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'Radium Mine' painting to be auctioned

Nov. 13, 2012 at 1:02 AM

MONTREAL, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A painting by a Canadian artist of the mine that produced the uranium for World War II bombs is to be sold after 74 years with the family of the mine's owner.

"Radium Mine" is the work of A.Y. Jackson, a member of the "Group of Seven." The group, artists who exhibited together from 1920 into the 1930s, believed Canada's landscapes would create a distinctly Canadian style of art.

The painting, about 9 feet across, is to be auctioned Nov. 22 at the Heffel Fine Art auction in Montreal, PostMedia News reported. The painting has only been exhibited once, in 1939, since Jackson created it after visiting the mine on Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories.

The painting is owned by the LaBine family. Gerald LaBine, who owned the mine, was a friend of Jackson.

"Not only is 'Radium Mine' one of Jackson's finest works, it is also historically significant," the auction catalogue says. "At its heart is the story of two exceptional Canadians -- a gifted artist and a bold entrepreneur -- linked by their thirst for adventure, imagination and love of their nation."

Another Jackson painting of the mine is owned by the National Gallery of Canada.

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