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matthewteitelbaum

Mickalene’s muses

Anyone who has been inside Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires or had a look at the #MickaleneThomas AGO hashtag on Instagram may have recognized some familiar faces. From actress Whoopi Goldberg to singer Eartha Kitt, Thomas fuses high art with popular culture to make something wholly her own. We took a deep dive into key works […]

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Links we’re loving

It may be freezing cold outside, but these links are hot off the presses! We’ve gathered some of the quirkiest, most interesting arts and culture news making the rounds online. Get the inside scoop and check out what our team at the AGO is loving this week.     There was big news from the National […]

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10 reasons to be excited about 2019

We’re buzzing with anticipation about all the amazing artful experiences we’ve got lined up this year at the AGO. Check out our top 10 things to look forward to in 2019: 1. Impressionism in a whole new light All aboard! We’re taking a journey to late 19th century Paris and beyond on trains, over bridges, near […]

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Anthropocene: A curator’s view

Have you seen Anthropocene yet? On now, this major exhibition, featuring stunning works by renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky and award-winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, gives an evocative portrait of how humans are transforming the planet. Recently, AGO Curator of Photography Sophie Hackett was interviewed by Robyn McCallum, Senior Manager and Curator at Scotiabank, […]

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A conversation with a collector

With an abundance of curvy lines, one of our galleries is looking very Art Nouveau these days. And that’s thanks to the gorgeous posters in our exhibition, Le Salon des Cent. Le Salon des Cent, which translates to The Salon of One Hundred, was a commercial art exhibition organized by French literary magazine La Plume. […]

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First Thursday: A SOUL Revolution

2018 is coming to a close, but before you break out the eggnog, start December off right with the hottest art party in Toronto: First Thursday: A SOUL Revolution. In this edition, we’re teaming up with local movers and shakers AfroChic to celebrate the November 29 opening of Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires. The non-profit organization […]

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Links we’re loving

Curious about what’s happening in the world of art and culture? We’ve gathered some of the most interesting art news stories making the rounds at the AGO. From the strange to the inspired, here’s what’s fuelling our watercooler chatter. A small town in Sweden is relocating to more stable ground. And to commemorate the town’s […]

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Bold portraits of Black women

The Black women in Mickalene Thomas’s art demand to be seen. See for yourself this November when the AGO presents the celebrated artist’s first Canadian solo exhibition. Thomas’s portraits of celebrities, including Diana Ross and Diahann Carroll, as well as friends, former lovers, figures from art history and the artist herself, spark urgent questions about […]

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Anthropocene is almost here!

We’re getting excited! In just 17 days, our major fall exhibition Anthropocene opens. Combining the artistic forces of Canadian artists Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, this extraordinary exhibition will take you on a journey around the world. Spanning six continents and 20 countries, from the concrete seawalls off the coast of China […]

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A global Indigenous gathering

There’s no doubt about it – there is growing global interest in Indigenous art and film. The question now is how to shift that conversation to one led by Indigenous people. That’s the topic that will be explored on September 13-15, when the AGO hosts the conference, aabaakwad (it clears after a storm). Inspired by […]

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Remembering William Withrow

It is with great sorrow that the AGO community mourns the loss of William “Bill” Withrow, who passed away January 7, 2018. A beloved member of the AGO community, Bill was Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario from 1961 to 1991. During his tenure, Bill led an extraordinary period of growth at the Gallery […]

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Now on the AGO menu – Campbell’s Soup I

On November 18, the AGO presented a soup-er successful inaugural Art Bash gala which raised over $1 million for the Gallery’s education and outreach initiatives, as well as future exhibitions. With food, décor, fashion and installations channelling the theme of Pop Art, Art Bash: The Factory was the perfect moment to announce an exciting acquisition—Andy […]

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Get to know Florine Stettheimer

Refined and witty, experimental and defiant, Florine Stettheimer is not a household name like her contemporary Georgia O’Keeffe, but she stands out as a unique figure in American art of the early 1900s. In her time she was acclaimed by artists, curators and critics, with Andy Warhol naming her his favourite artist. Opening October 21, […]

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Remembering late greats of sci-fi and horror

The final theme in Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters is Death and the Afterlife—a fitting end to an exhibition chronicling del Toro’s fascination with the macabre, the horrific and the gothic. But over the past year, thoughts around death and the afterlife have permeated the real-life worlds of sci-fi and horror, as several […]

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The biggest art fair of the year

