It’s a commonly held notion that a Canadian can be easily identified by the end-of-sentence “eh?” However, true connoisseurs of all things Canadian know that what separates citizens of the north from the south, the true identifier, is that when naming someone notable, the name is followed by a knowing nod and the enthusiastic comment “Canadian!”—as in, Peter Jennings (Canadian!), Brendan Frazier (Canadian!), or Eugene Levy (Canadian!). The impulse to not only include Canadian cultural contributions in the broader American context, but to distinguish them, is deeply ingrained.
For this reason I thought it important, when planning Mining Modern Museum Education, an upcoming panel discussion on four seminal figures in early- to mid-twentieth-century museum education, to consider the significant contributions of my fellow Canadian Arthur Lismer. An iconic Canadian artist of the modern era (Group of Seven), Lismer was also an influential museum educator whose work in this field merits investigation.