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Archive: October, 2005

AGO Podcast #2 – Russian Minerva: Catherine the Great and the Enlightenment

October 31st, 2005

Catherine the Great Lecture Series #2: Professor Kenneth Bartlett

This lecture traces Catherine’s interest in the ideas of the French Enlightenment philosophes. Through her correspondence with Voltaire, her support of Diderot and d’Alembert, and her flirtation with rationalist ideals, Catherine established a reputation as an exemplary ruler in the Age of Reason. However, the events of the French Revolution would challenge these convictions and reveal the contradictions in the practice of enlightened despotism. Dr Kenneth Bartlett is Professor of History and Renaissance Studies Victoria College University of Toronto.

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AGO Podcast #1 – Catherine the Great: A Passion for Building

October 18th, 2005

Catherine the Great Lecture Series #1: A Passion for Building

She called it a disease! A look at Catherine’s love of architecture and her insatiable desire to build – from the grandiose Academy of Fine Arts to the most intimate of private apartments. She collaborated with some of the most distinguished architects of her day from Italy, England and France and left an unrivalled legacy of beautiful neo-classical buildings. David Wistow, Interpretive planner, European Department at the AGO has studied Russian art and architecture for many years.

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Image caption: Royal Gobelin Factory, Paris, designed by Milon. The Romanov Coronation Coach, first quarter 18th century. Oak, ash, beech and walnut, silver, iron,copper, bronze, steel, glass, leather, silk, cloth, gilt. 720.0 x 200.0 x 300.0 cm © The State Hermitage Museum, 2005.

Memories of Arthur Lismer

October 16th, 2005

When I was very young, my Aunt Grace took me to the Art Gallery where I joined other youngsters learning to draw under teaching of Arthur Lismer. Arthur Lismer was a very good teacher who loved children.

Arthur Lismer Sunlight in a Wood (detail), 1930 oil on canvas bequest of John M. Lyle, Toronto, 1946. © 2005 Arthur Lismer Estate

I remember a few days before art class near Christmas, Aunt Grace and I went to watch the Eaton’s Santa Claus parade on Yonge St. along with thousands of other people. In those days, the Santa Claus parade was a huge event where everybody went to see it.

During art class, Arthur Lismer suggested that we draw something we remembered from the parade. I tried to draw a picture of Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage with two horses pulling it. I drew the horses too large that I didn’t leave enough room for the carriage! As a kid, I really liked horses. My teacher smiled when I showed him the picture. "I see you love horses," he commented.

One time I was at an Art Gallery in Montreal many years after, I ran into my art teacher again. By that time, he was a very old man, but still busy at the Art Gallery. I approached him and said, "you won’t remember me, but I was one of the young ones you taught to draw in Toronto a long time ago." He was delighted to hear this. The first thing he asked was, "are you still drawing?" I said, "Yes!" We both beamed at each other.

I remember all this and I still love art at the age of 85.

Grace S.

September 2005

The Toronto-Norfolk Abridged Dictionary of Contemporary Cultural Translations

October 1st, 2005

The AGO Teen Council recently partnered with Youth from NACTAC, the Norfolk Arts Centre’s Teen Arts Council to create 3 days of programming in Harbourfront’s Zoom Room space. The two groups of Teens, one from urban Toronto and the other from rural Norfolk began working together in May 2005, and met twice a month for the duration of the project. Together the groups designed a series of installations that reflected the similarities and differences in daily life for youth under 21yrs in rural and urban settings. The culmination of this partnership was presented at Harbourfront Centre this September, 2005 in an interdisciplinary Arts festival for youth called Culture Shock-Voices of an Emerging Generation. The projects presented included The Toronto-Norfolk Abridged Dictionary of Contemporary Cultural Translations, a dictionary of youth slang from Norfolk and Toronto respectively.