9 X 8 inches, 163 pages
5 colour reproductions; 1 b&w; 2 b&w archival photographs
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Reviewed by Jack F. Stewart
Two Jacksons Abroad
Naomi Jackson Groves
Letters and sketches by A.Y. Jackson
PERUSE THESE SEPARATE ACCOUNTS of the travels together in France and Germany of two well-known figures in the Canadian artistic landscapeA.Y. Jackson and his niece Naomi Jackson Groves. The year was 1936. Naomi Jackson was travelling in Europe, principally Germany, on a fellowship from the Canadian Federation of University Women. Her journal is full of observations about the Nazi preparations for the war, her struggle to reconcile the discord between her own creative and intellectual propensities, her doppelbegabungen fascination with Goethe, and her discovery of her ultimate attraction to the work of Ernst Barlach.
For his part, A.Y. comments on Nazi Party rallies, but he is more interested in salons and galleries, restored churches and museums. Naomi was determined to produce twelve new works. Of these, the five extant oils by Naomi are reproduced in the book, as well as a drawing by A.Y. of the rolling hills and high rocks near St. Goar. Letters and cards exchanged by uncle and niece evoke the excitement of their overseas adventure.
Naomi Jackson Groves
Naomi Jackson Groves has been a boon to Penumbra Press, helping to shape Penumbra's sensibility, while proffering an oeuvre that shows remarkable range. As a diarist, opening up the diaries from her youth abroad exploring the intellectual and artistic life of Europe in the 1930's and 1940's. As the author or editor of books about her uncle, Group of Seven artist A.Y. Jackson. ("A courageous little cuss" is how her uncle sized her up, after her wartime travel in waters infested by German submarines.) As the translator of works by Greenland artist and author, Jens Rosing. As the generous spirit encouraging several other Penumbra projects off the ground. She is renowned for her critical writing and translations of German sculptor and dramatist Ernst Barlach.
Naomi Jackson Groves specialized in German and northern languages. Born in Montreal in 1910, she would graduate from McGill University with a B.A. in 1933 and an M.A. in 1935, from Radcliffe College in 1937, and from Harvard with a Ph.D. in 1950. In addition to teaching German at McGill and Carleton Universities, she re-established and headed the Fine Arts Department at McMaster University (1951-57). Active into her tenth decade, she passed away in December of 2001.
Remembering Naomi Jackson Groves ...
A. Y. Jackson
A.Y. Jackson - Group of Seven Biography
A.Y. Jackson on the Internet