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Reflections on a transformative year

December 24th, 2008

As we reflect on the close of 2008, there is really only one sentiment to express on the transformation of the Art Gallery of Ontario: together, the staff, volunteers, donors, members and friends of the AGO did something special. It will be a gift that lasts for a long time to come. Together we have truly realized this project for our visitors. As we went through planning and construction, it was the visitor that we did not yet know that we kept foremost in our minds … the young child, or the retired bus driver, who will come to the AGO and discover a whole new way to think about the world. That’s who we did this for, even as we created something that makes our city a better place. The year ahead will be filled with challenges. But challenging times make the idea of community all the more important, and that’s what I hope the new AGO will stand for – a magical place that brings the community together in celebration of art, creativity and imagination. Over the holidays I hope all will enjoy the special times with family, and have a little more fun than you planned. And visit the AGO, truly the home you have built, brick by brick, titanium sheet by titanium sheet!

Matthew Teitelbaum
Michael and Sonja Koerner director and CEO

Galleria Italia. Photo: AGO Photographer Sean Weaver © 2008 Art Gallery of Ontario.

  • Michele Wallace

    I wish to comment on your exhibition of Faith Ringgold’s mural “Die” (1967), which is being featured at your museum and which is featured in a post with picture on the contemporary 1960s art on the AGO site.

    I have written a short piece about “Die” as well as a notice concerning your exhibition of this painting on my blog at

    I am Faith’s daughter Michele Wallace and thrilled by your exhibition of this important painting.

    I’ve got a link to your page exhibiting the painting and your comment, which was somewhat disappointing in its lack of recognition of the true sequence of events leading up to the racial and cultural developments of the 60s in the United States. It’s true much mainstream art of the 60s was not political but it is also not true that African American art was predominantly not political. Almost all revolutionary politics of the 60s in the United States stemmed directly from the activism of the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s, i.e. Rosa Parks, the Emmett Till incident, Martin Luther King’s leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and Brown vs. the Board of Education Supreme Court Decision ending the legal segregation of the American schools.

    You can find my particular comment on Die at and lots more on art and politics on the site in general.

    Dr. Michele Wallace, Professor of English, Women’s Studies and Cinema Studies, the City College of New York the CUNY Graduate Center