Fonds Marcel Parizeau
The Marcel Parizeau Archive contains 179 drawings and reproductions, 6 sketchbooks, 13 artworks, 18 photographs, 1 notebook and 0.06 linear metres of textual documents. The outside dates of the material ranges from 1917 to 1955, with the bulk of the documents situated between the years ca. 1923-1944. The inventory is arranged into two series.
Series I consists of sketches, drawings and paintings, mostly created by Parizeau. From the period he spent in Europe (1923-1933), there are 11 student drawings in the standard presentation format of the École des Beaux-arts de Paris, a volume of course notes, as well as unidentified drawings, sketchbooks and paintings of primarily buildings and landscapes executed in Paris and during his travels in France. Drawings relating to Parizeau's architectural career in Montreal are represented in a number of independant projects, including a small chapel beside the St. Lawrence River, a pair of two-storey cabin-cottages outside of Montreal, and several residences in the city. The documents are mostly original preliminary studies with some reproductions of working drawings. It should be noted that there are also photographs of exterior details of the Laroque Residence and the Jarry Residence in documents CO2 in Series II. Reproductions of designs for worker housing by French architect Eugène Beaudoin in 1938 perhaps give a clue to Parizeau's relatively early employment of modernist forms. A residence in Baie D'Urfé is unlikely to be connected to Parizeau because its date, ca. 1955, is a decade after his death.
Parizeau's concern with furniture and interior design is represented in the Archive with many lively perspective sketches in colour, and elevation and plan studies of several kinds of rooms and types of furniture. Some preliminary drawings for interiors were grouped with the Gillow house in Ville Mont-Royal, and the Walter Downs Residence in Montreal.
The artworks by Parizeau consist of paintings and drawings of landscapes, buildings, still lifes and figure studies on loose sheets and in bound sketchbooks. These works are executed in a variety of media, including pencil, coloured pencil, watercolour on paper, and oil paint on masonite panels. Studies of buildings in Brittany and Paris are the subjects in three small sketchbooks, while larger spiral-bound drawing books contain some architectural plans, elevations and details. Most of these artworks and sketches were likely created in Europe before 1933.
Series II consists of textual material related to Marcel Parizeau. These documents include typed and hand-written manuscripts for public talks and published articles, and correspondence to collegues dating from the late 1930s, and letters to Parizeau from John Bland, the director of McGill University's School of Architecture, dating from 1944-45.
Marcel Parizeau was born in Montreal on May 6th, 1898. In December 1909 he was accepted into Collège Sainte-Marie, a secondary school run by the Jesuit order on Dorchester St., Montreal. Parizeau went on to study at the École d'architecture at the École Polytechnique de Montréal, from which he graduated with a diploma in 1922.
In 1923 Parizeau entered the École des Beaux-arts de Paris, and he remained to live and study in France for ten years with the help of his family and scholarships from the French government and the Province of Québec. During this period Parizeau sketched and painted on trips through France, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium.
He returned to Montreal in 1933 to open an office with Antoine Monette (1899-1974), who had also trained at the École des Beaux-arts de Paris. Projects by the firm of Monette & Parizeau include a collaboration with French architect Eugène Beaudoin (1898-1983) on the design of the art-deco French embassy in Ottawa in 1936, and soon afterwards the reconstruction of the Craig St. Armory in Montreal. Parizeau also designed numerous smaller projects such as furniture and interiors, country cottages, and a number of notable residences for friends in Montreal and Outremont. These include semi-detached twin residences for the brothers Marc and Maurice Jarry (1935-1936), and for the brothers Jean and Paul Leman (1936), and the Paul Larocque house (1936), also known as the J. B. Beaudry Leman house. The buildings feature clear, simple volumes, ribbon windows and industrial detailing like pipe railings and glass brick, which make them remarkable as early examples of International Style modernism in Montreal.
In 1936 Parizeau began teaching theory and interior design at the École du meuble de Montréal, and became professor de l'histoire d'architecture à l'Université de Montréal in 1945. During this time he published numerous articles on architecture, urbanism, design and the fine arts. In 1943 Parizeau was appointed architecte-conseil of the Service d'urbanisme de Montréal, and he became an associate member Royal Canadian Academy in 1944. Parizeau died in Montreal in 1945.
Le fonds a été donné au Centre canadien d'architecture à l'occasion de deux livraisons, l'une en 1997 et l'autre en 2004 par l'architecte Guy Gérin-Lajoie, neveu de Marcel Parizeau, qui les conservait jusqu'à ce moment comme des archives de famille.
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