A National Soul: Canadian Mural Painting, 1860s-1930s

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Examining their social, political, and economic contexts, McKay shows how the murals of this period glorified Canada as a modern nation state, extolled the virtues of commerce and industry, inculcated conventions of gender and race, and shared the intensity of nationalistic sentiment that led to the work of the more renowned painters of Toronto's Group of Seven. Bringing together for the first time a body of Canadian work - civic, commercial, religious, and private - that has been largely ignored by art ...
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Overview

Examining their social, political, and economic contexts, McKay shows how the murals of this period glorified Canada as a modern nation state, extolled the virtues of commerce and industry, inculcated conventions of gender and race, and shared the intensity of nationalistic sentiment that led to the work of the more renowned painters of Toronto's Group of Seven. Bringing together for the first time a body of Canadian work - civic, commercial, religious, and private - that has been largely ignored by art historians, A National Soul challenges previous histories of Canadian painting. This generously illustrated book reproduces seldom-seen works from across the country, many of which have been moved or destroyed, and includes a comprehensive listing of all works from the period, their original and present locations, and their state of preservation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A thorough and definitive study of murals in Canada. This book will become a classic on a long-neglected but complex and important aspect of Canadian art." Laurier Lacroix, Art History, Université de Québec à Montreal ----- "An important and fascinating study of mural painting in Canada from the 1860s to the 1930s. McKay's scholarship is exhaustive and theoretically astute, showing us how mural movements functioned to support nationalistic aspirations and political ideologies while providing a history of the mural movement across Canada and explaining why Canadian art histories since the World War II have chosen to ignore this body of work." John O'Brian, Art History, University of British Columbia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780773522909
  • Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 10.16 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Mural Painting in Canada, 1860s to 1930s: A New Paradigm for Kitsch 3
Ch. 1 The European-Based Mural Movement: History and Ideology 15
Ch. 2 Civic Mural Paintings: "Glorifying the Memories of a Nation" 24
Ch. 3 Commercial Mural Paintings: "The Glorification of Man's Handiwork" 60
Ch. 4 Protestant Church Mural Paintings: "Bringing Back the Soul of the Town" 78
Ch. 5 Catholic Church Mural Paintings: "Reflections of Our Community's Soul" 94
Ch. 6 Mural Paintings in Private Sites: "Wealth Transfigured into Crowns of Glory" 109
Ch. 7 The "Disappearing" Native in English Canadian Mural Paintings: "But He Is Gone and I Am Here" 134
Ch. 8 Progress, Patriarchy, and Public Library Murals: "Whilst a Sweet-Faced Woman Finds the Books" 157
Ch. 9 Opalescent Glass Murals in Toronto Kindergartens: "A High Import Latent Even in Pat-a-Cake" 173
Ch. 10 Canadian Mural Painting, 1940s and 1950s: The European-Based Mural Movement Lingers On 193
App Canadian Murals Discussed in A National Soul 207
Notes 225
Bibliography 261
Index 293
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