Art for War and Peace: How a Great Public Art Project Helped Canada Discover Itself

Description

“Uncovers an important chapter in the adolescent years of Canadian identity… the book is an expertly collected document of the early efforts made by a young, spirited country desperate to define itself. ” —Toronto Star

Art for War and Peace tells the amazing story of the largest public art project in Canadian history. The Sampson-Matthews print program began as wartime propaganda during WWII and lasted into the 1960s. It cost tens of millions of dollars. The bright silkscreens hung in every school, library, bank and dentist’s office from Whitehorse to St. John’s, shaping Canadians’ ideas about art—and their vast homeland. The silkscreens were based on designs by a who’s who of Canada’s greatest artists, including Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, and Tom Thomson. The book features full-colour reproductions of over a hundred silkscreens and contributions from several art writers, including Douglas Coupland.

Awards

  • Short-listed, Benjamin Franklin Awards 2016

Reviews

"This is a gorgeous book. "

~Stephen Quinn, Host of CBC Radio's On the Coast

"Ian Sigvaldason and Scott Steedman’s Art for War and Peace: How A Great Art Project Helped Canada Discover Itself uncovers an important chapter in the adolescent years of Canadian identity, detailing how these landscapes — mostly of the Canadian Shield and painted mainly by Toronto urbanites — came to be imprinted on our national DNA. In gorgeous, full-colour reproduction and stuffed with supplementary material such as sales catalogues, pages about framing options, and decals with care instructions (“Should the surface become soiled it may readily be cleaned by sponging with soap and water”), the book is an expertly collected document of the early efforts made by a young, spirited country desperate to define itself. "

~Toronto Star, Chris Hampton