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Upcoming Exhibitions




Behind the Scene: The 19th-Century Studio Reimagined
On view June 28, 2017 to January 14, 2018

Behind the Scene reimagines the artist’s studio in 19th-century France. The exhibition examines how artists’ workshops served multiple functions, including spaces devoted to artistic creation, locations of social interaction and debate, sales rooms for unsold works, exhibition spaces for artists’ personal collections, and storage sites for wide-ranging art and artefacts. In this sense, the exhibition also highlights the influence of an increasingly multicultural Europe on the interiors of artists’ studios.

The ease of travel and the expansion of international trade during the 19th-century facilitated the birth of culturally diverse metropolises. Just as such cities as Paris and London became home to many new citizens immigrating from abroad, artists travelled to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Studios, accordingly, became veritable museums composed of everything from foreign apparel and artefacts to historical European art. Amassing and using international wares reflects the colonial backdrop against which Western artists worked throughout the 19th century.

Ultimately, Behind the Scene reimagines an artist’s creative space by assembling and displaying such diverse objects as ceramics, European sculptures, prints, African artefacts, and historical Western paintings. In so doing, the exhibition recreates the dynamic, engaging, and multi-faceted environment in which 19th-century artists worked.




Kenojuak Ashevak & Tim Pitsiulak: Drawing Life
On view June 28, 2017 to January 14, 2018

My inspiration to be an artist comes from my aunt, Kenojuak Ashevak, because she is the oldest and the best.
-Tim Pitsiulak

This exhibition presents drawings by two giants of Inuit art. As one of the original artistic pioneers from the North, Kenojuak Ashevak's name is synonymous with Inuit art. Over her long and prolific career, she established herself as one of Canada's most acclaimed graphic artists, creating images that resonate deeply and widely in both Canada and internationally. Her nephew, Tim Pitsiulak, is one of Canada's most sought-after artists. His ambitious drawings reflect his respect for, and interest in, the natural world and its wildlife, and the impact of his large-scale work is immediate and affecting. Suddenly and tragically, Tim Pitsiulak passed away on December 23, 2016. This exhibition, drawn entirely from an impressive and extensive private collection, now serves in part as a modest commemoration of his extraordinary talents. In bringing Kenojuak and Pitsiulak together, the exhibition celebrates the magnificent drawings of two family members and masters of Inuit art.

Carving Home: The Chedoke Collection of Inuit Art
On view June 28, 2017 to January 14, 2018

From the Hamilton Sanatorium Collection

The Mountain Sanatorium (later renamed Chedoke Hospital), a long-term health center for the treatment of illness, most commonly tuberculosis, was the major center for the treatment of Eastern Inuit in the South, bringing over 1200 Inuit through its doors from 1953-1963. As such, Hamilton played a central role in the treatment of the tuberculosis epidemic that plagued Canada during this period.

As a program of occupational therapy for the patients the hospital implemented programs where Inuit women could sew, embroider, and make dolls and clothing and the men could make small carvings in their beds. Inuit industriousness resulted in the production of thousands of artworks that were sold and collected in the Hamilton area and beyond. The collection presented here includes primarily sculptures but also some textile items that were produced by patients during the 1950s and early 1960s.

With this presentation, the Art Gallery of Hamilton begins the process of understanding and reconciling the complex history of Hamilton's Mountain Sanatorium and its relationship to Inuit artists and culture. The recent donation of over one hundred sculptures produced by Inuit artists during their recovery at the Mountain Sanatorium provides the gallery with an opportunity to invest in research and to begin the critical work of building partnerships with communities both in the North and South.



Barry Pottle: The Awareness Series
On view June 28, 2017 to January 14, 2018
Curated by Alana Traficante

Barry Pottle’s Awareness Series, a suite of contemporary Inuit photographs recently acquired to the AGH permanent collection, considers two contrasting depictions of Inuit identity. Pottle probes the fraught history of the Eskimo Identification Tag System, which saw Canadian federal authorities issue tag numbers and corresponding identification discs to all Inuit in the Western and Eastern Arctic from the 1940s to 1970s. The 19 photograph series contrasts images of the numbered discs, and portraits of individuals (all friends, community members, and colleagues of the artist) who were, at one time, enrolled in the disc system. While these individuals may have varying opinions regarding this former government initiative, their shared experience brings awareness to a moment in recent history not commonly known or discussed in context of greater Canadian culture.

AGH Members receive Free Admission to all exhibitions.




Gallery Level Two
Free admission courtesy of Orlick Industries

The Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery

Free admission courtesy of Orlick Industries




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