Pauline Boutal

An Artist’s Destiny, 1894-1992

Louise Duguay (Author)

In the first part of the twentieth century few women in western Canada had careers as artists—Pauline Boutal had three: 23 years as a fashion illustrator for the Eaton’s catalogue for the graphic design company, Brigden’s of Winnipeg, 27 years as the Artistic Director at the Cercle Molière Theatre and 70 years as a visual artist. Born in Brittany in 1894, Boutal painted in a traditional style and trained at the Winnipeg School of Art, the Cape Cod School of Art, and at l’Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, France. She left an important legacy of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and illustrations as well as theatre sets and costume designs. This English translation of Louise Duguay’s award-winning Pauline Boutal: Destin d’artiste 1894–1992 shares the story of an important artist who lived an exceptional life.

Today a great number of Boutal’s works can be found in major private and corporate collections across Canada. For her contribution to the French culture and theatre in Canada, Boutal was awarded numerous prestigious prizes, including the Order of Canada. In addition to thousands of sketches, illustrations, and paintings, Boutal also left a rich legacy of letters, speeches and interviews at the Centre du Patrimoine Canadien. Drawing on these sources, Louise Duguay has created a work that honours the best of biography and autobiography.


  • WINNER, Local History category, Margaret McWilliams Awards (French Edition) (2008)
  • WINNER, Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book, Manitoba Book Awards (French Edition) (2009)
  • WINNER, The Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher, Manitoba Book Awards (French Edition) (2009)
  • WINNER, Manuela Dias Book Design of the Year, Manitoba Book Awards (French Edition) (2009)
  • WINNER, Manitoba Day Award, Association for Manitoba Archives (French Edition) (2009)


“Given the scarcity of art historical scholarship on Manitoba art, there is reason to celebrate the appearance of this groundbreaking work on Boutal (1894-1992), the most important Franco-Manitoban artist of the mid-twentieth century. For this, we owe a debt to Louise Duguay.”

– Oliver A.I. Botar, University of Manitoba, Great Plains Quarterly

“Louise Duguay lui rend hommage, avec un style simple, clair, direct et plein de vie. Elle réussit, au delà de toute attente, à rendre justice à Pauline Boutal, en utilisant avec beaucoup de perspicacité et de flair pour son sujet le peu d’archives personnelles à sa disposition.”

– Jacqueline Blay, Cahiers franco-canadiens de l’Ouest

About the Author

Born in St. Boniface, Louise Duguay holds a BEd and MA from the University of Manitoba and a diploma in fashion design from Sheridan College. She teaches in the Multimedia Communications program at the University of St. Boniface. Louise sits on the board of directors of both MAWA (Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art) and the Winnipeg Arts Council, where she is a member of the Public Art Committee. She is a lifetime member of La Maison des artistes visuels francophones and of La Société historique de Saint-Boniface.

Other contributors: Translation by S.E. Stewart.

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