A.J. Casson was born in Toronto, Ontario. He studied art at Hamilton Technical School and went on to become a lithographer. Through his artistic work, Casson became friends with Group of Seven member Franklin Carmichael. In 1926, Casson was asked to become a member of the group, to replace Frank Johnston who had resigned his position. Throughout his life, A.J. Casson enjoyed painting landscapes, be it water, hills, forests, flowers, waterfalls or rivers.
Oxtongue Lake and the Oxtongue River became two of Casson’s most favourite places to paint in Canada.
As many of today’s residents at Oxtongue Lake will tell you, it was not uncommon to see A.J. Casson sketching and painting at various locations along the shoreline of the lake or the river. He once said, “If you ask me to paint a picture of Oxtongue Lake with one of the islands, I could sit down and do it right now”.
Along with painting islands, Casson also attempted to capture the combined essence of rushing water and rock formations like those found at various waterfalls along the Oxtongue River. At Ragged Falls, he painted many different variations on that theme, among them “Oxtongue River – Ragged Falls”.
In 1969, A.J. Casson painted “Early September, Oxtongue Lake”. Today, that work of art hangs in the Ottawa Art Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.