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Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde: 10 tips for a great visit

December 9th, 2011

Planning to visit Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde at the AGO over the holidays? Here’s ten of our top tips for making your visit truly memorable. Show closes January 15, 2012.

1. Meet the Russian Avant-Garde
For an amazing introduction to the exhibition check out Creating a New World: An intro to Chagall and the Russian Avant Garde. Presented by our interpretative planner David, this audio guide is just under an hour long and will give you a great overview of what you can expect to see. It’s full of fascinating insights into Chagall’s work as well as introducing many of the other artists in the show. It’s a perfect listen for a long commute.

. Pick a time that suits you best
Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde is a time-ticketed exhibition. This means you can pick a morning, midday or afternoon slot depending on your schedule. You can enter at any time during the slot you choose and you can stay in the exhibition as long as you like – we encourage you to take your time! If you want to beat the crowds weekday afternoons are a good bet. If you want a buzzy atmosphere and a great bargain visit us on Wednesday evenings. We’re open late and up until December 21 you can see Chagall from 6-8pm for just $12.50.

Getting here
We’re not going to lie, parking in downtown Toronto can be tricky. To make things a little bit easier we’ve got a list of nearby car parks for you to choose from right here. You’ll also find information about cycling, taking the subway and other public transport so that however you want to get here, you can do it quickly, easily and safely. GO customers will receive a special 20% discount on admission to Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde: masterpieces from the Collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris by presenting a GO ticket, Go pass or PRESTO card at the AGO box office.

4. Check in for great offers
Use Foursquare? Check-in when you get to the Gallery and you’ll unlock great tips, earn points and access some very special winter deals! Don’t forget to leave a tip of your own to share your experiences with future visitors.

Have a surf 
We’ve got free wifi throughout the building for our visitors to use. Bring your laptop, tablet or save your smartphone data allowance by logging in. The network is called ‘AGO FREE WIFI’ – why not send us a tweet using the #ChagallTO hashtag whilst you’re online? There’s plenty of serene spots in the Gallery that are great for doing a bit of work or catching up on emails. We especially like the Espresso Bar, on the top level of the new Centre for Contemporary Art, as it gets loads of natural light.

6. Talk back to us
As you wander through Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde you’ll come across one of our ‘talkback stations,’ stocked with paper and pencils. At the station you’ll find a thought-provoking question related to the exhibition – it’s a great chance to document your immediate reaction to the show and we absolutely love reading your responses. See what some previous visitors have left us.

7. Stay fuelled

Looking at mindblowing art can be hungry work. Enjoy the Chagall-inspired Prix Fixe Menu in FRANK Restaurant. Reservations are recommended. For a relaxed, family-friendly environment, visit caféAGO. Want to find out how we created a menu inspired by Chagall? Check out this great interview with Executive Chef Anne Yarymowich in which she talks about the process of creating a menu that’s as creative as the art.
Plate of delicious food inspired by Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde at AGO's FRANK Restaurant

8. Keep exploring
We think that Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde is a great introduction to some of the most important moments in Russian art history. If you’re left wanting more, head downstairs to Chagall’s sister exhibition, Constructing Utopia: Books and Posters from Revolutionary Russia, 1910–1940.   Containing rare books and posters from revolutionary Russia, it’s a chance to explore two exciting branches of graphic design: futurism and constructivism, and learn about how these ground-breaking art movements sffected the everyday visual culture of Soviet Russia.

. Cross some items off your holiday shopping list
For the most unique merchandise in Canada, be sure to stop in at shopAGO, located just inside the main entrance to the Gallery. There’s also a satellite location at the Chagall exhibition exit. Artist prints, artisan jewellery and home-ware, toys and books are all available. Check out our Top 10 holiday gift ideas for culture vultures blog post to get some inspiration!

10. Have fun!
Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde is a riot of colour and imagination. As much as it’s an amazing space to learn about art, it’s also a great spot for daydreaming, for discussion or for creative inspiration. How you experience the exhibition is up to YOU – we encourage all of our visitors of all ages to interact with the art in a way that makes them happy. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy a show like Chagall – just make sure you manage to visit before it leaves town on January 15, 2012.

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