Rolling the Macadam Road by Moma Markovich, 101241

Footpaths to Freeways: The Artistry of Moma Markovich



Did you know that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) turned 100 in 2016? Footpaths to Freeways: The Artistry of Moma Markovich, an exhibition prepared by the Archives of Ontario in partnership with MTO, celebrated the ministry’s anniversary by showcasing the artwork of artist and former MTO employee Moma Markovich (1902-1977).

Moma Markovich standing next to his painting Dirt Road
Click to see a larger image

Moma Markovich standing next to his painting Dirt Road [The Common Way], 1966, oil on canvas
Government of Ontario Art Collection,
Archives of Ontario: 101203

The exhibition included oil paintings, watercolours and ink and wash scenes that Markovich created over a period of 15 years while working at MTO. These vibrant scenes depict the historical development and construction of well-known Ontario roads and bridges as well as activities of the ministry such as surveying and snow removal.

Over 100 of these original artworks, which have hung in MTO offices for more than half a century, have been revived through their recent transfer to the Government of Ontario Art Collection at the Archives of Ontario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Through this transfer to the Art Collection, the paintings have been inspected, cleaned, conserved, reframed and digitized so they can be preserved and displayed for the enjoyment of the public and future generations. The Archives of Ontario, located on the Keele campus of York University, holds the Government of Ontario Art Collection in public trust and has a responsibility to preserve the Collection. The Art Collection is currently comprised of over 2,700 original works that include paintings, murals, drawings, sculpture, antiques and decorative objects which are on display in over 75 government buildings across the province.

About Moma Markovich

Moma Markovich was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1902. He graduated from École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

He had an active career as artist, designing postage stamps for the Yugoslavian government, illustrating textbooks for school children and working as a freelance cartoonist.

During the Second World War, after escaping from a Nazi labour camp in Austria, Markovich made his way to Italy where he continued painting and remained until after the war ended. He came to Canada in 1951.

Four years later, Markovich was hired by the Ministry of Transportation – then the Department of Highways – as a junior draftsman. He eventually moved to the Art Section where he painted artistic renderings of transportation infrastructure across Ontario.

Markovich spent hours researching his works, ensuring accurate historical detail. He created almost 200 artworks while working at the Ministry of Transportation, and after retiring from the ministry in 1970, he created a series of 55 artworks for the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Moma died in 1977, at the age of 75.

You can explore digital reproductions of Markovich’s artworks in the Art Collection database.
Find out more about how MTO marked their 100th year on the MTO website.

Art Work
Click to see a larger image

Painting Title: 'Modern Intersection (The Multiplex)'
Artist: Moma Markovich
Accession Number: 101226

Art Work
Click to see a larger image

Painting Title: 'The Settlers Road'
Artist: Moma Markovich
Accession Number: 101258

Art Work
Click to see a larger image

Painting Title: 'Snow Removal'
Artist: Moma Markovich
Accession Number: 101247

Art Work
Click to see a larger image

Painting Title: 'Shooting the Rapids II'
Artist: Moma Markovich
Accession Number: 101245

Art Work
Click to see a larger image

Painting Title: 'Prince Edward Bridge (Bay of Quinte, Belleville)'
Artist: Moma Markovich
Accession Number: 101237

Art Work
Click to see a larger image

Painting Title: 'Plank Road II (The Smooth Roadway)'
Artist: Moma Markovich
Accession Number: 101236

Art Work
Click to see a larger image

Painting Title: 'Paving Highway 11 Near Harty Cochrane District'
Artist: Moma Markovich
Accession Number: 101234

Art Work
Click to see a larger image

Painting Title: 'Nipigon Junction of Hwy 17 & Hwy 11'
Artist: Moma Markovich
Accession Number: 101227

Share this Page
Share it on Twitter Share it on Facebook Share it on Google Plus Share it on Pinterest Share it on Tumblr