Arthur Lismer was born in Sheffield, England. He immigrated to Canada in 1911 where he found work in Toronto as an illustrator at Grip Ltd. It was while working at this company that he met J.E.H. MacDonald, Tom Thomson and Frank Johnston.
In the spring of 1914, Lismer traveled for the first time to Algonquin Park, in Ontario, at the invitation of Tom Thomson. In a letter that spring to his wife, Esther, Lismer had this to say of what the Group of Seven would eventually call an “adventure in paint” in Algonquin Park.
“The first night spent in the North and the thrilling days after were turning points in my life…the bush, the trails, lakes, waterfalls…moving camp from one wonderful lake to another…portage and tent pitching, fishing and sketching…and above all. The companionship of a great individual, a wonder with canoe, axe and fish line.”
On one of Lismer’s trips to Algonquin Park, on the shores of Canoe Lake at the headwaters of the Oxtongue River, he captured the warm sunlight and ever-changing colours of fall in “The Guide’s Home, Algonquin.” Today, the original of that painting hangs in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Arthur Lismer became a founding member of the Group of Seven in 1920.