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Current Exhibitions


AGH Members receive Free Admission to all exhibitions.

Jenn E. Norton: Dredging a Wake
an interactive digital media installation
On view June 28, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Curated by Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art

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Dredging a Wake activates video art, projections and sculptures in magically interactive ways. Norton’s immersive installation works challenge visual perception, asking viewers to suspend their disbelief via illusionary images that move and reflect in enigmatic ways.
Precipice is a round room that visitors can enter to find a virtual office space, a projection of swirling water and swimmer circling the perimeter. The swimmer displaces the virtual objects in the room, sweeping them up in the flow of the water, inciting disorientation and synesthesia in the viewer. Doline is an arrangement of mechanical sculptures made from severed office fixtures that turn slowly in a darkened room, to the soundtrack of stories about dreams and the sensation of falling. Doldrums uses mirrors and a projector to experiment with 3D stereoscopic views and an infinite reflection of the viewer.

Jenn E. Norton is an early career artist based in Guelph. This is her first major exhibition in a public gallery. She has been described as “a wizard of simple but magical video compositing, creating brilliant collage spaces,” by award-winning filmmaker, curator and critic, Chris Gehman. Her video work has been described as “kinetic, totally charming, magical, [and] emo-conceptual” by Border Crossings art critic Lee Henderson. Her recent works have decidedly delved into the intuitive, imaginative and emotive process of image making.

This piece was commissioned within the Interactive Digital Media Incubator program at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, which was made possible with the generous support of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Museums and Technology Fund.



Into The Light: The Paintings of William Blair Bruce (1859-1906)
On view until October 5, 2014
Curated by Tobi Bruce, Senior Curator, Canadian Historical Art

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On Sunday June 28, 1914, the Art Gallery of Hamilton opened its doors for the very first time to great fanfare and expectation: the featured artist was William Blair Bruce. Born and raised in Hamilton, Bruce had died prematurely in 1906, in Stockholm, at the age of 47. His widow, the Swedish artist Caroline Benedicks, his father, William Bruce Senior and his sister Bell Bruce together offered the City of Hamilton a collection of significant paintings by Bruce with the proviso that an art gallery be established. And so was born the AGH. On the occasion of our centennial, we pay tribute to this founding donation, and this significant Canadian painter through the mounting of a major exhibition of his work.

The exhibition follows the painter from his early days in Hamilton, to Paris, to the French artists' colonies of Barbizon, Grez-sur-Loing and Giverny, and finally to Sweden where together with Caroline he settled on the island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic sea, building a magnificent home and studio called Brucebo, which today houses the largest collection of works by both artists.

Numbering 100 works, the Bruce exhibition is the largest ever mounted and includes paintings never before exhibited publically, and related archival material, including photographs and letters, with a view to presenting as full a picture as possible of the artist and his life. A significant publication, with seven independently authored chapters, accompanies the exhibition. Major lenders include the National Gallery of Canada, the Nationalmuseum (Stockholm), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and the Terra Foundation for American Art (Chicago). Significantly, we're pleased to announce that we will be bringing over twenty paintings from Sweden for inclusion in the exhibition, many of which have never-before travelled to Canada.

One hundred years later, we welcome William Blair Bruce back to Hamilton.



Exhibition Patron:  

This project is generously funded by the
Canadian Government through the Department of
Canadian Heritage Museums Assistance Program

Also generously supported by

Preferred Fine Art Transportation Provider


Painting the Landscape in Nineteenth-Century Europe
On view June 7, 2014 to October 5, 2014
Curated by Benedict Leca, Director of Curatorial Affairs

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Eugène Boudin  (French 1824-1898)
Trouville. Le port     1884 
oil on wood
Bequest of Miss Muriel Isabel Bostwick, 1966

Landscape painting in Europe was reinvented during the course of the nineteenth-century, altered according to shifting definitions of nature in the context of broad social and industrial changes. Modernity brought the advent of the railroads and of tourism into the countryside, of photography, and of such things as the portable colour tube, changing the relation of the artist to nature, and in turn the meaning and value attached to landscape painting.

If the story is largely centred on French painting, it is one of enduring tropes governing the apprehension of the natural landscape, as well as of received techniques in the painting of it. With the rise of plein air (outdoor painting), objective depiction and the truthfulness to one’s physical response to nature pressured the Academy’s prescribed recipes of spatial arrangement, colour application, or the need for any figurative or narrative element to insert in the landscape. Accordingly, landscapists of all stripes over the course of the century navigated between naturalism and the artifices of painting, closely observing natural phenomena, or else falling back on established tricks of their craft—sometimes in the same work.

