Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of Canada Mourns the Loss of The Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Ottawa, Canada - October 2, 2000


 « Le Musée des beaux-arts du Canada en deuil du très honorable Pierre Elliott Trudeau » 
It was due to The Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau's vision that the National Gallery of Canada's permanent home exists today. In his honour and in homage to his passion for the arts, the National Gallery has mounted a special commemorative installation. Reason over Passion, 1968, created by Canadian artist Joyce Wieland has been installed in the entry to the contemporary galleries (level 1, gallery B101). As well, at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the renowned portrait by Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Ottawa, 1968, is on display.
While Prime Minister of Canada, Trudeau developed a personal interest in creating permanent and fitting buildings for both the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. In 1982, his government announced the formation of the Canada Museums Construction Corporation, headed by Jean Sutherland Boggs, with this goal in mind. In 1988, the National Gallery of Canada opened its doors on Sussex Drive, in Moshe Safdie's spectacular architectural structure, where it could finally call home after 106 years of relocating in several temporary headquarters.

"Monsieur Trudeau was a great ambassador for Canada's rich cultural heritage," said Pierre Théberge, Director, National Gallery of Canada. "We are greatly indebted to him for his vision and for his belief in Canadian artists."

Joyce Wieland (1931-1998) was an unequivocal Canadian nationalist and feminist. Her assemblages, often made of unconventional materials, give value to such traditionally feminine occupations as needlework. Reason over Passion, a work acquired in 1970 for the National Gallery of Canada's permanent collection, memoralizes Trudeau's famous words and reflects an awareness of the inherent contradictions of politics. Joyce Wieland's French version of the quilt, La raison avant la passion, 1969, was given by the artist to then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Louise Soucy
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