• Macbeth, Madge (Canadian, 1878–1965)

    Born in Philadelphia, Macbeth was an Ottawa-based author, playwright, art critic, and photographer. She published her first novel in 1910, co-founded the Ottawa Little Theatre in 1913, was an early supporter of photographer Yousuf Karsh, and became an accomplished photographer in her own right. Macbeth was the president of the Canadian Authors Association for three terms, and the first woman to hold this role.

  • MacCallum, James (Canadian, 1860–1943)

    An ophthalmologist in Toronto, Dr. MacCallum was a friend and patron of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. With Lawren Harris, in 1913 he planned and financed the Studio Building in Toronto as a place where artists could live and work. In 1914, by offering to support A.Y. Jackson and Tom Thomson for a year, he launched their careers as full-time painters. He bequeathed his collection to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

  • MacCarthy, Coeur-de-Lion (Canadian, 1881–1979)

    A London-born sculptor, MacCarthy received his training in his father Hamilton McCarthy’s (1846–1939) studio. After setting up his own studio in 1918, MacCarthy became known for his commemorative monuments and busts of political figures. He created the Verdun War Memorial in Verdun, Quebec, as well as monuments in Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Knowlton, and Vancouver.

  • MacCarthy, Hamilton (Canadian, 1846–1939)

    A pioneer of early monumental bronze sculpture in Canada, MacCarthy studied sculpture under his father, Hamilton W. MacCarthy, and at the RA Schools in London. MacCarthy designed numerous Boer War memorials in Ottawa, Quebec City, Brantford, Halifax, Canning, and Charlottetown. Other major works include his statue of Samuel de Champlain, 1915, at Nepean Point, Ottawa, and the South African War Memorial, 1902, in Confederation Park, Ottawa.

  • Macdonald-Wright, Stanton (American, 1890–1973)

    One of the first American abstract artists. He and Morgan Russell developed Synchromism while the two were living in Paris. Macdonald-Wright had a profound interest in East Asian art and lived in a monastery in Japan toward the end of his life.

  • MacDonald, J.E.H. (British/Canadian, 1873–1932)

    A painter, printmaker, calligrapher, teacher, poet, and designer, and a founding member of the Group of Seven. His sensitive treatment of the Canadian landscape was influenced by Walt Whitman’s poetry and Henry David Thoreau’s views on nature.

  • Macdonald, Jock (British/Canadian, 1897–1960)

    A painter, printmaker, illustrator, teacher, and a pioneer in the development of abstract art in Canada. Macdonald began as a landscape painter but became interested in abstraction in the 1940s, influenced by Hans Hofmann and Jean Dubuffet. Macdonald was one of the founders of Painters Eleven in 1953. (See Jock Macdonald: Life & Work by Joyce Zemans.)

  • MacDonald, Mike (Mi’kmaq, 1941–2006)

    A Nova Scotia-born multi-media artist whose work in video, installation, and gardening reflects his interest in Indigenous heritage, land claims, and environmentalism. MacDonald was self-taught. From 1995 to 2003 he travelled across Canada creating butterfly gardens to encourage contemplation and admiration of the natural world. In 2000 he was the first recipient of the Aboriginal Achievement Award for New Media.

  • MacDonald, Thomas Reid (Canadian, 1908–1978)

    An oil painter, MacDonald became an official war artist in 1944, while stationed in Italy as part of the Canadian forces. After the war he served briefly as the director of School of Fine and Applied Arts at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, before becoming the director of the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, in 1947. He held the latter post until 1973.

  • MacDonnell, William (Canadian, b.1943)

    Born in Winnipeg, MacDonnell is a painter who has participated in two Canadian Forces artist programs, one in Croatia in 1994 and the other in Afghanistan in 2007. He received his formal training at the University of Manitoba and at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University and subsequently taught at both institutions and the Alberta College of Art and Design (now the Alberta University of the Arts).

  • MacGregor, John (British/Canadian, b.1944)

    One of the artists to show at Toronto’s influential Isaacs Gallery in the 1960s, John MacGregor’s abstract-influenced work addresses concepts of time. A prominent figure in Toronto’s 1960s art scene, MacGregor is one of a generation of artists who marked the emergence of the city’s contemporary art market.

  • machine aesthetics

    An aesthetics associated with 1920s and 1930s modernist architecture and design that embraces functionalism and streamlined forms, and reveals inner workings of the machine. This aesthetics emerged out of the great cultural changes of the Machine Age, including the introduction of mass production. The Bauhaus movement and Italian Futurism embody the major characteristics of machine aesthetics.

  • MacKay, Allan Harding (Canadian, b.1944)

    A multidisciplinary artist, an arts administrator, and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, MacKay has participated in two of the Canadian Forces artist programs, in 1993 and again in 2002. His experience as a war artist in Somalia (1993) was influential in his artistic career and his subsequent series Somalia Yellow includes award-winning film, photography, and drawing. MacKay has also included political commentary in his artwork and reflected in art on the symbolism of the Canadian landscape.

  • Mackay, D.C. (Canadian, 1906–1979)

    A Maritime illustrator and printmaker who trained internationally in London and Paris before settling permanently in Halifax. Mackay joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1939, serving first as a lieutenant and later as a war artist. On returning he became the principal of the Nova Scotia College of Art (later the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, now NSCAD University), and remained in the role until his retirement in 1971.

  • Mackenzie, Landon (Canadian, b. 1954)

    A Vancouver-based artist and teacher whose large-format abstract paintings are conceptually based while evoking natural forms. They are characterized by brilliant colours and often incorporate elements of collage, text, and map-making. Mackenzie teaches painting and drawing at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

  • MacLeod, Pegi Nicol (Canadian, 1904–1949)

    A member of the Canadian Group of Painters, Nicol was a modernist painter whose work depicted energetic, vibrant scenes from the environments around her. She was known as Pegi Nicol MacLeod after 1937.

  • Maclure, Samuel (Canadian, 1860–1929)

    Active from 1889 to 1928, Maclure was a self-taught architect whose Victoria and Vancouver offices shaped a defining style of British Columbia architecture through over 450 commissions. His distinctive Tudor Revival–style homes, an interpretation of New England shingle style, used local materials, their windows and porches framing views of the Pacific coast environment. He was also known for his watercolours of his architectural projects and of the Vancouver Island landscape, as well as for his Arts and Crafts–style garden designs.

  • Macpherson, Margaret Campbell (Canadian, 1860–1931)

    A St. John’s-born artist who worked mainly as a portrait, still life, and landscape painter in France and Scotland. She trained at the Académie Colarossi in Paris and joined the artists’ colony of Concarneau in 1891. She established a studio in Edinburgh and in 1892 became a member of the Society of Scottish Artists.

  • Macquarrie, Donald (Scottish, 1872–after 1934)

    Scottish landscape painter who studied at the Glasgow School of Art and likely opened a studio in Winnipeg in 1910. Macquarrie was appointed the first curator of the Winnipeg Art Gallery when it opened in 1912, shared a studio with Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald during this period, and taught at the Winnipeg School of Art from 1913 to 1914.

  • magic realism

    A term used for artistic or literary productions in which dreamlike, irrational, or supernatural elements appear in a realistic setting. This fusion of the real and the fantastic is found in the work of writers such as Gabriel García Márquez and painters such as Giorgio de Chirico, André Derain, and the Dadaists.

  • magnesium flare

    An early method of artificial lighting for photography. Magnesium powder had been used for this purpose in various problematic incarnations, including wires and flares, since 1859; not until 1887, when Adolf Miethe and Johannes Gaedicke mixed it with potassium chlorate, was the first widely useable flash powder created.

  • Magor, Liz (Canadian, b.1948)

    A Vancouver-based artist best known for sculptures made of cast and found objects. Magor investigates materialism and consumerism and explores how we assign value to everyday objects by presenting them in new contexts. Inspired by an interest in the covert, Magor’s creations dim the lines between imagination and reality. The recipient of many national and international awards, Magor also had a distinguished teaching career at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

  • Magritte, René (Belgian, 1898–1967)

    A major figure in twentieth-century art, and one of the most important Surrealist painters. Magritte was introduced to Surrealism by André Derain and Paul Eluard while living in Paris in the late 1920s, and collaborated actively with the group through the 1930s. Among his many famous works are The Treachery of Images, 1928–29, and The Son of Man, 1964.

