Information on McMichael’s past exhibitions from 1998 to present, organized by year.
If you would like further information on any of the exhibitions you see below, please contact us
Double Take: Portraits of Intriguing Canadians
An exhibition organized and circulated by Library and Archives Canada.
Une exposition organisée et diffusée par Bibliothèque et Archives Canada.
September 22, 2012 to January 20, 2013
This major exhibition of 100 works offers visitors an opportunity to peek behind the façade of intriguing Canadians. Visitors are invited to discover portraits of over fifty Canadians that tell compelling stories of assumed identity, assassination, exploitation, discovery, invention, injustice, activism, and achievement.
PAINTING CANADA: TOM THOMSON AND THE GROUP OF SEVEN
November 3, 2012 to January 6, 2013
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and Dulwich Picture Gallery, in collaboration with the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, and the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands. With the generous support of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and other lenders.
Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven proved to be a sensational success at the McMichael as well as venues such as: the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, UK; National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, Norway; and the Groninger Museum in Groningen, the Netherlands. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s presentation of this exhibition was the only Canadian engagement. This major exhibition of Canadian art was the largest in history to travel to Europe, featuring an astonishing 122 paintings as well as Tom Thomson’s sketch box.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II by CECIL BEATON: A DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATION
September 29, 2012 to January 6, 2013
In 2012, Her Majesty the Queen is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee—sixty years as Head of State of the Commonwealth realms and the United Kingdom. To mark the occasion, the Victoria & Albert Museum prepared an exhibition of important portraits drawn exclusively from the Museum’s collection of photographs taken by royal photographer, Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980).
FASHIONALITY: DRESS AND IDENTITY IN CONTEMPORARY CANADIAN ART
May 5 to September 3, 2012
Guest curated by Julia Pine
Not just about fashion, Fashionality: Dress and Identity in Contemporary Canadian Art explores the use of apparel and the act of adornment in the work of twenty-three active Canadian artists. Reflecting wide geographic and cultural diversity, it considers the ways in which the concerns, identities, and personal visions of these artists are expressed, deconstructed, and reconfigured through the shared visual language of dress.
THE LAST HARVEST: PAINTINGS BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE
May 24 to July 15, 2012
The Last Harvest, produced to mark the 150th anniversaryof the year of Tagore’s birth, comprises more than sixty works on paper created by this versatile and prolific visionary, drawn from three collections in India.
THE McMICHAEL TREE PROJECT
January 28 to April 22, 2012
The Tree: Form and Substance
The Tree: From the Sublime to the Social
Jack Chambers: the light from the darkness, silver paintings and film work
October 1, 2011 to January 15, 2012
Named "Exhibition of the Year" by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.
Arctic Life: Lomen Brothers Photography
September 17, 2011 to January 8, 2012
In Focus: Photographing the Alberta and Montana Frontier, 1870–1930
September 17, 2011 to January 8, 2012
Marc-Aurèle Fortin: The Experience of Colour
May 28 to September 11, 2011
A retrospective overview highlighting Fortin’s contribution as a painter, etcher, watercolourist, and pastelist; a landscape artist that left an indelible imprint on Quebec’s collective imagination.
Steeling the Gaze: Portraits by Aboriginal Artists
June 11 to September 11, 2011
Twelve Aboriginal artists challenge preconceived notions—defining Aboriginal identity, collapsing perceptual barriers established by decades of misrepresentation, defiantly stating, "this is who we are."
IVAN EYRE: SCULPTURE IN CONTEXT
May 7 to August 14, 2011
The mythological paintings and the large landscapes for which Canadian artist Ivan Eyre is perhaps best known are both informed by the formal investigations explored in his early drawings and sculpture.
George McLean: The Living Landscape
January 29 to May 23, 2011
George McLean has painted the landscape and animals around his home in Grey County, Ontario for over thirty years. The exhibition draws in major works from private and public collections across North America, displaying McLean’s prowess to capture the atmospheric beauty of all the seasons in Grey County, from the misty early spring snows to the clarity of the dense early spring woods to the golden heat of high summer meadows.
Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe
February 19 to May 15, 2011
Marilyn in Canada
February 19 to May 15, 2011
The exhibition Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe contains a selection of approximately 150 works by artists who offer engaging interpretations of Marilyn, ranging from playful and intimate portraits to others that are bold, decorative, and even transformative. With their images they capture the determination, innocence and vulnerability of Norma Jeane Baker, as well as the vibrant personality, femininity and sensuality that became Marilyn Monroe.
As an introductory and complementary component for the larger travelling show, Marilyn in Canada features photographs, paintings, sculpture, and prints by artists who have inscribed Monroe’s public image with their own culturally-filtered interpretations which also serve as commentary on the influence of American popular culture in Canada.
In Search of Norman Rockwell's America
March 12 to April 25, 2011
In Search of Norman Rockwell's America juxtaposes the work of iconic artist Norman Rockwell with that of photojournalist Kevin Rivoli; spontaneously occurring moments of everyday life. Rivoli’s photographs are true to Rockwell’s form—storytelling in a single, spontaneous frame that captures and celebrates the ordinary.
December 18, 2010 to February 27, 2011
Fifty-four of Clarence Gagnon’s original works exhibited in a chapter-by-chapter sequence presented in the book by Louis Hémon, depicting rural-life Quebec in 1912-13.
Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven
October 2, 2010 to January 30, 2011
Examine the stylistic evolution of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, who took their cues from the modernist approaches of painting developed in Europe.
A Tribute to Two Important Canadian Artists
December 8, 2010 to January 30, 2011
The gallery acknowledges the passing of Kananginak Pootoogook and Doris McCarthy
Traditional Stories: Unikkaaqtuat/Modern Stories: Unikkaat
August 28, 2010 to January 20, 2011
Explore the storytelling of Inuit oral cultural tradition that plays a significant role as a source for the artists' visual imagery.
Bruno Bobak: Love, Life and Death
September 18 to December 5, 2010
Take a closer look at Bruno Bobak’s fascination with the human body and soul through his Expressionist images of lovers, family relations, life cycle, and portraits.
Dorothy Knowles: Land Marks
May 22 to September 12, 2010
The Dorothy Knowles: Land Marks retrospective exhibition offers an informed overview of the landscape artist’s exemplary body of work. At first glance, the artist’s humble and natural subject matter can be underestimated or overlooked. However, Knowles radically chose to document her own backyard during a time when abstract art was rapidly gaining ground. This exhibition celebrates Knowles’ favourite subjects—the lush river valleys and prairie landscapes that characterized her rural childhood.
Following in the Footsteps of the Group of Seven
May 22 to September 6, 2010
For over thirty years, art enthusiasts Jim and Sue Waddington have been locating the exact sketching sites for artworks by Group of Seven members. This enchanting exhibition showcased the Group's art alongside stunning photographs taken of the original locations that inspired these artworks some eighty years ago.
October 24, 2009 to August 15, 2010
Explore the vibrant art of Woodland School painters Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Carl Ray, Alex Janvier, Blake Debassige and more!
September 13, 2008 to June 7, 2010
Based exclusively on the McMichael’s permanent collection, Child’s Play is an educational exhibition exploring the theme of children in Canadian art.
Tom Forrestall: Paintings, Drawings, Writings
January 30 to April 25, 2010
Explore the “magical realism” of Tom Forrestall’s paintings, drawings, and journal sketchbooks by examining themes of nature and tensions between reality and the imagination.
Maurice Cullen and His Circle
January 16 to March 21, 2010
This exhibition features works by Maurice Cullen together with those of some of his contemporaries, James Wilson Morrice and William Brymner, and the future generation of artists he inspired, including his stepson, Robert Pilot, and future member of the Group of Seven, A. Y. Jackson.
Nunannguaq: In the Likeness of the Earth
October 10, 2009 to January 17, 2010
An exhibition marking the fiftieth anniversary of Kinngait Studios, featuring a large selection of prints, drawings, and sculptures spanning three generations of Cape Dorset artists.
December 5, 2009 to January 3, 2010
Experience the popular 1916 novel, Maria Chapdelaine—a story depicting life in rural Quebec—through Clarence Gagnon's brilliant illustrations.
Ed Bartram: The Eye Within
October 17, 2009 to January 3, 2010
Ed Bartram’s print images, produced using a range of innovative printmaking techniques, offer a new interpretation of the iconic Canadian landscape.
