Thursday, July 30, 2015

MMFA Director Natalie Bondil, Order of Canada

Member of the Order of Canada

It was announced earlier this month that Natalie Bondil, the highly respected Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, has received a very prestigious honour for her excellent and monumental work in promoting and benefiting the MMFA, the Montreal's prominent and well liked museum. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her contribution to the promotion of the arts and culture as a museologist and the museum's administrator. With great energy and many talents, she brought the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to a new level with many innovations, excellent international contacts and exhibitions, also enlarging and enhancing the museum with new pavilions and new concepts.

Additionally, on May 29, 2015, Natalie Bondil was awarded another honour: she received an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development of the MMFA, the promotion of culture and popular education, and for consolidating the links between the museum and the Université de Montréal.

The official photo of Madame Bonvil just above is very symbolic, with layers of meaning. First of all, she is shown not in the Museum's public area but in the inner space, the "innards" of the institution where her work takes place. On the left, in the background, is the painting by a French painter James Tissot October, 1877. It portrays a beautiful and elegant French woman, symbolic of Natalie Bondil's roots, who is a native of France. On the photo's right are two paintings by a Canadian painter Michael Snow from the series Walking Women, 1963. Canada is the county where Madame Bondil took her most prominent steps. This photo clearly illustrates that Natalie Bondil successfully unites the classical European heritage with modern North American trends, on the bases of which she builds museum's strong and prominent international presence. She further enhances the museum with worldwide art treasures and many international exhibitions and projects. 

I took the two photos below on November 2, 2011. Madame Bondil is on a podium during a press conference. You can read about this event and the MMFA exhibitions at that time here. As I have noted then, there is an uncanny postural likeness as well as facial and body expression in both women, the one in the painting and the real one. To some extent, there is also a similarity as to their dress and shoes, though Madame Bondil's style is very contemporary.

Find more about the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts by visiting the MMFA website.

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