Artist James Edward Hervey MacDonald
Title Untitled - The Homeseekers, A Prairie Camp
Media oil on canvas
Size 16 x 20 in. / 40.6 x 50.8 cm.
Frame Size 24.5 x 28.5 x 1.75 in.
signed with initials and dated lower right; bears artist's name and inscription verso; framed
Charles Hill, former Senior Curator of Canadian Art at the National Gallery of Canada, has brought to the consignor's attention that E.R. Hunter listed an unidentified painting titled 'Homeseekers' on page 48 of his book J.E.H. MacDonald: A Biography and Catalogue of his Work [Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1940]. This painting was known to Hunter merely as the title of a canvas MacDonald exhibited with the Ontario Society of Artists in April 1913 and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in November 1913. This is probably the same painting that was first exhibited at The MacDowell Club in New York in March 1913, in the Exhibition of Paintings by J.W. Beatty, Wm. Brymner, W.H. Clapp, Maurice Cullen, Clarence A. Gagnon, E. Wyly Grier, Lawren Harris, Charles W. Jefferys, and J.E.H. MacDonald, catalogue number 40, when it was titled 'The Homeseekers, A Prairie Camp.' The prairie reference accords with the inscription on the stretcher of this canvas, 'Prairie Trail.' The canvas shown in New York was described in the article 'Canadian Painters' Capital Display in N.Y. Exhibition,' in the Montreal Daily Star, 15 March 1913 on page 9, 'Most attractive of all is 'The Home Seekers' which shows only the black prairie night and a dim slip of moon, with the faintest glimpse of a camp fire, and those who are seated about it. There is nothing of the poster fashion about the piece. It is executed with an eye for technique and proportion as just as that which fashioned those other nocturnes in green and orange.')
from an Ontario estate and by descent; private collection, Southern Alberta
James Edward Hervey MacDonald ~ [1873-1932] Canadian OSA, RCA
see J.E.H. MacDonald by A.Robson, Ryerson Press, 1937; J.E.H. MacDonald, R.C.A. 1873-1932, by N.Robertson, A.G.O. 1965; The Tangled Garden, by P.Duval, Cerebus Pub., Toronto, 1978; J.E.H. MacDonald Sketchbook, 1915-1922, by J.E.H. Macdonald, Penumbra Press, 1979; The Lake O'Hara Art of J.E.H. MacDonald, by L.Christensen, Fifth House Pub. 2003; biographies in N.G.C. Vol.III, by R.Hubbard, pg.188 and Westbridge,Vol.3, pg.3; A.G.O., by the A.G.O., pg.266; exhibition list in R.C.A.A., by E.McMann, pg.252