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With a collection of more than 90,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the Art Gallery of Ontario offers an incredible art experience with each visit.
In 2002, Ken Thomson's generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Completed in 2008, Transformation AGO resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America.
The new AGO is Toronto-born Frank Gehry’s first building in Canada and marks the very place where he made the initial connection between art and architecture. Hallmarks of his Art Gallery of Ontario design connect the city and the Gallery in provocative new ways including,dramatic sculptural staircases, the warmth of Douglas fir, and the extensive use of glass which infuses the galleries with natural light. As you will discover, it is an extraordinary new home for extraordinary new art.
Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The Art Gallery of Ontario has an active membership program offering great value, and the Art Gallery of Ontario's Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults.
Founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens as the Art Museum of Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America, with over 90,000 works in its collection and a physical facility of 583,000 square feet. More than 4,000 works from the collection are on public view.
The AGO's collection spans from 100 A.D. to the present and is focused on the following areas:
The Canadian collection vividly documents the development of the nation's art heritage since pre-Confederation, including one of the largest and finest Inuit art collections in the world. The collection includes pivotal works by Cornelius Krieghoff, Lucius O'Brien, James Wilson Morrice, Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, David Milne, Emily Carr, Paul-Emile Borduas, Joyce Wieland and Kenojuak Ashevak.
Masterpieces of European art include works by renowned artists such as Anthony van Dyck, Thomas Gainsborough, Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and René Magritte.
The Thomson Collection at the AGO includes a broad range of works, from European to Canadian art, ship models and decorative arts. Its European collection includes 900 works from the 12th to the 19th century, featuring Peter Paul Rubens' 17th-century masterpiece, The Massacre of the Innocents. The Canadian collection includes signature works by Cornelius Krieghoff, Paul Kane, Lawren Harris, and Paul-Emile Borduas. The Thomson Collection of ship models features pieces from the Napoleonic era to the 19th century, and the decorative arts collection includes more than 500 objects of international significance, including the 12th-century Malmesbury Chasse.
The AGO maintains a comprehensive collection of Contemporary art spanning from 1960 to the present, reflecting global developments in artistic practice across all media, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, projection art and installation art. The collection is defined by strong holdings of leading Canadian artists such as David Altmejd, Brian Jungen, Jeff Wall, Shirley Wiitasalo and punctuated with major works by international artists such as Mona Hatoum, Gerhard Richter, Doris Salcedo, Tino Sehgal, Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol.
Artists represented in career-spanning depth include Iain Baxter& / N.E. Thing Co, David Blackwood, Jack Bush, Paterson Ewen, Betty Goodwin, General Idea, Robert Motherwell, Kazuo Nakamura, Greg Curnoe and Michael Snow.
The AGO houses the world's largest public collection of works by internationally renowned British sculptor Henry Moore.
A collection of more than 40,000 photographs represents the emergence of the medium in all its artistic, cultural and social diversity. The collection includes Wworks by 19th-century British, French, American and Canadian photographers, and 20th-century modernists, including a significant group of 1850s prints by British photographer Linnaeus Tripe, one of the foremost collections of works by Czech photographer Josef Sudek, and more than 18,000 press photographs from the Klinsky Press Agency taken in the 1930s and 40s.
The AGO's collection of African art is not only the largest of its kind in a Canadian art museum, but also one of the most prestigious collections of African art in Canada. This collection of 95 artworks spans several centuries and is acutely focused on sculptural and figural works from west and central Africa. Pieces in the collection are made with an array of materials that are reflective of the sculptural traditions in their respective areas, including beeswax, copper alloys, glass beads, iron, ivory, soapstone and wood.
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario has something to intrigue every audience. For more information, visit our Web site at www.ago.net or call 1-877-CAL-4-AGO.