The Collection | The Collection Continues


The Art Gallery of Hamilton celebrates our permanent collection with two signature exhibitions:

The Collection

Permanent Installation


Installation view of The Collection, 2019. Photo: Robert McNair

Permanent collections are complex, amazing, and very weighted. The ways they are formed, presented, and interpreted all speak of choices—choices made one hundred years ago and yesterday. These choices express who we are, and crucially, who we want to be.

Here at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, we are proud of our collection, while at the same time recognizing that there is still work to be done in accounting for the biases and omissions of our holdings. Although we aim to have old favourites out on the floor as much as possible, we also have a responsibility to bring lesser-known work to public consideration. Given the challenges of properly balancing these concerns, and knowing that for practical reasons only a small percentage of the collection can be out of the vaults at any given time, what kind of choices inform how we present the collection?

This selection explores a series of questions about collections and their presentation; questions that should reflect the times we live in and the things we are talking about as a society. That is how inanimate objects come alive. And that is why they (still) matter so much.

The Collection Continues: A Quarter Century of Collecting

On view until January 5, 2020


Installation view of The Collection Continues: A Quarter Century of Collecting, 2019. Photo: Mike Lalich

The Collection Continues brings together outstanding works acquired over the last twenty-five years by the Art Gallery of Hamilton for its permanent collection.

Featuring local, national, and international artists from the past and present, this exhibition considers the remarkable growth of the permanent collection and the intimate connections between its many strengths. The generosity of donors, the foresight of directors and curators, the formative role of living artists, and the rise of new generations of artists that explore a diverse array of media and subject matter are all explored here.

The works in this exhibition demonstrate how the Art Gallery of Hamilton continues to build its permanent collection with a view to capturing significant moments in the careers of artists, in major art movements, and in local and wider histories. Generating new questions, narratives, and dialogues, these works have enhanced and helped transform the quality and breadth of the permanent collection.

Work in a range of media—painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture—and from the hands of both historical and contemporary artists reflects on the last twenty-five years of collecting. The work of over seventy artists is presented, including: Alex Colville, Meryl McMaster, Attila Richard Lukacs, BGL, Tim Whiten, Barbara Steinman, David Milne, Divya Mehra, Auguste Rodin, Robert Houle, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Kathleen Munn, Geneviève Cadieux, André Derain, and Gustave Doré, to name just a few.

This exhibition celebrates the impact of the last quarter century on the evolution of an exceptional collection that informs, challenges, and inspires local and broader audiences alike—a collection that is recognized nationally and is a source of tremendous pride regionally.


Art Gallery of Hamilton
123 King Street West,
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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