Huron County, Ontario – The Huron County Museum, together with the Huron County Historical Society, is pleased to announce the opening of the much-anticipated exhibit, Reflections: The Life and Work of J.W. (Jack) McLaren, on October 8, 2020.
From mirth and mud at Ypres Salient and Vimy Ridge to the vibrancy of landscapes from Huron County and the Maitland River Valley, the exhibit explores McLaren’s prolific career as an artist, illustrator, and performer. Born in Scotland in 1896, McLaren immigrated to Canada in 1908 and eventually settled in Benmiller where he continued his career as an artist and became deeply involved in the local arts community.
McLaren’s life and work was originally intended to be the subject of a general meeting of the Huron County Historical Society, of which McLaren had been a member. As the idea of presenting McLaren’s work to the group grew, a partnership with the Huron County Museum was developed to share a larger exhibit that now features close to 100 works on loan from the community. Reflections not only shares this incredible local collection of art, but also looks back on McLaren’s fascinating life, including his time in World War I where he performed as a member of the Dumbells Comedy Troupe, and his membership in the Toronto Arts and Letters Club where he became associated with the Group of Seven.
“Our Huron County community has been tremendously supportive and enthusiastic in agreeing to loan their personal paintings,” said Historical Society Director Susan Glousher, who has been working very closely with fellow director Mary Gregg to bring together this exhibit. “We are very grateful for their enthusiasm and really think the exhibition is going to be a feast for the eyes.”
The original opening of Reflections was delayed this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will now run until April 30, 2021.
“It’s very gratifying that the new dates for this exhibit will allow the Jack McLaren story to be told at the museum,” said Acting Senior Curator Sinead Cox. “His work brings local, national and international stories together, and is always infused with his trademark sense of humour.”
The public is invited to pre-arrange a visit to catch the exhibit at their convenience. Starting October 8, the museum will be extending its hours and will be open to the public on Thursdays from 1-8 p.m., Fridays from 1-4:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10-4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 1-4:30 p.m. To pre-arrange a visit, please call 519-524-2686 and review the latest guidelines before visiting the museum on www.huroncountymuseum.ca. Reflections is included with regular admission, which is free for museum members and Huron County Library card holders.
The County of Huron asks the community to continue respecting all public health guidelines, including performing hand hygiene, practicing physical distancing, wearing masks and staying home if ill. Stay informed on the COVID-19 situation in Huron County by visiting the Huron-Perth Public Health website.