National Gallery mourns the loss of Canadian art patron Robert McMichael
Ottawa, Canada - November 19, 2003
Le MBAC pleure le décès de Robert McMichael, bienfaiteur de l`art canadien
It is with much sadness that the National Gallery of Canada has learned of the death of art patron Robert McMichael, who succumbed to pneumonia yesterday at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife Signe, with whom he founded the world-renowned McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ont.
The McMichael Collection is one of the largest permanent displays of works by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. It also includes First Nations art and an important collection of prints, drawings and sculpture by Inuit artists.
“ Thanks to his vision of a public gallery dedicated to Canadian art, Robert McMichael was instrumental in the development of art in this country, ” Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada, said yesterday.
The McMichaels began collecting paintings by the Group of Seven and other Canadian artists, such as Emily Carr and David Milne, in 1955, and opened their home to the public in the early ë60s. In 1965, they donated their home, gallery and collection of Canadian art to the people and province of Ontario. The original gift of 194 works included the well-known White Pine by A.J. Casson and In Algonquin Park by Tom Thomson.
Robert McMichael's passion for the work of the Group of Seven and its associates resulted in the establishment of a publicly owned institution that promotes an understanding of these artistsí ideals for Canada," Charlie Hill, Curator of Canadian Art at the Nation Gallery of Canada, said today. Robert McMichaelís heritage lies in the works of art he collected and donated to the people of Ontario.
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