How Did That Painting Get There? Luba Genush’s Mural at the Neuro

-Written by Davin Luce, Curatorial Intern, Visual Arts Collection

When visiting an art museum, we are encouraged to enjoy artworks and the curated spaces they inhabit. How often, though, do we consider all of the work necessary to create these spaces? McGill’s Visual Arts Collection has art in nearly 100 buildings on campus. We work on several installations, de-installations, and moves every week. Recently, a large-scale, three-panel mural in the Collection and on display at the Montreal Neurological Institute (Neuro) –The World of Neurology by Canadian artist Luba Genush (b. 1924) –was removed, cleaned, and re-installed by the Visual Arts Collection in collaboration with Legris Conservation Inc.

Genush’s The World of Neurology was first unveiled at a vernissage held on Penfield Day (January 26) in 1983. The imagery is derived from several medical texts and research reports undertaken at the Neuro, demonstrating Genush’s ability to understand complex medical jargon and also illustrate it in a meaningful way. The mural is one of three with medical subject matter on McGill’s downtown campus, all of which are by female artists. Mary Filer’s The Advance of Neurology (1954), also at the Neuro, and Marian Dale Scott’s Endocrinology (1941-1943), in the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building, can be viewed on request, by contacting the Visual Arts Collection.

Thanks to the work of the art conservators at Legris, Genush’s mural is now once again on exhibit at the Neuro, where it invigorates the space, uniting the serene Healing Garden and the modern Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre in the North Wing. The re-installation took place in July 2019 over a four-hour period during which scaffolding was erected and the artwork was rehung on custom mounting devices. You can watch a time-lapse of the re-installation below.

Do you have an artwork in your McGill office or building that needs to be moved? There’s a good chance the artwork is part of the University’s Visual Arts Collection! Get in touch with us anytime to request a move. We will do the rest!

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