  • Mahias, Robert (French, 1890–1962)

    A prominent decorative artist in Paris, Mahias moved to Montreal in the 1920s, where he taught at the École des beaux-arts (now part of the Université du Québec à Montréal) and created artwork for churches in the United States and Canada. On his return to Paris he taught at the École des arts appliqués.

  • Maillard, Charles (French, 1887–1973)

    A Tiaret, Algeria-born French painter who immigrated to Quebec in 1910, becoming director of the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in 1925. As a traditional painter of landscapes and portraits, Maillard’s advancement of an academic, conventional style of artmaking often conflicted with his more modernist contemporaries within the Montreal art scene.

  • Malevich, Kazimir (Russian, 1879–1935)

    An important figure in the development of geometric abstraction, whose religious and mystical proclivities deeply influenced his wish to abandon, as an artist, the representation of the visible world. His radically austere Suprematist works were first shown in Moscow in 1915. Malevich resumed figure painting in the late 1920s.

  • Mandelman, Beatrice (American, 1912–1998)

    Beatrice Mandelman was a leading figure among the group of American painters known as the Taos Moderns. Originally a social realist, Mandelman shifted towards abstraction and the influence of European modernists like Fernand Léger after moving to Taos, New Mexico, with her husband, fellow artist Louis Ribak, in 1944. A substantial body of her work is held as part of the Mandelman Ribak Collection of the University of New Mexico.

  • mandorla

    An almond-shaped aureole of light that surrounds the figure of a holy person in religious art (typically Christian and Buddhist).

  • Manessier, Alfred (French, 1911–1993)

    An abstract artist known for his luminous colours, Manessier began painting after studying architecture at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Part of a wide circle of modern artists working in the city in the early twentieth century, he experimented with Cubism and Surrealism before arriving at a style featuring dynamic shapes and colour, focused on capturing effects of light and on highly abstracted interpretations of the landscape. During the Second World War, Manessier was part of the Salon de Mai group of artists, producing and promoting “degenerate art,” as it was called by the Nazis occupying France. Associated with a resurgence in sacred art, he created numerous designs for stained-glass windows and liturgical robes, as well as theatrical sets and costumes.

  • Manet, Édouard (French, 1832–1883)

    Considered a forerunner of the modernist movement in painting, Manet eschewed traditional subject matter for depictions of contemporary urban life that incorporated references to classic works. Although his work was critically dismissed, his unconventional painting style influenced the Impressionists.

  • Manitoba Museum

    Previously known as the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, the Manitoba Museum was founded in 1965 and is the province’s largest not-for-profit institution of culture and science. Located in Winnipeg, the centre features a planetarium and galleries dedicated to science and to Manitoba’s heritage. The collections, including archeology, ethnology, history, and the Hudson’s Bay Company collection, amount to more than 2.6 million individual holdings.

  • Manitoba Society of Artists

    Established in 1902 and reinvigorated in 1925 as the western counterpart to the Ontario Society of Artists. Hay Strafford Stead served as the first president with Frank Armington and E.J. Ransom in other key roles. The society campaigned heavily for an art gallery and school in Winnipeg and arranged for works from outside the province to be shown. Today, the society exists as a vehicle to promote emerging and professional visual artists in Manitoba.

  • manitous

    Manitous or manidoogs are common to many Native groups in North American, including the Anishnabee. The sacred spirit-beings are tied to organisms, the environment, and events that help connect cultural narratives and their ways of being.

  • Manumie, Qavavau (Mannomee, Kavavaow) (Brandon/Kinngait, b. 1958)

    Qavavau Manumie began his artistic career as a skilled printmaker for the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (now Kinngait Studios), translating other artists’ drawings into prints for publication. He later began concentrating more on his own compositions: imaginative and personal drawings in ink and coloured pencil that can have a surreal quality.

  • ManWoman (Canadian, 1938–2012)

    Born in Cranbrook, B.C., as Patrick (Pat) Kemball, ManWoman was a mixed-media artist who took on the dual-gender name after a near-death experience in his youth. ManWoman produced illustrations and prints which made use of colourful, Pop Art aesthetics paired with the controversial symbol of the swastika. He sought to rehabilitate the swastika’s association with the Nazi regime, instead celebrating it in his art as a sacred, peaceful, and gentle symbol of spirituality.

  • Manzoni, Piero (Italian, 1933–1963)

    A pre-Conceptual artist who took an ironic attitude to avant-garde art, questioning the nature of the art object itself and critiquing mass production and consumption in Italy after the Second World War. Manzoni was inspired by Yves Klein, the collective conscious, and materials considered too dirty for art. His most famous work is Merda d’artista (Artist’s Shit), 1961, in which he sealed what was presumably his own excrement in an edition of ninety cans and sold them at the market value of gold.


  • Maquette

    A scale model of an unfinished sculpture, architectural project, or theatre set, a maquette functions as a sketch for a three-dimensional work in progress. It may be used to test formal or compositional considerations or, in the case of a large commissioned work, to give the client an idea of the how an artist’s or architect’s proposal will function in space.

  • Marc, Franz (German, 1880–1916)

    A founder of Der Blaue Reiter (the Blue Rider), an association of German Expressionist artists, Marc was a painter and printmaker. His work, which features animals as embodiments of mystical energy, became increasingly abstract. He was killed in combat in the First World War.

  • Marie de l’Incarnation (French, 1599–1672)

    An Ursuline nun and missionary, and founder of the Ursuline Order in Canada. Wedded at fourteen and widowed at thirty-two, she took her orders on the death of her husband, entrusting her son to her sister. She left France for New France in 1639 in the company of fellow religious women. They would become the first female missionaries in North America. She never returned to France.

  • Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso (Italian, 1876–1944)

    A poet and theorist and the founder of the Italian Futurist movement. In addition to the “Manifesto of Futurism” (1909), Marinetti wrote plays, poems, and essays in French and Italian that were infused with the Futurist values of mechanical energy, speed, violence, and the destruction of the past. He was a vocal, prominent supporter of Benito Mussolini and one of the authors of the “Fascist Manifesto” (1919).

  • Marion Nicoll Gallery

    A student-run gallery at the Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts) dedicated to showcasing the creative work of students and emerging artists. The gallery is named after the Albertan abstract painter Marion Nicoll (1909–1985), who in 1933 became the first female instructor to teach at AUArts (then known as the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art).

  • Marion Scott Gallery

    Marion Scott Gallery, a Vancouver art gallery specializing in Inuit art, was founded by Marion Scott in 1975. Her daughter Judy Scott Kardosh assumed its directorship following Scott’s death in 1989. The gallery’s current director and curator is Scott’s grandson Robert Kardosh. Marion Scott Gallery has been and remains an important venue for contemporary Inuit artists.

  • Markle, Robert (Mohawk/Canadian, 1936–1990)

    A painter and graphic artist who worked primarily in tempera and ink, Robert Markle was known for his bold, sexual female nudes. His piece Lovers I, showing two women embracing, led to an obscenity charge against the gallerist Dorothy Cameron when she displayed it as part of the exhibition Eros ’65 in 1965. Later in life, Markle began to incorporate elements of his Indigenous identity into his work.

  • Marks, Gerry (Haida) (1949–2020)

    After meeting Bill Reid as a young man, Marks decided to focus on studying his Haida artistic heritage and First Nations art of the Pacific Northwest Coast. He became particularly known for fine jewellery, though he also worked on large woodcarving projects, assisting Reid and Haida artist Robert Davidson (Guud San Glans). 

  • marouflage

    The act of reinforcing a work (canvas or paper) by affixing it to a support of wood, cardboard, canvas, or other rigid material. A marouflage is often used to preserve a work of art, and also in wall paintings.

