Journal of Canadian Art History / Annales d'histoire de l'art canadien

Archive of past issues

Vol. XV:2 (1993)

Articles

La Pinacothèque de l'Université Laval 1875–1910

Les collections d'art du Séminaire de Québec au XIXe siècle: rôle et justification

Marielle Lavertu

Les collections d'art du Séminaire de Québec, au XIXe siècle, revêtent une dimension éducative particulière: l'imitation des modèles d'art y était considérée comme une composante essentielle à la formation du goût comme de la pensée. Elle constitue en fait l'élément charnière autour duquel viendra s'articuler l'évolution du processus de collectionnement vers le milieu du XIXe siècle, processus qui va mener à l'instauration d'une pinacothèque au sein de l'Université Laval en 1875.

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The Art Gallery of l'Université Laval 1875–1910

The Art Collections of the Séminaire de Québec in the Nineteenth Century: Their Role and Justification

The art collections of the Séminaire de Québec in the nineteenth century responded to a particular educational orientation. The imitation and study of examples of fine art were considered essential to training both taste and thought. Their pedagogical value constituted the primary impetus behind the development of collections in the mid-nineteenth century and specifically the creation of an art gallery at the Université Laval in 1875. We know little of the early days of art collecting in Quebec and its slow evolution during the seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries. The archives record only a few commissions, mostly portraits of the early Fathers Superior. These paintings were hung throughout the Seminary, in priests' rooms, in corridors and in the chapel as devotional decorative objects for contemplation.

Heroes Of A Different Sort

Gender and Patriotism in the War Workers of Frances Loring and Florence Wyle

Kristina Huneault

Between 1919 and 1924 the Toronto, Montréal and Ottawa public had the opportunity to view the "home work section" of the Canadian War Memorials Fund (C.W.M.F.) art collection. Established in 1916, the Fund was initiated by Sir Max Aitken (later Lord Beaverbrook), acting in his capacity as Officer in Charge of War Records. Under the guidance of British art critic Paul Konody and National Gallery of Canada director Eric Brown, Aitken commissioned artworks by leading British and Canadian artists for the purpose of providing "suitable Memorials in the form of Tablets, Oil Paintings, etc. to the Canadian Heroes and Heroines of the War." The "home work section" of the collection was a memorial to civilians' home front contributions to the war effort. Among the works exhibited was a series of bronze statuettes by Frances Loring (1887–1968) and Florence Wyle (1881–1968), representing industrial and agricultural war workers. The works are unique among early twentieth-century Canadian sculptures, both for their subject matter and the vision of women they present; eleven of the fifteen bronzes are of women. Like other representations of women produced at this time, Loring's and Wyle's figures form part of the signifying systems through which the designations "Woman" and "femininity" were constructed during the war years.

Un Duel de Philippe Hébert et ses variantes

Bernard Pothier

En 1988, le Musée canadien de la guerre s'est porté acquéreur de ce qui est manifestement le premier coulage d'un groupe en bronze intitulé Un duel et signé «P. Hébert 1893». C'est parce qu'il s'agit du coulage original que cette pièce se distingue de toutes ses variantes: une maquette préliminaire en plâtre qui ne fut jamais coulée, les variantes coulées du même moule que Un duel, et l'unique pièce en plâtre, de taille monumentale, qui ne devait non plus jamais être coulée. Un duel compte parmi les nombreuses petites pièces réalisées par Louis-Philippe Hébert (1850–1917), le plus célèbre des sculpteurs de monuments du Canada. Cette oeuvre compte aussi parmi les plus évocatrices de ses créations. Dans la tradition de l'artiste, elle reflète l'intérêt qu'il a manifesté pendant toute sa vie pour l'histoire de la Nouvelle-France. Le groupe s'articule autour de deux antagonistes de force à peu près égale—un Iroquois et un pionnier—engagés dans une lutte à mort.

