As part of the exhibition Becoming Montreal: The 1800s Painted by Duncan

September 27, 2023 at 6 P.M.

Laurier Lacroix, Photo © Jennifer Alleyn | Christian Vachon, Photo © Laura Dumitriu | William Notman, James Duncan, artist, Montreal, QC (detail), 1863. I-7869, McCord Stewart Museum

The Art of James Duncan: Talk with the curators of the exhibition

Free | Space is limited, reservation required.

Join a conversation with the curators of Becoming Montreal: The 1800s Painted by Duncan, Laurier Lacroix, Professor Emeritus of the Université du Québec à Montréal, and Christian Vachon, Head of Collections Management and Curator, Documentary Art at the McCord Stewart Museum.

Drawing from their research, the exhibition’s curators will compare James Duncan’s career with the changes that reshaped Montreal’s arts scene from the 1830s to the 1880s. Learn more about Duncan’s approach, which involved creating replicas and variations of the same compositions, revisiting some of his favourite themes over and over again. Hear how, in this period, he helped forge and disseminate Montreal’s and Canada’s social identity through his engravings and illustrations.


  • Free activity, in French, presented on Wednesday, September 27, at 6 p.m.
  • Presentations in French followed by a Q&A in French and English.
  • Duration: 2 h

The event will be held at the Museum and will also be livestreamed. Choose how you will join and sign up!

Attend event at the Museum

  • Space is limited, reservation required.
  • Location : J. Armand Bombardier Theatre at the McCord Stewart Museum.
  • Is the activity you’re interested in fully booked? Show up 15 minutes early to get on the waiting list. Places may become available before the start of the activity.

Attend event online

The event will be livestreamed on Zoom. Register on Zoom to receive connexion instructions. After the event, you will receive the recording by email to watch it later.

About the speakers

Laurier Lacroix

Laurier Lacroix, CM, is Professor Emeritus at the Université du Québec à Montréal where he taught art history and museum studies. He has curated exhibitions dedicated to Ozias Leduc, Suzor-Coté, painting in Montreal between 1915 and 1930, and the Desjardins painting collection, and is the author of Les arts en Nouvelle-France. He is also interested in contemporary art and has curated an exhibition of works by Irene F. Whittome, Marc Garneau, Pierre Dorion, Guy Pellerin, Robert Wolfe, Micheline Beauchemin and Lisette Lemieux.

Laurier Lacroix is the recipient of the Prix Carrière from the Société des musées québécois and the Prix Gérard-Morisset. He is also a member of the Société des Dix and the Académie des lettres du Québec.

Christian Vachon

An art historian with a master’s degree in Art Studies from the Université du Québec à Montréal, Christian Vachon is Head of Collections Management and Curator, Documentary Art at the McCord Stewart Museum. He specializes in Canadian imagery from the eighteenth century to the present, with particular emphasis on printing processes and satirical cartoons. His research focuses on the development of printing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a view to understanding its fundamental role in the dissemination of Canadian-made iconography.

In 2010, he was appointed curator of the collection then called Paintings, Prints and Drawings and has since curated exhibitions featuring this collection including Cartooning Calamities!, Illusions – The Art of Magic, Aislin: Contemporary Quebec in Cartoons and Chapleau – Profession: Cartoonist. More recently, he has been researching Duncan, a faithful chronicler of Montreal life, in preparation for the first major exhibition devoted to this little-known artist.

Not to be missed!

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Not to be missed!