There were originally eight members in the group. The mystery of Tom Thompson's death left the group with seven members. Here are the original eight members:
Lawren Harris (1885-1970)
Lawren Harris was thought of the leader of the group. He came from a wealthy Ontario family and he devoted his life to painting and encouraging other Canadian artists. He paid for the materials and organized the painting trips that the group went on. As A.Y Jackson puts it, " Without Harris there would have been no Group of Seven. He provided the motive; it was he who encouraged us to take the bolder course, to find new trails."
James MacDonald (1873-1932)
At age forteen, James MacDonald immigrated to Hamilton from England. He worked as a book illistrator, teacher and painter. James was a good speaker and writer and often defended the group's work and aims. He was best known for his painting "Algoma." One of his favorite places to paint was the rocky mountains in British Columbia.
Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945)
Frankin Carmichael was born in Orilla, Ontario and was trained as a commercial artist at Grip Limited, where he met most of the group. He often painted with water colours and he designed the group's symbol. He was the youngest member of the group, but he was president of the group from 1932-1934.
Frank Johnston (1888-1949)
Frank was born in Toronto, Ontario. He worked as a designer and only painted at night. In 1918, he joined Harris and MacDonald on the first paintboxcar to Algoma. Johnston exhibited his work with the group once in 1920, but left when he became the principal of the Winnipeg School of Art.
Arthur Lismer (1885-1969)
Arthur Lismer started art in Sheffield England, but moved to Toronto to get a job at Grip Limited where he met other members of the group. He was also a world renowned childrens art teacher. He liked to paint at Georgian Bay and Algonquin Park.
Fredrick Varley (1888-1969)
Fredrick Varley was born in England and became interested with Lismer's art. At the age of thirty one he moved to Toronto to study commercial art and become an art teacher at Grip Limited. After finishing school, he became an official artist and joined the group.
Alexander Young Jackson (1882-1974)
Alex was born in Montreal and was trained as a painter in Chicago. In 1913, he moved to Toronto for a meeting and to paint in Algonquin Park. In 1915, Alex joined the army and painted scenes of World War 1. Alex Jackson is the worlds most travelled artist.
Tom Thomson (1877-1917)
Tom was born in Owen Sound and worked for an advertisement design company. In 1914,he quit his job and began to paint Canadian wilderness. Tom lived in Algonquin Park for 6 months joined by the group of seven artists. In 1917, 3 years before the group was discovered, it is believed that he drowened in the lake so he was never an official member of the group of seven