  • Marsh Beveridge, Jane (Canadian, 1915–1998)

    Born in Ottawa, Marsh Beveridge was a pioneering filmmaker for the National Film Board (NFB), after initially joining as a screenwriter in 1941. In 1941–42, she produced six films on the roles and experiences of women on the home front during the Second World War. After leaving the NFB in 1944 following a dispute with then-commissioner John Grierson, Marsh Beveridge moved to New York to work for British Information Services. Retiring from filmmaking in 1948, she continued her education and became a teacher and sculptor.

  • Martin, Agnes (American/Canadian, 1912–2004)

    An abstract painter known for her restrained canvases featuring grids and stripes in serene hues, Martin worked between Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, adopting the latter’s formal language without emptying it of emotional resonance. Martin immigrated to the United States in 1931 and developed her artistic style in the creative circles of New Mexico and New York City. (See Agnes Martin: Life & Work by Christopher Régimbal).

  • Martin, David Stone (American, 1913–1992)

    A prolific and influential graphic designer and illustrator with a kinetic, calligraphic style, Martin was an artist correspondent for Time-Life during the Second World War. He is most renowned for having created hundreds of album portraits, especially for jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.

  • Martin, John (British, 1789–1854)

    A painter of apocalyptic scenes of Biblical history and natural disasters who achieved popular success but not critical acclaim during his lifetime. Martin’s work drew on Edmund Burke’s theory of the sublime, but was less subtle and technically accomplished than that of contemporaries like John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. However, his sensational scenes of catastrophe attracted large crowds of viewers and influenced the design of later cinematic epics.

  • Martin, John (Canadian, 1904–1965)

    A painter, watercolourist, printmaker, and illustrator and member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the Canadian Group of Painters, Martin taught design at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) in Toronto. His work is held by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

  • Martin, Ron (Canadian, b.1943)

    An abstract painter, Martin is concerned with the process and performance of artmaking. Since 1965 his paintings have been shown globally in solo and group exhibitions, including at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. 

  • Martin, Thomas Mower (British/Canadian, 1838–1934)

    Martin was principally a landscape painter. He immigrated to Canada from England in 1862. He soon established himself as a professional artist in Toronto, becoming a founding member of both the Ontario Society of Artists and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He produced landscapes in eastern Canada as well as in the United States, but is perhaps best known for the mountain landscapes he painted and exhibited after the Canadian Pacific Railway gave him and other artists free passes to travel west.

  • Masaccio (Italian, 1401–1428)

    An early Italian Renaissance master, whose signature use of light (to model his figures) and perspective (to situate them in three-dimensional space) influenced the development of Florentine painting. His Holy Trinity, 1427–28, a fresco in the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, exemplifies his innovative style. Masaccio died at the age of twenty-seven in Rome.

  • Masciuch, John (Canadian, b. 1944)

    An active member of the 1960s Vancouver art scene who creates light-and-sound sculptures. These are sometimes interactive, activated by the viewer’s body. Also known as John Neon, Masciuch began collecting neon tubes to use in his work beginning in the late 1960s, eventually amassing five thousand of them.

  • Massey, Vincent (Canadian, 1887–1967)

    Governor General of Canada from 1952 to 1959, Massey was also a lawyer, diplomat, and arts patron responsible for chairing the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters, and Sciences, better known as the Massey Commission. Created in 1949, the Commission resulted in the Massey-Lévesque Report of 1951, which argued that the arts were central to Canadian culture and that federal funding should be allocated in support of the arts.

  • Massicotte, Edmond-Joseph (Canadian, 1875–1929)

    Edmond-Joseph Massicotte was an illustrator of traditional ways of Québécois life who published in periodicals such as Le Monde illustré and L’Almanach du peuple. His illustrations of popular customs were inspired by accumulated documents as well as his imagination in order to visualize a nostalgic sentiment toward an idealization of past rural life.

  • Masson, Henri (Belgian/Canadian, 1907–1996)

    Masson emigrated from Belgium to Canada as a teenager. In his early professional life he worked as an engraver, painting in the evenings. His first solo exhibition of paintings was at the Picture Loan Society in 1934. He exhibited internationally, and today his work is held in major institutions in Canada, including the Vancouver Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

  • Mathieu, Georges (French, 1921–2012)

    A sculptor, designer, illustrator, and painter who became interested in abstract painting in the 1940s. Mathieu’s work is associated with several similar postwar European movements—including Tachism and Art Informel—that privilege geometric abstraction and spontaneous mark making, and which he helped to pioneer.

  • matiérisme

    A painting technique whereby successive layers of thickness and impasto are applied, and sometimes non-traditional matter, such as sand, gravel, plaster, or wax. The technique is generally associated with the European Art Informel movement of the 1950s and can be traced to the works of Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet.

  • Matisse, Henri (French, 1869–1954)

    A painter, sculptor, printmaker, draftsman, and designer, aligned at different times with the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and Fauvists. By the 1920s he was, with Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous painters of his generation, known for his remarkable use of colour and line.

  • Matthews, Marmaduke (British/Canadian, 1837–1913)

    An oil and watercolour painter who immigrated to Toronto from England in 1860. He used free passes issued to artists by the Canadian Pacific Railway to make trips to western Canada in the 1880s and 1890s, producing several views of the mountains there. Matthews was also a founding member of the Ontario Society of Artists, later becoming president, and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

  • Maurault, Olivier (Canadian, 1886–1968)

    A Sulpician priest, writer, and historian, Olivier Maurault was rector of the Université de Montréal from 1934 to 1955. He regularly published reviews on painting, texts that would later be brought together, with others, under the title Marges d’histoire (1929). As the first director of the Saint-Sulpice Library, from 1916 onward he organized exhibitions of modern art.

  • Mauve, Anton (Dutch, 1838–1888)

    A prominent figure of the Hague School of landscape painters, Mauve was a skilled colourist who specialized in rural scenes of cattle and sheep, and of peasants at work. As a teenager, he apprenticed with Pieter Frederik van Os, and later drew on the influences of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and the Barbizon school. He had a profound early impact on Vincent van Gogh, whom he taught and to whom he was related by marriage.

  • Maxwell, Edward and William S. (Canadian, 1867–1923 and 1874–1952)

    Born in Montreal, the brothers Edward and William S. Maxwell became partners in the former’s architectural firm in 1902 and left behind an urban legacy. The Maxwell buildings include Château Frontenac in Quebec City, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina, and the Art Association of Montreal, now the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

  • May, (Henrietta) Mabel (Canadian, 1877–1971)

    A modernist painter of landscapes, urban scenes, and portraits and figure paintings of women. May studied under William Brymner at the Art Association of Montreal, before spending time in Britain and France in 1912–13. After her return to Canada she was commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials Fund to depict women workers in munitions factories. May was an active member of Montreal’s Beaver Hall Group in the early 1920s and a founder of the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933.

  • Mayan art

    Art derived from the Maya civilization, which emerged in the region of what is today Mexico and Central America. Mayans had advanced artistic practices, producing stone sculptures, painted ceramics, delicate figurines, jade jewellery, and masks. These art objects featured remarkable detail and colour.

  • Mayerovitch, Harry “Mayo” (Canadian, 1910–2004)

    An architect, artist, illustrator, author, and cartoonist, Mayerovitch was a graduate of the School of Architecture at McGill University and the artistic director of the Wartime Information Board’s Graphic Arts Division. From 1942 to 1944, Mayerovitch designed propaganda posters in support of Canadian wartime efforts during the Second World War.

  • Maynard, Hannah (British/Canadian, 1834–1918)

    A British-born photographer who established a successful studio in Victoria, B.C., in 1862, which she operated for fifty years. Maynard specialized in portraiture, taking photographs of Indigenous and settler people in her community, and later working as the official photographer for the Victoria Police Department. She created promotional works in collage and experimented with innovative techniques including photo sculpture and multiple exposure prints.

  • McCarthy, Doris (Canadian, 1910–2010)

    Trained by members of the Group of Seven, McCarthy went on to produce hundreds of landscape and abstract paintings and educate generations of students over the course of her remarkable eighty-year career. She was the first female president of the Ontario Society of Artists.

