Franklin Carmichael: An Artist’s Process

15 October 2020 TO 24 December 2020


Art Gallery of Sudbury | Galerie d'art de Sudbury

251 rue John Street
Sudbury, ON
P3E 1P9

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Franklin Carmichael

The exhibition was produced by the Art Gallery of Sudbury | Galerie d’art de Sudbury with generous access by members of Franklin Carmichael’s family, the Estate of Franklin Carmichael, and funding from the Government of Canada through Canadian Heritage.

The works of art in the exhibition are of outstanding significance by their close association with a person, Canadian artist Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945), and a group of artists, the Group of Seven (1920-1932), who were emblematic of a critically significant early 20th-century national modernist art movement.

Franklin Carmichael, the youngest original member of Canada’s most storied group of artists, the Group of Seven, first visited our region in 1924. From then on, until he passed away in 1945, his paintings, drawings, and prints captured the beautiful light and rugged landscape of the La Cloche region in the District of Sudbury.

Showcasing 37 original drawings and paintings from the artist’s estate, most never before exhibited, this exhibition provides visitors with an exclusive preview of the foundational gift of the future Franklin Carmichael Art Gallery of Sudbury | Galerie d’art de Sudbury.

Fredrick Haines. Portrait of Franklin Carmichael, undated. Oil on panel.

Franklin Carmichael. Untitled, undated. Oil on panel.


The exhibition provides a wonderfully intimate look at the artist’s approach to painting landscape. There is a tremendous resonance in Franklin Carmichael’s practice of painting outdoors, en Plein air, on-site (in his case, usually from a height) with a great view of La Cloche or Lake Superior or a smaller northern town like Cobalt before him, with that of very many of our regional artists today, both professional and amateur. Artists, residents and visitors to our beautiful region alike find the experience of being in nature, in the great outdoors, whether hiking, canoeing, photographing or painting, to be essential to health and quality of life.

When Franklin Carmichael died suddenly, all of his artworks, including many that he was still working on, fell into the care of his family. These works reveal the materials he used, his palette of colours, how he prepared a panel or painting surface, his preliminary sketch, his form of composition, and his process of painting, whether in oils or in watercolour. We consider it a tremendous responsibility and privilege to bring works like these into the public sphere, works that the artist himself may never have intended to be exhibited. We have approached this special exhibition with the utmost respect and care.

Special thanks

Government of Canada, Lenders to the exhibition (Estate of Franklin Carmichael), City of Greater Sudbury, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, FedNor, NOHFC

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