Monday, April 9, 2012

Beaverbrook Art Gallery - The Provincial Art Gallery of New Brunswick

Its been good to track the journey of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in New Brunswick.

Readers of 'The Portrait', may recall the struggle the gallery had with Beaverbrook descendants who wanted back the donations that Lord Beaverbrook (Max Aitken) made to the gallery, many long years ago.

Push came to shove and the entire affair ended up in court.  I guess when is a bequeathment no longer a bequeathment?  The family which seems to have been a bit cash strapped, was in the habit of borrowing paintings from the collection, then taking them back to England and selling them off.   Anyway, the entire process ended in court and The Portrait', reported it as a win-loss situation.  The Gallery kept the paintings but paid the court costs.

A recent visit to the Gallery's website, reveals that their fortunes have turned for the better since then.
The Gallery has since become the Provincial Art Gallery of New Brunswick.  I don't pretend to be a website critic, but I did enjoy being introduced to their director, Bernard Riordon, and their curator, Terry Graff.
The site, has the usual things you would expect such as a list of exhibitions, and an opportunity for patrons to donate. And, befitting of a bilingual province, the site is bilingual.  Also of note is their outreach into the educational system.

My only criticism, which arises from what takes me to Provincial online galleries, is the absence of pictures of their collection.  There is a search bar, what when you are unfamiliar with their collection what do you search for?

Taking all in all, its good to see that 'The Beaverbrook' has taken a step forward and that their collection now falls under the aegis of belonging to the people of New Brunswick and is a provincial art treasure.

To visit the site, please click here.

Previous 'Portrait' articles on The Beaverbrook Art Gallery.
Click here and here

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