Frank H. Johnston
Serenity, Lake of the Woods, 1922
oil on canvas
102.3 x 128.4 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
A founding member of the Group of Seven, Frank Johnston was Principal of the Winnipeg School of Art between 1921 and 1924, at which time the School was affiliated with the Winnipeg Art Gallery. In this large painting Johnston captures the geographical expanse of the Lake of the Woods in Ontario and the intensity of the region’s long-lasting summer light. Johnston had a positive and lasting impact as a teacher and practicing artist in Winnipeg. He exhibited regularly in the city, and his first solo exhibition in Winnipeg was mounted at the WAG in February 1922, several months before Serenity, Lake of the Woods was painted. Johnston returned to Toronto in 1924 and, intent on pursuing an independent exhibition path, severed his formal ties with the Group.