The Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton has a rich and interesting history. The gallery was founded in 1959, thanks to the efforts of Lord Beaverbrook, a Canadian-British businessman, politician, and art collector who was born in New Brunswick. Lord Beaverbrook made significant donations of art and funds to help establish the gallery, which was initially housed in the Centennial Building in downtown Fredericton. Lord Beaverbrook continued to be a major benefactor of the gallery, making additional donations of art and funds over the years. His personal collection of art, which included works by many well-known artists, formed the basis of the gallery’s collection.
In 1966, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery received a major bequest from the estate of Sir James Dunn, another prominent Canadian businessman and art collector. The bequest included funds and more than 200 works of art, including paintings by J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Gainsborough.
As the gallery’s collection grew, it became clear that a new building was needed to properly showcase the art. In 1980, the gallery launched a capital campaign to raise funds for a new building. The campaign was successful, and in 1983, the gallery moved to its current location on Queen Street in downtown Fredericton. The new building was designed by Fredericton architect, Neil M. Stewart who also designed the Fredericton Airport, the Beaverbrook Rink, and several other works in the 1960’s.
In addition to its permanent collection which includes works by major Atlantic Canadian artists such as Mary Pratt and Christopher Pratt, Molly Lamb Bobak and Bruno Bobak, Tom Forrestall, Alex Colville, Avery Shaw, Fred Ross, Jack Humphrey, and Miller Brittain. It also features contemporary Acadian artists such as Francis Coutellier, Ghislaine McLaughlin, Nancy Morin, Yvon Gallant, and Romeo Savoie, the gallery hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring both Canadian and international artists. It also provides educational programming for both adults and children, including workshops, lectures, and school tours.
Today, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is one of the most important cultural institutions in New Brunswick and is considered one of the most significant art galleries in Canada. Its collection includes more than 4,000 works of art, ranging from 17th-century European masterpieces to contemporary Canadian art.
This post has already been read 29 times!