Leo Mol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leo Mol
Sculptor Leo Mol.jpg
Born Leonid Molodozhanyn
(1915-01-15)January 15, 1915
Polonne, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Died July 4, 2009(2009-07-04) (aged 94)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Nationality Ukrainian-Canadian
Education Leningrad Academy of Arts
Known for Sculpture, Painting, Drawing

Leonid Molodoshanin, known as Leo Mol, OC OM RCA (January 15, 1915 – July 4, 2009) was a Ukrainian Canadian stained glass artist and sculptor.


Born Leonid Molodozhanyn in Polonne, Russian Empire (now Ukraine),[1] and raised in Russia (Krasnoyarsk, Prokhladny, Nalchik and Leningrad), Mol learned the art of ceramics in his father's pottery workshop. As a young man, he wanted to study painting in Vienna and spent several years studying there under the tutelage of Wilhelm Frass.[2] With Frass's recommendation, Mol was then hired by the sculptor Frans Klimsh, who would support his application to the Berlin Academy.[3] Mol also studied sculpture at the Leningrad Academy of Arts from 1936 to 1940.[4]

Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union he deported to Germany where he was influenced by Arno Breker.[1] In 1945, he moved to The Hague, and in December, 1948, he and his wife, Magareth (whom he married in 1943), emigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba[5][6] in 1948. In 1949, he held his first ceramics exhibition in Winnipeg.

Mol was known for his sculptures of square dancers, skiers, aboriginals, and wildlife. Mol also completed more than 80 stained-glass windows in churches throughout Winnipeg.

More than three hundred of Mol's works are displayed in the 1.2 hectare Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park which comprises a gallery, a renovated studio, and an outdoor display. The garden was unveiled on June 18, 1992 and has been expanded twice since. It is supported by private donations, and Mol personally donated 200 bronze sculptures to the city of Winnipeg. The sculptures are of religious leaders, prominent people, the human form, and wildlife. [7]

Mol died July 4, 2009, at the Tache Centre medical facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was 94.[4]


In 2002, his monumental bronze sculpture Lumberjacks (1990), which now stands in Assiniboine Park was featured on a 48¢ Canadian postage stamp in the sculptors series. Mol's small bronze sculpture of lumberjacks (1978) was his inspiration for a monumental bronze sculpture.[7]

He was always known as a particularly prolific artist and some of his most famous works include likenesses of three different Popes which stand in museums in the Vatican. He also has a sculpture of Taras Shevchenko on display on Washington’s Embassy Row.[9]

Other important subjects who Mol sculpted include members of the Group of Seven, A. J. Casson, A.Y. Jackson and Frederick Varley.[10] Mol also sculpted Sir Winston Churchill 1966, Winnipeg editorial cartoonist Peter Kuch (1917-1980), Dwight D. Eisenhower 1965, John F. Kennedy 1969, Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook ca. 1970, Terry Fox 1982.[11] On Parliament Hill in Ottawa stands his impressive over life-size standing portrait figure of Prime Minister John George Diefenbaker 1985[12] Also on Parliament Hill stands an impressive bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth II.[13] The maquette of Sir William Stephenson C.C. (code-named "Intrepid") is displayed in a place of honour within CIA Headquarters, Langley, VA, USA


In 1989, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[14] In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Manitoba. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[6]

He received honorary degrees from the University of Winnipeg, the University of Alberta and the University of Manitoba.[6]

Mol was also made an honorary academician of the Canadian Portrait Academy (Hon. CPA) in 2000.[15]

Leo Mol's papers are held by the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections.[16]


  1. ^ a b Alison Mayes (July 6, 2009). "Winnipeg sculptor Leo Mol dead at age 94". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Leo Mol fonds - University of Manitoba Archives". umlarchives.lib.umanitoba.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-03. 
  3. ^ "Leo Mol fonds - University of Manitoba Archives". umlarchives.lib.umanitoba.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-03. 
  4. ^ a b "Leo Mol, Winnipeg sculptor, dies at 94". CBC. July 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Famed sculptor Leo Mol dead at 94". CTV. July 6, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c "ACCOMPLISHED ARTIST: Leo Mol was Manitoba's best-known and most honoured sculptor". Winnipeg Free Press. July 7, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b [1] Postage stamp
  8. ^ Shevchenko Centennial Souvenir Book, July 8–9, 1961, Winnipeg, Canada, published by Executive of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee
  9. ^ Alison Mayes. "From a humble start Leo Mol forged a prolific art career". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  10. ^ Leo Mol Sculpture 1952-1979, McMichael Canadian Collection 
  11. ^ Leo Mol, Loch Gallery, 1984 
  12. ^ Parliament Hill Statues, Public Works and Government Services Canada, archived from the original on 2010-03-01, retrieved 2009-10-20 
  13. ^ Bronze sculptor Leo Mol: The Canadian Press, Loch Gallery, archived from the original on 2011-05-14, retrieved 2009-10-20 
  14. ^ "Order of Canada citation". [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Honourary [sic] Members, Canadian Portrait Academy, archived from the original on 2009-02-12, retrieved 2009-10-20 
  16. ^ "Leo Mol fonds - University of Manitoba Archives". umlarchives.lib.umanitoba.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-03. 

External links[edit]