Vancouver Art Gallery

750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7, Canada

Western Canada’s largest public art museum weighs in at almost 12,000 works. The collection here is strong on Emily Carr, a modernist compatriot of the Group of Seven (Canadian landscape painters from the 1920s who were deeply influenced by European Impressionism). Don’t miss her lush, moody depictions of the Pacific Northwest coast, especially its temperate rain forests and totemic carvings of indigenous peoples. Also worth seeing are the exhibits of cutting-edge contemporary masters like Jeff Wall and Stan Douglas. Housed in an old courthouse, the museum hopes to move into fresh digs designed by the Pritzker Prize–winning Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron by 2021. Admission is by donation on Tuesday evenings.

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Contemporary Art Scene

The size of this museum is quite small but the permanent collection of work from Vancouver artists is delightful. There also seems to be a good rotation of exhibitions, but I happened to catch Douglas Coupland’s show “everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything”. It is a great space for a contemporary artist like Douglas. Also, if you download the museum’s free app on your phone, there is an audio guide/tour. Admission is free on Tuesday evenings and there were tons of food trucks around the museum during the afternoon. So if you are looking for a short break from the heat or rain, stop in and check out the art.

Art in the Right Place

The Vancouver Art Gallery is the largest art museum in western Canada, with over 10,000 works. Perhaps needless to say, Canadian works are one of the museum’s strengths, with many pieces by the famous Group of Seven, a leading group of landscape painters from the early 20th century, as well as Emily Carr, one of Canada’s most important modernist painters. Visiting exhibitions cover a range of subjects—classical Chinese works, European masters, contemporary architecture. The Art Gallery is connected to the Robson Square complex. Students of urban planning will want to visit this notable development; everyone else will want to stop by if only to check out the scene at the plaza and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants. The Vancouver Art Gallery should be on every visitor’s itinerary, to book a custom trip around your interests, contact me at Photo by Maya-Anaïs Yataghène,

Vancouver's Art Gallery: Canadian & International Art

The Vancouver Art Gallery is always the first, or last, place I visit when I stop in the West Coast city. This image was taken during one of its best international exhibits—the Surrealism exhibit with classic works by Dali, Ernst, Breton, Carrington, and Remedios Varo. This is where I discovered the lesser-known work of Leonor Fini. Along with acclaimed traveling exhibitions, you’ll discover many Canadian artists from the permanent collection. This is a great way to visually connect to Canada‘s landscape, history, and present. From the iconic members of the Group of Seven, western Canadian gem Emily Carr, and various contemporary artists, it’s an ideal afternoon spent exploring the oft-overlooked art that Canada has to offer. If you lack time to explore the three floors of the vast gallery, stop in at the gift shop for a unique souvenir or book to expand your Canadian art repertoire. After exploring the gallery, take a jaunt across the street for high tea at the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel, where western Canadians have kept alive the British tradition these many years.

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