Pauline Boutal

An Artist's Destiny, 1894-1992

Louise Duguay (Author), S.E. Stewart (Translator)


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.


"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, Great Plains Quarterly

About the Authors

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 is the program coordinator and instructor for 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.

S.E. Stewart has translated poetry, plays, film scripts and fiction, as well as various non-fiction texts on literary, performing, visual and media arts. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and studied translation at the Université Laval.

Table of Contents


Ch. 1 A Childhood in Brittany
Ch. 2 The Breton Emigrants in Saint-Laurent, Manitoba
Ch. 3 The LeGoff Family in Saint Boniface
Ch. 4 Arthur Boutal
Ch. 5 Pauline and Arthur’s Engagement
Ch. 6 The Eaton’s Catalogue at Brigdens
Ch. 7 The Winnipeg Art School and the Manitoba Society of Artists
Ch. 8 A Shared Passion for Theatre
Ch. 9 Le Péninsule
Ch. 10 The Years of Mourning
Ch. 11 The Cape School of Art in Massachusetts
Ch. 12 The Académie de la Grande Chaumière
Ch. 13 Over Forty Years of Work
Ch. 14 Le Cercle Molière and the Francophone Community
Ch. 15 Painting–What She Loved Best
Ch. 16 A Highly Respected Painter
Ch. 17 The Brushes at Rest


University of Manitoba Press is grateful for the support it receives for its publishing program from the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund; the Canada Council for the Arts; the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage, and Tourism; the Manitoba Arts Council; and the Aid to Scholarly Publishing Programme.