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Archive: December, 2009

Excerpt from As It Happens: Rembrandt/Freud: Etchings from Life (Audio)

December 24th, 2009

Rembrandt/Freud Self portraits

CBC’s Carol Off speaks with AGO Assistant Curator Brenda Rix about the upcoming exhibition Rembrandt/Freud: Etchings from Life. An excerpt from As It Happens on CBC Radio One.

Duration: 6:29 min

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Image: Left: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn. Dutch 1606-1669. Self Portrait in a Velvet Cap with Plume, 1638. Etching on paper. Gift of Esther and Sam Sarick, 2006. 2006/229. Right: Lucian Freud. British b.1922. Self Portrait: Reflection, 1996. Etching on paper. Signed, ed. 46. On loan from Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto. ©Lucian Freud

David’s Notes: Isaak Abrahamsz Massa

December 23rd, 2009

Isaak Abrahamsz Massa, 1626

Dressed for success? Meet a busy networker from 400 years ago – extrovert Dutch businessman Isaak Massa, with his fashionable moustache and goatee.

Like today, black clothes were definitely ‘in’. Black was the most expensive dye available – so were broad collars and felt hats made from Canadian beaver pelts. Dutch businessmen traded around the world and got rich from it. They invented globalization, the stock market, and paying with cheques.

No one knows for sure the meaning of the holly branch the sitter holds. It may symbolize Massa’s faithfulness to his wife when he was away on business.

Frans Hals (Dutch, 1582/3-1666)
Isaak Abrahamsz Massa
1626
oil on canvas
79.7 x 65.1cm
Art Gallery of Ontario, Bequest of Frank P. Wood 1955
© 2009 Art Gallery of Ontario

Gift Cards: Gift-giving just got more beautiful!

December 23rd, 2009

An AGO gift card is the perfect way to give lots of options to the people on your list – from inspiring visits to the Gallery to stimulating courses, a delicious meal, or that unique item waiting at shopAGO.

You may use the gift card for the purchase of merchandise in shopAGO, toward the purchase/rental fee at the Art Rental + Sales Gallery, or for a meal at FRANK Restaurant or Cafe AGO.

It can also be used for admission to the AGO, to enroll in Gallery School education programs or when purchasing a Membership.

Purchase AGO Gift Cards online or visit us in person at shopAGO.

AGO Members share their reactions to King Tut (Video)

December 22nd, 2009

“My favorite part of the exhibition was probably the jewelry and the remnants from the tombs — they’re interesting,” … “My favorite was the cat coffin,” … “I really enjoyed the last part of the exhibition where they talked about the uncovering of the grave and the tomb and the gold,” …

Update Jan 6:

Here’s some images from King Tut Crowds

David’s Notes: The Marchesa Casati

December 16th, 2009

The Marchesa Casati

Rich, married, 38 year old seeks mature, good looking male into art! For some eye witnesses, Luisa Casati was just a spoilt aristocrat who scandalized Europe over a 30 year period and then died destitute. For others, she was an inspired muse and serious patron of the arts.

Born in Milan in 1881, Casati was one of Italy’s great heiresses. From a respectable upper class childhood she emerged sporting wild make-up and hair with a menagerie of monkeys, peacocks and cheetahs in tow.

Painted and photographed hundreds of times, here she gazes seductively at her lover, the handsome, bohemian artist Augustus John.

Augustus Edwin John (British, 1878-1961)
The Marchesa Casati
1919
oil on canvas
96.5 x 68.6cm
Art Gallery of Ontario
© 2009 Art Gallery of Ontario

David’s Notes: An Introduction

December 16th, 2009

David Wistow

We’re beginning a new feature called David’s Notes. Once a week, David will post an interesting tidbit or give you the inside scoop on the art and goings-on at the AGO. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think.

So who is David?

David Wistow is an Interpretive Planner at the AGO. He is the author of several books, including Meet the Group of Seven, Landscapes of the Mind: Images of Ontario, and The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, as well as a contributor to several AGO catalogues. His tenacity and mellifluous baritone voice are famed at the Gallery. No stranger to collecting, his selection of more than 200 vintage ties outshines any hipster. His favourite works from the AGO collection include Franz Hals’ Isaak Abrahamsz Massa and Augustus John’s Portrait of scandalous arts patron The Marchesa Casati.