Every October, the art world gathers at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for Canada’s leading international contemporary and modern art fair. Art Toronto, taking place from October 27–30, is a unique opportunity to meet artists, mingle with fellow art lovers and perhaps even discover an amazing work that you can’t live without. This year you […]

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Meet GDT’s biggest fans

What would you do for a chance to meet Guillermo del Toro? For about 400 fans in Toronto last week, an opportunity to meet the director face-to-face at the AGO’s 4 pm book signing meant hours spent in line in eager anticipation. We asked a few of these devoted fans who showed up to the […]

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Don’t take our word for it…

Visitors from around the world tell us in person how much they love the AGO. But if you really want the unvarnished truth, the best place to go is the internet, where people get very honest. Luckily, they’re positive there, too! We rounded up some of our favourite online reviews that really made us *blush*. […]

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Art night long

It’s that time of year again! For one night only you can be an art-goer from dusk to dawn with Nuit Blanche Toronto 2017, experiencing installations and performances by some of Toronto’s most inspired artists – and all for free. In an age of technology, can we still depend on the human voice alone for […]

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Designing a home fit for a monster

When Katy Chey applied for the role of exhibition designer at the AGO, she knew she wanted to work on one exhibition in particular: Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters. And once you experience the show after it opens on September 30, you’ll understand why. This installation goes far beyond what we’re used to. Chey […]

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Spread the Word (On The Street)

Guillermo del Toro famously had to buy a second house to store his collection of art, comics and massive libraries of books – and frankly, we get it. When the temperatures begin to cool in late September, there’s an undeniable urge to put on a sweater, grab a warm drink, and surround yourself with the […]

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Thank you, Rita Letendre

With her large canvases bursting with colour, Rita Letendre: Fire & Light has inspired many of our visitors – and after spending only a few minutes inside the exhibition, it’s easy to see why. Her work seeks to express the full energy of life, which explodes out of this career survey of the inimitable artist. […]

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When serendipity knocks

A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into AGO exhibitions. Often organized many years in advance, full teams are involved in the planning, execution, maintenance (and the eventual packing up and shipping out) of a show. Despite our careful work, sometimes serendipity plays a hand. This the case with our current retrospective Rita Letendre: Fire & […]

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The unsung heroes of the AGO

Anyone who has been to the AGO since we began Look:Forward, a major reinstallation of the AGO Collection (meant to showcase more of the AGO’s works, including some that have not been shown since the Gallery acquired them) have noticed the busy hands working in cordoned-off areas. Those are the members of the AGO’s installation […]

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The beating heart of Toronto

Toronto is no slouch when it comes to arts and culture, but it’s always good to get the word out! That’s why we joined our friends from the Canadian Opera Company, Harbourfront Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum, Soulpepper Theatre Company, the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto International Film Festival and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to […]

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The perfect urban picnic

We’re halfway through summer, and what makes those dog days more satisfying than savouring delicious flavours of gelato, drinking refreshing chilled juices or picnicking in the park? Luckily you can find all three here at the AGO (not to mention air conditioning!) Take a break during your Gallery visit at our Espresso Bar located in the […]

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Painting in the park

This is a guest post by Judy Koke, Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chief, Public Programming and Learning. Does the name Arthur Lismer ring a bell? Best known as an artist and a founder of the Group of Seven, Arthur Lismer has another important connection to the AGO – and Grange Park, the wonderful green space […]

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And the finalists are…

Big news! Four outstanding international artists have been shortlisted for the 10th annual Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, which will award $50,000 to a winner decided entirely by public vote. Without further ado, they are… Liz Johnson Artur (Ghana/Russia) Raymond Boisjoly (Haida Nation/Canada) Hank Willis Thomas (USA) Taisuke Koyama (Japan) Here’s how the finalists were […]

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Meet our newest curator

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, […]

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Get arty outside

We’re halfway through May, so let’s get cracking on those summer plans before the siren call of the patio takes over! The AGO has a huge lineup of summer courses on its roster. Along with perennial favourites, we have a selection of new offerings that are designed to take advantage of the warm weather. City […]

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Art on the go – AGO staff edition

In Art on the go – part one we asked a few of our AGO colleagues to share their favourite visual art Instagram accounts to help you turn your phone into a pocket-sized museum. In fact, you can explore our virtual galleries anytime you want by following us at @agotoronto, grab a virtual bite at […]