  • McCord Stewart Museum

    A Montreal museum of local and national history, opened in 1921. Included in the McCord Stewart’s diverse collection is the Notman Photographic Archives: approximately 1.3 million photographs by William Notman, his studio employees, and other photographers from the 1840s to the present, as well as photographic equipment and related material.

  • McCurry, H.O. (Canadian, 1889–1964)

    An avid collector and advocate for the arts and art education in Canada, H.O. McCurry was patron to artist Tom Thomson and close with members of the Group of Seven. He was the assistant director of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, from 1919 to 1939, and succeeded Eric Brown as director from 1939 to 1955.

  • McDougall, Clark (Canadian, 1921–1980)

    A painter from St. Thomas, Ontario, a small town south of London, Ontario, Clark McDougall depicted scenes from his local community, including the landscape and architecture of southern Ontario. His later work is defined by the stark, black enamel outlines and acidic colours for which he became best known.

  • McElheny, Josiah (American, b. 1966)

    McElheny is a glassblower, sculptor, and assemblage artist who crafts alluring glass objects, installations, and related films that question truth, history, and memory through the reflection and refraction of light. Many of his works explore the origins of the universe. In 2006, he received the MacArthur Fellowship, which honours originality in creative pursuits.

  • McEwen, Jean (Canadian, 1923–1999)

    Although he painted with the gestural and impasto techniques of the Automatistes, McEwen is properly called a post-Automatiste painter because of the more structured and rigorous procedures of his signature all-over surfaces of texture and variegated hues. In Paris in 1952–53, he came under the influence of Jean-Paul Riopelle and Sam Francis, and with them discovered the work of Claude Monet.

  • McGillivray, Florence Helena (Canadian, 1864–1938)

    A Whitby-based painter, educator, and decorative artist recognized for her Post-Impressionist landscapes. McGillivray studied art in Toronto under British artist William Cruikshank and later in Paris, where she began to experiment with Post-Impressionist techniques. Upon her return to Canada, she lived in Ottawa for many years and produced accomplished landscape paintings of the Gatineau Hills and Valley. A leading artist of her time, McGillivray is thought to have had a formative influence on Tom Thomson’s work.

  • McInnes, Graham Campbell (Australian, 1912–1970)

    A diplomat and author, journalist, and broadcaster who immigrated to Canada in 1934, McInnes wrote several books, including A Short History of Canadian Art (1939).

  • McKague (née Housser), Yvonne (Canadian, 1898–1996)

    A painter and teacher, and a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters and the Federation of Canadian Artists. Associated with the Group of Seven and the Art Students’ League, McKague painted Canadian landscapes in an increasingly abstract and expressionist style. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984.

  • McKaskell, Robert “Bob” (Canadian, b. 1943)

    A curator, author, and arts educator, in 1974 McKaskell taught contemporary art theory and criticism at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) in London, Ontario. In 1990, he served as the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s academic curator and as professor at the University of Manitoba. He became Curator of Historical Art at the Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario, in 1996. Since 2002, McKaskell has curated independent exhibitions.

  • McKenzie, Robert Tait (Canadian, 1867–1938)

    An educator, physician, surgeon, and sculptor, McKenzie was considered a pioneer in modern physiotherapy practices for his work developing rehabilitative methods for wounded soldiers during the First World War. He was a prominent sculptor during his lifetime, producing more than 200 works of art.

  • McLaren, Norman (Scottish/Canadian, 1914–1987)

    McLaren began his career at General Post Office (GPO) in Scotland before following film producer John Grierson to the National Film Board in Canada. An innovative filmmaker, McLaren created abstract and animated films and experimented with techniques such as drawing directly on celluloid, cutout animation, and superimpositions. He created 72 films over the course of his career.

  • McLaughlin, Isabel (Canadian, 1903–2002)

    A modernist painter of landscapes and cityscapes. McLaughlin’s early paintings were influenced by the Group of Seven, though her work evolved toward a simplified aesthetic that integrated pattern and design. She was a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters, becoming president of the society in 1939.

  • McLean, J.S. (Canadian, 1876–1954)

    A business leader and art patron who amassed a major collection of Canadian modern art from 1934 to 1954. The collection, particularly strong in work by A.Y. Jackson, Carl Schaefer, Paraskeva Clark, and David Milne, was the subject of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, in 1952 and at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, in 1999; it is today conserved in large part at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

  • McLean, Jason (Canadian, b. 1971)

    A London, Ontario–born artist whose highly personal paintings, sculptures, and drawings record his experiences in a spontaneous, cartoon-like idiom that combines text with recognizable figures and forms. His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many others.

  • McLuhan, Marshall (Canadian, 1911–1980)

    A media theorist and public intellectual, Marshall McLuhan became an international star with his 1964 book Understanding Media and garnered a committed following within the 1960s counterculture. His phrase “the medium is the message” has reached the status of popular aphorism. He developed and directed the Centre for Culture and Technology (now the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology) at the University of Toronto.

  • McMaster, Gerald (Plains Cree, Siksika First Nation, b. 1953)

    An artist, educator, and curator, McMaster has worked at national and international institutions, including the National Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of History) in Canada and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in the United States. His artwork, which juxtaposes contemporary pop culture and traditional elements, has been exhibited at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and SITE Santa Fe, among others.

  • McMaster, Meryl (Plains Cree/Euro-Canadian, b.1988)

    An Ottawa-based artist whose photographic self-portraits explore aspects of her personal identity, mixed Plains Cree and Euro-Canadian heritage, and relationship to the land. McMaster transforms her appearance using costumes, makeup, and props, conjuring fantastical personae that inhabit remote natural landscapes. Her work evokes personal and ancestral narratives, examines the effects of settler colonialism on the lives of Indigenous people and the natural environment, and considers how the past informs our understanding of the present.

  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection

    Located in Kleinburg, Ontario, the McMichael is a public institution dedicated to Canadian and Indigenous art. Founded in 1965, the museum was built around Robert and Signe McMichael’s collection of works by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. The permanent collection now holds more than 6,500 artworks. The gallery is also the custodian of the Cape Dorset archive. In addition to the museum, the grounds feature hiking trails, a sculpture garden, and Tom Thomson’s shack—the artist’s former home and studio.

  • McNeely, Tom (Canadian, b.1935)

    A watercolour painter whose illustrative work was commissioned for television documentaries, print journalism, and books. Notably, McNeely illustrated the endpapers for many books by the popular Canadian historian Pierre Berton.

  • McNicoll, Helen (Canadian, 1879–1915)

    McNicoll is recognized for popularizing Impressionism in Canada. Born into a wealthy Anglophone family in Montreal, she studied with William Brymner at the Art Association of Montreal and the Slade School of Fine Art in London, and worked in numerous artist colonies across Europe with her close friend and fellow artist Dorothea Sharp. Her works—depicting rural landscapes, childhood subjects, and modern women—are known for their bright quality of light. (See Helen McNicoll: Life & Work by Samantha Burton.)

  • McPherson, Hugo (Canadian, b.1921)

    Hugo McPherson is a professor, art critic, and former film commissioner at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). He began his career as an academic, holding positions at various universities across Canada and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, before joining the NFB in 1967. He served as film commissioner until his resignation in 1970, at which time he joined the faculty of the department of communications at McGill University in Montreal. In the 1960s, McPherson contributed reviews of work by contemporary Canadian artists and novelists to publications including Canadian Art and Canadian Literature.

  • Mead, Ray (British/Canadian, 1921–1998)

    A founding member of Painters Eleven, Mead was an Abstract Expressionist painter whose work, characterized by bold planes of colour, black and white shapes, and sophisticated composition, was inspired by his internal reflections on memories.

  • Meagher, Aileen (Canadian, 1910–1987)

    A Halifax-born track-and-field athlete and artist best known for competing in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where she won a bronze medal as a member of Canada’s relay team. Meagher’s speed and her primary occupation as a teacher earned her the nickname “Canada’s Flying Schoolmarm” in the press. In her later years, she studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and took up painting, focusing largely on landscapes and city scenes.