A Warm “Thank You” From Anubis

December 15th, 2009

Anubis is very thankful to the wonderful people who have helped dress him so far this fall and provided him with some incredibly stylish winter ensembles. Over the past few months he has also seen some wonderful places like Niagara Falls, Casa Loma, City Hall and Northern Ontario. He even tried out snowmobiling up in Collingwood (and got some strange looks from local dogsledders)!

While in town he’s also been working part time to get to know in the city – so far he’s been mime, a professional model, A spokesman for the Canadian Olympics, a Godzilla double and local basketball player and is eager to try out some other lines of work.

Anubis’ having trouble finding a dry cleaner do to his unusual size and needs some more outfits. He hopes it wouldn’t be to rude of him to ask you if you could continue to outfit him? He also would love to see more places that you suggest!

So please keep sending in your photos! Everyone who submits a photo will be entered into a draw to win two tickets to see King Tut!

You can submit your picture three ways:

1) Post it to the AGO’s FACEBOOK fan page
2) Post it in the AGO Anubis Flickr pool
3) Email it to AGOMOBILE@ago.net

When you submit your photo, please indicate how you’d like to be credited for your work. And remember by submitting you are giving the AGO permission to display your work on www.ago.net and all other promotional/PR vehicles.

Ross King Modern Spirits: The European Adventures of the Group of Seven (Audio)

December 11th, 2009

Ross King

The secrets and symbolism of Canada’s most famous art group come to light in a lecture by bestselling author Ross King. King’s forthcoming book Modern Spirits: The European Adventures of the Group of Seven exposes how, despite their professed nationalism, the Group of Seven was clearly indebted to a number of international trends. A.Y. Jackson and Lawren Harris, for instance, studied and travelled extensively in Germany and France, while F.H. Varley worked for the Canadian War Memorials Fund in London. Speaking in person, Ross King will reveal the effects that these European experiences had on the Group’s iconic, much-loved artworks.

Recorded: December 9, 2009
Duration: 1:22:06

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John Ralston Saul: The Images of A Fair Country (Audio)

December 11th, 2009

dentonRSa

Photo: Don Denton

17th Annual McCready Lecture

In his latest book, A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada, John Ralston Saul argues that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas. Egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. Ralston Saul argues that it is critical that we recognize these aspects of Canada in order to rethink its future. His talk explores these issues and develops them in the context of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s reinstalled collection of Canadian Art.

Award-winning essayist and novelist, John Ralston Saul has had a growing impact on political and economic thought in many countries. Declared a “prophet” by TIME magazine, he is included in the prestigious Utne Reader’s list of the world’s 100 leading thinkers and visionaries. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Recorded: Wednesday October 28, 2009
Duration: 1:39:52

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King Tut: Listening to our visitors

December 11th, 2009

Public response to King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs has been overwhelmingly positive, with nearly 100,000 tickets sold thus far. Among the highlights according to visitors, King Tut’s funerary objects – the golden sandals and finger and toe coverings – as well as the golden jewelry (a particular favourite of young women). Visitors also like the tomb-like layout of the exhibition, the extensive historical information and the easily visible labels.

Some of our visitors who saw the 1979 King Tut exhibition at the AGO would have liked a return visit of King Tut’s golden death mask, which no longer leaves Egypt. However, the golden mask of Psusennes I in the current exhibition is an incredible example of a death mask. It is among the most valuable pieces in the exhibition and was discovered in the midst of World War II.

Some visitors are also asking about King Tut’s mummy, which, for preservation reasons, also never travels. While the National Geographic CT scan of the mummy provides a fascinating dimensional perspective, visitors can also get their “mummies’ worth” by catching the special 3-D movie, EGYPT 3D: Secrets of the Mummies, presented with Dolby 3D Digital Cinema technology. Part historic journey and part adventure, the film (a favourite with kids) follows explorers and researchers as they piece together archeological and genetic clues of the Egyptian mummies, including one of the greatest mummy finds in modern history. The film runs every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the AGO’s Jackman Hall and is $5 for members, $6 for general public.

Visitors are also joining or creating their own communities around things Tut. As an example, check out Heritage Key, a new website (it first appeared last May) that’s focused on ancient civilizations and archaeology. One member of this interactive community visited the AGO exhibition and blogged about a virtual tour of other ancient artifacts that don’t leave Egypt.