Some 50 years ago… the first painted glass mural in the Montréal métro
On December 20, 1967, a glass mural entitled Histoire de la musique à Montréal, a work of art by illustrator Frédéric Back, was unveiled in Place-des-Arts station.
Montréal, December 20, 2017 - On December 20, 1967, a glass mural entitled Histoire de la musique à Montréal, a work of art by illustrator Frédéric Back, was unveiled in Place-des-Arts station. For a long time, it was reputed to be the first work of art in the Montréal métro, but that is not accurate: specifically, it was the first one to be added after its inauguration.
From the day it first opened on October 14, 1966, the Montréal métro featured artwork built into a station’s architecture, such as the large ceramic circles at Peel station, designed by Jean-Paul Mousseau with the help of Claude Vermette. That was only the beginning; soon, the City of Montréal stated its intention to add works of art in each of the initial network’s 26 stations.
The large-scale project was not fully carried out, due to a lack of patrons. From 1967 to 1974, artworks were added to Berri-De Montigny (known today as Berri-UQAM), Champ-de-Mars, Crémazie, McGill, Papineau, Place-des-Arts and Sherbrooke stations. When the métro network expanded, works of art were integrated into the new stations at the time they were built.
Frédéric Back’s glass mural was offered by the Steinberg supermarket chain, as it was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 1967, which is why it had to be unveiled before the end of the year. That, in turn, required additional effort from the artist, already quite busy with his work as a set decorator for Société Radio-Canada. Another artist, René Derouin, was called upon to help complete the project on time.
The work by Frédéric Back was the very first glass mural in the Montréal métro. Other glass murals have since been added, including those by Marcelle Ferron at Champ-de-Mars and Vendôme stations. The métro network’s most recent work of art, at Place-d’Armes station, is also a glass mural, created by artist Adrien Lucca, as part of a cultural exchange with the Brussels métro.
For more information about Frédéric Back’s glass mural, click here.
A few images
- 30 -
Source: Benoît Clairoux
Public Affairs, STM
514 350-0800, extension 87198