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Vancouver Art Gallery Permanent Collection Reaches Important Milestone, Now Over 10,000 Works
Robert Davidson, Killer Whale Transforming into a Thunderbird, 2009, wood, paint, electric motor and remote control, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Commissioned with Funds from Arts Partners in Creative Development, the Jean MacMillan Southam Major Art Purchase Fund and Gary Bell, Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery.

VANCOUVER.- The Vancouver Art Gallery has passed a major milestone, as its permanent collection now exceeds 10,000 items.

As part of its recent annual review, the Gallery announced that 178 artworks were acquired through purchase and donation in the last fiscal year, bringing the total number of works held in trust for the people of British Columbia to 10,004.

Major contemporary and historical acquisitions build on the strength of the Gallery’s collection, renowned for its excellence in art produced in British Columbia and, in particular, the photo-conceptual work of the ‘ Vancouver school’. Exciting additions of painting, sculpture and photography were made with the assistance of generous donors and funders.

Among the highlights of works acquired:

· Killer Whale Transforming into a Thunderbird, a unique carved transformation panel by Robert Davidson, commissioned by the Gallery and funded by a generous grant from Arts Partners in Creative Development;

· Canvasses by Group of Seven members A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer and Frederick Varley, with the assistance of the Anne Eliza Winn Trust;

· New works by BC artists Andrew Dadson, Luanne Martineau and Reece Terris, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisitions Assistance Program and donations by members of the Gallery’s Acquisitions Committee;

· At Work, a photo-based and video work by internationally acclaimed Vancouver artist Ian Wallace, made possible by the Jean MacMillan-Southam Major Art Purchase Fund;

· 7 video-based works by Los Angeles artist Euan Macdonald, a gift from Thomas H. Bjarnason;

· Rise and Fall, a major two-channel video installation by Fiona Tan, which was commissioned by the Gallery for her solo exhibition;

· And numerous other acquisitions of Canadian and international artists’ works, through the generous support of private individuals and funding organizations.

“As we prepare for a new building, the continued expansion of the collection is vital and remains a cornerstone of our program,” says Gallery director Kathleen Bartels .

Passing the 10,000 works marker in the permanent collection is part of an exciting year for the Gallery. In 2009-2010, the Gallery undertook one of the most ambitious exhibition programs in its history. During the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, a record-breaking number of visitors lined up to see Visions of British Columbia: A Landscape Manual and Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man, loaned to the Gallery from the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. After the Games, the Gallery went on to present stellar international exhibitions such as The Modern Woman: Drawings by Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and Other Masterpieces from the Musee d’Orsay, Paris and Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall. More than 400,000 visitors came through the Gallery’s doors in 2009-2010.

“We’re delighted with the success of the past 12 months,” says director Bartels, “It is gratifying to know that the Gallery has been such an integral part of a very special year in the city’s history, and that the hard work of our staff, board directors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers is bringing world-class art by local and international artists to so many people.”

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