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#5WomenArtists

In celebration of International Women’s Month, the AGO is collaborating with The National Museum of Women in the Arts for the second annual Can you name #5WomenArtists? campaign. More than 180 institutions worldwide are participating in the challenge by naming #5WomenArtists in their collection or in exhibitions. The campaign aims to call attention to the inequity […]

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Toronto, take two

The AGO’s Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries exhibition has been infused with newly-installed art for a fresh glimpse into the ‘70s and ‘80s. Praised by The Globe and Mail for unearthing “a vibrant, political and occasionally messy era of the city’s art history” since its debut last September, Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971–1989 has intrigued visitors […]

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Spotlight on the darkroom

A new student exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre highlights recent AGO photography acquisitions. In 1972, American-Canadian photographer Pamela Harris visited ᑕᓗᕐᔪᐊᖅ (Taloyoak), Nunavut—then called Spence Bay, Northwest Territories—and noticed that while the people of Taloyoak took photographs, they had to send the negatives away to be developed. As Harris noted, “they should also have […]

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Smells like teen spirit

The AGO Youth Council is one of our most important advisory groups. For over 10 years the council has initiated all sorts of programming by youth for youth, including exhibitions, public art projects, large-scale events, field trips and much more. We sat down with two of its newest members, Roy (17) and Zoe (16), to […]

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Look up from your phone!

Art is (almost) everywhere.  A new AGO installation maps out where you can—and can’t—find Toronto’s public art. Did you know that the City of Toronto currently has over 700 public artworks on display, free of lineups and admission fees? And now, for the first time ever, a map has been created that marks where all public […]

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Lido Pimienta headlines AGO First Thursdays this week

Don’t miss the powerful presence of this Colombian-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter. Lido Pimienta’s music defies categorization; it’s a swirl of electro beats, Afro-Colombian rhythms, dramatic vocals and politics. A truly independent artist, she recently released her second album La Papessa and is already working on crowdfunding her third. La Papessa refers to the High Priestess, a […]

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Snap a selfie – or a backie!

Share your AGO experience with your friends…yes, you can take photos here! Last week, gallery-goers across the world snapped a selfie with their favourite collection or work of art for #MuseumSelfie Day, and the AGO was proud to take part. The one-day event was founded in 2014 by London museum blogger Mar Dixon to encourage […]

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Need a literary escape?

Fireside or subway ride, curling up with a good book is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Looking for a new adventure?  shopAGO has you covered. Carrying Toronto’s best selection of art books, catalogues and Taschen publications, shopAGO’s got it all – and also carries AGO publications at a discount. Here are a few of our […]

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Small wonders, big headset

Since launching in early November, our Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures exhibition has astounded and amazed visitors with its tiny, mesmerizing carvings from the late Renaissance. Blending cutting-edge technology with groundbreaking art historical research, the exhibition has been praised by The New York Times and CNN for its insights. Not too shabby! Now, in partnership […]

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Great cause, good eats

For the second year in a row, our culinary team led by AGO Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille recently participated in Bloor Street Entertains (BSE), an unparalleled night of dining and entertainment, all in support of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. Held annually on November 30—the eve of World AIDS Day—BSE brings together city’s finest […]

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Impress your date without breaking the bank

Free admission on Wednesday night is a longstanding tradition at the AGO. Each week from 6 to 9 pm, you can see our collection galleries for free – no ticket required! The initiative has been a popular staple of Toronto cultural life for decades. But did you know that a few blocks away from the […]

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UK critics and crowds are wild for Georgia O’Keeffe

The countdown is on: this acclaimed exhibition arrives at the AGO next spring. When Georgia O’Keeffe opened at the Tate Modern in London last July, it was the first major retrospective of her work seen in the UK in over a generation. The announcement of its arrival ran in newspapers across Britain and the US. […]

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Meet Toronto artist June Clark

Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 brings together works by over 65 artists and collectives to highlight an exciting period in Toronto’s art history. One of the artists featured is June Clark, whose work is being shown at the AGO for the first time. Created in 1989, Clark’s Formative Triptych “feels fresh, urgent and, sadly, timely, […]

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Little things for little people at Family Sundays

Now that we are deeply into fall and edging closer to winter, it’s time to move activities indoors – and what better place to escape the chill than the AGO? Every Sunday from 1-4 p.m. in November, December and January we’ll be playing and creating all over the Gallery! In November, inspired by our latest […]

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Nine Canadian works join the AGO collection

