"La naissance"

Painting by Médard Bourgault (1897-1967).

Médard BOURGAULT
Photo: Claude Lamarche

Wood, polychrome
44.6 X 71 X 3.5 cm
© La Pulperie de Chicoutimi.


Médard Bourgault (1897-1967)

Born in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec in 1897, Médard Bourgault, a self-taught artisan, began producing works of folk art at the end of the First World War, in 1918. By the end of the 1920s, when he could no longer earn a living as a carpenter in the Depression, he decided to devote his life to sculpture.

In September 1932, he took part in the exhibition of Folk Art in Toronto. In the late 1930s, he gradually abandoned rustic scenes and figures in favour of religious art, which would form the major part of his opus of 4,000 pieces.

As victim of the renewal of sacred art and the liturgical compilation resulting from the Vatican II council, he was powerless to fight the rapid decline in the traditional market for wood carvings in the 1960s. He died in 1967. He is still renowned today for wood carving in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, where he founded a studio.

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When he began his work, sculptor Médard Bourgault met the expectations of a Quebec elite dedicated t Read More
Médard Bourgault (1897-1967)

Born in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec in 1897, Médard Bourgault, a self-taught artisan, began producing works of folk art at the end of the First World War, in 1918. By the end of the 1920s, when he could no longer earn a living as a carpenter in the Depression, he decided to devote his life to sculpture.

In September 1932, he took part in the exhibition of Folk Art in Toronto. In the late 1930s, he gradually abandoned rustic scenes and figures in favour of religious art, which would form the major part of his opus of 4,000 pieces.

As victim of the renewal of sacred art and the liturgical compilation resulting from the Vatican II council, he was powerless to fight the rapid decline in the traditional market for wood carvings in the 1960s. He died in 1967. He is still renowned today for wood carving in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, where he founded a studio.

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When he began his work, sculptor Médard Bourgault met the expectations of a Quebec elite dedicated to preserving the craft of artisans. The support he received from Marius Barbeau, the National Gallery of Canada, and Jean-Marie Gauvreau, director of the École du meuble, truly reflects this.

These people were acting on an ideological school of thought advocating the preservation of ancestral traditions and protecting the French Canadian identity, in an effort to counter the effects of industrialization.

In Bourgault’s clear interest in subjects rooted in the land, this cultural elite saw the customs of early Canadien settlers and artisanal trades, a signal contribution to the preservation of collective memory in the wake sculptor Alfred Laliberté (1878-1953).

Various Source

© 1997, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

"Scène du temps passé"

Painting by Edmund Doucette (1894-1985).

Edmund DOUCETTE
Photo: Noëlla Richard
1968
Wood sculpture
62.5 x 35 cm
© Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island.


Edmund Doucette (1894-1985)

Edmund Doucette was born in Miminegash, Prince Edward Island in 1894. A student of life, he first worked as a lumberman before embarking on a career as post office agent in Miminegash for 24 years. Later on, he opened a store where, among other things, he sold his own Christmas ornaments. At that time, he started producing his sculptures with a small hand saw and pocket knife. However, he truly became serious about this pastime after retiring.

The people around him would order frames or crucifixes, anything useful in daily life. He could create items as practical as they were beautiful.

This man had an outstanding enthusiasm for life. He carved for the simple pleasure he derived from this activity. He never wanted money for his works, but instead gave them to members of his family. Edmund was as much a performer as a craftsman. His children still remember the beautiful songs he sang, as well as the little tales he performed for them. His work can be found in books on folk art, especially "Acadian folk art of Prince Edward Island."

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Edmund Doucette (1894-1985)

Edmund Doucette was born in Miminegash, Prince Edward Island in 1894. A student of life, he first worked as a lumberman before embarking on a career as post office agent in Miminegash for 24 years. Later on, he opened a store where, among other things, he sold his own Christmas ornaments. At that time, he started producing his sculptures with a small hand saw and pocket knife. However, he truly became serious about this pastime after retiring.

The people around him would order frames or crucifixes, anything useful in daily life. He could create items as practical as they were beautiful.

This man had an outstanding enthusiasm for life. He carved for the simple pleasure he derived from this activity. He never wanted money for his works, but instead gave them to members of his family. Edmund was as much a performer as a craftsman. His children still remember the beautiful songs he sang, as well as the little tales he performed for them. His work can be found in books on folk art, especially "Acadian folk art of Prince Edward Island."

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This work depicts a few forms of domestic work by Acadians of years gone by. All the figures and furniture are hand-carved and hand-painted. The scene shows bread rising in the kneading trough, a woman churning butter, another spinning a skein of yarn, and a man coming in from the barn carrying two buckets of milk. This scene also depicts a hearth with cast iron utensils and a warm fire. The crucifix on the wall was a must for the Acadians. Edmund produced this sculpture from the stories he was told by his parents, especially his father, about their childhood. His father had grown up on a farm.

© 1997, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

"Le 'vannouer'"

Painting by Camille Cormier (1924).

Camille CORMIER
Photo: Donald Savoie
1988
Oil on canvas
76 x 51 cm
© Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton.


Camille Cormier (1924)

Camille Cormier, born in 1924 at Shediac, New Brunswick, grew up on his father’s farm. He studied mechanics (electrical motors) in Moncton and began a career in this field.

His work took him across Canada, while his free time was spent painting from old photographs, as he always had a keen interest in the traditional Acadian lifestyle and customs. These interests emerged in his paintings throughout his career.

In the prime of his youth, he won first prize in a provincial competition in Nova Scotia as well as a scholarship to study painting in Boston. Unfortunately, he had to decline when his mother disapproved. In his discouragement, the young Camille burned several of his works and did not seriously return to painting until he retired.

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After the grain was harvested, its processing began by striking the stalks with a flail or thresher. A winnowing basket was then used to separate the grain from the hulls and straw. This cleaned grain was then take Read More
Camille Cormier (1924)

Camille Cormier, born in 1924 at Shediac, New Brunswick, grew up on his father’s farm. He studied mechanics (electrical motors) in Moncton and began a career in this field.

His work took him across Canada, while his free time was spent painting from old photographs, as he always had a keen interest in the traditional Acadian lifestyle and customs. These interests emerged in his paintings throughout his career.

In the prime of his youth, he won first prize in a provincial competition in Nova Scotia as well as a scholarship to study painting in Boston. Unfortunately, he had to decline when his mother disapproved. In his discouragement, the young Camille burned several of his works and did not seriously return to painting until he retired.

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After the grain was harvested, its processing began by striking the stalks with a flail or thresher. A winnowing basket was then used to separate the grain from the hulls and straw. This cleaned grain was then taken to the mill to be ground into flour.

© 1997, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  •  Understand that art can influence and reflect culture by conveying social and ethical issues
  • Be aware that the creative process is influenced by personal experience.
  • Understand that our reaction to art is based on our own experiences
  • Be aware of the diversity of Francophone art across Canada
  • Develop an appreciation of historical and contemporary Francophone art in Canada
  • Recognize the role of the curator in choosing, researching and interpreting art for exhibition

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