Fireside Chat with Chic Scott and Patricia Cucman

Fireside Chat with Chic Scott and Patricia Cucman

27 Apr
  • [PAST] April 27th, 2024
  • 7-9pm
  • 111 Bear St. Banff
  • Talk

In June, 2024, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies released the book “To See What He Saw, J.E.H. MacDonald and the O’Hara years, 1924 to 1932” to accompany the show "J.E.H. MacDonald: The O'Hara Era". The book, written by retired geologists Stan Munn and Patty Cucman, is the culmination of almost 20 years of searching for and documenting MacDonald’s paint sites at Lake O’Hara. On Thursday, June 27, Patty will sit down with Chic Scott and tell the story of how the book came about.

It all began inauspiciously in 2003—an innocent flirtation on a warm July evening. Art historian, Lisa Christiansen, was in Le Relais at Lake O’Hara, talking about her hiking guide to the art of J.E.H. MacDonald at O’Hara. During the talk, someone said that exact painting locations could never be found. Stan and Patty believed this to be true but resolved to at least find the location of the famous Opabin “Shalesplitters” photo. And so it began.

Finally in 2006 the photo location was found—thanks to the geology. It was easy to see that it was also a painting location and that the interpretation was incredibly literal. That week, the pair found several paint sites and sat upon the very rocks that MacDonald had sat upon to paint. This opened their eyes to a whole new O’Hara world at their boot tips. The flirtation soon became much more serious.

Winters were spent hunting for painting images and reading diaries and letters. During O’Hara trips, images printed on card stock dictated hiking destinations. Artefacts and paint on rocks were found and almost 200 paint sites were photographed. The flirtation had blossomed into a true romance.

The pair chose not to tell this personal story of exploration and discovery in their book, “To See What He Saw”, but in this Fireside Chat we will get to share their adventure. As Patty says, “It has been so much work but also so much just plain fun—as true love often is.”

So join Patty in conversation with Chic Scott at the Whyte Museum and discover a true story of love and art.

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