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ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO, 2008

Updated on April 4, 2012

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.

Wikipedia

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.

GRAND OPENING

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.

GRAND OPENING

"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 Group of Seven, Lauren S. Harris,   Lake & Mountains 1928 oil on canvas. 130.8 x 160.7cm   Gift from the Fund of the T. Eaton Co. Ltd. for Canadian Works of Art 1948, 2001 Art Gallery of Ontario
The Group of Seven, Lauren S. Harris, Lake & Mountains 1928 oil on canvas. 130.8 x 160.7cm Gift from the Fund of the T. Eaton Co. Ltd. for Canadian Works of Art 1948, 2001 Art Gallery of Ontario

CANADIAN COLLECTION

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. 

Portrait of a Gentleman, Isaak Abrahamsz Massa by Frans Hals 1626, and given to the AGO in 1955 by Frank P. Woods
Portrait of a Gentleman, Isaak Abrahamsz Massa by Frans Hals 1626, and given to the AGO in 1955 by Frank P. Woods

EUROPEAN COLLECTION

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
African and Oceanic
Bembe Artist Democratic Republic of the Congo  Helmet Mask possibly early 1900s wood with polychrome 43.0 cm.  Gift from the Frum collection 1999
Bembe Artist Democratic Republic of the Congo Helmet Mask possibly early 1900s wood with polychrome 43.0 cm. Gift from the Frum collection 1999

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

Do you find the newly renovated Royal Art Gallery of Ontario worth visiting?

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Do you like the renovated new look by world reknown architect Frank Owen Gehry?

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© 2009 einron

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    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Karolina

      Thank you for your comments. You are always welcome to come and see my new posts.

      It is interesting to learn of Karoline-art, the art of the Australian aborigines

    • profile image

      Karolina 

      6 years ago

      Fantastic hub, looking forward to come back and see your new posts. Thank you.

      My art gallery http://www.karoline-art.com

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      zsofi,

      Thanks for the comments.

      The outside picture of AGO is taken from the internet and I believe you have to ask for permission to use it.

    • profile image

      zsofi 

      9 years ago

      Dear einron!

      I am an editor in Hungary and I am hunting for pictures about AGO. Your picture from outside is amazig! I have to write an article about Toronto, and I am going to recommaend AGO. Could we get this picture from you somehow? If it is, please write me on zs@aheadmedia.com. And Congratulation!

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      cgull8m

      Welcome to the AGO in Toronto. I am now proud of the renovation done by Frank Gehry. It is very modern inside. Unfortunately, I did not put a picture of the renovation inside the gallery which is quite captivating. May be I shall put one in later. I do love the architecture.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      I would love to visit, it looks beautiful. I agree with you Musuems and artists will always inspire us.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Beats Me

      Thank you. Visitng art galleries is an education, and a feast for the eyes. Some of the paintings appeal to the eyes in colour, texture, composition, imagination, etc.

    • BeatsMe profile image

      BeatsMe 

      9 years ago

      Very nice hub. I especially liked the first picture.

      With so many collections, visitors will never see all of them. But visiting art galleries will always be a nice experience for anyone. :)

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      surefire

      You would be impressed with the architecture as well. I could put in any more pictures. The renovation was so creative and beautiful with its very high ceilings.

      Thank you.

    • surefire profile image

      surefire 

      9 years ago

      Beautiful hub! Very uplifting and nice expression of man's impressions of the world around him.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thank you for your comments. Hope you will come to Toronto in the near future and be welcome to the AGO.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 

      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      very nice hub. I like art and going to museums and always wanted to go to Toronto. There are some more listings of museums at exploringabroad that could be interesting as well.

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