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November Lecture

"Lifting the Layers, Recovering the Leduc Murals" Presented by Michelle Gallinger.


7pm Thursday, November 26, 2019 Burke Theatre A

Saint Mary's University


This is a journey which begins in 1874 and is still unfolding in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and begins with the completion of the Romanesque style Cathedral called St. Ninian.

Inside this limestone building can be found one of Ozias Leduc’s earlier masterpieces of interior church decoration. St Ninian’s is the only church in Canada, outside the province of Quebec, that he painted, and the only one that has not been restored.

Between 1902 -1903 Ozais Leduc and his assistants painted most of the available surfaces and architectural elements inside with Christian imagery, icons, trompe l’oeil and faux finishes. Ozias Leduc has long been recognized as the premier historic church painter in Quebec. His paintings hang in the National Gallery, and he has been acknowledged with a Commemorative stamp. He also completed over thirty church and chapel interiors. Despite all this recognition, it wasn’t until January 2018 that he was finally designated as a person of National Significance to Canada.

In the 100 + years since Leduc completed the St Ninian murals, significant interior changes have occurred that have completely altered his original design. Numerous questionable refurbishings and many unfortunate events have turned what was once one of Leduc’s seminal works to be almost completely covered over, with the remaining portions of his paintings heavily altered. It is now a race against time to recover and reinstate elements of his decorative theme from 1903.


Michelle Gallinger has been active in the field of Fine Art Conservation for more than 25 years. Following a BA and BFA, Michelle received her MAC in Art Conservation from Queens University. In 2006 she was accredited by the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators. In addition to general conservation work, Michelle has taught several workshops and appeared in a Heritage Trust video on the conservation of painted rooms. She has worked on both indoor and outdoor art and has assisted in the development of detailed long term preservation plans for art in public spaces.

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