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Temporary exhibitions

WAR Flowers - A Touring Art Exhibition

WAR Flowers - A Touring Art Exhibition

Until January 5, 2020


An Innovative, Multi-Sensorial Exhibition Exploring Human Nature in the Landscape of War through Floriography, Sculpture and Scent


During the First World War (1914-18) Canadian soldier Lieutenant-Colonel George Stephen Cantlie picked flowers from the fields and gardens of war-torn Europe, pressing and drying them within a book. Every day, he sent one flower home, along with a short, affectionate note to one of his children, including his one-year-old baby daughter Celia in Montreal, so that, as she grew up, she would have something to remember him by in the event he didn’t survive that terrible war.

Flash forward. A century has passed, and with it all living memory of the First World War. But Cantlie’s letters and flowers have been preserved and ultimately passed to his granddaughter, the late Elspeth Angus, in Montreal, who lovingly preserved them in a special red box. And that’s where, four years ago, a Canadian filmmaker, Viveka Melki, toher utter amazement, first encountered them, speaking to her from the past, and the germ of an idea was born in Melki’s mind.

Now, more than one hundred years after he picked the flowers, and on the 100th anniversary of the end of that horrific conflict, Cantlie’s touching wartime ritual can be experienced anew in WAR Flowers - A Touring Art Exhibition, now running through January 5. 2020 at Château Ramezay - Historic Site and Museum of Montreal.

Melki has reinterpreted ten of Cantlie’s flowers using floriography, a Victorian-era method of communicating meaning and emotion through flowers, to tell a larger story of human nature in the landscape of war.

As conceived by Melki, the exhibition is comprised of ten stations, representing ten of her core beliefs about the nature of war. Each station showcases a different flower picked by Cantlie and draws on his wartime letters, exhibited publicly for the first time. Actual artifacts of the First World War era complement each station.

For each station, optical crystal sculptures created by award-winning Toronto-based artist Mark Raynes Roberts portray scenes that illustrate different aspects of human nature, while scents at each station developed by Magog, Quebec, olfactory specialist and perfumer Alexandra Bachand evoke memory.

Optical Crystal Sculpture - Mark Raynes Roberts

WAR Flowers - A Touring Art Exhibition is produced by Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens 

Reford Gardens

The exhibition is made possible thanks to the generous support of 

the Government of Canada and many private partners and individual donors.

WAR Flowers - A Touring Art Exhibition


1812: Objects to Discover

1812: Objects to Discover

In 3 Web Capsules

The Château Ramezay - Historic Site and Museum of Montréal invites you to explore a little-known side of Canadian history. As part of cross-Canada commemorations of the War of 1812, the Museum produced three web capsules based on items in its collection linked to people and events that marked this decisive event.

CAPSULE 1: THE WAR OF THE CANADIANS 

The first capsule, on Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry, gives the Canadian angle, outlining the rise of the hero of Châteauguay and his august family through objects once in their possession. Artifacts related to the Duke of Kent, a dear friend of Salaberry, and the works of painter and miniaturist Anson Dickinson are also displayed.

CAPSULE 2: THE WAR OF THE BRITISH

The second capsule, on the British angle, focuses on Sir George Prevost, Governor-in-Chief of British North America. The works of influential artists of the period, such as Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy, and certain military objects, give a better understanding of the British Colony’s defence in the face of an American invasion.

CAPSULE 3: THE WAR OF THE NATIVES

The third capsule, highlighting the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, examines the War of 1812 from the First Nations’ standpoint. The work of artists and illustrators such as Huron painter Zachary Vincent and American artist George Catlin, and key artefacts such as the dagger used by Tecumseh, one of the heroes of 1812, tangibly illustrate the Amerindian side of the question.

This project was made possible with the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canadian Heritage. The videos are now available on both our YouTube site and our Internet site.The script was produced by Isabelle Trudeau, with the assistance of military history expert Luc Lépine.

Check out our permanent exhibitions as well!



Media and guided tours

Louise Brazeau, Education and Promotion Coordinator

communications@chateauramezay.qc.ca

Telephone: 514 861-3708 ext. 229 | Fax: 514 861-8317