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Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
in 1890. His boyhood summers had been spent on his grandmother's farm and a deep love of the prairies remained with him all of his life. After leaving
school he wrote "I worked in a wholesale drug office and finding the job not quite satisfying I felt the first real urge to draw, so I got some drawing
paper, a pencil and an eraser and started work." He was 14. FitzGerald studied art in Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and New York and in 1924 began teaching at the
Winnipeg School of Art. In 1929 he was appointed Principal of the school, a position he held until 1949. FitzGerald was the only western Canadian painter to
become a member of the Group of Seven. Although geographically removed from the centre of activity as well as employing a very different approach to
landscape painting, FitzGerald was invited to become a member of the Group of Seven shortly before it disbanded in 1932 and subsequently became one of the
founding members of its successor, the Canadian Group of Painters. FitzGerald retained a strong loyalty to and creative dependence on his home region. His
paintings are of prairie scenes, simple subjects such as his neighbour's backyard or a potted plant. He looked at groupings of objects on a table or in a
corner of the room, or out at views seen from an upstairs window or across a rolling landscape under enormous skies. In later years, FitzGerald focused on
abstract painting and still life, working mainly in chalk, ink and watercolour.
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