Winnipeg Art Gallery blockbuster exhibition includes paintings by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and Warhol from thirty museums

Winnipeg, MB, April 23, 2013:  Works by some of the world’s greatest artists will be gathered under one roof this summer as the Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrates its Centennial with the opening of 100 Masters: Only in Canada on Saturday, May 11. One hundred masterpieces to commemorate the WAG’s one hundred years: 28 museums across Canada plus the Walker Art Centre and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts have lent one hundred works for the largest exhibition in the WAG’s history. The show will be augmented by 10 pieces from the Gallery’s own collection of over 26,000 works. BMO Financial Group is the presenting sponsor of the exhibition.

“The wonderful tradition of museums sending their best pieces to celebrate the opening or anniversary of a sister institution is longstanding,” says Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO, and the curator of the exhibition, who spent two years criss-crossing the country to meet with the lending institutions and make the final selection of works. “The artworks that have been chosen are among the most treasured pieces in the collections of these galleries. For instance, the large portrait by Rembrandt lent by the National Gallery of Canada, is the most renowned work by the Dutch master in any Canadian collection. The paintings by Renoir and Picasso from the Art Gallery of Ontario, works by Emily Carr and Jeff Wall from the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Monet painting from the McMaster Museum of Art, and Rodin’s sculpture from the MacKenzie Art Gallery – these are just a few of the remarkable pieces coming to Winnipeg. Many of them have rarely been lent but exceptions were made to help the WAG mark this important milestone.”

The selection of the artwork is divided evenly between Canadian and non-Canadian works, with fifty Canadian works and a combination of fifty European and American works spanning six centuries, from 1500 to 2010. Artists include Rembrandt van Rijn, Thomas Gainsborough, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, and Francis Bacon. The exhibition also includes works by iconic Canadian artists like Cornelius Krieghoff, Paul Peel, Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, Jack Bush, Jean Paul Lemieux, and Mary Pratt.

One of the most generous lenders to the exhibition is the National Gallery of Canada, and their Director and CEO, Marc Mayer, notes: “How this beautiful gallery is celebrating its centennial speaks eloquently of just how special a place Winnipeg is. 100 Masters: Only in Canada is a party for all of us. In a way, we are all in Winnipeg to celebrate, not only one city’s cultural maturity, but also our own general excellence, our own coming of age. Aside from its many pleasures, surprises, and old fondnesses, this festive exhibition is an elegant gesture, a warm and smiling wave of solidarity from one Canadian art-loving city to all the others.”

The 100 Masters exhibition is supported by many sponsors, including BMO Financial Group, the Presenting Sponsor. “BMO has a long and proud history of supporting the arts in Canada, as we believe a strong and vital cultural life is part of a truly healthy community,” said John MacAulay, Senior Vice President, Prairies Central Canada Division, BMO Financial Group. “We’re delighted to be part of this outstanding exhibition, which brings some of the world’s most celebrated works of art to Winnipeg.”

The WAG’s dedicated website, 100masters.wag.ca, includes a 100-day countdown of the images in the show and information on all the programs designed to enhance the visitor experience. Director & CEO Stephen Borys is posting regular blogs about his travels over the past two years as he traversed the country, talking to other gallery directors and curators, exploring their collections, and choosing the perfect works for 100 Masters: Only in Canada.  The exhibition presentation is accompanied by a fully illustrated book, a commemorative brochure, and adult and kids audio tours, the adult tour narrated by Jeff Douglas, the co-host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens.

Admission: WAG member surcharge $10, WAG family member surcharge $25, WAG senior/student member surcharge $10, adult $22, senior and student $20, family $55, children 5 and under are free. Admission includes free audio tour and commemorative booklet. Tickets are now available at the WAG front desk.

Museums that have lent works to 100 Masters: Only in Canada:

Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON
Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ON
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON
Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NB
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, ON
Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PE
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
McCord Museum, Montreal, QC
McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, ON
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON
Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QC
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Quebec City, QC
Museum London, London, ON
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Royal BC Museum, Victoria, BC
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON
The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John’s, NL
Museum of Anthropology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB
University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto, ON
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB

BMO is the presenting sponsor for 100 Masters: Only in Canada. Exhibition also sponsored by PACART, Lindsey Steek & Company, Anonymous, The Mauro Family Foundation Inc., Bird Construction Company, Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd, the Dorothy Strelsin Foundation, Alpha Masonry, Cibinel Architects Ltd., Graham Construction, McCain Foundation, Melet Plastics, Sigurdson McFadden Benefits & Pensions, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, Manitoba Public Insurance, Crosier Kilgour & Partners, Manitoba Blue Cross, Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union, MCW/AGE Consulting Professional Engineers, Red River Co-op. Media sponsors are Pattison Outdoor Advertising, the Winnipeg Free Press, CTV, CBC, CJOB, Travel Manitoba, Visual Lizard, Radio Canada, and Global Television. 

About BMO Financial Group

For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2012, BMO contributed more than $87.6 million in donations, sponsorships and events in Canada and the United States to groups, organizations and programs that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.

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For information, please contact:
Debra Fehr, Manager, Communications and Marketing
204.789.1767     communications-manager@wag.ca

Heather Mousseau, Communications Coordinator
204.786.6641, ext 211
communications-coordinator@wag.ca

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