Diana Thorneycroft: Canada, Myth and History
July 18 to November 29, 2009
Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft is known for tackling difficult issues through her poetic photographic works. In Canada, Myth and History, Thorneycroft investigates the Canadian identity.
Charles Pachter and Margaret Atwood: The Journals of Susanna Moodie
July 18 to October 12, 2009
The Journals of Susanna Moodie, Margaret Atwood's best known book of poems, inspired by the writing of Susanna Moodie, was published in a limited edition format with Charles Pachter's interpretive graphic works in the 1980s. The marriage of graphic work with literary text created a unique art form, the livre d'artiste.
Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art
of the Northwest Coast
June 27 to September 20, 2009
Art of the Northwest Coast has re-emerged in the twenty-first century. Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast exhibition explores the art of forty contemporary Northwest Coast artists.
Yousuf Karsh: Industrial Images
January 31 to July 5, 2009
Expoloring a culmination of Karsh’s industrial and commercial work with the Ford Motor Company of Canada, Atlas Steel in Welland, Ontario, and Sharon Steel in Pennsylvania, and a variety of other commercial images.
"Karshed": Yousuf Karsh Selected Portraits
January 31 to July 5, 2009
Two special portfolios of thirty rare, limited-edition portraits by Karsh will be on display at the gallery to complement the exhibition, Industrial Images.
A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan
January 17 to June 7, 2009
The exhibition, A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan includes artworks dating from 1947 to 2008.
The Arctic Image
January 17 to June 7, 2009
The Arctic Image exhibition examines Canada’s north from two distinct artistic perspectives: the Inuit people who lived there for generations, and those who came much later and experienced it as an unknown environment.
December 6, 2008 to January 18, 2009
Fifty-four of Clarence Gagnon’s original works exhibited in a chapter-by-chapter sequence conforming to the narrative presented in the book, Maria Chapdelaine.
Contemporary Canadian Inuit Drawings / Chinese Drawings from Huxian, Jinshan and Qijiang
October 11, 2008 to January 4, 2009
A cross-cultural exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Inuit Drawings / Chinese Drawings from Huxian, Jinshan and Qijiang, organized by the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (MSAC) in Guelph and the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (SFAI) in Chongqing, China, is an exceptional exploration of social culturology as expressed by Chinese and Canadian Inuit artists who are trying to retain traditional values in the midst of rapid societal change.
The Drawings and Paintings of Daphne Odjig:
A Retrospective Exhibition
October 4, 2008 to January 4, 2009
Organized by the Art Gallery of Sudbury and the National Gallery of Canada, in collaboration with guest curator, Bonnie Devine, the exhibition features over fifty of Odjig’s works including examples of Odjig’s history paintings, murals, legend paintings, erotica, abstractions, and landscapes.
Kenojuak: From Drawing to Print
August 30 to November 30, 2008
This exhibit, curated by McMichael’s Assistant Curator, Shawna White and entitled, Kenojuak: From Drawing to Print, examines Kenojuak’s involvement with the Cape Dorset printing program by comparing a selection of Kenojuak’s drawings to their subsequent prints.
June 28 to September 14, 2008
Curated by Terrence Heath, Joe Fafard's sculptures are revealed together for the first time. Featuring loans from private and public collections, his larger-than-life ceramic, bronze, plaster and steel sculptures, as well as some drawings, display over 40 years of his signature cows, horses and caricature works.
February 23 to June 8, 2008
Through this presentation of drawings by members of the Group of Seven, the exhibition explores the importance of this medium as part of the creative process. The exhibition also looked at the continuing influence of the Group members on the art of today’s contemporary artists.
Saumik: James Houston's Legacy
February 10, 2007 to June 8, 2008
This exhibition focused upon the late James Houston and the early days of art making in Kinngait (Cape Dorset). James Houston, known as Saumik or “the left-handed one” in the Inuit language of Inuktitut, was the leading proponent in establishing printmaking in Kinngait.
The Iconography of the Imagination:
The Art of James Reaney
January 26 to May 18, 2008
An exhibition highlighting the little-known artistic talents of James Reaney, award-winning poet and author recognized as one of Canada’s literary greats.
