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O’Keeffe inspiration

June 6th, 2017

There’s nothing the shopAGO team likes better than getting inspired by the artwork and themes of our major exhibitions – and Georgia O’Keeffe put them happily into style overdrive! Our special pop-up gift shop includes prints, gifts and books inspired by O’Keeffe’s paintings of magnified flowers, animal skulls and the desert landscapes of New Mexico. Here are some of the bestsellers:

 

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Making first impressions with United Way

June 6th, 2017

There’s nothing quite like spending your Sunday at the AGO surrounded by great art, but for many families in at-risk communities, that experience can sometimes feel out of reach.

Thanks to a partnership between the AGO and Toronto & York Region United Way, equipped with a mission to break down some of the socio-economic barriers standing in the way of this experience, a special day was planned for families to visit the AGO –and many visited for the very first time.

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What is an urban Iroquois?

June 6th, 2017

Jeff Thomas. Imposition of Order, 2017 Pigment print on archival paper, 76.2 × 304.8 cm © Jeff Thomas

The Luminato Festival kicks off on June 14, and the AGO is excited to once again be a part of it! We’re partnering with Luminato to install a massive vinyl reproduction of a brand new artwork onto the exterior of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Imposition of Order by Jeff Thomas was commissioned by the AGO for our upcoming exhibition, Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood, and this installation will mark its sneak-peek debut, ahead of its real unveiling at the AGO later in June.

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Toronto is loving Georgia O’Keeffe!

May 29th, 2017

Did you think Georgia O’Keeffe was only about flowers? Prepare to be pleasantly surprised (and thoroughly impressed.) The full breadth of O’Keeffe’s artistic talent and stylistic influences—from photography to charcoal sketches to abstract natural forms—is on display in Georgia O’Keeffe, which recently opened to rave reviews from Toronto’s critics. Now Torontonians themselves are raving about the exhibition for giving them a chance to get to know this pioneering artist in a whole new way – yes, beyond the flowers.

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Get your Pride party on

May 29th, 2017

Courtesy of the artist.

It’s almost June, and that means Toronto’s annual Pride Month is upon us! As with the past few years, the AGO is helping kick off the month’s festivities by hosting the Official Pride Launch Party at this week’s AGO First Thursday on June 1. History tell us that this is one you don’t want to miss.

A visionary program has been created for the event by Syrus Marcus Ware and Kyisha Williams on behalf of Blackness Yes! (who have programmed the legendary Blockorama stage for nearly 20 years). The night brings together DJs, artist projects, performances, talks, special installations and a performance by the New York-based hip hop artist Junglepussy to celebrate Black queer and trans lives, art and activism, and all things Pride. Tickets are going fast, so if you haven’t got yours yet, click here!

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How to move a 160-square-foot painting

May 29th, 2017

Recent visitors to the AGO may have noticed that one of our most heavily trafficked spaces, the E.R. Wood Gallery, is currently closed as part of Look:Forward, our exciting reinstallation project. While we’re busy installing a number of new artworks from our collection, here’s a look at how one of the largest works recently on display – Saint Benedict receiving Totila, King of the Ostrogoths by Gaspar de Crayer – came down from the wall. It measures a gigantic 9 feet tall by 18 feet wide (that’s close to 160 square feet – almost as big as some Toronto condos!) Watch the time-lapse video to see how the AGO team did it:

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A pioneer in storytelling

May 29th, 2017

AGO Educator Emeritus David Wistow

“I’ve got a note here that says, ‘David hates being the centre of attention; keep this short’,” said Stephan Jost, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO, at the recent retirement party for David Wistow, Senior Interpretive Planner. But as Stephan then pointed out, it’s impossible to sum up David’s career in only a few minutes.

David has held over 15 job titles throughout his 44 years at the AGO, in each role developing his own theories and practice around visitor experience at an art gallery. As an Interpretive Planner – the person responsible for understanding visitors and how they engage with art through text, videos, books, interactive elements, and other strategies – David made an immeasurable impact on the AGO, not to mention the museum community in general. He and his colleague Douglas Worts pioneered the field of interpretive planning in art museums, using learnings from a series of experimental exhibitions they curated during the 1980s, and now it’s a widespread profession among art galleries across North America. It was for this groundbreaking work that upon his retirement, David was named the AGO’s first-ever Educator Emeritus.

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Artful ways to say “I do”

May 23rd, 2017

Courtesy of Tara McMullen Photography.

Although the AGO is a year-round wedding venue, summer is the most popular time of year to say “I do.” Flowers of every shade are in bloom, the days are long and the nights are warm. Shutterbugs both professional and amateur already know this, but the AGO is pretty photogenic. Plenty of tall windows means lots of natural light, and striking architecture makes every picture look like a mini-masterpiece. Mix that with the best event team in town (made up of experts who can bring inspired designs to life), and a wedding couldn’t get more picturesque. To prove it we’ve selected some highlights from our AGO Events team’s Instagram feed to inspire you:

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Wonder-ful accolades for Boxwood

May 23rd, 2017

South Netherlandish. Prayer Bead: St. James the Greater (closed), 1490 – 1530. Boxwood. Overall height x width: 5.7 × 4.8 cm (2 1/4 × 1 7/8 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund, 1961.87. Courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Did you catch our Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures exhibition last year? Blending cutting-edge technology with ground-breaking historical art research, the exhibition astounded and amazed visitors with its tiny, mesmerizing carvings from the early 1500s. It also made its mark with some of our peers, earning the exhibition three awards to date! Read the rest of this entry »