National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Annual Bulletin 7, 1983-1984

Annual Index
Author & Subject


by Joseph Martin

Pages  1  |  2 

Equally active was the National Programme, which organized and circulated several new shows to centres across Canada. One of these, The Illustrated Book in Quebec and in France (1900-1950), traced the artistic and historic importance of this neglected art form. Other exhibitions included Eikoh Hosoe: Killed by Roses, an installation of photographs by Japanese artist Eikoh Hosoe, with extensive texts by the renowned Japanese writer Yukio Mishima; Sickert, Orpen, John and Their Contemporaries at the New English Art Club, presenting work by members of this Club, formed in 1886 as an alternative to the academic, juried exhibitions of the Royal Academy; and Pictures That Can Be Heard: J. E. H. MacDonald's The Tangled Garden, which examines the controversy surrounding this key work by the Group of Seven painter.

Although the major preoccupation of the Publications Division remained the production of the first Canadian and European volumes of the Permanent Collections Catalogues, special effort was given to striking a balance between publications related to the collections and exhibition catalogues. The Giuseppe Penone and Cultural Engineering catalogues continued the Gallery's commitment to avant-garde publishing. Annual Bulletin 5 was published for a specialized audience, while the Journals The Illustrated Book in Quebec and in France (1900-1950), Eikoh Hosoe: Killed by Roses, and The Magic Worlds of M. C. Escher appealed to a more popular readership.

Families had a special opportunity to learn about art through an experimental program, Families and Friends, which was a feature of the activities of Education Services this year. Lecture highlights were Northrop Frye's Repetitions of Jacob's Dream, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Ladders to Heaven, and Italian art critic Germano Celant's slide lecture Italian Art Today, which provided an interesting backdrop to the Giuseppe Penone exhibition. A special series of gallery talks, entitled Articipation, complemented TV Ontario's visions: Artists and the Creative Process. Varied programming opened the Gallery to new audiences, thanks to the volunteer support of the Friends.

Gallery staff were stunned by the disappearance in mid-October of two Rembrandt etchings; Curator of Prints, Douglas Druick, discovered the theft. Investigations by Canadian police, in collaboration with American authorities, led to the extraordinarily quick recovery of the prints. After this unfortunate incident, the Gallery conducted an exhaustive review of its security procedures.

While the year has been filled with triumphs and excitement, it has also sobered us into confronting the enormous challenge of meeting both our current responsibilities and the requirements posed by the new building. Difficult choices must be made over the next few years. The continued support and commitment of Gallery staff are essential to provide a welcome and stimulating environment for experiencing works of the visual imagination.

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