Stones, Bones and Stitches
September 29, 2007 to March 30, 2008
Based on a new publication by Tundra Books written by McMichael curators Shelley Falconer and Shawna White, this exhibition features six talented Inuit artists, each of whom works with a different material to create outstanding works of art.
Miller Brittain: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears
November 16, 2007 to February 10, 2008
A retrospective exhibition celebrating the artistic legacy of Miller Brittain, one of New Brunswick’s most talented artists.
Interpreting Communities: The Group of Seven & their Contemporaries
October 6, 2007 to January 13, 2008
Features selected works on paper by members of the Group of Seven who, in addition to their well –known paintings of the uninhabited landscape, depicted scenes from local communities.
The Art of Robert Bateman
September 1 to November 4, 2007
Although best known for his wildlife paintings, Robert Bateman's work includes a broad range of subjects, including landscapes, still lifes and portraits.
Mary Pratt: Allusions
June 30 to September 30, 2007
A selection of this renowned artist's beautiful Japanese woodblock prints with a single still-life theme - studies of fruit.
Art and Society in Canada: 1913 - 1953
June 2 to August 19, 2007
Art and Society is a stimulating exhibition of more than forty works from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada – including paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture – looks at three generations of Canadian artists and their visions of the role of art in shaping society.
January 27 to May 21, 2007
Experience a selection of outstanding paintings by Takao Tanabe, a renowned Vancouver Island artist and winner of the Governor General’s Award. Tanabe is one of Canada’s most significant landscape painters and is noted particularly for his depictions of the prairies and the British Columbia coast.
Highlights from the Collection
October 7, 2006 to February 18, 2007
This exhibition showcases some of the best-known prints from Kinngait (Cape Dorset) with a focus on selected works by Kenojuak Ashevak, Pudlo Pudlat, Parr, Pitaloosie Saila, Pauta Saila, Kananginak Pootoogook, Sheojuk Etidlooie, Kingmeata Etidlooie, Pitseolak Ashoona, Lucy Qinnuayuak, Kiakshuk, Tudlik, and many other artists.
Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist
September 30 2006, to January 14, 2007
Best known for the development of the Woodland School of painting, Morrisseau’s work is compelling; this exhibition includes pieces that have rarely or never before been displayed. Learn more about this Anishnaabe artist whose unique pictographic style has influenced many other First Nations artists.
Dream : A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes
June 10, 2006 to January 7, 2007
Winner of eleven national awards and recent recipient of the International Reading Association Children’s Choice. This delightful exhibition of award-winning children’s illustrations is part of the McMichael’s 40th anniversary celebrations. Featured are original illustrations created by fifteen artists from around the world – including Governor General’s Award winner Barbara Reid – for the best-selling book by Canadian author Susan V. Bosak.
June 24 to September 17, 2006
This outstanding retrospective of Edwin Holgate’s work, organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, is the first since the artist’s death in 1977. The exhibition explores many aspects of this versatile artist’s production, included early works from his Montreal and Paris training, portraits of his Montreal circle of friends and family, paintings in oil and watercolour, his work as a war artist, and prints from his trip to the Skeena River region of British Columbia.
Inuit Sculpture Now
July 1 to September 4, 2006
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada
During the 1950s, the term “contemporary Inuit sculpture” was used to identify new work from that produced earlier, that is during the Prehistoric and Contact eras. Today, however, the term has become something of a misnomer. This exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg focuses on sculpture created over the past decade and looks at what is really “contemporary” within Inuit sculpture.
The Festive North
October 29, 2005 to June 18, 2006
The Festive North focuses on celebration, showcasing images of traditional and contemporary Inuit games, drum dancing, throat singing, community gatherings and feasts, quite simply all things celebratory in Inuit Art.
THE ROAD: Constructing the Alaska Highway
April 8 to June 11, 2006
To many people the Alaska Highway is simply a long line that connects two dots on a map. To others it is an essential transportation route, linking towns, cities and communities across northern Canada. To others, it is an engineering marvel − a symbol of a history of cooperation between two great nations. To the thousands of people that built it, however, the Alaska Highway was known simply as “The Road.”
