Sampson - Matthews Wanted for Purchase or Consignment

(1939 - 1955)

During World War II, Group of Seven members A.Y. Jackson and A.J. Casson initiated a plan to bring contemporary art to Canada's soldiers. Jackson was a veteran of the First World War and wanted to improve the appearance of the drab army barracks and barren mess halls. At the time A.J. Casson was the art director at the Toronto design firm of Sampson-Matthews Limited. With Casson’s expertise in silkscreen printing they were able to produce a very high quality print at low cost. Screening oil colours onto masonite board produced artworks of vivid colour that were also exceedingly durable.

The landscape subjects chosen represented scenes from every part of Canada. Many of the works were already well known and considered masterpieces in their time. Some of the artists whose work was selected included Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, Thoreau MacDonald, David Milne and Tom Thomson. Among others, Charles Comfort and A.Y. Jackson contributed original works conceived especially for this series. Apart from brightening Canadian Army Barracks, these prints, which were sent to all parts of Canada, to England and to Germany, were used to recall the beauty and dignity of the homeland for the troops. They instilled not only a patriotic pride but also a pride in Canada's artists.

Historical Sale Highlights

Following is a random selection of collectible works we have previously sold. Refresh this page to see more items.

Houses, Winter, City Painting V
Lawren Harris
oil on canvas (42.75x50.25 in) 1920
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Podilian Boots under the Table
William Kurelek
pen & ink (14.5x23 in) 1977
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Forest Portage
Ted Harrison
acrylic on canvas (24x36 in) 1984
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Huskies Howling to be Free, Cape Dorset, N.W.T.
William Kurelek
oil on panel (9x25 inch) 1968
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Chilcotin Falls
Robert Genn
Acrylic (12x16 in) 2011
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Figure
John Kavik
stone (12x8x4 in) circa 1967
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Chopping Wood
Allen Sapp
acrylic (24x36 in) 1972
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Eskimo Hunter and Seal
Leo Mol
Porcelain (9x5.5x3.5 in) 1954
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Deer Overlooking Sunset and Town
Maud Lewis
Oil on Board (11.75x13.75 in)
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Digging Seneca Roots
Allen Sapp
acrylic (30x48 in) 1969
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