Kent Monkman - Exhibition at the McCord Museum

Temporary exhibition

From February 8 to May 5, 2019

Kent Monkman, The Daddies, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Christine Armstrong and Irfhan Rawji.

Kent Monkman

Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience

The exhibition, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, revisits Canadian history, from Confederation to today, as seen through the eyes of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, the time-travelling, shape-shifting, gender-fluid alter ego of Cree artist Kent Monkman.

Miss Chief reflects on the 150 years of Canada’s existence – a period marked by the adoption of devastating genocidal policies – and honours the resilience of Indigenous peoples today.

In a display inspired by manuscripts from another age, visitors will discover Monkman’s paintings, sculptures and installations, and their challenge to the predominant interpretation of Canadian history. In nine thematic chapters throughout the exhibition, the incisive, harrowing story told by Miss Chief Eagle Testickle is shared through her memoir: “They wanted to take the Indian out of us; they couldn’t do that, but they did beat down our spirits,” she says in the booklet Excerpts from the Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle.

  • Kent Monkman, <i>The Massacre of the Innocents</i>, 2015. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of John Bilton.
  • Kent Monkman, <i>Death of the Virgin</i> (After Caravaggio), 2016. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Donald R. Sobey.
  • Kent Monkman, <i>Reincarceration</i>, 2013. Acrylic on canvas.Collection of Glenbow Museum.
  • Kent Monkman, <i>The Subjugation of Truth</i>, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Donald R. Sobey.
  • Kent Monkman, <i>Nativity Scene</i>, 2017. Mixed Media Installation. Gift of the Volunteer Committee to Museum London (1956-2017), in memory of Shelagh Martin-McLaren, 2017.
  • Kent Monkman, <i>Le Petit dejeuner sur l’herbe</i>, 2014. Acrylic on canvas. Peters Projects, Santa Fe, NM USA
  • <i>Poundmaker’s Moccasins</i>, 1875-1890. Glass beads, painted rawhide from parfleche container, smoked brain-tanned buffalo hide. Collected by Walter Gouin from Chief Poundmaker, c.1875-1880. Canadian Museum of History.
  • Kent Monkman, <i>Study for the Beaver Bacchanal</i>, 2015. Watercolour on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
  • Kent Monkman, <i>The Daddies</i>, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Christine Armstrong and Irfhan Rawji.
  • Kent Monkman, <i>The Scream</i>, 2017. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of the Denver Art Museum, Native Arts acquisition fund.

At its core, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience is a celebration of Indigenous resilience. The exhibition uses humour and critical insight to create a troubling retrospective of what Monkman refers to as “the most devastating period for First Peoples.”

Monkman’s works shock and demolish popular beliefs; challenge heteronormativity and gender binaries; contrast the glorification of Roman Catholicism with the deep distress it causes; scorn the opulence of colonialism on Indigenous lands; and recall the effects of the treaties that forever changed the course of history.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Kent Monkman

Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who is well known for his provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes.

Themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience – the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experience – are explored in a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation.

This circulating exhibition was produced by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, and has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council.

Lead Sponsor: Donald R. Sobey Foundation


Discover the exhibition with artist Kent Monkman and learn more about his alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle.

Not to be missed!

What people are saying about it

« The stunning exhibition [...] depicts Monkman's extended dialogue between the First Nations experience and the European classical tradition. Kent Monkman’s work has to be seen. » Montreal Gazette
« At every turn, ‘Shame and Prejudice’ points to historical traumas which haunt our present. » Frieze
« [The exhibition] tells an unabashedly critical and cheeky history of Canada and its relationship with Indigenous people, as only Kent Monkman could. » Eastern Door

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