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Memorable Manitobans: Pauline LeGoff Boutal (1894-1992)

Artist, theatrical designer.

Born at Brest, France in 1894, she immigrated to Manitoba with her family in 1907, living for two years at St. Laurent before moving to Winnipeg. Her family members were active workers in stained glass, and she learned to draw in childhood. In 1918 she joined Brigden’s as a fashion artist, and she remained there until 1941, in charge of designs for the Eaton’s catalogue. In those days, she later recalled, “all the clothes and other items for sale in the catalogue were drawn by artists.” She was also a prominent painter.

In 1916, she married Arthur Boutal (1887-1941). They joined Le Cercle Molière in 1925 and soon became responsible for most of the design work of the group. After her husband’s death, she resigned from Brigden’s and became the group’s artistic director, serving until 1968. She was later awarded a Golden Boy Award (1963), Manitoba Centennial Medal from the Manitoba Historical Society (1970), induction to the Order of Canada (1973), an honorary degree by the University of Manitoba (1978), and an Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977).

She died at Winnipeg on 30 April 1992 and was buried in the St. Boniface Cemetery.


Death registration [Arthur Boutal], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“12 Manitobans receive awards for service to province,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 May 1962, page 19.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 May 1992, page 49.

“Boutal was ‘the soul of Le Cercle Moliere’,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 May 1992, page 31.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 January 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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