R.C.A., O.S.A. Canadian, May 4, 1890–October 24, 1945
"We have everything out of which to build ideas and traditions, to fail to make use of them would simply be throwing away a priceless heritage of spirit and material." Franklin Carmichael

Franklin Carmichael was a Canadian artist who was born to Scottish parents in Orillia, Ontario. He studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto with William Cruickshank and George Reid, then at the Toronto Technical School with Gustav Hahn.

 

In 1911, Carmichael apprenticed as a commercial artist with Grip Ltd. advertising agency in Toronto, where he met Tom Thomson, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and Frederick Varley. In 1913, Carmichael went to Antwerp, Belgium to study painting, but had to return to Canada due to World War I. In Toronto he worked as a designer and rejoined with the rest of the artists who would eventually form the Group of Seven. He was a not only a founding member but also the youngest of the group. On weekends they would travel to the countryside and sketch landscapes of northern Ontario. Carmichael would later serve as president of the Group from 1932 to 1934.

 

Aside from his commitments to the Group of Seven, Carmichael founded the Ontario Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1925 and the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933.

 

Carmichael taught at the Ontario College of Art from 1932 to 1945 where he was appointed Head of Graphic and Commercial Art.

 

Many of his paintings depict small towns in Ontario. His preferred landscapes were those of the Ottawa Valley and the shores of Lake Superior, which he often visited with Alfred Casson and Lawren Harris.

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