ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO, 2008
ART GALLERY of ONTARIO
INTRODUCTION of AGO
Founded in 1900, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the best and leading art museums in North America. In 2004 the AGO hired the internatioinally celebrated architect Frank Gehry to renovate the entire AGO which was transformed into an innovative and creative structure. The new renovation has increased its spaces by 47 per cent capacity. The new AGO has made its mark on the world scene since its opening on November 14, 2008.
REDEVELOPMENT of AGO
In 2004, the AGO unveiled a $254 million redevelopment plan called Transformation AGO, by architect Frank Gehry. The new addition would require demolition of the 1992 Barton Myers/KPMB Post-Modernist wing. The AGO's transformation increased the art viewing space by 47%. Notable elements of the new building include a glass and wood sculpture gallery at the north end along Dundas Street; a 4-story, box-like contemporary arts gallery and hosting centre clad in blue titanium facing Grange Park, as well as a new entrance aligned with the historic Walker's Court and The Grange.
FRANK GEHRY, the Architect
Frank Gehry was born to a Jewish family living in the downtown immigrant neighbourhood and his grandfather used to own a hardware store in Toronto. As a child he visited the art gallery which was only minutes away from his family home. Frank Gehry left for California in 1947 ;and returned to Toronto to redesign the AGO
The new Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain by Frank Gehry was probably the most often mentioned new building of 1998 and 1999 in architecture circles.
Frank Owen Gehry (1929) is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles.
His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions.Many museums, companies, and cities seek Gehry's services as a badge of distinction, beyond the product he delivers.
His best-known works include the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, Experience Music Project in Seattle,Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Dancing House in Prague, Czech Republic, and his private residence in Santa Monica, California.
3 Days of Free Admission November 14-16, 2008!
The new AGO also held its special Canadian Citizenship Court on the opening day before the general public was admitted. The Citizehship Court includes a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens.
The opening day was a cold November day and the queue lined up for nearly one and a quarter hours before admission. The queue stretched around the block, but nobody complained. I was surprised to see people selling sandwiches to the crowd as they inched their way around the block to the main entrance. Anticipation was high, and the crowd was not disappointed.
The crowd was very big but very cheerful though the weather was nippy. There was no complain whatsoever and everybody was delirously happy when admitted to the door of the gallery.
"The new AGO will display more than 4,000 artworks, featuring new acquistions and perennial favourites. The growth of the AGO's collection is a focal point of the new buildking. Peter Paul Ruebens's masterpiece The Massacre of the Innocents - a highlight of the internationally acclaimed Thomson Collection - and David Altmejd's monumental installation The Index will be on display, as will favourites by the Group of Seven and a variety of artworks from around the world.
The unprecedented gift of more than 2,000 works from Ken Thomson's collection will enrich the visitor's experience, while introductory hubs for each of the Gallery's core areas will orient visitors to the new collections."
THE THOMSON COLLECTION
The late Ken Thomson’s gift of his collection brings 2,000 outstanding works of art to the AGO, including 750 works by Canadian artists from the 19th to mid-20th century, such as the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson
Through the generosity of the late Ken Thomson, the art collections have grown tremendously. 2,000 outstanding works of art have been added, works by Cornelius Krieghoff, the Group of Seven, Paul Kane, Tom Thomson, Paul-Emile Borduas and William Kurelek. The collection also features examples of medieval Europen ivories, Chinese snuff bottles and over 130 ship models.
The AGO's Canadian collection reflects 11,000 years of visual expression and tradition in Canada. Works by the Inuit and First Nations, as well as historic and contemporay Canadian artists.
The European collections include the 17th century Dutch and Fleming painting, 17th century Italian baroque works, 19th century French impressionism, and 20th century surrealism. The AGO also has the world's largest collection of Henry Moore's sculptures in a public institution.
The museum also has an impressive collection of European art, such as major works by Tintoretto, Gian Lorenzo, Bernini, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Thomas Gainsborough, Anthony van Dyck, Emile Antoine Bourdelle, and Frans Hals. Works by other renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Vincent Van Gogh, and Edgar Degas are among the collection.
AFRICAN AND OCEANIC
The recently donated Frum collection, one of the world's finest collections of sub-Saharan art, is mainly composed of sculptural pieces ranging from the tenth century to the middle of the twentieth century.
The Oceanic collection consists of approximately 2,000 works of Australian Aboriginal art. Highlights of the collection include battle shields, bark paintings and a major of boomerangs.
WORKS ON PAPER (PHOTOGRAPHY, PRINTS & DRAWINGS
The AGO holds more than 45,000 photographic works, ranging from early innovations to contemporary works. The prints and drawings collection contains over 15,000 works, including treasured prints by international artists James Tissot, Ernst Barlach and Henry More as well as numerous works by Canadian artists David Milne, Betty Goodwin and David Blackwood. The collection has been enhanced by a significant aquisition of Rembrandt etchings and a large collection of humorous, satirical and illustrative graphic artworks.
AGO - A PROUD HERITAGE
The Art Gallery of Ontario has a proud heritage of more than a hundred years, and the recent renovation by Frank Gehry made Toronto a landmark in North America. The renovation has added stature to the AGO. Previously, the AGO was a non-descriptive very dull structure from the outside and dark inside, but the highly acclaimed architect transformed the building into a beautiful, brilliant, creative and innovative structure of the 21st century highly admired by all who had visited the AGO.
The recent gift of the late Ken Thomson's collection added 2,000 outstanding works of art including extraordinary works by Cornelius Krieghoff, Paul Kane, the Group of Seven, and William Kurelek. Thanks to Ken Thomson for his very generous gift which will be enjoyed greatly by the visitors and generations to come.
Art Gallery of Ontario, 2008
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© 2009 einron
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