of the only book–length biography of Thomson, believed by many to be Canada’s foremost painter, she emphatically denied she ever knew the artist.

A Friday news report from Kirkland Lake, Ont. quoted F.W. Churchill, 73-year-old former undertaker, who claims to have removed the painter’s body from its original grave beside a birch tree on a hill overlooking Canoe Lake, in which it was found for reburial near Owen Sound.

Mr. Churchill was reported as saying: “Mr. Thomson’s relatives and friends were not happy with the burial spot. Miss Blodwen Davies, a friend, wanted him buried at Leith…she phoned at Huntsville. I was not anxious to do the job, but she begged me and finally I said yes.”


“That is utterly ridiculous,” declared Miss Davies, who had been away at an handicraft festival at Sheho over the weekend and had not seen the Kirkland Lake news report until Monday.

“At the time of the artist’s death I was living with my parents in Fort William and going to school. I had never heard of the name of Tom Thomson.” […]

Miss Davies explained she had not become interested in Thomson’s work until many years after his death. She had never seen Toronto until 1922 and had not visited the Canoe Lake area of Algonquin Park until 1930 while doing research for her book.

At that time she became convinced the painter had met with “foul play, but not premeditated,” and his body had never been moved from its original resting place. […]

Source: Author Did Not Know Artist , Regina Leader-Post, October 16, 1956

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