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Building the Collection
The National Gallery of Canada is the nation’s pre-eminent showcase of artistic achievement, presenting Canada’s artists to the world and bringing the world’s greatest artists to Canadians. With a mandate to collect, preserve, and exhibit the finest works of art, from historic to contemporary, Canadian to international, the Gallery has achieved recognition as one of the most respected national art museums in the world.
Collections are at the heart of our programs and activities. From its earliest acquisitions by Canadian painters in the 1880s, and with an extensive history of exceptional patronage, the Gallery has built a renowned collection spanning all periods of art history, which reflect the wide breadth and diversity of historic and contemporary art, and with notable holdings in photography, European, and Indigenous art.
Our holdings consist of more than 60,000 works of art including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs. Your continued patronage empowers the growth of this exceptional collection.
The Gallery’s curators expand our knowledge and understanding of our collection through their meticulous research, careful interpretation, and the publication of innovative texts. Our collections are brought to life through essential scholarly activities.