In my 2018 book Beardmore, which investigates the Viking relics hoax that scandalized the Royal Ontario Museum, I lay out the most likely case for the source of Norse weapons that itinerant prospector James Edward (Eddy) Dodd said he discovered on a mining claim east of Lake Nipigon in the early 1930s. Dodd had been … Continue reading “Beardmore” revisited: Jens Bloch’s dark Norwegian past
I visited McMaster University's Museum of Fine Arts in February 2020, to view several early (pre World War I) works by A.Y. Jackson. One of them, Girl in the Middy, an oil sketch of Rosa Breithaupt, herself painting by the water's edge, contained a bonus painting on the obverse side: a landscape catalogued as "unknown" in subject matter. Jackson's fellow member of the Group of Seven, A.J. Casson, actually wrote (in ink!) on it: "The sketch on the reverse side could possibly be an early AY Jackson." That clearly seems to be the case. But what does it depict?
One must have patience where reviews of academic-press books are concerned. It can take years for some to appear, but it's nice when the waiting is worth it. The Place of Stone (UNC Press, 2017), which was developed from my 2015 doctoral dissertation, "Stone of Power," has earned another strong review, this time by Patricia … Continue reading “The Place of Stone” review in Winterthur Portfolio
Tom Thomson, The Jack Pine. 1916-17. Collection: National Gallery of Canada. On a late July evening in 1917, A.Y. Jackson was expecting orders to leave the 23rd reserve battalion at Shoreham and return to front-line duty when a sergeant-major visited him. “An officer to see you, Jackson, at my place.” Adapted and condensed from Jackson's … Continue reading Losing Tom
Charles Hodge Mackie, Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice. By 1912. National Galleries, Scotland. As I researched my forthcoming Jackson's Wars, Robin Rodger, a documentation officer in the collections department of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, was a big help in sorting out A.Y. Jackson's relationship with several leading British artists early … Continue reading A.Y. Jackson and Scotland’s artists
The TD Thor Wealth Management Juried Show opened today at Quest Art Gallery in Midland, Ontario. Quest says they had more than 300 submissions from across the country, and I'm pleased to say one of my conté drawings (Hogg Valley Rd. East of Old Fort Rd., Tiny Twp, 2018) made the final 32. You can … Continue reading TD Thor Wealth Management Juried Show at Quest
Two of my drawings, "Hunt Club" and "Gin Rock I. to Brébeuf I. " are part of the "Water /L'Eau" exhibition at Quest Art School and Gallery in Midland, Ontario, which opens June 15. I plan to be there for the opening, 2-4 pm, if you want to say hi. Also: I take terrible photos … Continue reading “Water/L’Eau” exhibition
This post has been updated The twitterverse and media had all sorts of fun with the boys’ and girls’ names registered in Alberta in 2018. Released in January 2019 under the province’s open government policy, the lists of baby names included some real, well, horrors. Who names their son “Despot”? Who names their daughter “Anger”? … Continue reading What’s in a name? Douglas, Deborah, and Karen
When Christopher Columbus strode ashore in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, he famously called the indigenous people he met “Indians.” The main talking points of his legacy are still the consequences of his arrival for the people who bear that incongruous label: millions would suffer and die, and cultures would struggle to endure the … Continue reading Columbus, Indians, and the Guanches
No matter what you write, if you’ve done your research thoroughly, your first draft is probably going to be too long. If you’ve never written a book, the thought of having at least 80,000 words to fill might seem daunting rather than a restriction. For people who have asked me to help them write a … Continue reading Should it stay, or should it go?