Special Retrospective at Haskell
After organizing art exhibits at the Haskell Free Library in Stanstead for many years, Marie France Journet has created a very special exhibit for the busy month of August: a retrospective of the art created by her father, the late André Journet, of France.
The fascinating exhibit, which Marie France has been receiving a lot of positive feedback about, includes landscapes of France in several different mediums, deli--
cate engravings and several life-like sculptures of French president Charles de Gaulle, whom he was asked to sculpt despite the fact that he was not a professional artist. “He knew members of the Institut Charles de Gaulle and they asked him to do it. The busts made from his sculpture were placed in de Gaulle’s childhood home, in the house in Lille, France, where he was born, at the Charles de Gaulle Airport and there is one on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier,” explained Marie France.
There are also several compelling watercolours that Mr. Journet painted while he was a prisoner of war in Austria. “Our father was wounded in the war and also spent one and a half years in a prison camp in the Second World War,” said Marie France.
Mr. Journet’s art is quite remarkable given the fact that he was a self-taught artist who actually worked as a bureaucrat. However, he did attend many artist workshops and visiting art exhibits and museums was more than a passion for him. “We would bring us to visit Lourdes each Sunday when we lived in Paris. We also visited all the monuments and other museums as well. He never missed a new exhibit at Lourdes or at the other national museums; he was a big walker!” commented both Marie France and her sister, Elisabeth, who came here from Paris especially for the show at the Haskell. “He would also work in his studio every night,” added Elisabeth.
Also included in the exhibit is a striking portrait of Mr. Journet, done by an artist who saw him walking on the beach at Montmartre and asked if he could paint his portrait. The portrait which, according to his daughters, captures his character and likeness beautifully, was soon after bought by his wife and given to him as a gift.
“After my father died, we looked at all of his work. We found that it brought back lots of wonderful memories for us. It was really hard to decide what to include in the exhibit,” mentioned the sisters.
Although Mr. Journet participated in several group exhibits during his lifetime, this is the first solo exhibit of his work, obviously put together with much pride and affection.
Sculptures of Charles de Gaulle and engravings are included in the retrospective exhibit.
Marie France Journet (left) and her sister Elisabeth Journet pose with landscapes of the French countryside that were created by their father, the late André Journet.