Series LA.SC104.S2 - Page layouts for Maria Chapdelaine

Identity area

Reference code



Page layouts for Maria Chapdelaine


  • 1937–1973 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 v. of drawings
9 p. of textual records

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thoreau MacDonald (1901–1989) was a Canadian artist, book illustrator and art editor. Son of Harriet Joan Lavis and Group of Seven painter J.E.H. MacDonald, he was born outside Toronto and named for American transcendentalist author Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). Largely self-taught, Thoreau MacDonald worked with his father to develop his artistic ability. His prints and drawings are chiefly in black and white owing to colour blindness. He never married. Thoreau MacDonald’s working career was spent for the most part at the Ryerson Press and Canadian Forum magazine, for which he produced hundreds of drawings and linocuts. In 1933 he became a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters. He was especially regarded for his prints and drawings of subjects from nature. In the late 1930s he founded the Woodchuck Press in Thornhill, Ont. to produce bookplates and labels along with illustrated publications. Thoreau MacDonald died in Toronto in 1989. His work is in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Hart House at the University
of Toronto, the McMichael Collection and the National Gallery of Canada.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Series comprises a volume (booklet) of page layouts made in Toronto in 1937 by Thoreau MacDonald for his illustrated edition of an English translation of Louis Hémon’s Maria Chapdelaine: récit du Canada français (Paris : Bernard Grasset, 1921). On p. [2] of the booklet is a note written by MacDonald describing his concept for the illustrations and the planned number of drawings.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open. Access to Special Collections is by appointment only. Please contact the reference desk for more information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Material in this collection is in the public domain. Permission of the Art Gallery of Ontario is required for publication.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Finding aids

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Notes area


Title based on the contents of the series. Title page of the layouts: “Maria Chapdelaine by Louis Hémon,
a story of French Canada, translated by W.H. Blake, Toronto, The MacMillan Company, 1937.”

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Edward P. Taylor Library and Archives, Art Gallery of Ontario

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Originally prepared in 2013


  • English



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