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Explore the mystical universe at the AGO this fall with out-of-this-world talks and programs

Exhibition of rare works by Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin and more debuts on Oct. 22; AGO presents Chris Hadfield, guided meditation and a pop-up planetarium

This fall the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) hosts the world debut of Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, van Gogh and more, the first exhibition of its kind to consider the intersection of art, nature and mysticism that lies behind some of the most beloved works of Western art. To celebrate its arrival in Toronto, the Gallery is offering an exciting line-up of fall programming, including talks, menus and trips through the stars, perfect for exploring these masterpieces from a variety of perspectives. Tickets for these exhibition-inspired courses and talks are on sale now at

Presented in partnership with the renowned Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Mystical Landscapes is groundbreaking in its breadth, inviting visitors to accompany 36 artists from 15 countries—including Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch, James McNeill Whistler and Georgia O’Keeffe—on their spiritual journeys through nature.

“These masterpieces convey experiences that cannot be put into words,” says exhibition curator Katharine Lochnan. “They express the artists’ mystical experiences of something greater than themselves, and allow AGO visitors to contemplate their own deeper realities.”

Supported by Lead Sponsor RBC, this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition opens in Toronto on Oct. 22, 2016 and runs to Jan. 29, 2017. Exclusive members’ previews run from Oct.19 – 21, 2016.

“The Mystical Landscapes exhibition at the AGO offers a rare opportunity to the Canadian art community to see the work of recognized art-historical masters and internationally celebrated paintings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries” said Kim Mason, Regional President of Greater Toronto at RBC . “As the role of the landscape in contemporary art continues to evolve, seeing these works, and recognizing their impact on visual culture becomes increasingly valuable. We are proud to support such a noteworthy collection of works and I highly encourage art lovers to take in this spectacular exhibition while it is available.”

Timed-entry tickets for Mystical Landscapes go on sale to the public on Oct. 7, 2016, priced at $16.50 for youth ages 17 and under, $21.50 for seniors and $25 for adults. An extensive 12-stop audio tour, featuring commentary and music, is included in the price of admission. Audio wands will be available onsite, or visitors can download the tour for free in advance via the AGO Mobile App to iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android device.

Tickets will be available online at, in person and over the phone. Admission is free for AGO Members and for children five and under. AGO Members have access to an exclusive preview before the exhibition opens to the public, and may book their free advance tickets now. More information on the benefits of AGO membership can be found at

In their quest to find an unmediated spiritual outlet, the artists featured in Mystical Landscapes turned to landscape painting to convey their feelings of unity with nature and the cosmos. This fall the AGO welcomes an exciting line-up of internationally renowned guests whose experiences and research examine that ongoing search. Speakers include:

  • celebrated author Ross King, who will discuss his newest book Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies;
  • astronaut, interstellar songwriter and author Chris Hadfield, who joins a panel of five artists to reflect on landscape and nature, both nautical and extra-planetary;
  • exhibition curator Katharine Lochnan, who spent five years preparing the exhibition and will discuss the genesis of the project and examine the profoundly spiritual landscapes of artist Charles-Marie Dulac; and
  • internationally renowned philosopher and political theorist Charles Taylor, who presents a lecture on the spiritual and art on, highlighting parallels between our modern spirituality and the rise of mysticism at the turn of the last century.

The AGO explores Mystical Landscapes after dark with Be Magik, an exciting evening of performances and installations at AGO First Thursdays on Nov. 3, 2016. Headlining the event are Toronto musicians Witch Prophet and the multimedia collective 88 Days of Fortune. Tickets go on sale on Oct. 13, 2016 at For more details about First Thursdays programming, follow #AGO1st on Twitter and Instagram.

Families visiting the AGO this holiday season are invited to explore the cosmos in a unique pop-up planetarium. Presented in partnership with the University of Toronto and designed for children of all ages, the planetarium allows discovery of the many awe-inspiring landscapes found within our solar system and throughout the universe. The interactive presentations are led by members of U of T’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and will be accompanied by hands-on art making activities in the Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School.

