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Imagine you have never seen a photograph before…

June 20th, 2017

2007/1940.3.1 – Claude-Marie Ferrier, View of the Eastern Nave, salted paper print.

In 1851, the world was experiencing unprecedented technological and cultural developments. Excited to show off the world’s marvels and celebrate the advancements of the Industrial Revolution, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, commissioned the first World’s Fair: The Great Exhibition of Works of Industry of All Nations (also referred to as the “Crystal Palace Exhibition”), held from May to October in Hyde Park, London. Among the wonders in the exhibition: a very early version of a fax machine, electric telegraphs, a revolving lighthouse light, and best of all, the Palace had the first ever public toilets (costing users one penny for the privilege). Read the rest of this entry »

O’Keeffe, the trailblazer

June 20th, 2017

Georgia O’Keeffe Oriental Poppies, 1927 Oil paint on canvas 76.2 x 101.9 cm The Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Museum Purchase, 1937.1 © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

The men liked to put me down as the best woman painter. I think I’m one of the best painters.”– Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe spent much of her career railing against the persistent gender divide in the art world, and she chafed at being defined as a woman artist as early as the 1930s. Although exhibitions, such as Georgia O’Keeffe,  and publications repeatedly reveal the breadth and depth of O’Keeffe’s artistic accomplishments as being “about more than just erotic flowers,” her work and life continue to be framed by the paintings and photographs that first made her notorious, while details of her private life are often sensationalized in the headlines.

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Artist Spotlight: Brian Jungen

June 20th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO/Dean Tomlinson.

Brian Jungen’s artwork is recognizable for several reasons – the forms, the materials, and now the sculptures themselves are all cultural touchstones in Canada. From his Northwest Coast Aboriginal masks made from Nike Air Jordans to his massive whale skeletons made from plastic patio chairs, the materials he uses and the sculptures themselves are visible and in conversation with each other. His work is renowned in the international art world: Brian has held solo exhibitions in New York, London and beyond, and he was the first living artist to be shown at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), part of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. in 2009.

Brian recently visited the AGO and we caught up with him to hear more about his unusual life as a visual artist (hint – it includes cattle). Read the rest of this entry »

Thank you, Maxine

June 20th, 2017

Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, who has completed a 4-year term as President of the AGO Board of Trustees. Photo courtesy of the AGO/Craig Boyko.

Behind the scenes at the AGO is a dedicated group of volunteers who serve on the Board of Trustees. They oversee and guide us as we work to fulfill our mission to keep art, access and learning at the heart of all the decisions we make. For the past four years, Maxine Granovsky Gluskin has led the Board as its President, and her term concludes tomorrow (but good news for us: she’ll continue to serve as a Trustee).

A passionate and dedicated advocate, Maxine believes in the power of art to change the world. She has demonstrated truly exemplary leadership, both in her governance of the Board and in her philanthropic giving. According to our Director and CEO, Stephan Jost, “Maxine has a clear sense of purpose and deep belief in the Gallery’s mission to bring art and people together. When I was hired as Director and CEO [Maxine led the Board search committee], she welcomed me with grace and support.”

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We’re celebrating, and you’re invited!

June 20th, 2017

Consider yourself, dear reader, cordially invited to public opening of three of the AGO’s most captivating exhibitions of the year. On Wednesday, June 28, from 6 to 9 pm, members of the public are invited to the AGO for a sneak peek at Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood and Rita Letendre: Fire & Light during the AGO’s Summer Public Opening event which includes a celebration in Walker Court. The party also celebrates Mark Lewis: Canada, which has been open since April.

Timed to take place just before Canada Day on July 1, the public opening of these three summer shows offers an ideal opportunity to reflect on the state of art in Canada—and the state of Canada represented in art—amid the many discussions taking place around the country’s sesquicentennial.

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Meet our newest curator

June 13th, 2017

Caroline Shields. Photo courtesy of the AGO/Craig Boyko.

The AGO recently welcomed a new curator to its ranks: Caroline Shields, Assistant Curator of European Art.

A specialist in 19th century European art, Caroline comes to the AGO after working in international curatorial roles at the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. At the National Gallery, she worked on the 2015 exhibition Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye, while in her role at the Museum of Fine Arts, she investigated paintings with disputed or uncertain artist attributions. Caroline received her PhD in art history from the University of Maryland this spring with a dissertation on Paul Gauguin.

We recently sat down with Caroline to get to know her. Read the rest of this entry »

Honouring SuperDad

June 13th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Looking for last minute plans to treat your Dad (or Dads) like a King (or Kings)? Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 18 – and let’s be honest: sometimes it can get overlooked in everyone’s rush to take advantage of the nice weather (finally). But don’t worry; we have plenty of ideas to surprise your pop and make this Father’s Day an unforgettable one.

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Art meets theatre meets the country

June 13th, 2017

INUIT, INUKJUAK. Hunter Killing Bear, before 1959. Mottled dark green‑grey stone, darkened, ivory. 28 x 16 x 38 cm (11 x 6 5/16 x 14 15/16 in.). Collection Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2001.

The weather is warm and the road is calling! This is the season for getting out of the city and travelling to some picturesque towns in Ontario to see what they have to offer. Stratford, Ontario is a popular destination for its theatre festival, but there’s another reason to make the trip there this summer.

To support the new Stratford Festival play The Breathing Hole by Colleen Murphy, which follows a polar bear throughout Canadian history from first contact with colonial settlers to the global warming issues of today, the Stratford Perth Museum presents Nanuk’s Journey (“nanuk” meaning “polar bear” in Inuktitut), an exhibition of Inuit sculptures on loan from the Esther and Samuel Sarick Collection at the AGO. It was curated by Andrew Hunter, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, in consultation with Inuvialuit Reneltta Arluk (Gwich’in and Chipewyan-Cree, as well as the director of The Breathing Hole). Featuring artists like George Pitsiulak, Andy Miki, and Bill Nasogaluak, Nanuk’s Journey is on now and continues until September 23, 2017.

We spoke with Andrew about how Nanuk’s Journey came together. Read the rest of this entry »

We want to hear from you

June 6th, 2017

Enough about us – we want to hear from you!

The AGOinsider aims to tell stories about art, access, and learning that you (our amazing readers) are most interested in. So please take this survey – it’ll take five minutes, tops – and let us know what you’ve liked about the AGOinsider and what you’d love to see next – we want your feedback!

By participating in the survey, you’ll be entered a draw to win two tickets to Georgia O’Keeffe and an exhibition catalogue!

Click here to start the survey.