Monument à Jackie Robinson
Presentation of the artworkThis artwork commemorates the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the first black player in professional baseball. It is composed of three bronze statues – of a man and two small boys – installed on a concrete base. It portrays Robinson giving a ball to one of the boys. The composition of the statuary group plays on two registers: that of the admiration for Robinson and that of his human qualities.
Robinson was always a great civil rights activist, and this theme is highlighted by the presence of two children, one white and the other black, who are both admiringly trying to catch the attention of their hero. The three figures in the group are placed on a basis of equality. Furthermore, the scale and the familiar scene make the figures easily accessible to viewers.
Associated eventsJack Roosevelt Robinson was born in 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, United States, into a family of few means. His physical talents and academic successes enabled him to obtain a scholarship to the University of California, where he quickly became a star athlete. On 24 October 1945, he signed a contract with the Montréal Royals baseball team, thus becoming the first African American to play in the major leagues. It took only a few weeks for Robinson to stand out as the club’s best player, and Montréalers quickly made him into a star. When the Royal won the championship and the Little World Series, in September 1946 at the De Lorimier Stadium, his fans triumphantly carried him on their shoulders through the streets of Montréal. Robinson’s courage and determination inspired other African Americans to follow his example. Throughout this life, he was a civil rights activist. He died in 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut.
Sculptor and modeller Jules Lasalle lives and works in Montréal, where he directs the studio Attitude enr. In 1979, he completed a bachelor’s degree in visual arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal. From 1981 to 1983, he undertook a number of sculpture internships in Paris at establishments such as the École nationale supérieure des arts appliqués, Les Ateliers Hervé Cappelli, and the Ministère de la Culture. He has produced a number of other works of public art in Montréal, including Hommage à Marguerite Bourgeoys (1988), on Rue Notre-Dame East, and Monument à Maurice Richard (1997), at the entrance to the eponymous arena.