Albert Chartier fonds [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief1
Albert Chartier fonds [multiple media]
- Hierarchical level:
- Type of material:
- Art, Textual material, Photographs, Moving images
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
13 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Click here
- Place of creation:
- Québec (Province)
53 cm of textual records.
2 DVDs : 4 audiovisual documents (2 hr., 10 min.).
2 comic albums : 105 drawings ; 366 p. ms. ; 7 paintings ; 2 watercolours.
1 comic album for colourization : 8 p. ms. and 2 folders.
- Language of material:
- Added language of material:
- French, English, Latin
- Scope and content:
The fonds includes documents produced or received by illustrator, caricaturist, cartoonist and teacher Albert Chartier during his personal and professional life in Montréal, New York and Saint-Jean-de-Matha between 1912 and 2004.
The fonds consists of 13 series of documents, works of art and photographs. It includes correspondence with cartoonists, members of Quebec's cultural community, Canadian and American publishers, as well as municipal, provincial and federal politicians.
It also contains over a thousand works of art reflecting various opportunities explored and undertaken by the artist:
works created while he was a student
original comic strip panels including Séraphin, Mr. Blob (English version of Bouboule), Traylor Family, Alisha and Uncle Toby (English version of Onésime)
wartime cartoons and illustrations
cartoons and illustrations for serialized fiction published in various magazines, including Le Samedi and Sais-tu?
cartoons created at Expo 67
magazine cover illustrations
publication materials for Can-Can magazine
technical drawings for a toy
The few photographs in the fonds offer brief glimpses into various facets of the artist's professional and personal life.
The videocassette has a recording of a banquet in 2002 when Albert Chartier received the Communicateur agricole award.
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Chartier, 1912-2004 : Albert Chartier was born in 1912 in Montréal, the son of Joseph Chartier, a travelling salesman, and Rose Tessier. He had two sisters: Jeannette (born in 1917) and Yvette (born in 1922). He grew up in a bilingual family and put his language skills to good use: after studying at Collège du Mont Saint-Louis and the École des beaux-arts de Montréal, he attended the Barnes School in Montréal and took drafting courses by correspondence with the Meyer Both Institute of Chicago. He married artist Suzanne Martel in 1940. His commercial career began around 1930 at the McKay Studio in Montréal, where he created advertising posters for the nightclubs of the day. In the years that followed, he developed advertising artwork for the McKim and Vickers & Benson agencies, Dow's and Molson's breweries and Nugget's wax. As an illustrator, Chartier founded and produced Can-Can magazine (similar in style to The New Yorker) with his friend Marcel Tessier from 1935 to 1937; many cultural figures contributed, including Gratien Gélinas and Louis Francoeur. Between 1942 and 1963, he created covers and cartoons for weeklies like Le Samedi, La Revue Populaire, Le Petit Journal, the Montreal Star and Weekend Magazine. He also illustrated serialized fiction like Dollard des Ormeaux. Chartier's career as a cartoonist began in 1937; based on a script by journalist René Boivin, he created the Bouboule series published in the La Patrie newspaper until 1938. Around 1940, Chartier travelled to New York, where he drew for two comic book companies: Columbia Comic Corporation and Big Top Comic. He returned to Canada after the attack on Pearl Harbor and worked on comic strips and cartoons to entertain the troops for the Wartime Information Board in Ottawa. In 1943, the Bulletin des agriculteurs hired Chartier to illustrate the stories of Gabrielle Roy, as well as novels and news. Around November, he was offered the opportunity to create a comic strip. This was the start of the series that made him famous: Onésime. Centred on the type of rural community targeted by the magazine, the artist created a chronicle of country life that, at the same time, became a history of changes in mentality and society in Quebec. The comic strip grew into one of the most popular in Quebec's history, and Chartier kept it going for almost 60 years. Equally impressive, Chartier was offered the chance to visually adapt the novel Un homme et son péché by its author, Claude-Henri Grignon, around 1952. Published in the Bulletin des agriculteurs from 1954 to 1972, the comic strip, entitled Séraphin, l'Ours du Nord, was a major hit and ultimately influenced the television adaptation of Belles histoires des Pays d'en-Haut. Chartier also published comic strips for an Anglophone readership. In 1965, he created a historical, bilingual comic strip entitled Les Canadiens, published in 35 English-language newspapers to promote bilingualism. Similarly, the bilingual comic strip Suzette, featuring a mute character called Suzy that he created, appeared in the Toronto Telegram around 1966. The newspaper's closure a year later brought the strip to an early end; however, the mute character would reappear, with the name Kiki. Following the closure of several newspapers, including the Toronto Telegram and the Saturday Evening Post, Chartier moved to the Expo 67 site, where he produced nearly a thousand charcoal and pastel drawings of visitors. After Expo ended, the director of the École des arts et métiers commerciaux de Montréal hired him to teach fashion drawing and physiognomy. Chartier's work finally received wide recognition in the 1970s. In 1973, his panels were first exhibited in Europe at the international comic book festival in Angoulême, France. In 1977, he retired from teaching physiognomy and fashion drawing at the École des arts et métiers commerciaux after nearly 10 years, and his work was featured in a travelling exhibition of Quebec comic books in Albi and Toulouse in 1982. In 1985, his close friend Robert LaPalme paid tribute to him at the International Humour Pavilion at Man and His World. In 1990, the Montréal Comic Arts Festival created two awards in his honour: the Albert Chartier award recognizes contributions to the advancement of the comic arts in Quebec, and the Onésime award honours a work or person contributing to the advancement of comics in Quebec. In 1999, Chartier received an honorary doctorate from the Université du Québec à Hull in recognition of his artistic and cultural work. Finally, in 2004, the year of his death, the Festival de la BD francophone de Québec created the Albert Chartier award honouring a person or organization of lasting impact on Francophone comics in Quebec.
- Additional information:
- Note on the state of conservation:
- The fonds contains certain items soiled or damaged by a fire at the artist's residence.
- Restrictions on access note:
- Due to their fragile condition, certain works of art must be viewed in the presence of an art archivist.
Ordering and Viewing Options
- Conditions of access:
Researchers are allowed to reproduce documents strictly for research purposes. The copyright on material created by Albert Chartier belongs to the artist's Estate.
Source credit: Albert Chartier fonds, Library and Archives Canada.
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