  • Medicine Art

    Developed by Norval Morrisseau and also called “Legend Art,” this is art created by the painters of the Woodland School. The term alludes to secret legends and healing power contained within the works’ images.

  • medicine bag

    Usually carried by shamans in North American Indigenous cultures, a medicine bag contains sacred items personal to its carrier and used in various rituals. Contents might include feathers, healing plants, stone pipes, or animal skins.

  • Medium format camera

    A device that traditionally refers to a film format camera that typically uses film about 60mm wide (large format film size is 102 x 127 mm and above). The most famous of which being Kodak’s 120. This was the most commonly used film size from the 1900s through the 1950s, and it has since been adapted into digital forms as well.

  • Mednikoff, Reuben (British, 1906–1972)

    An artist and poet who became the consort of Dr. Grace Pailthorpe. He introduced this influential teacher to the Surrealist technique of automatism. Mednikoff and Pailthorpe exhibited work at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936 and Andre Breton praised theirs as the best shown by British artists. Medinkoff, along with Pailthorpe, was also a founding member of the British Surrealist Group.

  • Meeko, Lucy (Kuujjuaraapik, 1929–2004)

    A multidisciplinary artist, Lucy Meeko began carving in the 1950s and became a printmaker in the 1970s. She is best known for her carvings of women and children and of domestic scenes. Her work also includes drawing, basket weaving, sewing, and the creation of wall hangings. In 1993 she was featured, along with the carver Oviloo Tunnillie, in the documentary Keeping Our Stories Alive: The Sculpture of Canada’s Inuit.

  • Mekas, Jonas (Lithuanian/American, b. 1922)

    Considered the godfather of American avant-garde cinema, Mekas began making 16mm films upon arriving in New York in 1949. He was instrumental in forging and advocating for the city’s underground film scene. He organized screenings, founded the journal Film Culture, co-founded the Anthology Film Archives, and collaborated with artists including Salvador Dalí, Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon, and Andy Warhol.

  • Meloche, François-Édouard (Canadian, 1855–1914)

    François-Édouard Meloche began his career as a decorative painter in 1881. Renowned for his trompe l’oeil effects and his monochrome tints, he completed decorative work for churches in Quebec, Vermont, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island. Meloche taught decorative painting at the School of the Council of Arts and Manufacturing, in Montreal, from 1886 to 1899.

  • memento mori

    A Latin phrase meaning “remember you will die,” in art a memento mori is a work, often a painting, that contains a reference to death. This may be a skull, hourglass, rotten fruit, or other symbol of decay or the passage of time. Along with the related genre of the vanitas still life, the memento mori became popular in Western art in the seventeenth century, when it often carried religious overtones. More recent artists have used the form to explore the relationship between life and death in various contexts.

  • Mendieta, Ana (Cuban American, 1948–1985)

    A key figure in the development of body art, Land art, and feminist art. Mendieta’s performance, photography, and video works address themes of gender fluidity, violence, marginalized bodies, and the relationship of the female body to nature. Mendieta’s traumatic departure from Cuba as a refugee at the age of twelve deeply informed her art.

  • Meredith, John (Canadian, 1933–2000)

    Born John Meredith Smith, John Meredith, like his brother, Painters Eleven member William Ronald, used his first two names professionally. A painter known for his calligraphic style, he created abstract works in vivid colours, progressing from dense to looser, more open compositions through his career.

  • Messier, Gabrielle (Canadian, 1904–2003)

    Gabrielle Messier was an artist, childhood friend of Paul-Émile Borduas, and Ozias Leduc’s painter’s assistant for the last fifteen years of Leduc’s life. In 1956, after Leduc’s passing, Messier completed the last decorative suite at the Church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Présentation at Almaville Lower (now Shawinigan). Her specializations included landscapes (particularly of Mont Saint-Hilaire), still lifes, portraits, and religious subjects.

  • Methodism

    Founded by John Wesley in England in the eighteenth century, Methodism is a Christian Protestant denomination that draws on the traditions and doctrines of the Church of England. Characterized by evangelical fervour and commitment to study and practice (method), Wesley’s style of observance arrived in Newfoundland in 1766 and Nova Scotia in the 1770s; following the American Revolution, many Loyalist Methodists settled in Upper Canada. Methodism had a strong influence on nationalist politics in Canada in the nineteenth century: Methodists established schools and universities from New Brunswick to Alberta and sent evangelical missions westward in an effort to create religious cohesion as the country expanded following Confederation. Most Canadian Methodist congregations entered the United Church of Canada in 1925.

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

    A major art museum located in Manhattan, New York City, considered to be one of the largest and most-visited museums in North America. Colloquially referred to as “The Met,” the museum was founded in 1870 and holds a vast collection of over two million objects, including global artworks and artifacts dating from antiquity to contemporary times.

  • Mexican mural painting

    Commissioned by the Mexican government following the Mexican Revolution of 1910–20, Mexican mural paintings are highly visible public-art pieces that often depict common labourers and scenes of revolution. Prominent Mexican mural painters include José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

  • mezzotint

    An engraving technique whereby a metal plate is systematically pricked with numerous tiny holes to produce a print with subtle gradations of dark and light, used often from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries for reproducing paintings.

  • Michelangelo (Italian, 1475–1564)

    A sculptor, painter, architect, engineer, and poet during the High Renaissance, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was renowned during his lifetime and is considered one of the greatest artists in history. His best-known works include the sculptures David, 1501–04, and Pietà, 1498–99, the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, and his design for the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

  • Micipijiu (Michupichu)

    In Anishinaabe legend, this powerful water creature, “The Great Lynx,” lives in the Great Lakes and waters of the surrounding areas and can be a force of protection or destruction. Many images of Micipijiu can be found on rocks in the region, the most renowned on Lake Superior’s Agawa rock.

  • mide rites

    The formal, ceremonial rituals marking various passages of life for the Midewiwin, including birth, naming, first kill, puberty, marriage, and death.

  • Midewiwin

    A closed, ritual society mostly of Anishinaabe men, based in the upper Great Lakes region, the northern prairies, and some areas of the subarctic. Also called the Grand Medicine Society. The Midewiwin are responsible for their communities’ spiritual and physical health and healing.

  • Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig (German, 1886–1969)

    A leading twentieth-century architect, furniture designer, and teacher largely responsible for the development of modernist architecture. He was director of the Bauhaus from 1930 until he closed it, under pressure from the Nazis, in 1933. In 1938 he moved to Chicago, where he taught and practised into the 1960s.

  • Mikkigak, Qaunaq (Kinngait, b.1932)

    A graphic artist and carver, Qaunaq Mikkigak is part of a family of artists that includes her mother, Mary Qayuaryuk (Kudjuakjuk), and stepfather, Kopapik “A”, sisters Sheokjuke Toonoo and Laisa Qayuaryuk, and her niece Oviloo Tunnillie. A necklace she created received a jewellery design award in 1977 for her use of indigenous materials.

  • Miller, Alfred Jacob (American, 1810–1874)

    A painter known for his Romantic depictions of the American West. Sweeping and dramatic or quietly intimate, these oil paintings of landscapes, fur trappers, and Indigenous peoples arose from the hundreds of watercolour sketches Miller made in the 1830s while part of an expedition to the Rocky Mountains.

  • Miller, Kenneth Hayes (American, 1876–1952)

    American painter of the urban genre and influential instructor who taught at the Art Students League in New York for forty years, beginning in 1911. Miller was inspired by Old Master techniques such as underpainting and glazing in his scenes of city life, such as, Union Square in New York City, salesgirls, members of high society, and department-store shoppers.

  • Miller, Maria Frances Ann Morris (Canadian, 1810–1875)

    A Nova Scotia botanical painter, Maria Morris Miller studied drawing and painting in Halifax. In the 1830s she began to produce a series of volumes featuring her lithograph illustrations of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick wildflowers. Miller’s drawings were displayed at the International Exhibition in London in 1862 and at the Paris Exposition of 1867.

