Reference Point

Recent Historical Acquisitions

January 28, 2023
 - February 4, 2024

Firestone Gallery | Level 2

2023 marks the Ottawa Art Gallery’s 35th anniversary as an organization and five years in the new OAG building. In celebration of these milestones, this exhibition features a selection of recent historical acquisitions, drawing on works created before 1988 and acquired in the last five years. The first period of the OAG’s collecting history focused on contemporary work almost exclusively, but there has been an increase in the acquisition of historical works over recent years.

These works from artists and collectors with connections to the region—in addition to connections to works within our existing Permanent Collection and the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art—build on our rich historical holdings. They help to widen the story of our community’s evolution, as told through art.

With works ranging from the 1830s to 1986 and spanning a variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking, the artists represented in this exhibition include André Biéler, Eva Boros-Furesz, Mimi Cabri, Alma Duncan, Charles F. Gibson, William S. Hunter, Fran Jones, Kenneth Lochhead, Jane Martin, Norman McLaren, Art Price, Goodridge Roberts, Simon Tookoome, Tony Urquhart, and J.W.H Watts.

Collectors and donors also play an important role in the region’s art historical story, supporting artists, bringing in their own perspectives, and generously donating works to increase public access. Donors of the works in this exhibition are similarly varied, and include Eva Boros-Furesz, Laura Brandon, Mimi Cabri, Roger Dent, Marianne Douglas, John Doyle, Glynnis French, A. Ian Gillespie, Joanne Lochhead, Glenn and Barbara McInnes, Rene Price, the Sauvé family, Rosemarie Tovell, Denise Trottier, Doug Williams, and Andy Wilder.

This installation of recently acquired historical work is accompanied by a small selection of works from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art (FCCA). This city-owned collection of work by national artists was given into the OAG’s care in part to serve as a building block for future acquisitions. As well bolstering our young institution’s national reputation, the FCCA serves as a departure point on which to build new acquisitions, including those that help us fill in gaps of representation in the historical story.

Curated by Meghan Ho
French Translation: Marie-Camille Lalande
Editing : Catherine Sinclair, Lucy Trew, Véronique Couillard
Designer: Sophie Nakashima
Installation: Jennifer Gilliland, Dan Austin, Ryan Forget, Rob Keefe

This exhibition was realized with the support of the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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