Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tom Thomson - 95th Anniversary.

Thomson on Lake Scugog.

In a couple of days marks the 95th anniversary of Canadian artist Tom Thomson mysterious death (July 8th, 1917) on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. There is plenty of theories and ideas behind his death, and it is amazing that 95 years later it really is still a mystery. Below I have cited some Wiki that puts forth some of the theories behind his death.

"Thomson disappeared during a canoeing trip on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on July 8, 1917 and his body was discovered in the lake eight days later. The official cause of death was accidental drowning, but there are still questions about how he actually died. It was reported that there was fishing line wrapped around his leg and he had a head injury (which may have been post mortem). It has also been speculated that he was murdered by a German-American neighbour, Martin Blecher, Jr., or that he fell on a fire grate during a drunken brawl with J. Shannon Fraser, owner of Canoe Lake's Mowat Lodge, over an old loan to Fraser for the purchase of canoes. Thomson allegedly needed the money for a new suit to marry Winnifred Trainor, whose parents had a cottage at Canoe Lake. Rumours circulated following his drowning that she was pregnant with Thomson's child. Winnifred Trainor made a trip to Philadelphia with her mother the following winter and returned around Easter. She never spoke about her relationship with Thomson. A nephew, Terrance Trainor McCormick, an upper New York resident who inherited her estate, which included at least 13 small Thomson paintings and letters, said the letters confirm their engagement. McCormick has refused to produce the letters for scholarly investigation. Others believe that Thomson, who produced at least 63 landscape paintings that last spring, many of which he gave away or discarded, suffered severe depression and drowned himself. There is also the speculation that he was killed by poachers within the park, many still existed for years after the creation of the park and were known to get violent when the possibility of being exposed was present. He was buried at Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on July 17, 1917, without family members having seen the body. Under the direction of his older brother, George Thomson, the body was exhumed two days later and re-interred in the family plot beside the Leith Presbyterian Church on July 21. None of these theories are conclusive, and the wide range of speculation serves mostly to perpetuate Thomson's romantic legend."

Enjoy some of these pictures for the man himself.

1 comment:

  1. great post! fascinating mystery, RIP TT, iconic artist, one of my faves.