Whether it’s actually true or a myth that Canadians love to believe, there is something about the national psyche that insists that we are a function of our environment, a part of nature itself.
Nowhere is this more evident than in a Canadian icon for Canadian Icons—McMichael Art Gallery in Kleinburg.
You get that from the second you enter the grounds: forests, meandering paths decorated by sculptures, a sky-high main gallery of natural stone and logs designed to be part of the natural setting. Come fall, the beautiful valley becomes a quilt of orange and scarlet oak and maple leaves.
Inside is just as picturesque—how could it be otherwise?
The Group of Seven was a collection of Canada’s best known painters. Almost all of their body of work dealt with landscapes—the natural beauty that is Canada. This is the country’s chief repository of that work, a museum designed exclusively to show it at its best, to pay tribute to a national legacy.
A visit to McMichael is a history and art lesson. It is a lesson in culture. It is a compelling look at art and nature on the same stage.
It is, in short, a Canadian icon for Canadian icons.