Fonds Normand Thériault


Title: Fonds Normand Thériault

Dates: 1956 – 1989

Quantity: 1.96 m of textual documents and other documents


Born on August 12, 1944 in Montreal, Joseph Normand Edgar Thériault is the son of Edgar Thériault and Alice Bergeron. He was educated at the Collège des Franciscains, Exernat classique de Longueuil between 1957 and 1963, and between 1964 and 1965. From 1963 to 1964, he studied at the Séminaire de Valleyfield. He pursued his undergraduate studies at Université de Montréal, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1965, and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History in 1968.

Normand Thériault is an important figure in the Quebec cultural scene. His career enables us to follow important transformations in contemporary, artistic culture in Quebec. A number of the exhibitions that he was responsible for in Quebec have special historical significance. These include, for example, Les moins de 35 in 1973, The Artists’ Jazz Band à Montréal and Québec 75 in 1975, 03 23 03 and Tendances actuelles in 1977, 6 Propositions and Dix mètres cube in 1979, Hier et après in 1980, Claude Tousignant: Sculptures in 1982, Aurora Borealis in 1985 and Serge Lemoyne in 1988.

Between 1968 and 1971, Normand Thériault was the art critic of La Presse newspaper. In the summer of 1971, he and Rose-Marie Arbour created the Groupe de recherche en administration de l’art (GRAA), a group attached to the Art History department of the Université du Québec à Montréal. He coordinated this group, whose purpose was to help students familiarize themselves with the field of art, its history, its politics and its social structures so that they could play an active role as versatile specialists. The publications of Médiart were central to the activities of the GRAA. The publication of books and periodicals (Médiart and Tilt) addressed various creative media in Quebec. Médiart was also at the heart of a number of exhibitions, including Québec Underground and Canada Trajectories 73 in 1973. In 1972, Médiart obtained its letters patent, and after the activities of the GRAA came to an end in 1973, Normand Thériault founded the Institut d’art contemporain de Montréal, a subsidiary of Médiart. Between 1972 and 1984, he was the President and Director General of Médiart.

From 1972 to 1988, Normand Thériault was an independent curator. He was also the Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art and Contemporary Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts between 1978 and 1981. Between 1984 and 1985, he was the Co-Director and responsible for public activities at Galerie Aubes 3935.

Normand Thériault sat on several committees and juries. At the Canada Council for the Arts, he was a permanent jury member for short-term grants (1969-1970), a jury member for B grants (1973-1975), a member of the advisory committee (1975-1978), a member of the jury for the Art Bank (1980) and a member of a jury that supported video and cinema production centres (1985). He was a member of a working group for a museology training program at the Canadian Museums Association (1972-1973). From 1974 to 1977, he sat on the permanent advisory committee for the purchase of art works for government buildings, put in place by the Canadian Department of Public Works. He was also a jury member for grants for independent work for the ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec (1972). He was an active member of the International Association of Art Critics (1969-1972) and a member of the international congress for the association in 1969-1970. From 1978 to 1980, he was a member of the Board of the Cinémathèque québécoise.

In addition to his involvement in various organizations, Normand Thériault participated in numerous projects as a specialist from the art field, such as the documentaries Bobo-Z-Arts, directed by Charles Binamé in 1971, as well as La fougère et la rouille ou Collage 2 and Blanc de mémoire, directed by Jacques Giraldeau in 1974 and 1995.

Normand Thériault has also taken part in editing many government documents, notably on the integration of the arts and of architecture in the environment for the Ministère des Affaires culturelles (1992) and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec (1993). He collaborated on the Étude sur les arts visuels prepared by the Groupe-conseil en arts visuels (1995). Since 1996, Normand Thériault has been responsible for the cultural information and special reports of the daily Le Devoir.


The fonds reflects the activities of Normand Thériault as art critic, exhibition curator and curator of contemporary art.

The fonds contains personal documents, including numerology charts and correspondence; course notes and academic work, curriculum vitae, texts and press clippings, interview transcripts, documents related to the Québec 75 exhibition; documents related to the Groupe de recherche en administration de l’art (GRAA), to Médiart and the Institut d’art contemporain de Montréal, including letters patent, minutes of meetings, grant submissions, financial statements, accounting records, questionnaires, and research reports. The fonds also consists of contracts, professional correspondence, photographic documents, drawings and collages, plans, moving images, audio documents and objects.


Source of the title: The title is based on the contents of the fonds.

Collation: The fonds also contains 598 slides, 25 photographs, 21 posters, 2 drawings, 2 collages, 11 plans, 2 videos, 65 audio documents and 3 objects.

Source of the acquisition: Normand Thériault offered the documents in the fonds to Artexte at the end of the 1980s.

Organization: The fonds was not arranged in any specific order at the time of its acquisition. The organization follows the activities of the fonds’ creator.

Language of the documents: The documents are by and large in French and English, although there are some documents in Italian and German.

Restrictions: Certain files contain nominative information (addresses, telephone numbers, etc.) and financial information. These documents and personal correspondence will not be accessible to researchers before 2030. Researchers will be unable to access certain audio or audio-visual documents until they have been migrated to more stable formats.

Finding aids: The fonds Normand Thériault file contains an interview (in French) with Rose-Marie Arbour that took place with the archivists Denis Lessard and Catherine Fournier on November 17, 2011 in relation to the fonds’ treatment, including the context around the creation of the Groupe de recherche en administration de l’art, the GRAA (1971-1973), and on the creation of Médiart. The file also includes a selective bibliography of publications by Normand Thériault, a bibliography of press clippings contained in the fonds, a list of exhibitions organized by Normand Thériault and a list of publications by Médiart.

Related documents: The Library and documentation centre of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, in Quebec City, holds a press file on Normand Thériault.

General note: Publications from the fonds Normand Thériault have been integrated into Artexte’s documentation centre collection. They are identified with a stamp with the inscription “Don de Normand Thériault.”

Treatment: The fonds was treated in 2011 by Denis Lessard (Archivist) and museology intern Catherine Fournier (UQÀM) with Artexte, and with financial assistance from the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.


The fonds Normand Thériault may be consulted upon appointment, onsite during Artexte’s regular opening hours and following the organization’s Access Policy for its archives.


Preferred citation: Fonds Normand Thériault. Collection Artexte © Normand Thériault


2, rue Ste-Catherine Est, suite 301
Montreal (Quebec) Canada
H2X 1K4

T : 514.874.0049
E: ac.et1490646590xetra1490646590@noit1490646590cello1490646590c.ofn1490646590i1490646590

Open to the public
Wednesday to Friday:
from 12 to 7 PM
Saturday : 12 to 5 PM


2 Sainte-Catherine East
room 301
info @