A museum in Goderich has gone off the wall, literally, to celebrate the life of a near-forgotten Southwestern Ontario artist, even getting area residents to pull paintings off their walls to add to the showcase.
The Huron County Museum exhibit, Reflections: The Life and Work of J.W. (Jack) McLaren, pays homage to a hidden figure in Canada’s history, whose unsung impact can be felt in comedy, business and art.
Most of the paintings on display were borrowed from homes in Goderich and the surrounding area, a place where McLaren, who was a close associate of the Group of Seven, became a well-known figure in the 1960s.
Southwestern Ontario artist Jack McLaren, who died in 1988, was an influential figure in Canadian art, comedy and business.
“In Huron County . . . everybody has a (McLaren) painting and a story of how they got that painting and how they knew Jack,” said Sinead Cox, the museum’s acting senior curator.