This month we’re going back – back to the AGO’s beginning. April’s Library & Archives Unshelved series – the monthly drop-in at the AGO’s Edward P. Taylor Library & Archives that explores our extensive art research resources – will showcase photographs from the AGO’s history on Wednesday, April 25.
AGO archivist Marilyn Nazar unearthed the 100-year-old photographs that show when construction finished on the first AGO building, which added new gallery spaces to the beloved Grange. The Grange became the property of the Art Museum of Toronto (as the AGO was known then) following the death of Goldwin Smith on June 7, 1910. After years of temporary exhibitions at the Ontario Society of Artists’ museum and the Toronto Reference Library, The Grange became the first home for the Art Gallery of Toronto.
After a delay because of the First World War, work on part of the planned gallery building began in 1916. According to the plans by Darling & Pearson Architects, digging started October 27. New galleries — square, long and octagonal (now the Walter C. Laidlaw Gallery and both the E.R. and Frank P. Wood Galleries) — opened to the public on April 4, 1918, with access through the main doors of The Grange. The remaining galleries, including Walker Court, were completed in 1926.
Check out the photos below of the original architectural designs and construction of what we now know and love as the Art Gallery of Ontario.
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