40th anniversary of the stained glass mural
by Fr�d�ric Back at the Place-des-Arts station
A tribute to an exceptional artist
Montreal, December 20, 2007 - Mr. Claude Trudel, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), took the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of the master work Story of Music in Montréal, by Fr�d�ric Back, to pay tribute to this exceptional artist. This massive stained glass mural, which adorns the Place-des-Arts Metro station, is meant to be a tribute to the history of music in Montréal, from the time of Jacques Cartier to the contemporary era.
Donated by Steinberg’s Ltd., this piece of art by Fr�d�ric Back was unveiled at Place-des-Arts station on December 20, 1967; in fact, it was the very first piece of art installed in the Metro since its opening on October 14, 1966. Measuring 13.7 metres in length, it consists of thousands of pieces of painted glass laid one on top of another and set in an iron framework forming irregular shapes.
“This superb stained glass mural holds a special place in the Montréal Metro’s art collection, delighting tens of thousands of Metro riders who pass by it every day,” declared Mr. Trudel. “By the way, our collection is the envy of many transit systems around the world.”
Mindful of the importance of keeping its public collection in good condition, the STM has asked the Centre de conservation du Québec (CCQ) to maintain these works and to restore some of them. Accordingly, the stained glass mural at Place-des-Arts station will be completely restored next year.
Painter, illustrator, muralist and producer of animated films, Fr�d�ric Back was born in Sarrebrück, Germany in 1924. He settled in Montréal in 1948 and worked for Société Radio-Canada’s television division until he joined its animation studio in 1968. Acclaimed around the world, his animated films received a host of awards including two Oscars, the first in 1982 for Crac! and the second in 1988 for L’homme qui plantait des arbres. A pioneer in the cause of the protection of nature and animals, Fr�d�ric Back is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Chevalier of the Ordre du Québec and Officer of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres (France). The artist’s Web site (www.fredericback.com) is well worth a visit thanks to the quantity and quality of information it contains.
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