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Vision into Reality: The Birth of the Collection

September 25, 2009 - September 25, 2009

Today, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria holds the largest public collection of art in the province. Working with a nearly blank slate, Colin Graham, the AGGV’s founding Director, imagined a collection culled from every corner of the world. He wanted to ?give Victoria the whole gamut of ethnic cultures.? Building relationships with Victorians who had art in their homes, Graham appealed to them to help establish a collection that could be held in public trust for the citizens of British Columbia.

The Birth of the Collection explores the various strengths of the collection including examples from local, Canadian, and international artists working in fine and decorative art media. Highlights include a significant collection of old master prints by Rembrandt, D?rer, and Goya as well as works by other international artists such as Turner, Daumier, Rodin, and Whistler. Graham also developed a fine survey of important historical Canadian art including paintings by Emily Carr, David Milne, Fred Varley, and Arthur Lismer. Alongside these traditional works he introduced international modernism through prints by Wassily Kandinsky, Henry Moore, Odilon Redon, and Georges Rouault. Perhaps most significantly he represented the art of his time though modernist paintings by Mark Tobey, Jack Shadbolt, Roy Kiyooka, Jock Macdonald, and Jack Bush, among many others.

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