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Orson Wheeler (1902-1990)

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medium_wheeler.jpgBorn in the village of Way's Mills in 1902, Orson Wheeler was a professor in the fine arts department at Concordia University in Montreal for much of his professional career. A sculptor by training, he is perhaps best known for his bronze busts of noted Canadians. Wheeler was also a talented designer, however, and produced some 200 architectural models. Many of these are owned by the McGill School of Architecture.

During his lifetime, Orson Wheeler's work was exhibited at venues around the world, including London's famous Tate Gallery, the New York World's Fair in 1939, and the Brussels World's Fair in 1958. His bronzes may be found in collections at Concordia University, Bishop's University (Lennoxville), the National Gallery (Ottawa), and the Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa), among others.

One of Wheeler's best known pieces is the magnificent bronze relief map that he produced of the Eastern Townships for the Pioneer Monument on Dufferin Heights. Many of the Wheeler's plaster casts, including one of actor Christopher Plummer as a young boy, as well as the artist's own personal archives, are in the collection of the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead.