Watershed Magazine has partnered with two of our region’s most valuable cultural assets – The John M. Parrott Gallery in Belleville and the Art Gallery of Northumberland in Cobourg – to highlight select works from their permanent collections.
MANLY MACDONALD WAS BORN IN THE BELLEVILLE AREA IN 1889 and went on to become one of Canada’s leading artists. His semi-impressionistic paintings tell a story of rural life in Ontario during the first half of the 20th century. While many of his contemporaries, some of whom formed the Group of Seven, went north to paint the Canadian wilderness, MacDonald preferred the landscapes and the people that spoke of his rural roots – the barns set in the early morning light, the working mills along the local riverbanks, the men and their horses who logged, cut ice, and collected sap. A traditionalist to the end, Mr. MacDonald created over 2,000 works of art.
John and Bernice Parrott started collecting Manly MacDonald paintings in the late 1980s in a concerted effort to keep them in the Belleville area. To create a permanent home for the works, they donated funds to help build the John M. Parrott Gallery. Starting with their own 60 paintings, the Gallery’s collection has grown steadily.