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Mar 19, 2022
From the collection of George and Dadee Burk
This A. Y. Jackson painting, titled “Algoma, Cally Layton Lake,” was likely painted in the fall of 1919 or 1920 while Jackson was visiting the Algoma region of Ontario with other group of seven members. While no official Cally Layton Lake can be found, the lake was informally named after Dr. James MacCallum, a supporter and patron of the group of seven. In his 1958 autobiography, “A Painters Country”(1), Jackson noted about the Algoma region: ”…there were dozens of lakes, many of them not on the map. For identification purposes we gave them names. The bright sparkling lakes we named after people we admired like Thomson and MacCallum; to the swampy ones, all messed up with moose tracks, we gave the names of the critics who disparaged us.” This lake is also referenced in two Lawren Harris works, “On Cally Layton Lake” and “MacCallum Lake”. It was MacCallum who first brought Lawren Harris to Algoma country in the spring of 1918 as a respite for Harris’s troubled nerves. Harris found the region so inspiring that he returned in the fall of 1918 with JEH MacDonald and Frank Johnston. They rented a box car and rode up the Algoma Central Railway, painting as they went along. The group returned in 1919, this time adding AY Jackson, and again in 1920, but with Arthur Lismer replacing Frank Johnston for the trip. Members of the group continued painting the region in 1921 and later, but ventured farther north and west along Lake Superior.
(1)Jackson, A.Y. (1958). A Painter's Country: The Autobiography of A. Y. Jackson. Clarke, Irwin & Company Ltd.
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