McMichael - Canadian Art | Collection d'art Canadien

Upcoming Exhibitions


Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012

January 31 to April 26, 2015

Organized by the Whatcom Museum. Major funding for the exhibition has been provided by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from the Norcliffe Foundation, the Washington State Arts Commission, and the City of Bellingham.

Curated by Dr. Barbara Matilsky

Vanishing Ice offers a glimpse into the rich cultural legacy of the planet's frozen frontiers. International in scope, it traces the impact of glaciers, icebergs, and fields of ice on artists' imaginations. The exhibition explores connections between generations of artists who have adopted different styles, media, and approaches to interpret the magical light and fantastic shapes of ice.

Through the centuries, collaborations between the arts and sciences expanded awareness of Earth's icy regions. Early artists captivated the public with the first images that provided an understanding of the geography of alpine mountains, the Arctic, and Antarctica. 

A resurgence of interest in these environments as dramatic indicators of climate change now inspires contemporary expeditions to the glaciers and poles. Today, artists, writers, and scientists awaken the world to both the beauty and increasing vulnerability of ice, which is critical for biological and cultural diversity.

Visit the exhibition microsite


Northern Narratives

February 14 - May 17, 2015

Organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and curated by Chris Finn

This exhibition explores issues of cultural interchange in the North between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. This thematically structured selection of art works and accompanying interpretive narrative elements representing both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal narrators presents their sometimes contrasting observations expressed through divergent visual conventions and differing cultural perspectives.

For Group of Seven artists, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, F.H. Varley, and first time non-Aboriginal travellers who made the trip to the Arctic, the drive to explore the North was fueled in part by a sense of its presence as an imagined, powerful place.

The Inuit also believed that this land was a source of power providing continuing sustenance for them which was achieved by maintaining a positive relationship to the land and all things in nature. Their traditional narratives provided the parameters that established a corresponding connection between their beliefs and experiences which form the basis of their cultural behavior code. Through their art, these narratives have been given visual form represented in carvings and as works of art on paper. 


Vanishing Ice

Jean de Pomereu (French, b. 1969), Fissure 2 (Antarctica) from Sans Nom, 2008, archival inkjet print, 107 x 129 cm, Whatcom Museum, Gift of the artist, 2013.17.1







Laren Harris, Icebergs, Davis Straight

Lawren S. Harris, 1885 - 1970, Icebergs, Davis Strait, 1930, oil on canvas, 121.9 x 152.4 cm, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Spencer Clark, 1971.17

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