Oral history contributions sought by gallery

The late artist Nicholas de Grandmaison is a cultural icon of southern Alberta. He is well known for his portraits of politicians, families and unknown subjects.

During a previous exhibition of his work at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, there was a great deal of interest in discussing stories of the artist and of his Aboriginal subjects. The gallery is subsequently undertaking a project that invites individuals visiting the exhibit to share their unique experiences with the artist or the subjects of his paintings. The project will be publicized during the exhibition of paintings donated by BMO Financial Group at the U of L Art Gallery May 2 to June 27.

As an itinerant painter, de Grandmaison often stayed with ranchers, farmers and Aboriginal families for several days at a time while he painted them. His unique lifestyle, character and attitude have left a plethora of interesting experiences that augment the context of his paintings.

The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery and the University Archives are partnering to gather the stories and provide research access to them. This oral history project is intended to give greater context to de Grandmaison as a person and an artist and to give greater background to the body of his work in the University collection. As well, it will add to the rich research resource already housed on campus with the artworks, personal papers and photographs, and sound recordings produced with the artist and some of his Aboriginal sitters for portraits.

Once the stories are gathered, access will be provided through the University of Lethbridge Archives website and in person study in the Archives as well as future touring exhibitions of de Grandmaison's work.