  • Millet, Jean-François (French, 1814–1875)

    Born into a peasant family, Millet was one of the founders of the Barbizon school, a group known for painting en plein air and favouring landscapes as subject matter. He is prominently recognized for empathetic depictions of rural labourers and peasants created just as the Industrial Revolution was causing mass migrations from the countryside to urban centres such as Paris. Millet was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1868 and was an inspiration for Vincent van Gogh.

  • Millman, Rose (Canadian, 1890–1960)

    A Montreal gallerist and founder of the Dominion Gallery of Fine Art in 1941, Millman was the first woman to open an art gallery in Quebec. In 1947 she relinquished control of the Dominion Gallery to Max Stern and established a second gallery, the West End Gallery, which closed in 1955 due to her failing health.

  • Milne, David (Canadian, 1882–1953)

    A painter, printmaker, and illustrator whose work—principally landscapes—displays the tonal brilliance and concern with process of his Impressionist and Post-Impressionist influences. Milne lived in New York early in his career, where he trained at the Art Students League and participated in the Armory Show in 1913.

  • Minimalism

    A branch of abstract art characterized by extreme restraint in form, Minimalism was most popular among American artists from the 1950s to 1970s. Although Minimalism can be expressed in any medium, it is most commonly associated with sculpture; principal Minimalists include Carl Andre, Donald Judd, and Tony Smith. Among the Minimalist painters were Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, and Frank Stella.

  • Mir Iskusstva (World of Art)

    An art group and subsequently the name of a journal edited by Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes. In the group, artists with Symbolist and Aestheticist tendencies prevailed, but there was little stylistic coherence among its members. The group and the journal promoted individualism and unity in the arts.

  • Miró, Joan (Spanish, 1893–1983)

    A prolific artist and important figure in the history of abstract art in the twentieth century, Joan Miró engaged with painting, sculpting, printmaking, and decorative arts. Throughout his long career, Miró sustained thematic interest in the influence of his native landscape on his artistic creation. French Surrealism influenced his work, though he is recognized to have developed his own deeply personal style.

  • Miskwaabik Animiiki (Copper Thunderbird)

    The Anishinaabe name given to Norval Morrisseau when he was gravely ill as a young man. In Anishinaabe cosmology, copper holds sacred strength and the Thunderbird is a powerful manitou, or spirit, of the sky world.

  • Mitchell, Janet (Canadian, 1912–1998)

    A modernist painter from Medicine Hat, Alberta, best known for her watercolour and oil paintings of Calgary’s urban landscapes and alleyways. Her fantastical paintings often made use of bold, blended colours and flowing lines. In 1948 Mitchell’s work was shown as part of the “Calgary Group” exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, later considered one of the first exhibitions of modernist art from Alberta. Her career spanned six decades, during which she exhibited extensively in group and solo shows across Canada.

  • Mitchell, Joan (American, 1925–1992)

    Part of a second generation of Abstract Expressionists, Mitchell began her career in New York, where she was an active member of the city’s downtown art scene and one of the few women invited into Abstract Expressionism’s inner circle, the Eighth Street Club. In the 1950s, her works became exclusively abstract though they retained a sense of perspective. Between 1955 and 1959 she spent time in both New York and Paris. In 1959 she moved permanently to Paris, where she had met the Quebec painter Jean Paul Riopelle, who became her partner for nearly twenty-five years. Although best known for large, gestural, multi-panelled paintings, influenced by poetry, music, and nature, Mitchell also worked in pastels and printmaking. Her work often evokes remembered landscapes, using tangles of large and small strokes of paint to convey the artist’s synesthetic feelings about a time and place. After her death, the Joan Mitchell Foundation was established to sustain her legacy and provide support to artists.

  • Mitchell, Michael (Canadian, 1943–2020)

    A photographer, filmmaker, and writer who was celebrated for his dedication to photography, photographic history, and collecting. Major documentary projects include his work photographing Inuit communities in Rankin Inlet in the 1980s; photographing post-revolutionary Nicaragua in 1984; and taking portraits in the Toronto art world in the 1990s.

  • modern dance

    An early-twentieth-century development of dance styles alternative to the decadence and rigidity of classical ballet. The movement arose mainly out of Germany and the United States with dancers such as Mary Wigman, Isadora Duncan, and Martha Graham. Modern dance abandoned the look of effortlessness for visceral effect and a sense that the dancer, often performing barefoot, was grounded in the earth. The early generation of modern dancers influenced the choreographers of the 1940s and 1950s, including Merce Cunningham and José Limon.

  • modernism

    A movement extending from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century across artistic disciplines, modernism rejected academic traditions in favour of innovative styles developed in response to contemporary industrialized society. Modernist movements in the visual arts have included Gustave Courbet’s Realism, and later Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, and on to abstraction. By the 1960s, anti-authoritarian postmodernist styles such as Pop art, Conceptual art, and Neo-Expressionism blurred the distinction between high art and mass culture.

  • Modigliani, Amedeo (Italian, 1884–1920)

    A painter and sculptor of stylized, elongated, and melancholy portraits and nude figures, Modigliani is recognized for the sensuality and sexuality in his nude paintings of woman and for frank bodily depiction, considered vulgar by some during his time. His depictions of faces are mask-like but nonetheless provide psychological insight into his subjects. In 1906, Modigliani moved to Paris and became a central figure of the École de Paris circle of artists who created Fauvism, Cubism, and Post-Impressionism.

  • Moholy-Nagy, László (Hungarian, 1895–1946) 

    Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy was a professor in the famed Bauhaus school (1923–28) in Germany. Influenced by Constructivism, he explored the integration of life, art, and technology in his radically experimental and wide-ranging practice. Moholy-Nagy is best known for his innovations in photography, notably his camera-less photographs, known as photograms. He led the New Bauhaus in Chicago from 1937 until his death.

  • Mokady, Moshe (Polish/Israeli, 1902–1975)

    Born Moshe Brandstatter, Moshe Mokady moved with his family to British Mandate Palestine, which became the modern state of Israel in 1948, in 1920. He studied art in Vienna and Paris, developing a style that moved from Cubism through Expressionism to a form of abstraction influenced by the Israeli landscape. In addition to painting, Mokady was a stage designer for various Israeli theatre companies and, from 1952 to 1965, served as the director of the Avni Institute of Painting and Sculpture (Machon Avni in Hebrew) in Tel Aviv. He was the leader among a group of artists who founded the artists’ community of Ein Hod in 1953.

  • Molinari, Guido (Canadian, 1933–2004)

    A painter and theorist who was a member of the Plasticien movement in Montreal. His work, beginning in the mid-1950s, set new models for geometric painting internationally. His “razor-edged” Stripe Paintings create the illusion of a dynamic space, evoked by the viewer’s active engagement with how colours appear to change as they rhythmically repeat themselves across the canvas.

  • Mondrian, Piet (Dutch, 1872–1944)

    A leading figure in abstract art, known for his geometric “grid” paintings of straight black lines and brightly coloured squares, whose influence on contemporary visual culture has been called the most far-reaching of any artist. Mondrian saw his highly restrictive and rigorous style, dubbed Neo-Plasticism, as expressive of universal truths.

  • Monet, Claude (French, 1840–1926)

    A founder of the Impressionist movement in France, Monet created landscapes and seascapes that are among the canonical works of Western art. Introduced to plein air painting as a teenager, Monet returned to it throughout his life as a means of exploring the atmospheric effects and perceptual phenomena that so interested him as an artist.

  • Monkman, Kent (Cree, b.1965)

    A Toronto-based artist who is internationally recognized for his provocative works reinterpreting the canon of Western art history from an Indigenous perspective, Monkman was raised in Winnipeg and is a member of the Fisher River Band in northern Manitoba. He explores themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience in painting, film, video, performance, and installation, which often feature his gender-fluid alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle. (See Kent Monkman: Life & Work by Shirley Madill.)

  • monoprint

    A printmaking technique invented by Giovanni Castiglione around 1640 and revived in the late nineteenth century by, most notably, Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas. A monoprint is produced by printing from a plate that is inked but otherwise untouched; the process typically yields only one good impression.

