Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier
October 15 to January 15, 2011
This exhibition explores the notion of the "Canadian frontier" as a site of myth production that stimulated multiple discourses, visual and textual, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Art historians have traditionally examined the mythology of the Canadian frontier in light of the paintings, sketches, and watercolours of the rugged Canadian landscape produced by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven in the early decades of the twentieth century. But rather than focusing exclusively on the "landscape trope" and/or emphasizing the reception history of the works of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, Mapping Medievalism proposes that medievalism was vital to the imagining, experiencing, and representation of Canada's wilderness in the years between 1840 and 1925, reframing the notion of the Canadian frontier from an entirely novel perspective. The exhibition will draw upon primary source material and include paintings, drawings, etchings and a wide range of cultural objects from the region. Mapping Medievalism will be extended through a concurrent exhibition at the McIntosh Gallery.