Medard Bourgault

Born: 1897  |  Died: 1967

Medard Bourgault. Sculptor. Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec. Active mid-20th century.

The eldest of the three Bourgault brothers (Andre and Jean-Julien were the two younger ones) who all became sculptors. Medard worked as a sailor for some years, was well traveled in Europe and Africa and left the sea in 1918 to begin carving. By 1927 he was carving full time. In 1929, he began the school of wood carving in St-Jean-Port-Joli. He was strongly encouraged by The Canadian Handicrafts Guild and Marius Barbeau, among others.

The Bourgaults were always a family of woodworkers; both cabinet makers and carvers. One of their ancestors, Amable Charron, had made the sculptures in the Village church.  Medard made all varieties of wood carvings (reliefs as well as figures in the round) for sale as souvenir pieces and for the Guild stores.  As his skill grew Medard Bourgault’s focus was on religious work only.  The school was established in Medard and Jean-Julien’s workshop in 1940. Medard Bourgault worked in Basswood and signed with a chisel.

An image from the Gauvreau Book (Artisans du Quebec, Les Editions du Bien Public, 1940.): Medard Bourgault in front of his studio in St-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec.

Medard Bourgault in front of his Studio

Medard Bourgault in front of his Studio from the Gauvreau Book

 

A detail of a carving by Medard Bourgault. C. 1950.:

Detail of a carving by Medard Bourgault. St. Jean Port Joli, Quebec. C. 1950.

Detail of a carving by Medard Bourgault. St. Jean Port Joli, Quebec. C. 1950.

Medard Bourgault. A Head of Christ:

Medard Bourgault. St-Jean-Port-Joli, Que. Carving of the Head of Christ. Signed and dated 1945.

Medard Bourgault. St-Jean-Port-Joli, Que. Carving of the Head of Christ. Signed and dated 1945.