Conference participants. Standing, left to right: Mathilde J. Durand (International Institute for Frame Study), Greg Humeniuk (AGO), Jacques Des Rochers (MMFA), Didier Prioul (Université Laval), Patrice Loubier (UQÀM), Élise Dubuc (Université de Montréal), Richard Gagnier (MMFA) and Daniel Drouin (MNBAQ). Sitting: Janet M. Brooke (independent curator), Anne MacKay (McCord Museum), Claude Payer (CCQ), Laurier Lacroix (UQÀM), Sacha Marie Levay (MMFA) and Charles C. Hill (former curator, NGC).
Absent when the photo was taken: Rémi Bédard, Pascale Galipeau, Alan Klinkhoff and Rosalind Pepall.
The first academic conference on framing in Canada
The first academic conference on framing in Canada took place in October 2014. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts invited sixteen people (restorers, curators and scholars, as well as a framer and a gallerist) to share their experiences and expertise in this field.
The conference presentations were published in the Journal of Canadian Art History and are available online here .
Janet M. Brooke, an independent scholar specializing in collections history and nineteenth-century French art, retired as director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, in 2012. She began her career as assistant curator, then curator, of European Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1975–89) and was subsequently curator, then senior curator, of Old Master Painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario (1990–95). She has been president of the Canadian Museums Association and a board member of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization, and has taught at several of the country’s universities. Her many exhibitions and publications in those roles include the acclaimed Discerning Tastes: Montreal Collectors 1880–1920 (MMFA, 1989). From 1995 to 2002 she worked independently on a variety of research projects and curated or co-curated Thomas Gainsborough: The Harvest Wagon (Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, U.K., 1995), Rodin à Québec *(MNBAQ, 1998), Les peintres du roi 1648–1793* (Musée des beaux-arts de Tours/Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, 2000), and Henri Hébert 1884–1950: Un sculpteur moderne (MNBAQ, 2000). Most recently, she contributed a chapter to the exhibition catalogue Benjamin-Constant: Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism (MMFA/Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, 2014–2015). She has been awarded a Senior Fellowship at the Frick Library’s Center for the History of Collecting in New York, where she will pursue her work on the collection of Sir William Van Horne.
Mathilde J. Durand is currently a student in Business Administration at Université Laval. She has a business degree with a specialization in art and antiques from the Université Paris Est. Keenly interested in antique frames and their history, she has acquired theoretical and practical expertise in the field through her professional experience working with restorers, antique frame dealers and conservators in Paris and Washington, as well as in Quebec. She has written articles on frames for the American publication Picture Framing Magazine. Ms. Durand has studied the history of frames and framing in Quebec under Daniel Drouin, MNBAQ curator. Managing director of the International Institute for Frame Study, she is now working on the launch of The Antique Frames Tribune, the first online magazine exclusively devoted to such frames and their history.
Richard Gagnier is head of the Conservation Department at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. A specialist in the restoration of contemporary art, his practice is concerned with painting, sculpture, installation and works with media content. His research interests led him to become part of the DOCAM (Documentation and Conservation of Media Arts Heritage) Research Alliance from 2005 to 2010, through which he directed the activities of the Conservation and Restoration Committee – Case Studies. More recently, he has been a member of a group of art historians led by Francine Couture (formerly a professor in the Department of Art History at the Université du Québec à Montréal) engaging with the issue of re-exhibiting contemporary art, which often relies on what is known as “time-based” media. With this group he has published a number of studies, including “Les ‘impermanences’ de la matérialité en art contemporain” (2013).
Gregory Humeniuk is curatorial assistant in the Department of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). While his particular focus at AGO is on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Canadian art, he has conducted research on and written about various aspects of the country’s art from the mid-nineteenth century through to the contemporary era. His research interests include art of the modern era and twentieth century, and in particular the history of Canadian frames, the art market, the influence of the academy, abstraction, and the artists Jack Chambers, Ron Martin, and David Milne.
Laurier Lacroix is emeritus professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where he has taught art history and museum studies. His research interests include public art collections and pre-1940 Quebec and Canadian art, especially painting and drawing. Among his many achievements are the exhibitions and catalogues for François Baillairgé (1985), Peindre à Montréal entre 1915 et 1930 (1996), retrospectives devoted to Ozias Leduc (1978 and 1996) and Suzor-Coté (1986 and 2002), as well as Les arts en Nouvelle-France (2012). Contemporary art also attracts his interest and he has curated exhibitions of the work of Irene F. Whittome (1990, 1998 and 2004), Pierre Dorion (2002), Guy Pellerin (2004), Robert Wolfe (2006) and Micheline Beauchemin (2009). The recipient of the Career Award from the Société des musées québécois (1997) and the Prix Gérard-Morisset (2008), Laurier Lacroix is a member of the Société des Dix (2005) and the Académie des lettres du Québec (2012).
Sacha Marie Levay obtained her BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University and studied museology at Collège Montmorency. She has worked as a conservation technician at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts since 1991, where she has become increasingly involved in giving frames their lustre—both literally and figuratively. Her interest in gilding and frame conservation led her to take workshops on those subjects at Oberlin College in Ohio and the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa. She has done internships at London’s Tate Gallery, at the National Gallery of Canada, at the Centre régional de restauration et de conservation des œuvres d’art in Vesoul, France, and at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. She has taught frame conservation and history, as well as traditional gilding techniques, to students in the Master of Art Conservation program at Queen’s University since 2001. She has also had the opportunity to train museum professionals at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Cuba in Havana. Over the years, she has continued to practise painting, drawing and photography, although she has been reticent to confine her art to a square. With time, however, she has come to realize that the way outlines define space has always inspired her. It is hardly surprising, then, that her professional practice has gravitated toward frames.
