The museum displays up to three temporary exhibitions a year, creating an ever-changing display to delight locals and visitors alike. Including both historical and contemporary art, they produce their own exhibitions and showcase art from leading art institutions around the world to complement their permanent collection.
Emily Carr: Fresh Seeing – French Modernism and the West Coast
Date: September 21, 2019 – January 19, 2020
Description: A bold undertaking by the Audain Art Museum uncovers new information about dramatic changes in Emily Carr’s approach to painting over the course of three critical years: 1910 to 1912. The exhibition investigates Carr’s momentous journey to France (1910-1911) that broke the bonds of her conservative art training. Drawn from national and international public, private and corporate collections, it provides a rare opportunity for visitors to view over 50 paintings, watercolours, and drawings by Carr, along with a selection of works by Carr’s instructors whose work directly influenced her artistic development. These include English painter Henry William Phelan Gibb, Scottish painter John Duncan Fergusson and New Zealand watercolourist Frances Hodgkins.
Upcoming Special Exhibition
The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photography
Date: February 8 – May 24, 2020
Description: A celebration of the art of photography from the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. This exhibition explores the development of photography from daguerreotype photographs to digital images, monochrome to saturated colour, while exploring the production of photojournalism, vernacular photographs, and portraiture. Featuring 70 photographs and related images that range from 1850s to 2000s, the exhibition demonstrates the technological advances over the decades and reveals that the basic impetus behind the art of photography remains the same.
The Museum contains a permanent collection of nearly 200 works of art from coastal British Columbia, including an outstanding collection of nineteenth century Northwest Coast masks, one of Canada’s strongest Emily Carr collections, as well as art by notable post-war modernists such as E.J. Hughes, Gordon Smith and Jack Shadbolt.
The collection includes The Crazy Stair, a painting by Emily Carr which sold at auction for a record-breaking $3.3 million. This price was the highest ever paid for an Emily Carr at auction, the highest for a work by a Canadian female artist and the fourth most expensive work at an art auction in Canada.