Robert LaPalme

Robert LaPalme, political cartoonist (b at Montréal 14 April 1908; d at Montréal 19 June 1997). Considered the Picasso of Canadian editorial cartoonists, LaPalme worked for every leading French-language newspaper in Québec, and for 25 years organized a prestigious international caricature and cartoon exhibition in Montréal. LaPalme was raised in Alberta, but returned to Québec at the end of World War I where he worked as a crucifix maker, a florist and as an usher before he started doodling with a set of draughtsman's instruments. He created cubist caricatures of several politicians that L'Almanach de la langue française published in 1933.

LaPalme's first job as an illustrator was with the political daily L'Ordre. He left for two years to study art in New York, exhibited at the MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS DE MONTRÉAL, and at galleries in Paris, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Toronto. During World War II he worked for L'Événement Journal, L'Action catholique and La Patrie. In 1950 he joined Le Devoir as editorial cartoonist. It was there he made his reputation as a ground-breaking cartoonist. He used his pen to conduct vitriolic attacks on Québec premier Maurice Duplessis, and for his efforts won a National Newspaper Award in 1952.

LaPalme joined La Presse in 1959 but soon moved to Le Nouveau journal. When it folded in 1962 he was appointed founding director of the annual International Salon of Cartoon and Caricature , the largest competition for professional editorial cartoonists of its kind in the world. It was held in Montréal annually from 1963 to 1988. Three murals LaPalme painted for the EXPO 67 World's Fair now hang in Montréal metro stations. In 1972 LaPalme was made a member of the ORDER OF CANADA for his contribution to Canadian art.

See also CARTOONS, POLITICAL.