(Postponed) Kent Monkman: The Making of a Masterpiece

When and Where

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Koerner Hall
The Royal Conservatory of Music
273 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W2


Kent Monkman


Due to the current public health situation, Kent Monkman: The Making of a Masterpiece has been postponed from Tuesday, March 31st to a new date, TBA. All tickets purchased for the original March 31st event will be honoured for this new date. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled show date, refunds will be processed. The Art Canada Institute apologizes for any inconvenience this postponement may cause. 

In this talk, Canada’s internationally renowned painter Kent Monkman will reveal how he was commissioned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to create two historic paintings for the exhibition entitled mistikôsiwak (which is the Cree term for French or European settlers, translating directly into English as “wooden boat people”). The diptych will remain on view at the Great Hall of The Met in New York City until April 2020, where it will be viewed by millions of international audience members at one of the world’s most respected museum venues. The prolific Cree artist, known for his ambitious and incisive works, such as the national touring exhibit, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, will reveal the background of the exhibition that international press has heralded as “stupendous,” “sure to alarm and educate,” and “at once respectful of art history and cheekily subversive.”

Monkman will show how, using the techniques of a modern atelier, he and his studio created two monumental paintings that address North America’s legacy of colonialism while referencing and critiquing Western art history. Coinciding with the launch of the Art Canada Institute's publication Revision and Resistance: mistikôsiwak at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (March 31, 2020), the talk will tell the behind-the-scenes story of his invitation from The Met.

Monkman will discuss the diptych’s portrayal of North American history through an Indigenous lens, showing the arrival of newcomers alongside an uncertain future of global displacement. He will also reveal how the composition engages with The Met’s collection of North American Indigenous, American, and European art, including challenging such works as the iconic 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware by German-American artist Emanuel Leutze. Monkman references dozens or works in The Met’s collection to revisit the history of European first contact and the future of Indigenous resilience, exploring alternate histories and futures with the help of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, Monkman’s shape-shifting, time-travelling, gender-fluid alter ego who embodies the fluidity and openness of Indigenous views on sexuality and gender.

Tickets Now On Sale

A limited number of complimentary tickets are available to students on a first come, first served basis. Please email events@aci-iac.ca for more information.

Contact Information


Art Canada Institute, BMO, The Donald R. Sobey Foundation, (Gold Sponsor) McCarthy Tetrault, (Education Sponsor) Partners in Art, (Media Sponsor) The Globe and Mail