This year, McIntosh Gallery celebrates its 75th anniversary as the oldest university art gallery in Ontario. In 1942 the opening exhibition presented thirty paintings commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials Fund during the First World War as a unique record of Canadian achievements and war heroes.
In the Beginning, 1942 reunites these paintings, now housed at the Canadian War Museum, for the first time in 75 years. Works by future Group of Seven artists A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, and Frederick Varley will join those of fellow Canadians Maurice Galbraith Cullen and John William Beatty, British artist Algernon Mayow Talmage, and Australian James Peter Quinn. The remaining twenty-three images will be represented digitally.
Behind the Lines: Canada’s Home Front During the First and Second World Wars provides a glimpse into the personal sacrifice and hard work of determined Canadians at home who collectively supported the armed forces overseas during two world conflicts. Assembled from public and private collections across Canada, the artworks tell the stories of ordinary men and women who wielded tools, searched for submarines, worked the land, and guarded prisoners. Through them we witness unprecedented developments in manufacturing, travel, and social upheavals such as the changing roles of women entering the workplace and armed forces.