WAG Exhibition Celebrates Gallery’s 100-Year History

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with a wide variety of exhibitions and events. One of the most interesting will be The WAG Century, an inter-active, evolving exhibition that explores the complex and exciting history of Canada’s oldest civic art gallery. It opens on August 18 and will run until September of 2013.

The WAG Century represents the first time the Gallery has mounted an exhibition focusing on its own history.” says Andrew Kear, Curator of Canadian Historical Art. “It is an exhibition that not only unveils the past but, just as importantly, helps build the momentum that propels the Winnipeg Art Gallery forward into its second century.”

The exhibition begins with an overview of the three different structures that have housed the WAG since 1912. The exhibition also pays tribute to the Gallery’s vital human building blocks. A wall of photographs will introduce audiences to key individuals—Board Presidents and Directors, staff, volunteers and donors—who have played important roles in making the WAG the place it is today.

The WAG Century unfolds the history of the Gallery through an archival timeline of impressive exhibition and programming initiatives. Through a display of catalogues, ephemera, and photographs audiences will have the opportunity to revisit defining exhibitions from Inuit carving to artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun to the work of Vincent Van Gogh. Visitors will also discover a Gallery activated by art- making and creative thinking. From the earliest Saturday Morning Art Classes for children to today’s rich array of Studio Programs, from envelope-pushing film screenings to lectures by world renowned minds, the WAG has always been a multifaceted centre of artistic exposure.    

Finally, the exhibition will illuminate stories behind key works within the WAG’s 26,000-object collection. Through a series of displays, which will rotate periodically throughout the year, visitors will be connected with the first art work purchased for the collection, momentous windfall acquisitions, works donated by historically significant personalities, as well as those pieces that stirred public controversy.    


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