JAMES EDWARD HERVEY MACDONALD, O.S.A., R.C.A.
HOUSEBOAT AT SPLIT ROCK ISLAND, GEORGIAN BAY
oil on board
titled on the reverse
6 ins x 8 ins; 15.2 cms x 20.3 cms
In the summer of 1912 (some sources say 1911), MacDonald was invited to the cottage of Dr. James MacCallum, a Toronto eye doctor, whom he had met at the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto when MacCallum introduced himself to the artist having admired MacDonald's works in an exhibition at the Club. The cottage - now known as the MacCallum-Jackman cottage- was located on Split Rock Island in Go Home Bay, Georgian Bay. MacDonald had been offered the use of a houseboat moored at Split Rock.
According to an inscription on the reverse of this painting and certified by Thoreau MacDonald, the artist's son, this work depicts the houseboat owned by Dr. MacCallum. The inscription further indicates that Thoreau, who was born in 1901, is the figure depicted on the shore.
Jeremy Adamson, Lawren S. Harris: Urban Scenes and Wilderness Landscapes, 1906-1930, exhibition catalogue, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1978, page 44.
Paul Duval, The Tangled Garden: The Art of J.E.H. MacDonald, Cerebrus/Prentice-Hall, Scarborough, Ontario, 1878, page 45.