National Public Radio‘s Emma Jacobs recently interviewed Manuel Mathieu for the show All Things Considered. The interview spotlighted an extraordinary partnership Mathieu has entered into with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The MMFA purchased a painting by Mathieu in the months leading up to his solo exhibition at the museum, but when Mathieu realized it was the first painting by a Haitian-born artist ever to enter the museum’s permanent collection, he was shocked. In an effort to correct this situation, he decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of the painting back to the museum to start a fund for the acquisition of other works by under-represented artists. Mathieu named it the Marie-Solange Apollon Fund, after his grandmother.
To his surprise and delight, other philanthropists, including Geneviève Clermont, Michael St. B. Harrison, Lilian Mauer, Manuel Mathieu and Michael D. Penner, were inspired by his generosity and started donating to the fund.
“There’s something that happened that I wasn’t expecting,” Mathieu says. “The switch in the psyche of people that an artist can do something like that. … I saw it in people’s eyes, not in their words.”
Listen to the full story below.