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Apr 4 - Sep 7, '20
Into the Light is the first exhaustive survey of the influential Manitoba modernist, and Group of Seven member, in forty years.

Beloved for his sensitive and serene depictions of Manitoba, Winnipeg artist Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald (1890–1956) was the last member to join the Group of Seven in 1932. Compared to the more outspoken members of the Group, FitzGerald’s voice was a quieter one, his legacy including both his stewardship of the Winnipeg School of Art (1929-1947) and the development of the WAG. He had his first show at the Gallery in 1921 and went on to become one of Canada’s best known early modernist painters.

FitzGerald’s life-long practice of making drawings, prints, and paintings deserves a closer look as we evolve our understanding of the trajectories of Canadian art. Like Canadian artists David Milne and Jack Chambers, FitzGerald’s deeply contemplative art renders the everyday miraculous, at times suggesting portals to the infinite. This exhibition gathers more than 200 works and is presented by the WAG in partnership with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.


Here’s a sneak peek of Into the Light!

L.L. FitzGerald

Rooted in his native city of Winnipeg, Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald (1890–1956) worked almost exclusively in Manitoba, where he captured the essence of the prairie in his art. Although he accepted the Group of Seven’s invitation to become a member in 1932, FitzGerald was less concerned than the group was to promote issues of Canadian identity. Instead he explored his surroundings, delving deeply into the forces he felt animated and united nature in order to make “the picture a living thing.” Quiet in personality and passionate about art, FitzGerald inspired a generation of students at the Winnipeg School of Art.



March 17: Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald born in Winnipeg, MB


FitzGerald wins second prize at Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition with Drawing – Copy


FitzGerald exhibits professionally for the first time at a public library in a group show organized by the Women’s Art Association


December 16: Winnipeg Museum of Fine Arts (later known as the Winnipeg Art Gallery) opens at Main St and Water Ave, inaugural exhibition, Royal Canadian Academy Exhibition of Paintings features a FitzGerald painting


September 10: First solo exhibition at the WAG; sells first major painting to the WAG for $300 (Summer Afternoon, The Prairie)


January 2: Manitoba Society of Artists established at studio of Walter J. Phillips and Alexander Musgrove. FitzGerald included in exhibition Richardson Brothers Gallery; exhibits every year with this group from 1926-56 (except 1949)


September 7: Appointed principal of Winnipeg School of Art


Invited to exhibit with the Group of Seven for the first time


Exhibits Doc Snyder’s House for the first time at invitation to show with Group of Seven for the second time


Invited to officially join the Group of Seven


The Group of Seven disbands to “form a society of all the so-called modern painters in the country” called the Canadian Group of Painters


February 4-17: Exhibit: L.L. FitzGerald Paintings and Drawings at the Winnipeg Art Gallery


August 5: Suffers a heart attack and dies in hospital at age 66


March 30 FitzGerald Memorial Room opens at the WAG


58 works in FitzGerald 1890-1956: Memorial Exhibition organized by Ferdinand Eckhardt, Alan Jarvis, Douglas Duncan, Lawren Harris, A.O. Brigden, and Dr. E.J. Thomas opens at the WAG. The exhibition tours to Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa.


Financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

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WAG-Qaumajuq recognizes that land acknowledgements are part of an ongoing dialogue with Indigenous Nations, and we are grateful to live and work on these lands and waters. Institutionally, WAG-Qaumajuq is committed to acknowledging our colonial history and we are actively working to interrogate the Gallery’s colonial ways of being. Read about some of our ongoing projects to interrupt the institution.
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