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 Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson  (1882 - 1974)



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Lived/Active: Quebec / Canada      Known for: landscape and marine painting

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Ad Code: 2
Alexander Young Jackson
from Auction House Records.
Radium Mine
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Alexander Young Jackson was best known as one of the members of the Group of Seven, the famous group of Canadian modernist painters.  Born in Montreal, he started working at age twelve after his father abandoned the family of six children. The young Jackson went to work as an office boy for a Montreal printing company, where he received his earliest training.

In 1906, he attended art classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. One year later Jackson traveled to Europe on a cattle boat, remaining in Paris to study at the Academie Julian until 1912. He decided to become a professional painter after studying Impressionism in Paris.

He returned to Canada and settled in Montreal.  He often took sketching and painting trips to the near by countryside. Back in Toronto, an artist by the name of J.E.H. MacDonald contacted Jackson about a painting he had seen earlier in a Toronto exhibition.  Jackson soon developed a friendship with MacDonald, and was thus linked to Toronto and it's artists.  Jackson had a great sense of adventure, and in 1913 Lawren S. Harris talked Jackson into spending the entire summer painting around Georgian Bay.

He also took trips every spring to Quebec and the Canadian Arctic.  In the fall he returned to his art studio in the Studio Building, and in the winter he painted canvases. He lived in Toronto until 1955 and was involved in the local art scene into his eighties.

David Burnett, Masterpieces of Canadian Art

Biography from Mayberry Fine Art:
Born in Montreal, Alexander Young Jackson left school at the age of twelve and began work at a Montreal printing firm.  In 1906 he undertook art studies at the Art Institute of Chicago*. The following year he enrolled at the Academie Julian* in Paris and remained in France until 1912.  During this period his painting was strongly influenced by the Impressionists*.

After his return to Canada, Jackson took up residence in Montreal and made many sketching trips to the surrounding countryside.  Harris and J.E.H. MacDonald were impressed by Jackson's work and, in 1913, persuaded him to move to Toronto.

Jackson's great sense of adventure carried him from the east coast across Canada to the Rocky Mountains of the west.  He made regular sketching trips to Quebec every spring and traveled to the far regions of Canada during the summer, including the Canadian Arctic.  In the fall he would return to the Studio Building in Toronto (where he lived until 1955), spending the winters painting canvases.  He continued this active lifestyle until he was in his eighties.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Alexander Jackson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Impressionists Pre 1940

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