An Artist’s Childhood Home
The Massey House was home to renowned artist and Benedictine monk,
Father Dunstan (William) Massey.
Mount Pleasant has been a home to Vancouver artists for a century.
Father Dunstan Massey, born in 1924 as William Harold Massey, spent most of his childhood years living at his grandmother’s home at 554 East 10th Avenue, several blocks East of Main Street – part of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood outside of Downtown, historic Mount Pleasant.
Recognized as a naturally gifted, multi-faceted artist at a young age, William attended the Vancouver School of Art at 15, and went on to have a well-received exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery only a year later. In adulthood, he brought his passion for the arts to the church, becoming a Benedictine Monk.
Father Massey has devoted his life and talent to works that can be found throughout Westminster Abbey in Mission, BC. Through his paintings, sculptures, statues, and life-sized bronze installation, he has left a significant mark that will be appreciated for decades to come. “An artist doesn’t very often get a chance to do the whole ornamentation of a church. That’s a rare thing. It’s a privilege to be able to do that.” (Father Dunstan Massey, The B.C. Catholic – 2017)
A widely-renowned artist, Massey was featured in the 2006 documentary, “In the Footsteps of Michelangelo“, and was the subject of Daphe Sleigh’s 2013 book titled, “The Artist in the Cloister: The Life and Works of Father Dunstan Massey” where he remembered with loving nostalgia his childhood at the Mount Pleasant home on East 10th Avenue.
More about Father Dunstan Massey can be found at:
- Looking Back: Life and works of Father Dunstan (Maple Ridge News)
- PHOTOS: Father Dunstan Massey has laboured for fifty years on his art in the relative obscurity of the Benedictine Community at Westminster Abbey in Mission. (The Vancouver Sun)
- Westminster Abbey – Other Work: The Labour of our Hands
- The Dunstan Mural (Issuu)