Art and Artifacts

 

The Archive of the Jesuits in Canada holds an important collection of objects and artworks which witness to the range of experience of Jesuits in Canada and abroad. A number of items are of national significance, and several have been recognized as important cultural properties by the government of Quebec.

The collection includes liturgical objects (for example, vessels and  vestments); artifacts  from archeological research in Huronia; domestic and ethnological objects (First Nations’ tools, Inuit toys, ancient timepieces, Ethiopian weapons); sculpture; and relics and reliquaries of over one hundred beatified and canonized men and women, such as Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.

The collection includes votive images, altarpieces, icons, portraits, religious scenes and abstract art. The materials include canvas, copper, wood, and paper, and the provenance of the objects is international. Canadian artists feature prominently and the collection includes work by Eugène Hamel, Antoine Plamondon, Charles Huot and, among the moderns, Mousseau, Ayotte and others. Some of the works incorporate typical Jesuit iconography, particularly those related to the Canadian Martyrs, St. Francois Xavier, and Jesuit founder St. Ignatius Loyola.

The Archive has a remarkable collection of over a thousand maps and plans. They include plans of most of the buildings erected by or for Jesuits in Canada, as well as hundreds of historical and geographical maps and surveyors’ plans. Among these are some original hand-drawn maps, of which the best known is probably that drawn in 1673 by Fr. Marquette, the first European explorer of the Mississippi.