Arthur Lismer – Canadian Artist and Interpreter of the Sea

Arthur Lismer sign

by John MacFarlane 2012

Arthur Lismer, painter and educator, was born at Sheffield, England on 27 June 1885. He found work as a commercial artist at the Grip Ltd. He is best known for his work with the Group of Seven and is one of the best known of the Canadian artists. He painted the coast and marine habitats each summer from 1951 at Long Beach, on Vancouver Island. He stayed in a small cabin behind the Wickaninnish Inn on Wickaninnish Bay.

The beach was (and is) known as Long Beach and is now a part of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Lismer lived in a small cabin which still displayed a stump of a canoe paddle unofficially designating it as Lismer Cottage when I saw it in 1971. The whole group of cottages was torn down soon after (about 1971) when Parks Canada took over the property to redevelop it into the Wickaninnish Interpretation Centre which still operates there today. Lismer died at Montreal Quebec on March 23rd, 1969. His paintings of the sea still thrill art lovers.

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