Writing about Steve Martin trumpeting Lawren Harris inevitably leads me to think of Lionel LeMoine Fitzgerald . Some of you may wonder “Who?” Fitzgerald was also a member of the Group of Seven, and the only prairie artist in the lot.
I think I fell in love with FitzGerald’s work experiencing it at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. (FUN FACT: The WAG is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery, opening in 1912.) He was born in Winnipeg in 1890, and was one of the first principals of the Winnipeg School of Art, which is now the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. ( FUN FACT #2 The same group of people, The Winnipeg Industrial Bureau, founded the art gallery, and the school. They had lofty goals of cultural development, progress and shaping the civilization of Western Canada. Wow. When was the last time you heard a business person talking like that?)
FitzGerald spent most of his life in Winnipeg, with studies in Pittsburgh and New York City. He worked primarily in drawing, oil and watercolour painting and printmaking. If you click here, you can see a mural by Charlie Johnston that commemorates FitzGerald’s life in Winnipeg.
I’m glad Canadian painting, and Lawren Harris in particular, are getting publicity because of Steve Martin’s interest. Wouldn’t it be great if we could match up some more celebrities with deserving artists? Any thoughts on who might be a great (or fun!) match with L. L. FitzGerald?