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"A la recherche de l'ideal: Les sculptures d'athletes de Robert Tait McKenzie"
2001-12-13 until 2003-04-07
Musee du Quebec
On entering the Musee du Quebec gallery featuring the A la recherche de lideal: Les sculptures dathletes de Robert Tait McKenzie , we find ourselves in a very special ambience somewhat reminiscent of Greek Antiquity, due essentially to the magnificent sculptures of athletes that have taken up residence there for close to three months.
Depicting the grace and power of bodies in motion, the forty or so works created by ROBERT TAIT MCKENZIE (1867-1938), an Ontario-born American sculptor who studied in Montréal before enjoying a brilliant career in medicine and earning renown as a leader in teaching and physical education. Throughout his life, McKenzie devoted himself to his three loves - medicine, sports and sculpture. This talented jack-of-all-trades was highly successful in the Olympic and Scouting movements, as the incumbent of the physical education chair for many years at the University of Pennsylvania and as the artist commissioned to create major commemorative monuments for Canada, the United States and Scotland. My goal is to make people aware, to move them, not to produce scholarly anatomical studies and classical portrayals of the human body, wrote McKenzie. This we can see for ourselves since, considered one of American´s greatest sculptors of athletes, McKenzie breathed the magic of motion into his statues, some of which belong to the Musée du Quebec collection, while preserving the subtlety and beauty of his subjects.
The exhibition has been put on tour by the London Regional Art and Historical Museums and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, through funding from the City of London, the Ontario Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage´s Museums Assistance Program.
Robert Tait McKenzie
Athlète souple, 1906
Bronze, 33.5 x 22 x 16 cm
Musée du Québec
Photo: Patrick Altman