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A Work from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art Goes International!

May 11, 2021

In the Nickel Belt, Franklin Carmichael, 1928, oil on canvas. Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, Ottawa Art Gallery; Donated to the City of Ottawa by the Ontario Heritage Foundation.

Installation view of the exhibition Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting 1910–1940, at the Schirn Kunsthalle, in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo : Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt.

Have you heard? Franklin Carmichael’s painting In the Nickel Belt (1928) is in Frankfurt!

This important work from our Firestone Collection of Canadian Art has travelled to Europe, on loan to the National Gallery of Canada for the travelling exhibition: Magnetic North. Imagining Canada in Painting 1910-40. Organized by the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada, this exhibition provide a critical review and explores the way in which early 20th century artists adapted Post-Impressionist techniques to interpret the Canadian landscape. The exhibition is slated to have stops in both Frankfurt and Rotterdam through to 2022.

In the Nickel Belt is one of Franklin Carmichael’s most important works. Among hills of rock, a billow of rising smoke majestically dominates the skyline, reflecting Carmichael’s reverence for the Northern Ontario landscape, alongside his critique of environmental destruction through industry. While it was executed almost 100 years ago, in the face of climate change the significance of this work continues to be relevant for contemporary audiences.

While the original work is travelling, a large mural re-creation of this painting, which was also reproduced by Canada Post as part of a commemorative stamp set celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven in 2020, is currently featured in our exhibition (Re)Collecting the Group of Seven: Celebrating 100 Years



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