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Archive: March, 2011

Give in to the Splendour

March 30th, 2011

This fall, the Art Gallery of Ontario unveiled a remarkable exhibition that explored in depth the lavish lifestyle of the maharajas, from the early-18th to mid-20th century. Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts brings to Canada for the first time a collection of truly magnificent works of art created for India’s great kings. These objects chronicle the many aspects of royal life and celebrate a legacy of cultural patronage by generations of maharajas, both in India and in Europe.

The first exhibition to comprehensively explore the world of the maharajas and their unique culture of artistic patronage; the exhibition spans 250 years of history and features over 200 opulent objects. Highlights include: paintings of spectacular royal processions; royal costumes and traditional dress; ceremonial weapons, including daggers, swords, and matchlock guns; elaborate jewellery commissioned from the French house of Cartier; prized photographs by artists such as Man Ray and Cecil Beaton; and a saffron-coloured 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom II. And, let’s not forget the wonderful performances!

Thanks to generous support from Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., The Globe and Mail, Rogers Communications Inc., and Scotiabank Group, the Art Gallery of Ontario is thrilled to offer FREE admission to Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts to visitors 25 years of age and under. The Free 25 & Under program runs until April 3, 2011. A special offer for families, priced at $66, grants admission to four adults and an unlimited number of children. Admission includes access to the AGO’s permanent collection.

The end is near! You have just days left to give into the splendour. Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts closes April 3, 2011. See it while you can!

Conspicuous Consumption

March 23rd, 2011

Join us on Thursday night, March 24, when Amin Jaffer visits the AGO to explore a time when Indian Royal Princes wore more jewellery than the Royal female members of the family. Imagine a time when the vaults were brimming with superlative jewels – the most prized to be chosen and worn by the male head of the family. Only after this selection would the women of the family, according to their rank, be given their choices from these overwhelming collections.

Originally from Toronto, and a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum for thirteen years, Dr. Jaffer  is now  International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s and specialises in Indian art in the age of European influence.

Betty Woodman Art Talk (Audio)

March 16th, 2011

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Recorded: Wednesday, March 2, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm @ Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 01:13:39

Widely recognized as one of the most important ceramic artists working today, Betty Woodman spoke about her life and art on the eve of the opening of an exhibition of her work at the Gardiner Museum. Woodman is a master of colour and form whose painterly sculptures and installations bring images of Matisse, Picasso and Miro to mind. In 2006 she was given a full retrospective at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, an honour rarely bestowed by that institution on an individual living artist. Betty Woodman: Places, Spaces and Things opens to the public at the Gardiner Museum on March 3, 2011.

This talk was presented in partnership with the Gardiner Museum.

Reigning Queen of the Inuit Art World

March 15th, 2011

Kenojuak Ashevak is one of ten Inuit artists travelling to Toronto for the Art Gallery of Ontario’s April 2nd  Inuit Modern Symposium, held to mark the opening of Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection. Inuit artists and thinkers will gather to discuss the contemporary realities of Inuit life and culture.

Kenojuak Ashevak has created some of the most instantly recognizable works of Inuit art, beginning with her 1960 iconic print, The Enchanted Owl. She starred in a 1963 National Film Board documentary, Eskimo Artist: Kenojuak.  The film was shot in spring 1962, and Kenojuak later revealed that the igloo featured in the film had to be constructed out of styrofoam because the snow was too soft. Presently living and working in Cape Dorset, her home since 1966,  Kenojuak continues her prolific pursuit of graphic media, both drawings and prints, in addition to making time for family and travel.

Maharaja March Break at the AGO

March 12th, 2011

Looking for family friendly activities? Well, look no further. Why not join us for March Break at the AGO? Drop in for family activities all week long! No pre-registration required.

Bring the whole family and celebrate March Break with drop-in activities and performances inspired by the hit exhibition Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts. (Note: This exhibition free for ages 25 and under.)

– Take in dance and music performances by the Toronto Tabla Ensemble
– Learn the groovin’ moves and take to the dance floor.
– Create your own take-home royal costumes and embellishments.

