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A gift that leaves a legacy

September 12th, 2017

Al Green. Photo: AGO

Al Green was an inspiring philanthropist, city builder and a longstanding friend and advocate of the AGO. A Trustee of the AGO Board of Directors for over 14 years, Al’s contributions to the Gallery were extraordinary, from his support of several major exhibitions to his leadership gifts to major initiatives such as Transformation AGO. An accomplished sculptor, collector and lover of art, Al integrated public sculpture into his many building projects throughout the city. He established the Al Green Sculpture Studio and School in Toronto, creating an open, accessible, not-for-profit space for artists to create sculpture. In 2002, Al was honoured with the Order of Canada for his devotion to community service.

It is fitting that through a recent donation from his daughter Lindy Green, through The Lindy Green Family Charitable Foundation, we have named one of our newest gallery spaces in Al’s honour. The Al Green Gallery, which is located on Level 2 of the AGO, is adjacent to the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre.

You might think this space has simply been renamed. But the Al Green Gallery is actually a brand new gallery created last summer through an ingenious design. A construction team lifted and levelled an old ramp that had been closed for many years, crisscrossing from the east side of the AGO’s building up into the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre’s general area. After removing the wall that enclosed the former ramp, the space was transformed into a 1,200 square foot gallery with high ceilings and natural light.

The Al Green Gallery will present sculptural works either made by or in dialogue with those of British sculptor Henry Moore. Currently on display in the gallery are a number of bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Paul Gauguin and Pablo Picasso, among others. According to the AGO’s assistant curator of modern art Kenneth Brummel, “it’s a quiet, contemplative space where visitors can enjoy sculpture as three dimensional objects.”

View of the Al Green Gallery. Photo: AGO

In addition to naming this new gallery in honour of Al, the Lindy Green Family Charitable Foundation has created the Al Green Fund, an endowment that will support the presentation, conservation and acquisition of sculpture at the AGO. Funds have also been established to further our mission to support art, access and learning, especially where it concerns decreasing barriers and increasing access to the Gallery and its programs.

The memory of Al Green will forever live on here at the Gallery and in the hearts and minds of community members that benefitted so much from his remarkable spirit. Next time you are at the AGO, please come by and visit this new and special gallery!

The current installation in the Al Green Gallery is included in general admission, and AGO Members see it free.

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