At the National Gallery, the Canadian and Indigenous Galleries have just gone through the largest renovation since the gallery was originally opened in 1988. To celebrate both the refurbished galleries and the country’s sesquicentennial the National has just launched Canadian and Indigenous Art: From Time Immemorial to 1967, from June 15th to December 31st, 2017.
As you can imagine that covers a lot of territory and a lot of art, close to 800 Canadian and Indigenous works of art including paintings sculptures, decorative arts, photographs and videos.
And yes, all the big names are there including Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig , Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, James Wilson Morrice, David Milne, Lawren Harris, Prudence Heward, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Joyce Wieland, among others.
The exhibition has a section on the beginning of Inuit art and a variety of decorative First Nations’ pieces including the stunning Ceremonial Coat by an unknown Naskapi artist and a remarkable Northwest Coast Raven Sun Transformation Mask by Marven G. Tallio.
If you fancy Canadian art, and all the branches it encompasses, you must really attend this show because something like this will in all probability never be assembled again. Just consider the parties involved. The National has borrowed works from the Bata Shoe Museum, Chief James Hart of the Haida Nation, the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Centre, the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, the Canadian Museum of History, Library and Archives Canada, the Musée des Ursulines de Quebec, the Canadian War Museum and private lenders.