Canadian Mosaic: Celebrating 150 Years of Art from the Permanent Collection

Franklin Carmichael (Canadian, 1890–1945), Autumn: Orillia (detail), 1924, oil on canvas, 91.4 x 73.7 cm. Gift of lord Beaverbrook.

April 29 - September 10, 2017    |    Regular Exhibition

In recognition of Canada’s Sesquicentennial, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery presents a series of exhibitions from its collections tracing the development of Canadian Art. Five galleries will be dedicated to exploring Canada 150 – Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration – through thematic presentations of historical, modern and contemporary art, including a focus presentation highlighting the art of Atlantic Canada. Through its nearly six decades of history, the Gallery has amassed a fine overview of the principal artists associated with our nation. Canadian Mosaic: Celebrating 150 years of art from the Permanent Collection will showcase some of the most beloved works in the collection by notable historical figures such as Paul Kane, Cornelius Krieghoff, Tom Thomson, Lawren Harris, Emily Carr, J. W. Morrice, John Hammond, Arthur Lismer, and Henrietta Mabel May. As one particularly fitting inclusion, the Gallery will unveil a recently-donated 19th Century sculptural portrait of Sir George-Étienne Cartier, co-premier of the Province of Canada and Father of Confederation.

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s permanent collection is renowned for many exemplary works from the modern era by artists as diverse as: Alex Colville, Molly Lamb Bobak, Bruno Bobak, E.J. Hughes, Paul-Émile Borduas, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Mary Pratt. The Gallery has made substantial numbers of significant acquisitions by contemporary artists from coast to coast to coast. Chief Curator Jeffrey Spalding’s aspiration for the project is to send a love letter to Canada on the occasion of its 150th birthday. However, he cautions that, “it would be impossible to use the project to even attempt to construct a portrait of the art of the nation. The country is too vast: our demographics, cultural, ethnic, and geographic differences are wide-ranging. Invariably, someone and something would be left out.” The gallery’s presentation of Canadian Mosaic: Celebrating 150 years of art from the Permanent Collection is a nationwide sampler celebrating the extraordinary talents and multiplicity of aesthetic interests that in aggregate characterize the richness of the Canadian experience and Canadian art.

Curated by Jeffrey Spalding and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.