For the 17th year in a row, the AGO hosted Art Toronto’s Opening Night Preview last Thursday. The evening, which supports acquisitions and AGO programs, raised over $500,000. This year the AGO purchased nine works by seven Canadian artists, including Nadia Belerique, Sara Cwynar, Jessica Eaton, Kara Hamilton, Zachari Logan, Annie Pootoogook and Janet Werner. […]

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The art starts here

Want to see an iconic work of Canadian art but only have five minutes? Looking for a way to impress your coworkers at this year’s holiday party with your knowledge of modern sculpture? Drop by the AGO’s front entrance. Just inside the doors is a new, permanent installation of Michael’s Snow’s fascinating Walking Woman sculptures […]

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Monet’s Garden: a mystical cocktail experience

FRANK restaurant’s well-known bartender, Stephen Gaessler, is responsible for creating the most unique art-inspired cocktails in the city, including one of our current best sellers: Monet’s Garden. Stephen mixes his love of mixology with his passion for extending the art experience into the AGO’s restaurant. For each major exhibition, he plans FRANK’s cocktail menu by […]

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Four sculptures by Sir Anthony Caro to make North American debut at the AGO

Incoming! This winter, the AGO will unveil an exhibition of four monumental works by one of the most influential sculptors of the late twentieth century,  British artist Sir Anthony Caro (1924-2013).  A studio assistant to Henry Moore in the 1950s, Caro revolutionized sculpture in the 1960s by creating colourful abstract assemblages (works of art made by grouping found or […]

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Go inside the legendary club where DJ Frankie Knuckles got his start

Visitors have only one weekend left to experience the music of acclaimed Chicago House Music pioneer and DJ Frankie Knuckles as part of the exhibition Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum. To complement that experience, the AGO presents a free screening of Canadian writer and filmmaker Malcolm Ingram’s acclaimed 2013 documentary Continental on Friday, October […]

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November’s First Thursday gets magikal

Most of what we’ve heard about Toronto’s hip-hop and R&B scene has centered on someone who may or may not be dating Rihanna. Meanwhile, the experiential and genre-defying 88 Days Of Fortune collective has been building its own scene in the 6ix from the underground up since 2009. The AGO caught up with 88 Days of […]

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Solving the mystery of Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures

In the early 1500s, carvers in Northern Europe created exquisite boxwood prayer beads, rosaries and miniature altarpieces that have inspired and confounded people for generations.     Anyone who has looked at one of these beautiful objects wonders: how were these tiny masterpieces created? A team of experts decided to find out. The AGO’s Sasha Suda, Curator […]

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Taking art to the street with new youth project

Do you love finding art in unexpected places? Take a walk along Croft Lane just north of College Street and you can explore a new immersive art project created by local youth. StreetARToronto and the AGO collaborated on an initiative this summer which saw nine young people create murals in this vibrant Annex neighbourhood. To […]

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Mystical Landscapes gets the gala treatment

On October 15, the AGO presented a dazzling opening gala in celebration of our latest ground-breaking exhibition Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more. Guests got an exclusive sneak peek of the exhibition and experienced a custom menu, magical entertainment and unforgettable art all inspired by three key artists in the show Vincent van […]

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Choir! Choir! Choir! hits Art Toronto

  Choir! Choir! Choir! has come a long way since its inception as a weekly drop-in, a no-commitment singing event in February of 2011. Founded by Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman, the group caught international attention last winter when it performed Space Oddity at the AGO in tribute to David Bowie – skyrocketing to the […]

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Meet Walter Scott, AGO Artist-in-Residence

  Walter Scott, an interdisciplinary artist working with writing, illustration, performance and sculpture, is the AGO’s Artist-in-Residence until November 30. For Scott, comics are a key element of his practice. In 2011 while living in Montreal, he began a comic book series, Wendy, exploring the narrative of a fictional young woman living in an urban […]

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Want to channel your inner Emily Carr? Join an AGO art class today!

  Always wanted to learn how to take better photos? Secretly wondered if your child is the next van Gogh? How about chilling out in shavasana in a beautiful and serene setting? We have the answer: sign up for an AGO art class or yoga workshop. You’ll relax, be inspired and have beautiful new artwork […]

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The making of an exhibition: a 10-year mystical journey

Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more is one of the AGO’s most ambitious projects to date. Ever wondered how an exhibition of this scale is put together?