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Philippe Hébert's Un duel and its Variants

Un duel is an example of the many smaller works by Louis-Philippe Hébert (1850–1917), one of Canada's best-known monumental sculptors. This bronze group is the initial casting of several taken from the same mold and was acquired in 1988 by the Canadian War Museum where it is on permanent exhibit in the New France gallery. Additionally, a preliminary plaster model of about 1886 has survived (at the University of Ottawa, Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture) and in 1900 Hébert created a life sized plaster variant of the group, now on indefinite loan to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Neither of these plasters was ever cast.

Hommage à Marian Dale Scott, 1906–1993 / A Tribute To Marian Dale Scott, 1906–1993

Esther Trépanier

Le 28 novembre dernier est décédée une artiste montréalaise marquante et une femme qui fut pour moi une amie très chère. Elle aura réalisé ses derniers désirs: peindre jusqu'à la fin de sa vie—tout au moins jusqu'à ces derniers mois—demeurer chez-elle et continuer à recevoir ses amis. Tous pourront témoigner de la femme exceptionnelle qu'elle était. Ouverte sur le monde, vive, curieuse et d'une incomparable attention à chacun d'entre nous, s'enquérant de nos joies et de nos peines, alors même qu'elle traversait, en toute conscience, la dernière étape de sa vie. Il n'est pas vrai que l'âge de la personne chère rend moins difficile la séparation, et Marian va nous manquer à tous. Nous n'irons plus prendre le thé ou l'apéritif après une journée de travail que, pour sa part, elle essayait le plus possible de consacrer à la peinture. Sa chaleureuse présence, son humour et sa grâce nous font déjà cruellement défaut. Tout au moins pouvons-nous témoigner de l'importance qu'elle a eue pour nous. C'est ce que je veux faire aujourd'hui en rappelant quelques étapes de ce qui fut pour elle un des aspects majeurs de sa vie: sa pratique artistique. Ce texte, on le comprendra, n'est pas un «état de la recherche», non plus qu'un compte rendu rigoureux sur sa carrière. De ce point de vue, le travail reste à faire, d'autant que c'était comme une amie plus que comme «historienne de l'art» que j'étais liée à Marian.

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A Tribute to Marian Dale Scott, 1906–1993

A leading Montreal artist, a woman very dear to me, died last November 28th. She had achieved what she wanted: to paint until the end of her life, at least until the last few months; to stay in her own home; and to go on seeing her friends. All of us can bear witness to what a rare person she was – open-minded, lively, interested, unfailingly considerate, enquiring about our joys and sorrows even at the very end of her life. It is not true that it is easier to accept the death of an older person; we shall all miss Marian. No longer will we be able to go by for tea or a drink at the end of the working day, a day she would have spent painting as much as she could. Her affectionate presence, her grace and humour are already sadly missed. But at least we can bear witness to her importance to us. That is what I wish to do here in commenting on some aspects of one of the most important things in her life: her work as an artist. Since I knew Marian more as a friend than in my professional capacity as an art historian, this text is not a research paper nor a meticulous account of her career. That is work which still remains to be done.

Reviews

Living in Style: Fine Furniture in Victorian Quebec

John R. Porter

Elizabeth Collard

This handsomely produced, massive volume is an impressively scholarly approach to the history of furniture in Canada. Though its theme is "fine furniture" in Victorian Québec, much of what has been gathered together here applies to taste, fashion and attitudes in other parts of the country as well during the same period (1837–1901). Though published in connection with the 1993 exhibition, which opened in Montréal and then moved on to Québec, this is no mere catalogue, whose usefulness is transient. It is a permanent expansion of both social and material history. It is a book that belongs in the furniture section of every reference library.

Music of the Eye: Architectural Drawings of Canada's First City, 1822–1914

Gary K. Hughes

Franklin Toker

This investigation of Saint John's heritage in architectural drawings appears to have had five objectives: a discussion of the architectural drawings in their own right, as vehicles for representation; the role that these drawings played in the production of the resulting building—though by no means all were built; a history of the resulting buildings themselves; an architectural history of the city of Saint John as the collective result of all of these drawings and buildings; and an inventory of architects active in Saint John. These are all high and laudable objectives. Music of the Eye perhaps could be called a resounding success only in the last of these five categories, but it does a reasonable job of attaining all of them.