30 September 2015

#60 British Photos for Canadian Art

Canadian embassies around the world used to be showcases of Canadian culture. The paintings and other artworks that were proudly displayed were displaced under the outgoing Prime Minister, sold off for short term gain (probably figuring into deficit reduction somewhere) and replaced by — oh yes — large portraits of Queen Elizabeth.

Now I will give you that the woman is officially Canada’s head of state, even though the practical application of that role is played out by the Governor General for day-to-day affairs. But she is British, not Canadian. Actually, she is from some long line of inbred aristocrats from all over Europe who hid their German ancestry during World War I by changing their name to that of their principal residence.

Back to the art. The embassies not being enough, there was a plan afoot to sell a pair of Alfred Pellan paintings that hung in the Lester B. Pearson Building (which houses Foreign Affairs) in Ottawa. What happened was that they were removed and placed in storage, the wall they had hung on designated as “the Sovereign’s Wall” in time for a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Pellans continue to be in limbo somewhere, in storage with unreleased press releases announcing their impending sale, but no action, I suppose until the outcry shows signs of going away.

It’s just sad to think that Canadian culture is being shown as portraits of a British monarch all over the world, instead of showcasing the amazing talents of so many Canadian artists.

Further reading here

Take those artworks down!
We have dozens of copies
of the Queen to show

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