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Toronto artists speak up at AGO Friday Nights

Looking to be inspired on a Friday night? Two-time Juno Award-winner Lillian Allen, renowned internationally for her poetry and activism, has organized a series of AGO Friday Night performances that run throughout the month of October. Lillian Allen, courtesy the artist Each week there will be something new to experience. Allen has brought together established and […]

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More than just a party: Art Toronto’s Opening Night Preview

What do you get when you mix amazing contemporary art, artists and art lovers in a cool, buzzy atmosphere? An opportunity for the AGO to acquire something special, like Seth’s Death of Jumbo. Every October AGO curators have the opportunity to add to the Gallery’s collection at Art Toronto, Canada’s international contemporary and modern art […]

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How to conserve Tom Thomson’s “The West Wind” (1917)

by Katharine Whitman (Conservator), Maria Sullivan (Manager, Conservation), and Andrew Hunter (Frederik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art) Tom Thomson first painted in Algonquin Park in May 1912 and returned there every spring, summer and fall until his death in 1917.  Thomson had a small paintbox containing his paints and brushes, and created numerous small sketches […]

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Making more room for art

The Henry Moore Sculpture Centre and Irina Moore East Gallery have re-opened, following their closures in March when the AGO began transforming an adjacent space into a new, 1,200 square foot gallery. Stay tuned for more details on the opening of the new gallery space this Fall!

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When Steve Met Lawren

By now, you’re probably more than familiar with comedian, actor, musician, author, art collector, curator, and inexhaustible multi-hyphenate Steve Martin, who helped bring to life The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris (on now til September 18). But you may be less familiar with why and how this charismatic fellow became involved with the Group of Seven painter. Martin tells […]

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Under the Light: Preserving Tess Boudreau’s negatives and contact sheets

Curatorial intern Cat Lachowskyj shares her recent findings made during her work in the AGO Photography Collection. A graduate student at Ryerson University in the Film and Photographic Preservation and Collections Management program (FPPCM), Cat is currently writing her thesis on colonial photographs taken during the Younghusband Mission in Tibet (1903–1904). What project are you currently working on at […]

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AGOxInstagram: June 2016

We’re lucky: Our visitors are some of the best photographers in the city, and we are constantly marveling at your views of the AGO. Inspired by you, we’ve created a monthly round-up of favourite AGOxInstagram shots. This past June, we were floored by views of our current exhibitions The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris and Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop; studies of the […]

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Meet the 2016 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program! The scholarship program, which was inaugurated in 2013, recognizes 3 full-time students—Canadian or international—who are entering their final year of study toward a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in photography at one of 15 participating post-secondary institutions across Canada. From a […]

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Where to eat during Summerlicious & Lawren Harris

Looking for the perfect summer meal, at a steal? Our restaurant FRANK is serving up two mouth-watering, Northern-inspired menus that will make you want to sing from the mountaintops — or at least talk about singing from the mountaintops on Instagram. Northern Delights: A Lawren Harris prixe-fixe Inspired by The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris, this menu features succulent Gaspé […]

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Watch Cynthia Burlingham on the Drawings of Lawren Harris — live at 6pm

A founding member of the Group of Seven, Lawren Harris is best known for his majestic and modern painted landscapes of Canada’s north that seem to have sprung, fully formed, from the artist’s mind. But behind every painting was a sketch — or in some cases, hundreds of sketches. To celebrate the opening of The […]

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AGOxInstagram: May 2016

We’re lucky: Our visitors are some of the best photographers in the city, and we are constantly marveling at your views of the AGO. Inspired by you, we’ve created a monthly round-up of favourite AGOxInstagram shots. May 2016 saw more striking architecture photography, snaps from our current exhibition Thomas Ruff: Object Relations (including our favourite #ArtSelfie spot: Sterne (Stars), in the middle), and quiet […]

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Hive Mind

Sherry Phillips, Conservator, Contemporary Art, shares her insights on preparing Pierre Huyghe’s “Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt)” — a statue that contains live beehive — for display during Luminato Festival 2016. When Kitty Scott, Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art at the AGO first mentioned we would be acquiring Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) by Pierre Huyghe, I was intrigued. […]

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Conservation Stories: From Vault to Wall

Sherry Phillips, Conservator, Contemporary Art, reveals the behind-the-scenes process of getting artwork out of the vaults and into the gallery. How does it all begin? It usually starts with a wish list. A curator will develop an idea for an exhibition and choose artwork or documents they think best explore and explain their concept. That list […]

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