Nov 18 2021 - Nov 18 2021

Jeanne mance (1606-1673): from France to New France

2017 – December 31, 2019

The exhibition

The exhibition examines the life and work of Jeanne Mance, founder of the Hôtel-Dieu and co-founder of Montreal. It follows her path from regional France, where she was born in 1606, to Paris, where she mustered the support necessary to set sail for Ville-Marie and establish the settlement’s first hospital, the Hôtel-Dieu.
Highlighting the major role Jeanne Mance played in the colony’s survival, which earned her status as a figure of national historical importance, the exhibition also explores the latest research on this remarkable woman.
The Mance House (Annabel Loyola, 2016)
Identified in 2013 by researcher Geoffrey Duvoy and photographed in 2016 by filmmaker Annabel Loyola, the house where Jeanne Mance was born is located in a northern district of the French town of Langres, in the Champagne region. It was there that she spent the first half of her life, ministering to the sick and wounded who abounded in that time of war, plague and famine.
Dutch fluyt (model, 2017, Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal Collection)
On May 9, 1641, Jeanne Mance and Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve embarked for New France. The difficult voyage lasted about three months. Altogether, Jeanne Mance would cross the Atlantic seven times, for she returned to France on several occasions to ensure the survival of Ville-Marie and its Hôtel-Dieu.
Monument to Jeanne Mance (Louis-Philippe Hébert, 1909, Gilbert Langlois)
An administrator and nurse, Jeanne Mance was one of Montreal’s most admired figures. Her role in the foundation and survival of the city was recognized by all its inhabitants. A pillar of the new community,  she was godmother to no fewer than seventy-three of its children. In 1672 she was invited to lay one of the foundation stones of the new Church of Notre-Dame.

Credits and curatorship

A Musée des Hospitalières exhibition curated by Sylvie Dufresne and Raymond Montpetit.

To learn more

  • Nov 18 2021 - Nov 18 2021

  • Paul Labonne