The National Gallery of Canada receives major donation of art valued at more than $12m - Contemporary Art Gallery Space Named in Honour of Donor

OTTAWA, May 9, 2017 /CNW/ - 197 paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media pieces made by some of the most well-known and established Canadian and international artists working today have been donated to the National Gallery of Canada.  A gift to the nation in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation, the donation of artwork by businessman and art collector Bob Rennie, is one of the largest gifts of contemporary art ever received by the Gallery.

Some of the major, iconic pieces were created by internationally renowned artists, such as Colombian Doris Salcedo, as well as important Vancouver-based artists Brian Jungen, Damian Moppett, Rodney Graham, Ian Wallace, and Geoffrey Farmer, who is Canada's selection for the 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, opening to the public Saturday, May 13, 2017. This important donation enriches and complements the Gallery's collection by these artists.

"This remarkably generous gift transforms the National Gallery of Canada into the collection of record for some of our country's most outstanding artists," said Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada. "It deepens the exhibition and the lending possibilities for a museum whose mission is to preserve and disseminate our country's most exceptional artistic achievements."

In appreciation of Bob Rennie's generous gift, the National Gallery of Canada will name the Upper Contemporary exhibition gallery (B204), the Galerie RENNIE Gallery.

"For a few years now, we have wanted to make a gift from our collection to Canada, to the nation. With Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations taking place across the country, we decided this is the moment to do it, to showcase and support the rich and diverse accomplishments of artists," said Bob Rennie. "One of the missions of the Rennie Collection is to span artists' careers, to collect artists in-depth. Ian Wallace's work in our collection is an excellent example of this, and it was important to us to ensure his body of work stayed together. Also, acknowledging this year's selection of Geoffrey Farmer to represent Canada at this year's La Biennale di Venezia gives us an opportunity to celebrate him, and his peers Damian Moppet, Brian Jungen, and Rodney Graham - all Canadian icons - along with their contemporary, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo."

Bob Rennie, a real estate marketer and principal of the Rennie Foundation, is active in the Vancouver and international art communities. He is a former Chair of the Tate Modern's North American Acquisitions Committee and a member of the Tate International Council and the Board of Trustees for the Art Institute of Chicago.  He also sits on the Dean's Advisory Board of the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia. In 2008 Bob was recognized with an honorary doctorate from Emily Carr University, and in 2014 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia for his distinguished leadership and exceptional dedication to strengthening and enhancing arts and culture in British Columbia.

"Mr. Rennie is renowned as a serious connoisseur of art," said Thomas d'Aquino, Chair of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. "His collection is highly regarded for its range and depth, so it is exciting that he would bestow upon our national collection such a significant number of works."  

The Rennie Collection, one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Canada, has evolved over a number of years to focus on works tackling issues of identity, social commentary and injustice, and the challenges of appropriation, painting, photography and film. In 2012, Bob Rennie donated Court by Brian Jungen to the National Gallery of Canada. This work and the collector are featured in the following NGC Magazine article:

The Gallery is mounting a series of exhibitions that will display some of the donated works to a wider audience, including the Masterpieces in Focus exhibition Into the Collection: Ron Moppett & Damian Moppett, about the father/son artists, opening on May 12, 2017, and the Canadian Biennial 2017, which opens October 20, 2017.

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 center 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 and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCan

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, visit and follow us on Twitter @NGC_Foundation


SOURCE National Gallery of Canada

For further information: North America press contact: Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public Relations Officer, National Gallery of Canada, 613-990-6835 or 613-355-3989,; International press contact: Catriona Collins, Pickles PR, +44 7719 357 114,

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890