Christopher and Genevieve share a great emotional connection and appreciation for the aesthetic qualities inherent in these diverse cultural works. Both inquisitive and enthusiastic in nature, they have many varied interests from music and literature to art and science.
Genevieve and Christopher’s paths literally collided - accidentally! Genevieve backed into Christopher’s car in a parking lot - it was fate bringing them together! The Yoruba people of Nigeria have a wonderful saying, “One and one have the power of three” which aptly describes their union.
Genevieve, born and raised in France moved to Canada at the age of 20 to complete her Masters and Ph.D degrees in Experimental Biology and Biophysics. While teaching Biological Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal, she was awarded a grant for professional artists from the Canadian government in recognition of her sculpture and jewelry work. A year later she was exhibiting in Montreal, Quebec, New York and Paris while her pieces were on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Toronto. She further went on to become a Doctor of Osteopathy and worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Virginia. Despite a heavy schedule, she kept her love for the arts alive, embarking on a new journey - painting - that has since become, along with sculpture, one of her main passions.
Christopher was born in Montreal in 1935, the grandson of financier and philanthropist J.W. McConnell. Christopher pursued a career in engineering, establishing Aero-Hydraulics Corporation in 1961, pioneering innovations in water purification including a contract for Montreal’s 1967 Expo. At the same time, Christopher began his life-long involvement in the arts. He was associated with early efforts to promote French-Canadian culture at Chambly Village and, with his brothers, restored the Gray Nuns’ Youville complex in Old Montreal. In the 1970s, Christopher began to visit India and became an active student and practitioner of Indian music. A life-long master wood craftsman, Christopher began to make musical instruments, mostly violins, in the early 2000’s. Collecting has been a natural outgrowth of his travel and interest in art and culture in the many parts of the world he visited.
They now enjoy reading, gardening, traveling and healthy cooking in sunny California where they reside.
We are most grateful they have entrusted us with their collection but even more so for the friendship that it has created.
Ian and Julie Allen