Anne MacKay is head of conservation at Montreal’s McCord Museum, where she oversees all conservation and preservation activities. She has worked as a conservator in museums nationally and internationally, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, Turkey. She has published and lectured on conservation issues, and has taught courses on the history and theory of art conservation at Concordia University. Anne was accredited by the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators in 1995 in the conservation of sculpture.
Following studies in art history at Université Laval, Claude Payer obtained a master’s degree in art conservation at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He then spent two years honing his expertise in the conservation of polychrome sculptures at Belgium’s Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels. Since 1985, he has carried out research and conservation work on antique sculpture at the Centre de conservation du Québec in Quebec City and has written many articles on the subject, particularly in respect to Quebec sculpture. In 2016, he co-authored with Daniel Drouin a monograph on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Quebec tabernacles.
An art historian and museum specialist, Didier Prioul was successively curator of European art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and chief curator at the Musée du Québec (now the MNBAQ). In August 2000, he joined the Department of Historical Sciences at Université Laval as a professor of Quebec and Canadian art before 1920; later, in 2008, he broadened the scope of his teaching to include art of the whole of North America. As a specialist in nineteenth-century Quebec painting and graphic arts, he has regularly published on the subject since 1991, as well as, since joining the university, a number of articles dealing with theoretical considerations in the field of museum studies. His current research focuses on two main areas. The first concerns the agency of artists in Canada from 1760 to 1925 through framing the concept of mobility in the artistic sphere from both a national and international perspective. The second, aiming to establish a comprehensive account of Quebec art and its history from its origins to 1960, is part of a project in the form of a research team (ÉRHAQ) developed since 2013 along with colleagues from UQÀM and the Université de Montréal, directed by UQÀM’s Dominic Hardy (UQAM).
Rémi Bédard is president of Encadrex, a company specializing in the framing of works of art and a private exhibitor. He has over twenty-five years of experience working in the visual arts sector. A founder and member of the Écomusée du fier monde’s Benefit Auction Committee, he also sits on the board of directors of the Fondation Armand-Vaillancourt.
Pascale Galipeau has always been interested in folk art. She obtained her master’s degree in ethnology at Université Laval through a study on the work of ceramicist Édouard Jasmin. She subsequently took an interest in the little-known area of self-taught city artists, which led to her being asked to act as a curator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) in showcasing its collections of Quebec folk art in an exhibition entitled Les Paradis du monde. Accompanied by a benchmark catalogue, it was also presented in a number of Quebec museums, including at Trois-Rivières’ Musée POP museum of Quebec folk culture. After several stints as a curator, for ten years Pascale Galipeau was a part of Farine orpheline cherche ailleurs meilleur, a multidisciplinary artists’ collective working in urban spaces in transition. She currently devotes herself to low-warp weaving.
The holder of a master’s degree in art history from Université Laval, Daniel Drouin is curator of art before 1900 and in charge of the Inuit art collection at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in Quebec City. Over the last fifteen years he has worked on the mounting of fifteen exhibitions of national and international importance, as well as on the publication of a number of books, including Louis-Philippe Hébert, 1850-1917 : sculpteur national, which in 2002 was awarded the Canadian Museums Association Award of Outstanding Achievement in the Research category, as well as the Fondation Lionel-Groulx Prix Maxime-Raymond presented by the Institut d’histoire de l’Amérique française.
Charles C. Hill recently retired from his position as curator of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada, where he worked from 1972 to 2014. A specialist in Canadian art of the 1860s to 1940s, he has mounted many exhibitions, including Canadian Painting in the Thirties; To Found a National Gallery: The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts 1880-1913; The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation; *and *Artists, Architects and Artisans: Canadian Art, 1890–1918.
Alan Klinkhoff is an art dealer, the owner of the eponymous galleries in Montreal and Toronto, and a member of the Art Dealers Association of Canada. He began his career working at the Galerie Walter Klinkoff (1976-2013), which he presided over as of 1981. There he co-organized many monographic exhibitions devoted to the most important figures in Quebec and Canadian art history. His expertise has led him to sit on numerous committees, including the Acquisition Committee for Art Before 1900 at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (1996-2009), as well as on many juries (Le Club des arts de Montréal, Société Radio-Canada, the Women’s Art Society of Montreal and the Marion McCain Juried Exhibition). He is regularly asked to lecture and has been declared an expert evaluator by Canada’s federal Department of Justice.
Patrice Loubier has been a professor in the Department of Art History at the Université du Québec à Montréal since 2009. He has written many articles, notably on interventionist art and new forms of public art, for periodicals, collectively authored volumes and exhibition catalogues. Together with Anne-Marie Ninacs, he was responsible for Les Commensaux, a year of special programming dedicated to those types of practices at Montreal’s Centre des arts actuels Skol in 2000-2001. As a curator, he has contributed to such events as the Manif d’art 3 Biennial *(Quebec City, 2005), as well as the exhibitions *Espace mobile (Galerie VOX, Montreal, 2008), which spotlighted the changes in the urban fabric during the creation of Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles, and Entre des fragments de choses, d’espace et de temps (Maison des arts de Laval, 2012), the first appraisal of the relationship between painting and photography in the work of artist Martin Désilets. His current investigations concern “furtive practices” in the visual arts, the subject of both a residency and exhibition at the Centre des arts actuels Skol in 2012, and description as an artistic form in conceptual practices.
The Conservation Department section on this site is funded by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec as part of the implementation of Measure 41 of Quebec’s Digital Culture Plan and by the Ville de Montréal under the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal.