Published by Winnipeg Art Gallery (Winnipeg) 2010
"Winnipeg Art Gallery: Guide to the Collections"
"Winnipeg Art Gallery: Guide to the Collections" Editor, Stephen Borys Winnipeg Art Gallery (Winnipeg) 2010
Editor, Stephen Borys
Winnipeg Art Gallery (Winnipeg) 2010
Review by Mary-Beth Laviolette
Books about museum collections tend to dominate coffee tables. As publications, they’re thumbed-through, admired for their big glossy presence and maybe read once in a while. In this sense, Winnipeg Art Gallery: Guide to the Collections is a different kind of book. A little larger than a paperback, with a soft cover and 255 pages, it’s meant to be read and used as a guide. In that respect, this guide to some of the most important and fascinating objects in the holdings of Canada’s first civic art gallery is a gem. It re-affirms the value of collections in general and curators with the expertise to research and understand how art connects to a time and place, and to artists.
As the Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Stephen Borys gives readers an informative introduction to the gallery’s history and its collections, followed by handsomely designed chapters about holdings in European art, Canadian art, works on paper, photography, decorative arts and the gallery’s important collection of Inuit art. In all, the book includes 400 unique works, each one illustrated with a colour reproduction and a couple of concise paragraphs.
Even for art neophytes, the book is a bit of a primer, easily digested and full of Canadian examples and passages on recent activity in Winnipeg’s active contemporary art scene. Kudos to the gallery’s curatorial staff for this engaging effort.