John Howard Willis and Alexandre Vattemare - McCord Discoveries


Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at 12 p.m.

John Howard Willis and Alexandre Vattemare: An Artist Meets a Collector

McCord Discoveries

During the winter of 1841, the inhabitants of Quebec City received an extraordinary visitor from France:  Alexandre Vattemare, known at the time for an intriguing multiplicity of identities as a ventriloquist, a wealthy philanthropist, and a cultural ambassador. Vattemare acquired works of art during his stay, including four watercolour sketches of Indigenous people, now in the McCord Museum collection, by artist and writer John Howard Willis. This presentation investigates these watercolours, and, through the work of Willis, further probes the wider context of the depiction of Indigenous Peoples by settlers, both in image and text, in early nineteenth century North America.

Speaker: Anne MacKay, Head, Conservation, McCord Museum
Duration: 1 hour

The virtual conversation in English will be followed by a public discussion period in French and English.

The lecture will take place online on Zoom and will be broadcast live on the Museum’s social networks.


Free activity.
Register now: Zoom RegistrationFacebook Event

McCord Discoveries

The McCord Museum is presenting a virtual lecture series: McCord Discoveries. Museum experts will share their recent discoveries about the collections and archives.
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