Inscriptionssigned,‘Lorne H. Bouchard’ (lower right); titled and dated ‘APPROACH OF SPRING/(QUEBEC)/QUEBEC - MARCH 1959 (verso, upper left) and signed with post nominals ‘Lorne H. Bouchard, A.R.C.A.’ (verso, centre)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal.
Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, Montreal;
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Montreal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 77th Annual Spring Exhibition, 1960, as “Approach of Spring” priced at $650.00
On a personal level, we are pleased to share with our readers a few sentences that Claire Molson wrote in a letter to the Montreal Star, published on May 7, 1978, shortly after Lorne’s death at age 65. As a preamble, Claire’s husband, David Molson, with his two brothers, sold the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club in 1971.
Claire and David had been enthusiastic art collectors, clients of Walter Klinkhoff (my father) for many years. My father and David regularly lunched in the Maritime Bar, downstairs in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, two minutes from our family gallery. David would ask for recommendations of art to purchase for their fine Baie d’Urfé home. After they sold the hockey team, in 1973, looking for a business, or maybe more like what turned out to be a hobby, they purchased Montreal’s Continental Galleries from the estate of Vilma Shima. Continental Galleries had an excellent reputation, exhibiting along with Lorne Bouchard, John Little, Tom Roberts and others. Claire wrote, “Lorne loved Canada and in the true tradition painted in practically every area. To own a Lorne Bouchard is to own a piece of this great country. He loved all seasons, but no one could paint the winter like Lorne. He captured the broad, cold, sweep of fields, the heavy, brooding mountains of the Laurentians, the villages of the North Shore; the fiord at Pangnirtung on Baffin Island was as majestic on canvas as it stands today… His heart was not part of a cult or movement. His inspiration came from the vast spaces of our country and the divergent people who inhabited it.”
Lorne and Lucille Bouchard were welcoming and kind to both me and my brother from the very beginning of our careers in the art business.
Continental Galleries had Lorne Bouchard exhibitions in 1940, ‘49, ‘52 and 1955. Walter Klinkhoff Gallery held solo exhibitions for Lorne Bouchard 1960, ‘62, ‘64, ‘66, ’69, ‘73, ‘75 , ‘77 and finally a Tribute exhibition in 1981.
Although it is impossible to say with certainty, there is a high degree of probability that Bouchard’s title of Quebec is a reference to Quebec City as the location. Looking beyond the distant shore, one cannot help but recognize that profile and imagery as something one has seen in the best of Robert Pilot’s compositions painted from Quebec looking toward Levis.