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Venice Biennale


Travelling Exhibition

A Story of Canadian Art: As told by the Hart House Collection
National Touring Exhibition 2013-2016

Curated by Dr. Christine Boyanoski
Organized by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto

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Image credit: Arthur Lismer, Isles of Spruce, 1922. Oil on canvas, 136 x 179 cm. Hart House Art Collection, University of Toronto, Purchased by the Hart House Sketch Committee, 1927/28.

The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery is proud to present a major, national touring exhibition showcasing forty-one works by renowned artists such as Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Prudence Heward, A.Y. Jackson, J.E.H. MacDonald, David Milne, Lilias Torrance Newton, Tom Thomson, and F.H. Varley. Drawn from the celebrated Hart House Art Collection, the majority of works in the exhibition feature classic images of the Canadian landscape, coast to coast.

The exhibition also represents an important chapter in the role of collecting, and how collections contribute to the shaping of both art history and national identity. Hart House was commissioned by the Massey family, and gifted to the University of Toronto in 1919 as a cultural centre where students, faculty, and the broader public could mingle and converse. The Hart House Art Committee, comprised of students, artists, faculty, and staff at the University of Toronto, began collecting art with the purchase of A.Y. Jackson’s Georgian Bay in 1922, and continued to focus on the work of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, as well as the Beaver Hall Group and Canadian Group of Painters, through the first half of the twentieth century. The art collection rapidly gained a national and international reputation, with works being loaned to important shows of Canadian art at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, and the Tate Gallery in London, UK. These shows, and the critical reviews that were distributed across Canada, helped to define Canadian art at that time.

While individual works from the collection continue to be regularly included in published histories of Canadian art and museum exhibitions, they are rarely seen together. A Story of Canadian Art is the first opportunity in over thirty years for Canadian audiences to see some of the most important works from the collection, and to learn about a significant chapter in the formation of the story of Canadian art and cultural history in the first half of the twentieth century.

A Story of Canadian Art: As told by the Hart House Collection is curated by Dr. Christine Boyanoski, and organized by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House. The exhibition continues its national tour through 2016.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canadian Museums Assistance Program.

Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du ministère du Patrimoine canadien.

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Exhibition Locations

Agnes Etherington Art Centre
August 29 - December 6, 2015
Kingston, Ontario

Kelowna Art Gallery
May 9 - July 19, 2015
Kelowna, British Columbia

University of Toronto Art Centre
January 15 - March 7, 2015
Toronto, Ontario

Museum London
September 20, 2014 - January 4, 2015
London, Ontario

Varley Art Gallery of Markham
May 24 - September 1, 2014
Markham, Ontario

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
January 17 - March 22, 2014
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario

Art Gallery of Alberta
March 9 - July 1, 2013
Edmonton, Alberta


Installation Views

A Story of Canadian Art @ Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, 2013

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