Gaston Bergeron

Born: 1922  |  Died: 2008

Gaston Bergeron. Sculptor. Woodcarver. Laval, Quebec. Active mid-20th century.

Mr. Bergeron’s greatest work is his fabulous Miniature Circus. Over a period of some 35 years he sculpted circus wagon after wagon, each one numbered and with their animals or entertainers inside. No one knows for certain how many he made. (Each wagon is numbered and I have seen numbers into the 70’s.) He made every aspect of a Circus Parade as well. There are groups of marching elements such as Corsairs, Romans, Cowboys and Cowgirls, Costumed Indians, Clowns, Acrobats (the list goes on) and he made spectators; from the awestruck children to the curious and wistful adults.

The wagons are carved and adorned with moldings and carved figures dancing and playing instruments and calling the passer-by to visit the circus. Everything brightly colored. All are carved to scale and with every detail down to the under carriage, wheels and harnesses of each wagon and horse.

An interesting aspect of his circus carvings is that when we, the spectator, look at it on it’s level (rather than down at it), we see that it is carved from the view point and perspective  of a child. Mr. Bergeron must have seen a Circus parade when he was a child and that sense of wonder never left him. Fortunately for us he put it all into his Circus parade. And he took it on the road in a travelling exhibition around Canada and the United States; sometimes using an old school bus and charging a small amount to people who wished to see it. Much like Archelas Poulin with his automatons. A large part of the circus is in the collection of The Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec.

A carving of a Circus Truck by Gaston Bergeron:

Gaston Bergeron. A Circus Truck on Parade.

Gaston Bergeron. A Circus Truck on Parade.

 

 

I am posting some links to the Museum of Civilization site and parts of the Bergeron Circus:

http://collections.civilisations.ca/public/pages/cmccpublic/alt-emupublic/Display.php?irn=187904&QueryPage=Query.php&lang=0

http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/tresors/treasure/282eng.shtml

 

http://collections.civilisations.ca/public/objects/common/webmedia.php?irn=3095703