Cobalt: A Mining Town and the Canadian Imagination

$45.00 CAD

SKU: 045315


Introduction and edited by Sarah Milroy
Introductory essay by Bonnie Devine
Lead essay by Catharine Mastin
Epilogue by Ed Burtynsky
120 exhibition images + 80 comparative figures
Published by: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 2024
Hardcover, 150 pages



Cobalt: A Mining Town and the Canadian Imagination gathers rarely seen works by modernist Canadian artists of a century ago. Together, they shared a fascination with this Northern Ontario town, where a massive silver deposit was discovered in 1903, far from the country's fast-growing urban centres. It quickly drew mining companies to the region, but the intense extraction period proved short-lived, as the supply was largely depleted by the early 1920s. The painters Yvonne McKague Housser, Bess Larkin Housser Harris, Isabel McLaughlin, Frederick Banting, A.Y. Jackson, Franklin Carmichael, and others flocked to Cobalt to experiment with a new industrial iconography just as silver production in the region was waning. Their works express a range of perceptions, with some artist conjuring Cobalt as an icon of industrial nationhood while others focused on the town's decline and the degradation of the landscape.

Written by Catharine Mastin, a noted Canadian art historian, this publication brings together the fruits of extensive new research on a dynamic moment in Canada's history, while contribution by the Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky and the Anishinaabe artist and scholar Bonnie Devine round out the view of mining in Canada's North, and the indelible impact of capitalism and colonialism on the land.