Marcelle Ferron

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Marcelle Ferron
Photo of Marcelle Ferron.jpg
Born(1924-01-29)January 29, 1924
DiedNovember 19, 2001(2001-11-19) (aged 77)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Resting placeMount Royal Cemetery
Known forstained glass artist, painter
SpouseRené Hamelin

Marcelle Ferron, GOQ RCA (January 29, 1924 – November 19, 2001), a Canadian Québécoise painter and stained glass artist, was one of the original 16 signatories of Paul-Émile Borduas's Refus global manifesto, and a major figure in the Quebec contemporary art scene, associated with the Automatistes.[1]

Early years[edit]

Ferron was born in Louiseville, Quebec on January 29, 1924. Her brother Jacques Ferron and her sister Madeleine Ferron were both writers. She studied at the École des beaux-arts de Québec before dropping out, unsatisfied with the way the school's instructors addressed modern art.[2]

Ferron was an early member of Paul-Émile Borduas's Automatistes art movement. She signed the manifesto Refus global, a watershed event in the Quebec cultural scene, in 1948.[3]


In 1953, she moved to Paris, where she worked for 13 years in drawing and painting and was introduced to the art of stained glass, for which she would become best known.[4] Ferron returned in 1966 to Quebec, where she worked exclusively with stained glass for the next two decades.

Stained-glass window by Marcelle Ferron, at Champ-de-Mars metro station in Montreal

One of her stained-glass windows is at Champ-de-Mars metro station in Montreal, Quebec. It was one of the first non-figurative works to be installed in the metro, in defiance of the didactic style present in other works of the period, and signalled a major shift in public art in Montreal between the policies of then art director Robert Lapalme and future art director and fellow automatiste Jean-Paul Mousseau. Other examples of her works can be seen at Vendôme metro station, Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, and the ICAO headquarters, in Montreal; the Place du Portage in Gatineau, Quebec; and the Granby, Quebec courthouse.

Awards and honours[edit]

In 1983, she was awarded the Paul-Émile-Borduas prize for the visual arts by the government of Quebec.[5] In 1985, she was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec and was promoted to Grand Officer in 2000. She also was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[6]


She died in Montreal.


A nursing home in Brossard, Quebec, the Centre d'Accueil Marcelle-Ferron, is named after her.[7] On 7 September 2019, Google honoured Ferron with a “google doodle” to mark the anniversary of the unveiling of her installation in Montreal's Vendôme station.[8]

Record sale prices[edit]

At the Heffel Auction, Post-War & Contemporary Art, November 24, 2022, lot 17, Sans titre, oil on canvas, 63 3/4 x 51 in, 161.9 x 129.5 cm, Auction Estimate: $200,000 - $300,000 CAD, realized a price of $1,801,250 (including Buyer's Premium).[9]

At the Cowley Abbott Auction, Important Canadian Art (Sale 1), December 1, 2022, lot #43 Sans titre (1960), oil on canvas, 74.75 x 98.5 ins ( 189.9 x 250.2 cms ), Auction Estimate: $550,000.00 - $750,000.00, realized a price of $1,260,000.00.[10]


  1. ^ Farr, Dorothy; Luckyj, Natalie (1975). From Women's Eyes: Women Painters in Canada. Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre. pp. 60–61.
  2. ^ "Marcelle Ferron". Library and Archives Canada. October 2, 2000. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Davis, Ann (May 22, 2008). "Marcelle Ferron". The Canadian Encyclopedia (online ed.). Historica Canada. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Lambton, Gunda. Stealing the show : seven women artists in Canadian public art. p. 17. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Prix du Quebec". Archived from the original on 2003-10-20. Retrieved 2003-09-29.
  6. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  7. ^ "Centre d'accueil Marcelle-Ferron". Archived from the original on 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  8. ^ "Celebrating Marcelle Ferron". Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  9. ^ "Heffel Post-War & Contemporary Art". Heffel Auction House. Retrieved 3 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Important Canadian Art (Sale 1)". Cowley Abbott. Retrieved 3 December 2022.

External links[edit]

Marcelle Ferron, Untitled (1972). Stained glass. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.