  • monotype

    A type of print resulting from a process that yields only one impression. A monotype is produced by drawing or painting an image directly onto a bare matrix and then transferring it to paper under the pressure of a printing press.

  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

    Founded in 1860 as the Art Association of Montreal, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has an encyclopedic collection of artworks and artifacts dating from antiquity to the present day. From its beginnings as a private museum and exhibition space to its current status as a public institution spread over four buildings on Sherbrooke Street, the museum has accumulated a collection of more than forty-three thousand works and hosts historical, modern, and contemporary exhibitions.

  • Moodie Vickers, Henrietta (Canadian, 1870–1938)

    The daughter of Catherine Moodie Vickers and granddaughter of Susanna Moodie, Henrietta Moodie Vickers was a still-life painter and sculptor. She studied at the Ontario School of Art and Design and was the student of George Agnew Reid. Moodie Vickers may have lived in Tangiers, Morocco, for a time at the turn of the twentieth century.

  • Moodie, Kim (Canadian, b. 1951)

    A contemporary artist known for his works on paper and canvas, Moodie uses dense and detailed imagery from toys, books, and early illustrations of North America to dissect symbols and narratives related to popular culture. He teaches painting and drawing at Western University in London, Ontario.

  • Moody, Henry (Haida, c.1871–1945)

    A carver from Haida Gwaii, Moody was fluent in English as well as Haida. As a young man he assisted the American anthropologist and linguist John R. Swanton in transcribing Haida oral literature and poetry. 

  • Moore, David (Irish/Canadian, b. 1943)

    A contemporary sculptor influenced by anthropology and the ancient past, Moore studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal and taught at Concordia University from 1970 to 2006. In 1977 he began a series of site-specific interventions into the places where past civilizations stood, including Pompeii, Italy; Delphi, Greece; and the Blasket Islands, Ireland. In 1986 Moore began to produce anthropomorphic figures, both small and monumental.

  • Moore, Henry (British, 1898–1986)

    One of the twentieth century’s most important sculptors, Henry Moore was influenced by non-European sculpture; later he also drew from natural sources, such as bones and pebbles. His technique most often involved carving directly into his material, whether wood, stone, or plaster.

  • Moos, Walter (German/Canadian, 1926–2013)

    The founder of Gallery Moos in Toronto, Walter Moos was born into a German Jewish family of art dealers who operated a gallery in Karlsruhe, Germany. Moos fled to France and Switzerland during the Second World War before arriving in New York City, where he spent twelve years. In 1959, he moved to Toronto to open his gallery, becoming an important fixture in the cultural scene that emerged in the city’s Yorkville neighbourhood. A champion of modernist art, Moos played a key role in fostering the careers of Canadian artists, including Sorel Etrog and Gershon Iskowitz.

  • Moreau, Gustave (French, 1826–1898)

    A painter and educator, Moreau prefigured the Symbolist and Surrealist movements. He painted biblical stories and mythology, suffusing his work with a sense of the mystical. He taught Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault, and Albert Marquet at the École des beaux-arts in Paris.

  • Morin, Léo-Pol (Canadian, 1892–1941)

    Pianist, composer, and music critic Léo-Pol Morin trained in Paris and established a musical career in France. Later, he became a major promoter of modern French music in Quebec. Returning to Montreal during the First World War, he was one of the founders of the art magazine Le Nigog in 1918. He performed works by Bartók, Debussy, and Ravel, among others, composed music under the name James Callihou, and advocated for modern music.

  • Morisot, Berthe (French, 1841–1895)

    A painter and printmaker, Morisot found success at the Paris Salons before becoming involved with the fledgling Impressionist movement in the late 1860s. She became one of its most significant figures, best known for paintings of domestic life.

  • Morisset, Gérard (Canadian, 1898–1970)

    A lawyer by training, Morisset soon left the profession to dedicate himself to the study and promotion of Quebec culture. He was the director of the Musée du Québec from 1953 to 1965, and his collection of data and documentation related to Quebec artwork, begun in 1937, remains a valuable resource.

  • Moriyama, Raymond (Canadian, b.1929) 

    One of Canada’s foremost architects, Raymond Moriyama has designed such prominent buildings as the Japanese Canadian Culture Centre, Ontario Science Centre, and Canadian War Museum. A graduate of the University of Toronto and McGill University, Moriyama began working as an architect in 1958 and launched the firm Moriyama & Teshima in 1970. Some of his designs have been influenced by his childhood experiences in the Slocan internment camp during the Second World War.

  • Morley, Malcolm (British/American, 1931–2018)

    After a troubled childhood that landed him in prison for robbery at age eighteen, Morley became a well-known figure in the New York City art scene in the 1960s and the recipient of the inaugural Turner Prize—awarded annually to a British artist—in 1984. One of the progenitors of the Photorealist style of painting, by the 1970s he had begun to move on to a looser, Neo-Expressionist style. Ships, trains, and motorcycles as well as surreal images of war and military figures (Second World War airplanes, nineteenth-century generals, medieval knights) recur frequently in Morley’s work.

  • Morrice, James Wilson (Canadian, 1865–1924)

    One of Canada’s first modernist painters and first artists to gain international recognition, during his lifetime Morrice was nonetheless more celebrated in Europe than he was at home. He is best known for richly coloured landscapes that show the influence of James McNeill Whistler and Post-Impressionism.

  • Morris, Edmund Montague (Canadian, 1871–1913)

    A painter best known for his portraits of Indigenous leaders during Canada’s post-Confederation treaty negotiations, especially of the early twentieth century, although he was also an admired landscape painter. In 1906 Morris, on commission, accompanied the James Bay expedition for the negotiation of Treaty 9 with Cree and Ojibway peoples. He often used pastel in detailed, close-up portraits of Indigenous chiefs. With fellow painter Curtis Williamson, Morris instigated the creation of the Canadian Art Club in 1907, of which he was a key member.

  • Morris, Kathleen Moir (Canadian, 1893–1986)

    A painter especially noted for her urban and rural subjects. Morris studied at the Art Association of Montreal under William Brymner and Maurice Cullen. Although she does not appear to have exhibited with the Beaver Hall Group in the early 1920s, she is closely associated with the group. Her paintings of scenery in Montreal and Quebec City, as well as her depictions of the ByWard Market in Ottawa, exemplify the interest that she and her contemporaries had in chronicling modern city life.

  • Morris, Michael (British/Canadian, b. 1942)

    A versatile artist who has worked under multiple pseudonyms (including Marcel Dot and Marcel Idea) and in various media, including paint and video. Morris often works collaboratively and has emphasized the importance of artists’ networks throughout his career. Exemplifying this tendency is the Image Bank, a system for the exchange of information and ideas between artists, which he co-founded with Vincent Trasov in 1969. He (as Marcel Dot) was crowned Miss General Idea in 1971 in The 1971 Miss General Idea Pageant, 1971, an elaborate performance staged by General Idea at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

  • Morris, Robert (American, 1931–2018)

    A pioneer of Minimalist art, Process art, and land art. Morris began creating his first Minimalist artworks in the late 1960s, and was a principle theorist of the movement. He was also an active member of the avant-garde Judson Dance Theater, where he choreographed and performed several pieces. In the 1960s and 1970s, Morris started making Process art, which focused on the process of artistic creation rather than the product. He also created a series of major earthworks.

  • Morris, William (English, 1834–1896)

    William Morris was a draftsman, poet, novelist, translator, painter, and theoretician who upset the Victorian world with his aesthetic ideals and socialist politics. He rejected the mechanization of life and instead embraced craft techniques and collective work. His aesthetics and vision for art fundamentally influenced the Arts and Crafts movement in England and across the channel. His company, Morris & Company, created many innovative designs in decoration and textiles, marking a significant turning point in the history of design.

  • Morrisseau, Norval (Anishinaabe, 1931–2007)

    A painter known for depicting Anishinaabe legends and personal, hybrid spiritual themes with vibrant colours and strong lines, Morrisseau was a crucial figure in introducing contemporary Indigenous art into the wider Canadian art scene. He founded the Woodland School and inspired a generation of younger First Nations artists. In 1978 Morrisseau was appointed to the Order of Canada, and in 2006 the National Gallery mounted a major retrospective of his work. (See Norval Morrisseau: Life & Work by Carmen Robertson.)

  • Mortimer-Lamb, Harold (British/Canadian, 1872–1970)

    Although Lamb’s career was in the mining industry, he was also an art critic. In appreciative articles in The Canadian Magazine and Britain’s The Studio, to introduce the Group of Seven. As a photographer and collector of paintings, ceramics, and photography, he co-founded the Vanderpant Galleries in Vancouver and played a leading role in the Vancouver art scene. He helped found the Vancouver Art Gallery. (See Robert Amos’s 2013 book Harold Mortimer-Lamb: The Art Lover.)

  • Moser, Mary (British, 1744–1819)

    Known for her depictions of flowers, Mary Moser was the daughter of the Swiss artist George Moser and a prominent painter, the recipient of royal commissions including for the floral decoration of Frogmore House. In 1768 she became one of only two female founding members of the Royal Academy of Arts.

  • Moses, Anna Mary Robertson (American, 1860–1961)

    Nicknamed “Grandma Moses” by a reporter in New York’s Herald Tribune, Anna Mary Robertson Moses began painting charming scenes of country life at the age of seventy-eight. By the time she died at 101, she had produced over fifteen hundred works. Raised on a farm in upstate New York, Moses moved to Virginia after marrying in 1887. The folk artist drew inspiration from her childhood memories of rural New York and Virginia.

  • Mosher, Christopher Terry “Aislin” (Canadian, b.1942)

    A political cartoonist for the Montreal Gazette drawing under the pen name “Aislin,” Mosher has created over 14,000 cartoons and is the author of fifty-one books. His work came to prominence during a period of major political and cultural change in Canada in the late 1960s, and his political cartoons have, at times, been considered irreverent.

  • Motherwell, Robert (American, 1915–1991)

    A member of the New York School, a major figure in Abstract Expressionism, and an influential teacher and lecturer, Motherwell employed the automatist technique to create many of his paintings and collages. Over the course of his career, he produced a series called Elegy to the Spanish Republic, 1957–61, inspired by the Spanish civil war.

  • Mousseau, Jean-Paul (Canadian, 1927–1991)

    A painter, illustrator, and designer, and a fervent advocate of integrating art into architecture. Mousseau was a favoured protégé of Paul-Émile Borduas and the youngest of the Montreal-based Automatistes. He was a prominent figure of the Montreal arts scene and worked in a range of media, including plastic, neon, and aluminum. 

  • Mowat, Harold (Canadian, 1879–1949)

    Known for his magazine illustrations, Mowat was an illustrator who served as an official Canadian war artist during the First World War. After training at the New York School of Art (now Parsons School of Design), Mowat created illustrations for magazines such as McCalls, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Saturday Evening Post.

  • Muhlstock, Louis (Galician/Canadian, 1904–2001)

    A painter and draftsman known for his sensitive and intimate representations of Depression-era Montreal. His celebrated talent for drawing comes through in his portraits, cityscapes, and interiors, which often show the effects of economic decline. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991.

  • Muir, Catherine Adah (1860–1952)

    Usually called Caterina or Cassy, Muir married the artist James Kerr-Lawson in 1889 and was an ardent promoter of his work. She was born in Scarborough, Ontario, but relocated to Europe with her mother and stepfather in 1887. She and Kerr-Lawson travelled and lived in England, Scotland, France, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. During the First World War she volunteered at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Nurses, in London.

  • Munch, Edvard (Norwegian, 1863–1944)

    Prefiguring the Expressionist movement, Munch’s work prominently represented the artist’s own emotions—fear, loneliness, sexual longing, and dread. A revered and prolific painter, printmaker, and draftsman, Munch is best known for his painting The Scream.

  • Munn, Kathleen (Canadian, 1887–1974)

    A modernist painter of landscapes, figures, religious subjects, and still lifes in a style influenced by Cubism, Post-Impressionism, and dynamic symmetry. Munn studied at the Art Students League of New York in 1912, where she was exposed to the American avant-garde. In the mid-1920s, Munn befriended artist Bertram Brooker, who became an important connection for her to the Group of Seven and key collectors. It was only after the artist’s death that her work became more recognized, owing largely to a recovery process led in the mid-1980s by Joyce Zemans at York University. (See Kathleen Munn: Life & Work by Georgiana Uhlyarik.)

  • Munro, Alice (Canadian, b.1931)

    Born in Huron County, Ontario, Munro is a short-story writer whose depictions of small-town life draw heavily on her family history and her own experiences. Her work is noted for its fine-grained realism and its attention to mystery and ambiguity in lives of ordinary people as well as the intimacies and tensions of small communities. In 2013, Munro became the first Canadian to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

  • Murray, Robert (Canadian, b.1936)

    A New York–based, Saskatchewan-raised sculptor trained in Saskatoon, Regina, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Robert Murray moved permanently to the United States in 1960. That same year, Saskatoon awarded him the first of his many public commissions. His work is held by major institutions throughout the United States and Canada.

  • Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

    Founded by the Quebec government in 1964, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is the oldest institution of contemporary art in Canada. Originally housed at Place Ville-Marie, the museum moved to Château Dufresne in 1965, and then to the Expo 67 International Art Gallery, in the Cité du Havre, before moving again in 1992 to its present site at Place des Arts. Dedicated to the promotion and conservation of contemporary Quebec art, the museum maintains an active exhibition and manages a collection of approximately eight thousand pieces.

  • Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

    An art museum located in Quebec City that initially opened to the public in 1933 as an archive and museum for the arts and natural sciences. After restructurings in 1962 and 1979, by 1983 the MNBAQ had become a Crown corporation focused solely on the visual arts. Today, its vast collection encompasses more than forty thousand works, primarily made in Quebec or by Quebec artists, that date from the sixteenth century to the present.

  • Museo Nacional del Prado

    Spain’s national art museum, the Museo Nacional del Prado was founded in 1819 at the behest of Queen Maria Isabel de Branganza. Located in Madrid, the museum houses the royal collection as well as works acquired after its founding, including important works by Velázquez, El Greco, and Goya.

  • Museum of Modern Art

    Created by three patrons of the arts—Mary Quinn Sullivan, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and Lillie P. Bliss—along with a larger board of trustees, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) opened in New York City in 1929. An alternative to traditional museum models, MoMA offered public access to contemporary art. The museum’s first director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., shaped its influential place in the American art world and the way that American art history is constructed through exhibitions of contemporary works of art. MoMA moved to its present location on 53rd Street in Manhattan in 1939.

  • Musgrove, Alexander (Scottish/Canadian, 1882–1952)

    Scottish-born painter and art instructor specializing in watercolour. In 1913 he immigrated to Winnipeg, where he served as principal of the Winnipeg School of Art until 1921 when he opened his own school, the Western Art Academy. Musgrove was heavily involved in keeping the Manitoban art scene alive. He founded the Winnipeg Art Students Club (later the Winnipeg Sketch Club) in 1914, helped re-establish the Manitoba Society of Artists in 1925, and served as curator at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from 1932 to 1949.

  • Music Gallery

    A Toronto institution dedicated to the development, production, and presentation of experimental music, founded in 1976 by Peter Anson and Al Mattes, original members of the nine-piece “free-music orchestra,” the CCMC.

  • Muybridge, Eadweard (British, 1830–1904)

    A landscape and experimental photographer best known for his groundbreaking motion studies. From 1872—when he famously photographed the gait of Leland Stanford’s horse—to the 1890s, Muybridge made thousands of photographs capturing the movements of animals and humans; some 20,000 were included in the portfolio Animal Locomotion (1887).

  • Myre, Nadia (Algonquin, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, b. 1974)

    A multidisciplinary artist and member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Myre explores issues of identity, language, loss, and desire in her practice. Her work often involves the participation of others, such as in her ongoing Scar Project (begun in 2004), which asks viewers to express their “wounds” through specific creative processes. Myre won the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2014.

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