The planetarium will run daily from Dec. 26, 2016 to Jan. 8, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with presentations every 30 minutes. Timed-entry tickets go on sale in November and are $5 for adults, $3 for youth ages 6-17 and free for children under five. For more details including onsale dates, please visit

A wide selection of themed adult courses will bring the exhibition experience to life, and can be found at Highlights include:

  • Experiencing Art through Meditation, Mindfulness and Visio Divina
    Led by a trio of experts, this three-week-long workshop allows participants to engage with the masterpieces in the exhibition alternately through the lens of meditation, mindfulness and Visio Divina. The program is staged inside the exhibition on Mondays, offering quiet access to the gallery when it’s closed to the public. The workshops will be repeated in December and January. Registration fees are $60 for members and $75 for the public.
  • Landscape Painting
    Instructors Alex Bartosik and Amy Wong present a 10-week course dedicated to helping students capture light, atmosphere and mood in paint by using examples from the AGO collection.
  • Painting Inspired by Monet and Painting Inspired by van Gogh
    The AGO Gallery School hosts these workshops, designed into introduce students to Monet’s and van Gogh’s unique colour palette and techniques. Registration is ongoing.

Discounted rates are available for groups of 10 or more. To enhance a Mystical Landscapes group visit and book a private art talk in the historic Grange Library or the state-of-the-art Weston Family Learning Centre, please visit

Beginning on Oct. 18, 2016, the AGO’s FRANK restaurant celebrates the exciting partnership with Musée d’Orsay with a French-inspired three course prix-fix menu. The artful menu includes classic favourites like beef cheek bourguignon, aligot potatoes, French onion soup, and trout meunière. The lunch menu is available for $35 and the dinner menu for $45. A prix-fixe dinner and exhibition package is $65. Members receive a 10 per cent discount on regular FRANK menu items, excluding alcohol, applicable taxes and gratuities. For reservations, call 416-979-6688.

A richly illustrated 356-page hardcover catalogueMystical Landscapes: From Vincent van Gogh to Emily Carr accompanies the exhibition and features 22 essays and over 200 colour plates. Edited by AGO senior curator Katharine Lochnan, with Roald Nasgaard and Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov, the catalogue includes commentary from experts in the fields of theology, art history, medicine, astrophysics, world history and psychology, offering a penetrating look at artists who shaped the landscape genre through spiritual expression. Co-published by Del Monico Books and the Art Gallery of Ontario, the catalogue is available for purchase at shopAGO beginning Oct. 19, 2016 at the exclusive discounted price of $49.95. Members receive a 10 per cent discount.

shopAGO will celebrate the exhibition’s arrival with a wide variety of artful products. Highlights include exquisite representations of key works in art prints and stationary and unique gift ideas, including the School of Life ‘CALM’ card deck, journals, meditation guides, natural crystals and gemstones and locally made glass ornaments.

Full details for all Mystical Landscapes events, programs and offerings can be found at

Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and the musée d’Orsay, Paris. Lenders include  Tate Britain; National Gallery of Canada; National Gallery of Scotland; National Museum, Stockholm; Munch Museum, Oslo; National Gallery, Prague; Leopold Museum, Vienna; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Art Institute of Chicago; and many other institutions worldwide.

Lead Sponsor:                               

Lead Supporters:                           
Tim and Frances Price

Generously supported by:
Richard M. Ivey
Mrs. John Flemer

Government Partner:
Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund
Government of Ontario

Media Partner:
Globe and Mail

This event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

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 the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’s masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO 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 that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. 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 AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to learn more.

Oct. 22, 2016 – Jan. 29, 2017:            Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more

April 22 – July 30, 2017:                   Georgia O’Keeffe

Sept. 30, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018:            Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

For hi-res images and other press inquiries, please contact:

Andrea McLoughlin; Senior Publicist, Holmes PR

Andrea-Jo Wilson; Senior Communications Officer
416-979-6660, ext. 403,

Caitlin Coull; Manager, Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 364,

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