150 Years | 150 Works: Canadian Art as Historical Act

Artists: Charles Alexander, Edmund Alleyn, Walter S. Allward, David Altmejd, Raymonde April, Kenojuak Ashevak, Shuvinai Ashoona, Sonny Assu, Anna Banana, Carl Beam, Henri Beau, Mary Alexandra Bell Eastlake, Rebecca Belmore, John Wilson Bengough, Karl Beveridge, Dominique Blain, William Blair Bruce, Alfred Boisseau, Paul-Émile Borduas, Napoléon Bourassa, Shary Boyle, Fritz Brandtner, Bertram Brooker, William Bull, Hank Bull, Cecil Buller, Jack Bush, Oscar Cahén, Eric Cameron, Colin Campbell, Janet Cardiff, Florence Carlyle, Emily Carr, Ian Carr-Harris, Melvin Charney, William Henry Clapp, Paraskeva Clark, George Clutesi, Alex Colville, Carole Condé, Emily Coonan, Kate Craig, Robert Weir Crouch, Maurice Cullen, Greg Curnoe, Marian Dale Scott, Maud Darling, Raphaëlle de Groot, Mario Doucette, Stan Douglas, L. Dumont, Robert Scott Duncanson, Aganetha Dyck, Charles Edenshaw, Isabella Edenshaw, Allan Edson, Paterson Ewen, Geoffrey Farmer, Brendan Fernandes, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Daniel Fowler, John A. Fraser, Vera Frenkel, Clarence Gagnon, Yves Gaucher, Pierre Gauvreau, General Idea, Hortense M. Gordon, Rodney Graham, Mattie Gunterman, Lawren S. Harris, Robert Harris, Alexander Henderson, Prudence Heward, Edwin Holgate, Frances Anne Hopkins, Robert Houle, Adrien Hébert, Louis-Philippe Hébert, Alexander Y. Jackson, Luis Jacob, Louis Jobin, Henri Julien, Brian Jungen, Anne Kahane, Paul Kane, Wanda Koop, Cornelius Krieghoff, Suzy Lake, Alfred Laliberté, Molly Lamb Bobak, Fernand Leduc, Ozias Leduc, Jean Paul Lemieux, Serge Lemoyne, Jules-Ernest Livernois, Kenneth Lochhead, Marion Long, Ken Lum, Hamilton MacDonald, Jock MacDonald, Edith Hester MacDonald-Brown, Arnaud Maggs, Liz Magor, Agnes Martin, Harry Mayerovitch, Hannah Maynard, Helen Galloway McNicoll, Georges Bures Miller, David B. Milne, Guido Molinari, Kent Monkman, James W. Morrice, Michael Morris, Norval Morrisseau, Harold Mortimer-Lamb, Louis Muhlstock, Kathleen Munn, Laura Muntz Lyall, Nadia Myre, N.E. THING CO. Ltd., Shelley Niro, William Notman, Will Ogilvie, Lucius R. O'Brien, Paul Peel, Alfred Pellan, Christiane Pflug, Annie Pootoogook, Mary Pratt, Rober Racine, Jon Rafman, Carl Ray, Bill Reid, George A. Reid, Jean Paul Riopelle, Robert Roussil, Monique Régimbald-Zeiber, Henry Sandham, Frederic B. Schell, Charlotte Schreiber, Jack Shadbolt, Henrietta Shore, Skawennati, Jori Smith, Michael Snow, Jana Sterbak, Françoise Sullivan, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Côté, Gabor Szilasi, The Clichettes, Jeff Thomas, Tom Thomson, Diana Thorneycroft, Lilias Torrance Newton, Claude Tousignant, Vincent Trasov, Judas Ullulaq, John Vanderpant, Frederick H. Varley, Zacharie Vincent, Horatio Walker, Jeff Wall, Margaret Watkins, Homer Watson, Benjamin West, Irene F. Whittome, Joyce Wieland, Arthur Willmore, Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Jin-me Yoon

Direction: Louise Déry

Curation and coordination: Josée Desforges


May 2, 2018 - May 2, 2023

Opening: May 2, 2018, 5:00 pm

Virtual exhibition produced by Galerie de l’UQAM with the support of the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program, Virtual Museum of Canada.


On May 2, Galerie de l’UQAM will launch its brand new virtual exhibition. 3 years in the making, 150 Years | 150 Works: Canadian Art as Historical Act brings together the work of more than 150 artists and will be online for the next five years. The unveiling will be highlighted during a festive reception at Galerie de l’UQAM on May 2, starting at 5 p.m. The exhibition is produced by Galerie de l’UQAM with the support of the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program, Virtual Museum of Canada. It joins The Painting Project: A Snapshot of Painting in Canada, another virtual exhibition launched by Galerie de l’UQAM in 2013, online until November 2018.

The exhibition

The virtual exhibition 150 Years | 150 Works: Canadian Art as Historical Act presents art as an integral part of Canada’s social and political history. It looks at Canada through works that have in some way shaped or changed the country’s history over the past century and a half.

Most but not all of the works in this panorama are presented according to their year of production: here and there, diverging from chronological order serves to recast historical relationships and challenge traditional perceptions. Drawn from the collections of major museums, university galleries and private collections, the exhibited works include both well-known icons and little-known surprises. Brief texts discuss each one and interpret the context in which it was made. Supplemental descriptions and images provide a deeper understanding in some cases.

Navigation and educational tools

The exhibition can be discovered by following a timeline of Canadian history or by randomly browsing a mosaic of images that often leads to unexpected juxtapositions. Visitors can also follow the threads suggested by four categories: representing historymaking historyexpanding history and reopening history. Being open-ended, these categories foster exploration of and reflection on Canadian art as historical act. An interactive tool also invites users to establish their own take on history by selecting works that pique their interest or curiosity.

This panorama also includes several educational tools to help better understand the Canadian artistic context: a lexicon, vignettes about the museum sector, references and a quiz.

The launch

At the official launch of the exhibition on May 2, 2018 at 5 p.m., Louise Déry (director of Galerie de l’UQAM) and Josée Desforges (curator of the exhibition) will introduce the project and its challenges. The unveiling will also be an opportunity to present the reflections of several researchers who are interested in the issue of synthesis. Jacques Des Rochers (Curator of Quebec and Canadian art (before 1945), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts), Dominic Hardy (Professor, Art History Department, Université du Québec à Montréal) and Didier Prioul (Professor, Historical Sciences Department, Université Laval) will speak briefly about issues raising from this type of project. The floor will also be given to Véronique Gagnon, professor of Art History at Collège MontMorency, who will talk about the site from the point of view of its educational use.

The curator

Josée Desforges is a phD student in Art History at Université du Québec à Montréal. Her research project, for which she received the Joseph-Armand-Bombardier Fellowship, focuses on the presence of artworks in Canadian federal government buildings and their replacement as a result of changes in political parties in power. She is also interested in caricature, notably in her memoir entitled “Entre création et destruction : les comportements des types du Juif et du Canadien français dans les caricatures antisémites publiées par Adrien Arcand à Montréal entre 1929 et 1939”, which won the Michel de la Chenelière Prize in Art and Culture awarded by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Josée Desforges has lectured extensively, written several articles and book chapters, and co-organized symposia on the issues of censorship, iconoclasm and satire. 

The Virtual Museum of Canada

The Virtual Museum of Canada, managed by the Canadian Museum of History with the financial support of the Government of Canada, is the largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations. The Virtual Exhibits investment program helps Canadian museums and heritage organizations develop dynamic medium- to large-scale online products exploring Canadian history, heritage and culture.

The production team

Research and Content
Direction: Louise Déry
Curation and coordination: Josée Desforges
Research and texts: Isadora Chicoine-Marinier, Josée Desforges, Anne-Marie Dubois, Philippe Dumaine, Karine Gagné, Maude Johnson, Julie-Ann Latulippe, Audrey Laurin
Research assistance: Léa Alain-Gendreau, Hélène Brouillet, Anna Brunette, Sophie Dubois, Julie-Anne Godin-Laverdière, Adrienne Johnson, Ariel Rondeau
Acquisition of copyright: Isadora Chicoine-Marinier, Anne Philippon
Image calibration and logo design: Louis-Philippe Côté
Video processing and subtitling: Caroline Courchesne, Isabelle Darveau, Geneviève Philippon
Editing: Dominique Vallerand (French), Donald Pistolesi (English)
Translation: Sophie Chisogne (French), Marcia Couëlle (English)
Proofreading: Ariane De Blois, Renaud Gaboury, Véronique Leblanc 

Scientific Comittee
Joanne Burgess, professor, History Department, Université du Québec à Montréal
Louise Déry, Director, Galerie de l’UQAM
Jacques Des Rochers, Curator of Quebec and Canadian Art (before 1945), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Josée Desforges, Ph.D. candidate, Art History Department, Université du Québec à Montréal
Dominic Hardy, professor, Art History Department, Université du Québec à Montréal
Didier Prioul, professor, Historical Sciences Department, Université Laval
Thérèse St-Gelais, professor, Art History Department, Université du Québec à Montréal

Site Concept and Programming
Audiovisual and Multimedia Production Service, UQAM
Project manager: Pierre-Gilles Lavallée
Graphic design: Anne-Marie Sauriol
Programming: Django Doucet, Sébastien Labbé-Pelligrini, Alexandre Toutant

Virtual Museum of Canada
Project manager: Brigitte Beaulne-Syp
Head, Web Development, Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum: Colin Chen
Web quality assurance analyst: Michel Joanisse

Support provided by

The exhibition 150 Years | 150 Works: Canadian Art as Historical Act was developed by Galerie de l’UQAM with the support of the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program, Virtual Museum of Canada.

Galerie de l’UQAM wishes to thank the artists, museums, galleries and rights holders who collaborated in the preparation of this exhibition. Galerie de l’UQAM aknowledges the support of collections and individuals that made such a large project possible: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art de Joliette, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, National Gallery of Canada, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery