OMAH’s 1st Acquisition For 2023 Is A Sketch By Franklin Carmichael


The Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) recently held its Sir Sam’s Society membership art exchange.  Sir Sam’s Society membership is an annual membership that is valued at $365, of which members receive a $300 tax receipt as well as invitations to events throughout the year.  Also, Sir Sam’s Society members have the option of selecting an original work of art to borrow for a year or allocate their donation to the Sir Sam’s Society Acquisition Fund.

OMAH puts a special emphasis on collecting artwork pertaining to people from or having a clear relationship to Orillia and area, and having made a significant contribution to this area and/or all of Canada.

Sir Sam’s Society members were treated to an unveiling of the work purchased, which happens to be a 1928 pencil sketch of Kleinburg by Franklin Carmichael.   At OMAH we celebrate both art and history and felt that this sketch was a perfect representation of both of those fields.

Franklin Carmichael was the youngest member of the Group of Seven and he was born in Orillia.  He went on to be known for his landscape paintings, especially his watercolour paintings which OMAH is extremely lucky to have two of.  This artwork is the fourth Franklin Carmichael that we have in our growing Carmichael collection.   The town of Kleinburg, seen here, would later become home to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection which houses many pieces by Group of Seven Members including Franklin Carmichael’s.  In fact, he is the only member that is not buried on the grounds of the McMichael in Kleinburg, he is buried here in Orillia.

Arts Programming Coordinator, Tanya Cunnington, said, “what drew me to the sketch was the immediacy of the work.  What I mean by that is that I can almost picture him on site with his sketchbook drawing it.  It is not laboured over, it probably took him just a short time to complete it.  I think that he started on the left because I see some hesitation in his lines and then they become thicker and more certain as they move across to the right.”

These acquisitions build on OMAH’s concerted effort to focus on collection-building and showcasing this collection through our exhibitions, social media, and education programs.  In 2022, OMAH purchased a sketch by Elizabeth Wyn Wood, which will be on exhibition at the museum this summer.

If you would like to learn more about OMAH membership, please visit


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