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Potential New Images of Tom Thomson Emerge from Art Gallery Project

Visitors at Tom Thomson Art Gallery

In September, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery hosted a community initiative called Living Histories Photo Sharing Project, a day connecting members of the public with local historian Richard J. Thomas to share their historic photographs of Owen Sound and related stories. 

Local resident Bill Morrison brought in a collection of historical photographs that surprisingly included possible images of Tom Thomson. According to Morrison, and as passed down verbally in his family, his great-grandfather William Morrison was good friends with Thomson at the turn of the 20th century – family lore indicates that William and Thomson shared a mutual love of fishing, hunting, and the outdoors.? 

The Tom Thomson Art Gallery is presenting these original images for public view and debate as part of the Living Histories exhibition which features historic photographs of Owen Sound taken by J. James between 1905 and 1960. The public is invited to compare the known images of Tom Thomson with the Morrison images and decide for themselves by casting a vote.

Over the holiday season, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery will be open to the public as follows: 
Wednesday, December 27: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
Thursday, December 28: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
Friday, December 29: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
Saturday, December 30: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

The Gallery will return to regular public hours on Tuesday, January 2 (Tuesday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.). 

For more information, please contact Aidan Ware, Director and Chief Curator at 519-376-1932 ext. 5001 or email 


“Tom Thomson is one of the most enigmatic Canadian artists, and these historic images provide a possible glimpse into his life, as well as a deeper look at our region at the turn of the 20th century. I encourage photography, history, and art enthusiasts alike to take some time to appreciate these photographs and learn a little bit more about Owen Sound’s past in the process.” 

-Mayor Ian Boddy 

“Having a chance to consider the possibility that these images are of Tom Thomson is quite compelling. Even if we can never prove it one way or another, comparing images this way is a rare opportunity to take a closer look at the man who was the most influential artist in Canadian art history. Perhaps through this exercise, we gain another small piece of him, even if it is just to reside in the public imagination.” 

-Aidan Ware, Director and Chief Curator  

Quick Facts: 

  • Living Histories runs until March 16 at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery 



Contact Us

808 2nd Avenue East,
Owen Sound, ON
N4K 2H4
Phone: 519-376-1440
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