A full review of this book will be appearing in the December issue, so I won't go on at length here. Suffice it to say that this is a handsome, coffee-table-sized book with superb color reproductions of Thomson's best known and admired work. The paintings capture Canada's northern landscape in a style that was Thomson's own but that also coalesced around a vision, a goal¨shared by close associates Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, and Arthur Lismer, A.Y. Jackson (who would later form the Group of Seven) to redefine Canadian art and the nation's artistic spirit.
Tom Thomson, the product of the collaborative efforts of The Directors of the National Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario, is intended as a "fresh look at Thomson's life and times, to provide a perspective from the vantage point of new information, interpretations and methodologies." Accordingly, the book also contains five essays and one technical study. The essays¨Andrew Hunter's "Mapping Tom", Robert Stacey's appraisal of Thomson as an applied artist, Dennis Reid's piece in which he argues that the Arts and Crafts movement had influenced Thomson's artistic development, and John Wadland's "Tom Thomson's Places"¨deserve a reading.
This is a beautiful book, containing a number of significant paintings and sketches (many from Algonquin Park) and some rare photos of Thomson with family and friends.