March 11 to June 11, 2006
As part of the McMichael’s fortieth-anniversary celebrations, gallery visitors were invited to choose their personal favourites from among sixty popular artworks in our permanent collection. Their votes have now been cast and the tally taken! The result is Favourite Forty, a special exhibition based on our visitors’ choices.
Robert Davidson: The Abstract Edge
March 4 to May 14, 2006
Organized by Karen Duffek, Curator of Art at the UBC Museum of Anthropology in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada, Robert Davidson:The Abstract Edge, the artist’s first solo exhibition in a decade.
People of the Dancing Sky:
The Iroquois Way
December 10, 2005 to March 19, 2006
In 1995, award-winning Toronto photographer Myron Zabol began a five-year project to record, through the eyes of his camera, the lives and traditions of the Haudenosaunee, the Six Nations Iroquois, at the end of the twentieth century.
Portraits from the Dancing Grounds
December 10, 2005 to March 19, 2006
For Jeff Thomas, this project is about using Edward Curtis’s photographs as a stepping stone to talk about and describe what Indian-ness looks like today, rather than other people’s fantasies of Indian-ness.
Loyal She Remains — Ontario
September 17 to November 27, 2005
This unique touring exhibition circulated by Library and Archives Canada, celebrates the acquisition of art from the Canadiana collection of Peter Winkworth.
The Arctic Image
June 14, 2003 - October 16, 2005
The Arctic Image examines Canada’s North from two distinct perspectives: from the viewpoint of the Inuit who have lived there for generations, and through the eyes of those who came much later and experienced it as a vast unknown territory. The exhibition captures the importance of the Arctic to the Group of Seven ethos and develops the concept of a Canadian spiritual landscape.
Homage to Jean Paul Lemieux
June 4 to September 5, 2005
More than fifty paintings and drawings from this remarkable Québécois artist. On from June 4 to September 5, 2005.
Max Stern, Collector, Art Dealer and Patron
June 4 to August 21, 2005
An exhibition which explored the pivotal role that Max Stern, owner of The Dominion Gallery in Montreal, played in the circulation of Canadian modern art across the country. Paintings by Emily Carr, Paul-Émile Borduas, Stanley Cosgrove, Mabel May and others. Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
September 27, to November 9, 2003
Louis Hémon's classic French Canadian novel, Maria Chapdelaine was brought to life in 1928 when Clarence Gagnon was asked to put illustration to words and created a series of illustrations. All fifty-four of these works were acquired into the McMichael's permanent collection and the first exhibition of these magnificent illustrations was displayed at the McMichael in November of 1987. They have since become a perennial favourite with visitors.
For more information
E.J. Hughes: The B.C. Landscape
November 29, 2003 to February 15, 2004
E.J. Hughes is famous for his strong, appealing images of the landscape and seascape of British Columbia: distinctive in clarity of form and colour, yet tinged with an air of mystery.
Perspectives: Canadian Women Artists
November 23, 2002 to February 16, 2003
An invitation to consider the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s diverse and varied collection of works by Canadian women artists. The exhibition wove together social touch points, video, poetry and literary excerpts selected by contemporary poet and journalist Lynn Crosbie. The exhibition included works by Laura Muntz Lyall, Helen McNicoll, Anne Savage, Marcelle Ferron, Rita Letendre, Joyce Wieland, Mary Pratt, Daphne Odjig and Natalka Husar.
For more information: McMichael collaborated with the Virtual Museum of Canada to create Perspectives, a virtual exhibit celebrating artwork created by American, Canadian and Mexican women artists. View exhibit.
Carr, O'Keefe, Kahlo:Places of Their Own
June 30, 2001 - September 9, 2001
Few North American women artists have achieved the legendary stature of Emily Carr (1871-1945, Canadian), Frida Kahlo (1907-1954, Mexican) and Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986, American).
In The Wilds: Canoeing and Canadian Art
June 27, 1998 - November 15, 1998
The canoe is a Canadian icon as familiar as the moose, the beaver and the maple leaf and, as such, is an important symbol of our mythologized northern identity. Not surprisingly, therefore, the theme of canoes and canoeing is one that has often been employed by artists, from prehistoric times to the present. As may be seen in this exhibition, the manner in which artists have depicted the canoe has changed over the years.