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Canadian Theme Unit
Tom Thomson: Canada's First Great Expressionist



Tom Thomson: Canada's First Great Expressionist
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.82

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    premiere, re-interred, forefront, pique, patron, further, painters, machinist, commercial, identify, firefighter, design, death, plot, exhibition, government
     content words:    Tommy Thomson, Owen Sound, Rose Hill, Georgian Bay, Grip Ltd, Algonquin Park, Ontario Society, Northern Lake, Canoe Lake


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Tom Thomson: Canada's First Great Expressionist
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Do you like a good mystery? Perhaps the strange circumstances involving the death of one of Canada's premiere painters will pique your interest.
 
2     Tommy Thomson was born in Claremont, Ontario, on August 5, 1877, but was raised further north outside Owen Sound. His parent's home, Rose Hill, was outside of the small town of Leith. Thomson grew up under the influence of Georgian Bay landscapes and weather that would influence him so strongly later on.
 
3     As a young man, Thomson had no idea what he wanted to do to earn his living. He tried enlisting in 1899 to fight in the Boer war but was turned down. A friend of the family had a machine shop. Thomson tried to apprentice there as a machinist. That did not last long.
 
4     Thomson tried attending business school. That didn't work either. Perhaps he needed to get away from everything he had known. In 1901 he was in Seattle, Washington, where he had joined his older brother at another business school. It was there that Thomson discovered his flair for design and lettering.
 
5     Soon Thomson was able to translate his new skill into work as a commercial artist and photo engraver. By 1907, the young artist had returned to Toronto where he joined the staff of Grip Ltd. It was there he met the other men who would become members of the Group of Seven.

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