For more suggestions on fun activities for all, be sure to check out our March Break Survival Guide!

March 14 – 18, 2011
March Break activities run 10am – 4pm and are included with admission.

The Art Gallery of Ontario will be open Monday, March 14, 2011 from 10am – 4pm.
For detailed information, see our Visitor Information page.

The Grange Prize 2011

March 9th, 2011

We are thrilled to announce that the Grange Prize 2011 will feature Indian and Canadian artists. The shortlist will be selected by a Canadian and Indian jury led by AGO curator Michelle Jacques who is joined by Wayne Baerwaldt, Director and Curator of exhibitions at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary, artist and curator Sunil Gupta, and art critic and curator Gayatri Sinha, both based in New Delhi, India. The 2011 nominees will be announced on August 30, the same day that the public can begin voting for their favourite artist and see the exhibition at the AGO.

Clementine Art – Natural Art Products for Kids

March 8th, 2011

Visit shopAGO for a selection of Clementine Art natural art supplies – crayons, glue, markers, paints and modeling dough – with no chemicals or additives.

The Clementine Story (courtesy

Once upon a time there was a teacher who loved art. She was wild about colours, from paint to pom-poms; she was thrilled about children, with so many good ideas; and she was especially ecstatic when children and art frolicked together at Clementine Studio, an art space for children in Boulder, CO.

Those creative children at Clementine Studio often got just a wee bit messy. They got paint in their hair, on their hands and feet, and even in their mouths! This made the teacher (named Diana) wonder what was in those art materials. The label only said the materials were non-toxic.

Is non-toxic good enough for these marvelous and magical children?” she wondered. She fretted about what chemicals, dyes and additives were in the art supplies that she didn’t know about.

So she rolled up her sleeves and began to make play dough and paint from natural ingredients in her kitchen. She used simple items like flour, earth colourings and water to make recipes. Today, Diana and Clementine Art are proud to introduce a full line of natural paint, glue, modeling dough, crayons and markers that are simple, natural and real.

South Indian Courtly Dance (Audio)

March 4th, 2011

Dr. Hari KrishnanClick to Play:

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Recorded: Wednesday, February 23, 7 – 8:30 pm @ Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 01:29:45

inDANCE artistic director Hari Krishnan presents South Indian courtly dance traditions based on decades of research in remote villages of South India. Weaving live performance by musicians and dancers to images, this talk will integrate movement, voice and text, showcasing courtly motifs.

AGO Book Club: The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr

March 2nd, 2011

The next book club selection is The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr. The meeting will be held at the Art Rental + Sales Gallery, 481 University Avenue on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 at 7pm. For more information, to register for the session or to receive the Book Club e-Newsletter call 416-979-6660 ext 5948.

An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea,

and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries.

The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons. Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power. He rose from obscurity to fame and wealth, but success didn’t alter his violent temperament. His rage finally led him to commit murder, forcing him to flee Rome a hunted man. He died young, alone, and under strange circumstances.

Caravaggio scholars estimate that between sixty and eighty of his works are in existence today. Many others–no one knows the precise number–have been lost to time. Somewhere, surely, a masterpiece lies forgotten in a storeroom, or in a small parish church, or hanging above a fireplace, mistaken for a mere copy.

Prizewinning author Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding journey to discover the long-lost painting known as The Taking of Christ–its mysterious fate and the circumstances of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles across a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the painting across a continent and hundreds of years of history. But it is not until she meets Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer working in Ireland, that she finally manages to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle.

Told with consummate skill by the writer of the bestselling, award-winning A Civil Action, The Lost Painting is a remarkable synthesis of history and detective story. The fascinating details of Caravaggio’s strange, turbulent career and the astonishing beauty of his work come to life in these pages. Harr’s account is not unlike a Caravaggio painting: vivid, deftly wrought, and enthralling.

description courtesy of

The Lost Painting is available to purchase at shopAGO,  $17 or online here