Back in the 1930s, Maud and Patrick Morgan, a couple of American painters with a summer home in the area, started organizing art shows in Charlevoix and promoting local artists. A few years later, in 1946, Pointe-au-Pic art collector Roland Gagné established a private museum in honour of the novelist Laure Conan (Félicité Angers), originally from La Malbaie. It was the beginning of today’s Musée de Charlevoix.
In 1975 a new organization, Musée régional Laure-Conan, was founded. In 1977, it took up residence in downtown La Malbaie in the former post office. Roland Gagné’s collection became the starting point for the new museum, quickly establishing Charlevoix popular art as one of its main draws. It wasn’t long however before Musée régional Laure-Conan outgrew the space available. The board of directors decided Charlevoix needed a better home for its museum. It was Jean-Luc Dupuis,* chair of the Museum’s board of directors in 1983, who started the ball rolling. Years of hard work with the support of directors François Tremblay, Yvon Forgues, and Magella Paradis and an army of volunteers went into completing the project. Musée de Charlevoix at last opened its doors on July 29, 1990, on Chemin du Havre in Pointe-au-Pic, with the prime minister of Canada Brian Mulroney in attendance. The magnificent new building, evoking a stylized lighthouse, provided the extensive exhibition and storage space the Museum needed for the thousands of works and objects in its collection.
Today Musée de Charlevoix is a renowned contemporary institution
and the pride of Charlevoix. As custodian of the region’s heritage, it is noteworthy for its mission of preserving works of popular art and for a visionary approach mindful of everything that the present owes to the past.
* He later received the Lescarbot Award as founding president.
MUSÉE DE CHARLEVOIX PAYS TRIBUTE TO ITS FOUNDERS
Musée régional Laure-Conan, Members of the Board of Directors, 1975
Musée de Charlevoix Members of the Board of Directors, 1990
Jean-Luc Dupuis, président