Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00240 - The Carl Schaefer Collection of Thoreau MacDonald Material 

Identity area

Reference code



The Carl Schaefer Collection of Thoreau MacDonald Material 


  • 1924-1975 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

3 boxes (0.6 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Carl Schaefer was born in Hanover, Ont., in 1903, and attended the Ontario College of Art. The Group of Seven artists J.E.H. MacDonald and Arthur Lismer were among his teachers. During the 1930s, he painted the Hanover landscapes for which he perhaps became best known. He was the first Canadian painter to be awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, and spent 1940-41 painting in Vermont near Darmouth College. Three years later he was commissioned into the RCAF where he created over 100 works for the Canadian War Records. His friendship with Thoreau MacDonald dates back to the days when he was a student under J.E.H. MacDonald when they were frequent visitors at the Studio Building.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Carl Schaefer, 1986.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection consists of letters from Thoreau MacDonald to Schaefer, as well as a large collection of Christmas and occassional cards, several of which are originals, original lino-cuts, printer's proofs of lino-cuts and pen drawings, and other printed material and clippings. The letters describe their work and contain running commentary on the art scene of the period.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description identifier

Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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