The Collectors’ Cosmos: The Meakins–McClaran Print Collection

The print collection of Drs. Jacqueline McClaran and Jonathan Meakins stands alone in the annals of Canadian private collections.

It began modestly forty years ago with an attraction to Camille Pissarro’s masterful etchings, his experimentation with line and texture, and his profound empathy for his subjects. In time, their interest grew to include the great artists of northern European printmaking, such as Dürer and Rembrandt, and their focus naturally coalesced around Dutch and Flemish 16th- and 17th-century landscape and genre.

The exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada will reveal both the strength and breadth of the collection today, as well as the collectors’ love of the etched and engraved line and plate tone. The selection of prints will range from the German 15th century through the Dutch 17th century, to the 20th century in Europe and North America, and will include works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Albrecht Dürer, Hendrik Goltzius, Jusepe de Ribera, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jean-François Millet, and John James Audubon, among many others.


Friday, July 16, 2021 Sunday, November 14, 2021


National Gallery of Canada Special Exhibitions Galleries (Level 2)
380 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4



Susan Hudson, Jacqueline & Jonathan, 1987, etching, drypoint and aquatint; plate

Susan Hudson, Jacqueline & Jonathan, 1987, etching, drypoint and aquatint; plate: 44.5 × 60 cm; sheet: 56.5 × 76 cm. Collection of Dr. Jonathan Meakins and Dr. Jacqueline McClaran. © Susan Hudson. Photo: NGC

Dr. Jonathan L. Meakins OC, MD, D.Sc.

Dr. Jonathan Meakins recalls his regular visits to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) as a youth, where his appreciation of prints began – particularly after seeing Goya’s Disasters of War exhibition. This experience would be the foundation of a lifelong passion of collecting.

Dr. Meakins’ relationship with the MMFA would come full-circle, as years later, he would become a trustee and a member of their Acquisition Committee.

Appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, Dr. Jonathan Meakins’ medical career served him well. He’s worn many hats: Head of Surgery (McGill University Health Centre), Chair of Surgery (both at McGill University and University of Oxford), Nuffield Professor of Surgery (University of Oxford), and Professorial Fellow (Balliol College).

Dr. Meakins is presently a member of the Prints and Drawings Committee at the Art Gallery of Ontario, recently appointed to the Acquisitions Committee - International Art Before 1945 and Ancient Art at the MMFA, as well as the Director of the Art and Heritage Centre of the McGill University Health Centre.

When he’s not working on his education – as an M.A. student in Fine Arts at Concordia University – he enjoys playing tennis, golf and duplicate bridge.

Dr. Jacqueline Cox McClaran B.Sc., MD, B.Th.

Dr. Jacqueline Cox McClaran has had a distinguished career in medicine. As the founder and first Director of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, Dr. McClaran also served as Director of Geriatric Medicine (Montreal General Hospital), Board Member (Canadian Council for Health Service Accreditation), Associate Medical Director (University of Oxford affiliated hospitals), Director of Faculty Development and Assistant Director of Clinical Studies (Oxford Medical School), and Lecturer in Medicine (Balliol College Oxford).

Outside of her career, Dr. McClaran’s interest in art – first sparked by Albrecht Dürer’s wood engravings in the Nuremberg Museum in the 60s – became a passion, which she shares with her husband, Dr. Meakins. To this day, they’ve acquired and built their very own collection of prints, many of which are displayed in their home. Dr. McClaran is the archivist of their collection.

Into her retirement, Dr. McClaran recently completed her Degree in Theology. She keeps busy with community service, church activities, golf, and she plays violin in her string quartet - which over the past year evolved into solo performances on Zoom.



Listen to this conversation with collectors Dr. Jonathan Meakins and Dr. Jacqueline McClaran about the exhibition and their passion for collecting, hosted by Gallery Director and CEO Dr. Sasha Suda.

The Collectors’ Cosmos: In Conversation with Dr. Meakins and Dr. McClaran


Collector's Cosmos


The Collectors’ Cosmos:
The Meakins–McClaran Print Collection

This beautiful and fully illustrated catalogue takes us through Dr. Jonathan Meakins and Dr. Jacqueline McClaran’s collection’s history, which began forty years ago in Paris following an afternoon in a room full of prints by Camille Pissarro at the Grand Palais.

Learn More

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