Canadian Heritage

Historical Vignettes

The Sculptors: Three-dimensional Masterminds

P.C. Laporte: Surgeon, Artist and Mentor

Towards the end of the 1890's, Laporte, then adolescent, became apprentice for one of Montreal's carpenter and developed friendships with some of the Monument National's famous performing artists. Afterwards, he came to Madawaska County, more specifically in Edmundston, to practice medicine. Great enthusiast of the arts and culture, he soon transforms his basement into a woodcarving school, where he welcomes his first students, without asking for a dime.1

Paul Carmel Laporte (...) is an idealist whose medical practice convinces people of the psychological benefits of the (manual) arts, during the era of neurosis. He compares woodcarving to piano courses for its technical requirements. The concrete version of what imagination conceives "must induce an emotion deep within the soul" of the spectator; however, "the ability to create is not equally given to everyone." Sketching goes before everything and all inspiration comes from Nature.2