The AGGV is excited to host a major exhibition for the summer of 2024: Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art. Steven McNeil, AGGV Chief Curator & Director of Collections and Exhibitions, tells us why seeing this exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Generations focuses on the collections of the Sobey family, which rank among the most remarkable private collections of Canadian art. More than 120 works loaned from different members of three generations of the Sobey family are included in the exhibition. Works by major figures in Canadian art will be showcased, including Emily Carr, the Group of Seven, James Wilson Morrice, David Milne, Jean-Paul Riopelle and William Kurelek. In addition to the outstanding historical works, there will be major works by leading contemporary artists including Peter Doig, Kent Monkman and Ursula Johnson.

David Milne (1882–1953), Gray Billboards, c. 1912, oil on canvas, 61 x 50.2 cm, Collection of Frank and Debbi Sobey, © Estate of David B. Milne, L 2022.13.1

This exhibition has been curated by Sarah Milroy, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Reflecting on the Sobey Family as collectors, Milroy shared,

“Donald Sobey understood the artists of a bygone era. He was deeply devoted to them but he also understood contemporary Canadian art and that we must encourage such artists to ensure their place in art history.”

Alex Colville (1920–2013), Road Work, 1969, acrylic polymer emulsion on Masonite, 54.6 x 87 cm, Empire Company Ltd., Stellarton, NS, © A.C. Fine Art Inc., L2022.12.24

The AGGV is thrilled to showcase this exceptional exhibition to BC audiences and will be the final destination for this national tour. Before coming to Victoria, the exhibition was shown at the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, the Confederation Centre for the Arts in Charlottetown, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario, the Musée national des beaux-arts in Quebec City, and the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton.

William Kurelek (1927–1977), After the Blizzard in Manitoba, 1967, mixed media on Masonite, 50.8 x 73 cm, Collection of Donald and Beth Sobey, © Estate of William Kurelek, courtesy of the Wynick / Tuck Gallery, Toronto, L2022.10.32

Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art
will be on view at the AGGV from June 29th to October 27th 2024.


Written by Steven McNeil, AGGV Chief Curator & Director of Collections and Exhibitions


Feature Image: Kent Monkman, Study for “mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People): Resurgence of the People,” (Final Variation), 2019, acrylic on canvas 107.3 x 213.4 cm, Collection of the Sobey Art Foundation © Kent Monkman.