Here are some things that I think are interesting and relevant to Canadian folk art and outsider art. You will find listed here books and web sites specific to Canadian artists and their works and other more general ones for fun and interest.


A link to the Canadian Museum of History web site.

An interesting article on Outsider Art in Quebec. In the American Folk Art Museum Journal web site, 1997:

A link to a new site about Canadian Folk and Outsider Art. From Ottawa:


The Saskatchewan Network for Art Collecting has a very good website with biographies of most Saskatchewan folk and primitive artists. The site has a good search engine and there are  often examples of their work:



  • Jean-Marie Gauvreau, 1940. Artisans du Quebec. Les Editions du Biens Public. Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.                                                                                                                                                                    Perhaps the first book of its kind in on Quebec folk art and artists. Focused on an exhibition on St. Helens Island in Montreal; it covers such artists as Georges Edouard Tremblay and his rug hooking school in Pointe-au-Pic, Aurore Benoit and her group working with silk and cotton mats, the three Bourgault brothers in St-Jean-Port-Joli, and other seminal Quebec folk artists of the early 20th century. Published in French only; it is fully illustrated.
  • Un Art Pas Si Bete, Musee de la Gaspesie, Cecile Gelinas, 1993.                                                                                    Well illustrated, this book lists and gives biographies of most of the artists working in Gaspe at the time of publication (early 1990’s). There are articles on artists such as Yvon Cote, Madelaine ‘Mado’ Lizotte, Magella Normand, Jean-Paul Dube and others. Published in French.
  • Les Patenteux du Quebec, de Grosbois, L., Lamothe, R., Nantel, L., Les Editions Parti Pris, 1978 (revised).                                                                                  Very well illustrated; it was first published in 1974. It covers, in photographs and with biographies, many of the  folk artists (and their creations) working in Quebec in the 1960’s, 70’s and early 1980’s. A very important work. This year is the 40th anniversary of its publication. A revision and even a translation into English would be nice.
  • Pour Passer le Temps: Artistes Populaire du Quebec. Simard, Jean, Genest, Bernard, Labonte, Francine, Bouchard, Rene. Québec, ministère des Affaires culturelles – collection Les publications du Québec, les Cahiers du patrimoine 17, 1985.                                                                                                                A rare but excellent book on the range and inspiration of Folk Art and Outsider Art throughout Quebec’s history. It should be reprinted and translated as it is a very good source book.
  • Nos Canadiens D’Autrefois. Edmond-J. Massicotte, Librairie Granger et Freres, Montreal. 1923.                                                                                                                   An ethnographic study;  the illustrations by Massicotte became a source book for many of Quebec’s artists; both Acedemy trained and Folk Artists. The book can be found occasionally and belongs in a good reference library about Canadian Folk Art.
  • Maria Chapdelaine : roman. Hémon, Louis, Illustrations de Clarence Gagnon. Montréal : Art global/Libre expression, 1980.                                                 The novel: Maria Chapdelaine was first published in 1916 in Montreal; it is available as an English translation. The illustrations and the novel itself interest us here as they were another inspiration for Quebec  Artists, notably Yvonne Bolduc (see her biography on this site and elsewhere) and the Academy trained artist Clarence Gagnon who illustrated an edition in 1933. It is a good read as well and has been filmed three times since it was published.
  • Charlevoix County, 1930. Jori Smith, Penumbra Press, Newcastle, Ontario. 1999.                                         Married to Jean Palardy, the Ethnographer and artist, Jori Smith, who was an artist as well, spent much of the 1930’s in Charlevoix County, Quebec with Palardy as they recorded the traditions of the County and painted. They boarded with the local families and spent time with many of the local folk artists (the Bouchard sisters among others) as well as the visiting Academy trained artists (Jackson, Holgate, Cosgrove and others). A fascinating read by a noted Canadian artist.



Other references used in the biographies on this site:

Ref: M.Q.C.P. a T.-R. ( Musee Quebecois de Culture Populaire at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.)

Ref: T.C.W.A.H.I. The Canadian Women Artists History Initiative. (