Canadian Museum of History saddened by the passing of Alex Janvier

GATINEAU, QC, July 10, 2024 /CNW/ – The Canadian Museum of History is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the multi-talented painter Alex Janvier, pioneer of contemporary Indigenous art movements, who passed away on July 10 at the age of 89 years.

Denesuline, from the Cold Lake First Nations, Treaty 6 Territory, Alex Janvier was born in 1935 on the Le Goff Reserve in Alberta, where he had a traditional upbringing speaking the Dene language. At the age of eight, he became a pupil at the Blue Quills Indian Residential School, where he was encouraged to pursue art.

A prolific artist, and member of the Indigenous Group of Seven, Mr. Janvier produced thousands of paintings during his career and inspired – and continues to – many generations of Canadian artists. His paintings have been exhibited around the world and are held in many private and museum collections. The Museum of History has the privilege of housing his largest mural, Morning Star, which adorns the dome of the Haida Gwaii Salon since 1993. Painted by Janvier with the help of his son, this mural rises seven stories above the salon and covers 418 m2.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of renowned Denesuline artist Alex Janvier, who was so highly respected and admired by all those who work at the Museum. His monumental work, Morning Star – Gambeh Then’, is a centrepiece of our Museum, and is something that I always share with guests when I take them through the building. Looking up to discover this work is an unforgettable experience and I am comforted to know that Janvier’s legacy will live on at the Museum though this groundbreaking work”, said Caroline Dromaguet, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Museum of History. 

Member of the Order of Canada and the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, Mr. Janvier was celebrated and honoured on many occasions. He received in 2002 a National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2008, and a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, among many other honours.

The Canadian Museum of History offers its most sincere condolences to Mr. Janvier’s family and friends.

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SOURCE Canadian Museum of History