OTTAWA, Dec. 5, 2018 /CNW/ - Artists, collectors, museum professionals, patrons, philanthropists, as well as business, government and community leaders from across Canada are gathering this evening at the National Gallery of Canada to salute Director and CEO Marc Mayer for his leadership during ten years at the Gallery's helm. The event helped raise $3 million in support of the Gallery's national and international outreach efforts.
In saluting the outgoing Director, National Gallery of Canada Foundation Chair, Thomas d'Aquino, said, "For ten years, Marc Mayer has led with vision and passion. Shepherding the fortunes of Canada's leading visual arts museum, a global centre of excellence respected around the world, is no small task. Deciding on acquisitions, working closely with curators and donors, building bridges to other institutions and stakeholders, and being the voice of the Gallery in Canada and abroad, carry with them significant challenges. Marc has responded admirably to these challenges, all the while vigorously defending the Gallery's professionalism and independence."
The Chair of the Gallery's Board of Trustees, Françoise Lyon, added, "As stewards of the country's national museum for the visual arts, the Board of Trustees and the Director share a fundamental objective: to build an extraordinary national collection of art from across Canada and around the world, and to ensure that this collection is accessible to, and appreciated by, as many people as possible. In the pursuit of this goal, Marc Mayer's tenure as Director has been most distinguished."
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation organized the evening. Established in 1997, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing the Gallery's goals through the creative engagement of philanthropists living in Canada and abroad. Since its formation 21 years ago, the Foundation has raised more than $65 million in financial contributions to the Gallery as well as enabled donations of works of art valued at over $70 million.
In praising the contributions of Marc Mayer, Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Karen Colby-Stothart, said, "Marc's exciting programming never failed to inspire and provoke. He presided over thousands of additions to the national collection, including some of the nation's favourite icons, from Roxy Paine's One Hundred Foot Line (2010) to Geoffrey Farmer's Leaves of Grass (2012). Cornerstones of Marc's legacy will be the historic re-imagining of the Canadian and Indigenous Galleries to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the enhancement of the newly-restored Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale which provides global exposure for Canadian artists."
"Marc Mayer's close working relationship with the Gallery Foundation has been especially productive", said Chair Thomas d'Aquino. "Some of the gifts of great importance stand out: the receipt in 2015 of the A.K. Prakash $20 million collection of 50 works of art by Canadian artist J.W. Morrice; the 2015 $10 million gift by Scotiabank supported by the Archive of Modern Conflict leading to the creation of the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada; and the 2017 $12 million collection gift of Canadian and international contemporary art donated by Bob Rennie.
In conjunction with the celebration of Marc Mayer's leadership and his accomplishments at the Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada Foundation announced the $3 million in gifts which will enhance the Gallery's capacity to bring works from the national collection to Canadians across the country, to share Canadian art and scholarship beyond our borders, and to engage in innovative partnerships.
The gifts comprise:
- $1.3 million donated by Dr. John Lacey and his late wife Naomi Lacey in support of the Naomi and John Lacey Art Incubator Prize – which will recognize exceptional talent at artist-run centres and in small galleries across the country.
- $1 million donated by Carol Weinbaum and Nigel Schuster through The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation in support of the Canadian Artists in Venice Endowment. This generous gift puts the Foundation over the half-way mark toward the fund's $10 million goal, offering precious support to Canadian artists' exhibitions at the newly restored Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
- $440,000 donated in support of the Canada and Impressionism 1880-1930 exhibition featuring Canadian paintings from public and private collectors that will travel to Germany, Switzerland and France, before coming to the Gallery in 2020.
- $260,000 donated in support of rebuilding the Gallery's National Outreach programs and special initiatives to make the national collection more accessible through loans and exhibition partnerships in cities across Canada.
In addition, the Foundation is pleased to announce two special gifts of art in Marc Mayer's honour. The Last of the Hurons (Zacharie Vincent) (1838) by Antoine Plamondon, a gift by Distinguished Patrons Fred and Beverly Schaeffer of Toronto; and Parade, Party or Protest by Geoffrey Farmer (2003), a gift by Gilles and Julia Ouellette of Toronto.
The Foundation expresses its deep gratitude to the friends and colleagues of Marc Mayer and to the Foundation's Distinguished Patrons and other donors who have provided generous and enthusiastic support on this memorable occasion.
About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to supporting the National Gallery of Canada in fulfilling its mandate. By fostering strong philanthropic partnerships, the Foundation provides the Gallery with the additional financial support required to lead Canada's visual arts community locally, nationally and internationally. The blend of public support and private philanthropy empowers the Gallery to preserve and interpret Canada's visual arts heritage. The Foundation welcomes present and deferred gifts for special projects and endowments. To learn more about the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, please visit https://www.gallery.ca/membership-giving/ngc-foundation
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
SOURCE National Gallery of Canada
For further information: National Gallery of Canada Foundation: Karen Colby-Stothart, Chief Executive Officer, (613) 991-9306, [email protected]; National Gallery of Canada: Geneviève Ménard, Media Relations Manager, 613-990-1654, [email protected]