Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Montreal's Fleur de Lys Theare; Post Script

Wow.  I received quite a response for my last series of posts that I wasn't really expecting (but was definitely welcome).  This blog is still new and this was my first experience with crowd sourcing my research.  Normally when I begin one of my posts, I know at least a little bit about the topic I'm writing about, and have the basic facts straight.  In this case, I was missing the artist altogether.  Readers in Montreal found the story and ran with it, as the saying goes.  I still don't have a name, but I'm closer to the truth and have the on-line community to thank (read my previous post here and here and here).

Special thanks are due to Jim Forbes and Dominic Gascon.  Mr. Forbes commented on my post last week and identified himself as someone who worked on the building in the past.  He gave me quite a bit of useful information (more on that below).  Mr. Gascon is a current employee at Stereo Nightclub (the building's current tenant) and he posed my question to social media, generating dozens of comments and guesses in the process.  

Apparently the building is German in origin (not Canadian as I originally assumed).  According to Mr. Forbes, the mural was designed in Germany and meant to invoke Haida imagery.  The forms on the facade of the Fleur de Lys really don't capture the spirit of Haida art, but that can probably be expected from an artist working in another country, and not really fully aware of the iconography they're working with (or the region, Haida art originates in Western Canada).  I've got some good leads to go on, and once I can name a specific architectural firm or artist, I'll post an update (and perhaps be able to find another building designed by the same architect).
A true example of Haida art, much different than what appears on the Fleur de Lys


Thanks again to everyone who contributed to my search or just took a little time to think about something they might not have noticed in the past.  It is through you that the history of this building, as well as the history of Montreal, lives on.

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