Joseph-Arsene Bouchard

Born: 1877  |  Died: 1954

Joseph-Arsene Bouchard (Joseph). Furniture maker. Sculptor. Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec. Active early 20th Century.

Father of the Bouchard Family of artists in Baie-Saint-Paul, Charlevoix County, Quebec. Joseph Bouchard was a cabinet maker and also a sculptor and wood carver. Works by him are rarely found today. In part because he rarely signed his work; like many other folk artists of the time, and because much of his work was sold to travelers in Charlevoix who collected his work and took it away with them. Signed work by him bear the initials J. B. and were sometimes painted. He Carved the animals found on the farm, painted fish carvings  and made utilitarian wooden kitchen pieces and furniture.

The Bouchard children, from Marie-Rosee to Aline, learned wood carving in his workshop at Moulin Cesar, Baie-Saint-Paul. Joseph Bouchard would bring them pieces of Pine for them to carve.

Edith Bouchard once said that the painting began when Mary Bouchard, her sister, was given a box of colors by an Aunt from the U.S.

They all began their artistic career at a young age. Exposed to art by the presence of Academy artists drawn to the Charlevoix because of it’s beauty; they participated in this artistic life. Their works were sold, as art and as simple souvenirs, widely in Canada. And also in the U.S. where, the painters especially, achieved renown. At least two of the sisters showed their paintings in New York galleries.

Their chosen subjects were the mills, the villages, the landscapes with cottages in the four seasons, house interiors with the family and life around the farms of Charlevoix County. Their works documented the life and customs of the region. It was an artistic life that they shared with all of the other artists who were attracted  to the region.


The Artists. (There is an entry for each in the Index):

Marie-Rosee Bouchard. Fibre Artist – Hooked Rugs. Painter.(1910-1994)

Marie-Cecile Bouchard. Painter. (sr.) (1920-1973)

Edith Bouchard. Sculptor. Painter. (sr.) (1924-2009)

Laure-Marie Bouchard. Sculptor. Painter. (sr.) (1922- )

Simone-Marie Bouchard. (Mary). Fibre Artist – Hooked Rugs. Painter. (1912-1945)

Aline Bouchard. Sculptor. Painter. (1934-2002)


Stanley Bouchard. Sculptor. (1916- 1994)

Joseph-Arthur Bouchard. Sculptor. (1928-2010)

Lucien Bouchard. Sculptor. (1925-2009)

Lionel Bouchard. Sculptor. (1927-1996)


A link to Some history of the Bouchard painters (In French):

Another Link to their stories (in French). There are one or two inaccuracies with dates. And they refer to ‘Simone-Marie’ as simply ‘Mary’. From Gallerie la Corniche Website:

Ref:Charlevoix et ses peintres populaires   
Dubé, Richard et François Tremblay, Peindre un pays: Charlevoix et ses peintres populaires, Laprairie: Éditions Broquet, 1989.

Ref: Jean Simard, Pour Passer Le Temps: Artistes Populaires Du Quebec, Gouvernement du Quebec, Ministere des Affaires Culturelles. 1985

RefAlong Quebec Highways. Tourist guide. Department of Highways and Mines. Quebec. 1930. Pictures and maps of Quebec at that time.

Ref:  Jean-Francois Blanchette. Du Coq a l’ame:l’art Populaire a Quebec, Presse Universite D’Ottawa, 2014.