The paintings presented here trace a chronological and stylistic overview of nineteenth-century European landscape painting, illustrating the different modes through which landscape was depicted. From Dutch-infused watery landscapes, to seascapes, to romanticized depictions of specific locales, the arrangement culminates in the light-filled essays and complex colour application of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists.



Free admission courtesy of Orlick Industries.


Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th
On view until February 22, 2015
Curated by Dr. Benedict Leca, Tobi Bruce and Melissa Bennett

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While the AGH Centennial celebrates the people, spaces and activities that have made the Gallery one of the most dynamic independent art museums in Canada, we should never lose sight of its prized permanent collection, which we hold in trust for the people of Hamilton. As the foundational treasure that propels our enterprise as a museum, the collection ranks among the finest in Canada.

What began 100 years ago with the donation of 29 paintings in memory of Hamilton-born artist, William Blair Bruce, now numbers 10,000 works. While other ‘encyclopedic’ museums present a broader range of objects, the specificity and depth of the AGH collection in three core areas—Canadian historical, Canadian and global contemporary, and European art—are its strength.

Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th, which gathers selected masterpieces from the permanent collection chosen by Dr. Benedict Leca, Director, Curatorial Affairs, Tobi Bruce, Senior Curator of Canadian Historical Art and Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art, exemplifies the sustained level of quality of the three collections. From late 19th-century landscapes to masterworks from the Group of Seven, from Baroque masterpieces of Dutch and Italian art to important French 19th-century academic painting, from a full offering of contemporary art of the last decades to a rich selection of African material, the AGH collection covers these significant domains with distinction.

The works presented in this exhibition are arranged to suggest occasional formal or thematic resonances. The display occupying the entire second floor is an invitation to our Members and visitors to wander, discover, and contemplate anew the treasures that will continue to enlighten for the next 100 years and beyond.

Corporate Members:

L.V. Celli Professional Corporation

Kim Adams: Bruegel-Bosch Bus
Permanent Installation

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Repeatedly in his work, Canadian artist Kim Adams has explored the patterns of a mobile society, creating works of art that are eccentric hybrids of the readymade. Blending humour, satire and seriousness, he builds “worlds” as a means of social critique. Adams’ installations exist comfortably in the space that divides life and art. His works have been presented in two very different social worlds: in a densely social environment such as a park or street and in a museum setting like the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Neither setting is privileged.

A magnificent visual masterpiece, Bruegel-Bosch Bus consists of a 1960 Volkswagen that appears to pull a post-industrial universe displaying a cornucopia of fantastic and seductive worlds that play with our senses. It was produced over a 7-year span. This futuristic diorama is a permanent fixture in the AGH Sculpture Atrium overlooking the Irving Zucker Sculpture Garden, past Hamilton City Hall and the Niagara Escarpment. Reminiscent of a previous installation by Adams titled Earth Wagons that presented a micro-model North American society fixed on leisure and entertainment, the Breugel-Bosch Bus encapsulates the next whole world picture, a world in which reality and unreality, logic and fantasy, banality and sublimation of existence, form an inexplicable unity. This ‘bus’ is a Kubrickesque megalopolis made of icons symptomatic in present society and draws upon urban fantasies, phantasmagoric, post-apocalyptic landscapes, and a plethora of different times and cultures. Buildings from different epochs are aligned side by side and space becomes an imaginary territory where chaos prevails.


The Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery
Free admission courtesy of Orlick Industries.

Selections from Art Rental + Sales

On view July 5 through Fall/Winter 2014

Featuring new acquisitions to the AGH Art Rental + Sales collection, including photography by Stephen Brookbank and Joseph Hartman and paintings by Anne Renouf and Mike Smalley. Artworks on view are available for purchase or rental through the Shop at AGH.

*Please note that as a multipurpose space, the Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery is an area where photography is allowed by patrons and members of the public in accordance with the AGH Photography Policy. Also, the Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery is a space that can be rented for private or corporate functions and therefore may be unavailable for viewing by the public. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you are interested in viewing this space specifically, please call ahead to ensure the exhibition installed is available at 905-527-6610.


Free admission to
courtesy of:

Orlick Industries

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