The Museum contains a permanent collection of the province’s most celebrated artists. Highlights include hereditary Haida Chief James Hart’s The Dance Screen (The Scream Too), an exceptional collection of historical and contemporary Indigenous masks, the largest permanent display of paintings by Emily Carr, and key examples of the Vancouver photo conceptualism movement.
Two significant works by nationally recognized artists have recently been acquired by the museum. Emily Carr's Survival and Lawren Harris' Mountain Sketch LXXVII (Consolation Lake) are now on display. The collection also 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.
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.
Gathie Falk: Revelations
Date: November 25, 2023 – May 6, 2024
Description: Now in her nineties, legendary Canadian artist, Falk, was born in 1928 of Russian Mennonite heritage in Brandon, Manitoba. She settled in Vancouver, where she established herself as one of the country’s most visionary and experimental artists. Her work has been widely collected and Falk has been the recipient of numerous visual arts honours including Order of Canada, Governor General’s Award, and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize. The current exhibition, with over 90 works, underlines the incredible range of her creative output in ceramic and bronze sculpture, acrylic and oil on canvas painting, photography and video, as well as multi-media installation. It will offer viewers a rare opportunity to witness such iconic pieces as The Problem with Wedding Veils, Chair with Fish and Pink Ribbon, Red Angel and Picnic with Dog.
Upcoming Special Exhibitions
Otherwise Disregarded – Capture Photography Festival
Date: April 21 – September 9, 2024
Description: The four artists featured in this exhibition, Adad Hannah, Jake Kimble, Michelle Sound, and Jin-me Yoon, harness the transformative power of art to nurture creative expression, challenge notions of justice, and foster a deep connection between the mind, body, and society at large. They use visual tools for self-reflection, addressing complex social, political, and environmental issues that should not be dismissed. Compelling photographic and video works bring attention to the painful past linked with colonial injustice, social discrimination, intergenerational experiences, and environmental devastation, calling for justice and a sustainable future.
Tom Thomson: North Star
Date: June 29 – September 30, 2024
Description: Tom Thomson’s catalytic achievement changed the face of Canadian painting forever. He has a canonical place in Canadian culture, and each generation must reckon with his legacy anew, bringing to bear the fresh perspectives of their time. Gathering works from the leading collections of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the National Gallery of Canada, as well as other Canadian museums and private collections, this exhibition will provide a fresh view of one of Canada’s most incandescent talents, focusing on the small en plein air oil sketch, of which he is the supreme master. Oil sketches will be organized both by chronology and by theme, paring away the inessential to get at the essence of his vision, and isolating moments of artistic experimentation.