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Victoria artist Anthony Thorn has gifted $ 2.5 million to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to support the Gallery’s planned redevelopment of its Moss Street home.
The donation was announced January 20, 2014 by AGGV Board Chair, Ruth Wittenberg, who expressed her gratitude to Mr. Thorn. “We are extremely grateful to Anthony for his support. His visionary gift allows us to move forward with confidence as we continue our fundraising and planning for the future of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.”
Mr. Thorn’s decision to make a gift to the Gallery was spurred by a news article in a local Victoria newspaper. “I read an article that explained why the Gallery was choosing to redevelop its existing site, rather than continue its 30-yr search for space downtown,” explained Mr. Thorn. “I found myself in complete agreement with the decision of AGGV Director Jon Tupper and was determined to do whatever I could to help.”
The Gallery’s commitment to a well-planned renovation of its existing facility was announced in 2012. A request for proposals was issued at the time, seeking architects who could renovate and prepare a design that complements the building’s location in the heart of the Rockland neighbourhood. Mr. Thorn’s gift provides the Gallery with impetus for a capital campaign, to be launched once a project budget has been confirmed.
A prairie-raised artist and educator, Anthony Thorn (a pseudonym for Arthur Goldman) began to paint in 1948, soon after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan. His paintings and carved works in gold leaf, ivory and other precious materials have been exhibited with galleries across Canada and in France, Mexico, the U.S., and the Canary Islands, and are included in public collections in Canada, including that of the AGGV. Eight of his works have been honoured with the designation of “outstanding significance and national importance” by the Canadian Cultural Review Board. Thorn taught as a lecturer at Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario from 1977 to 1979. After arriving in Victoria, Thorn gave a series of studio courses with the University of Victoria Extension Program.
Thorn’s gift is also in the memory of his late wife, Jacqueline Goldman, who passed away in the spring of 2013. His own health is failing and he has found inspiration in memory of his parents, who practiced life-long philanthropy.
Biography of Anthony Thorn
THORN, Anthony (b. 1927)
Artist, Educator and Writer
Anthony Thorn is the pseudonym of Arthur Goldman, the son of Leon and Dorothy Goldman, born in Regina in 1927. He is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (BA, 1947) and pursued graduate studies in English literature at the University of Chicago.
Thorn began to paint in 1948. His first studies in painting were in Regina with Kenneth Lochhead followed by studies in figure drawing at the Chicago Art Institute, studies in oil painting techniques with Frederic Taubes at the Banff Centre, studies in stained glass design at the Centre d’Art Sacré, Paris, and drawing at the Academie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris. In 1955 Thorn was apprentice to the muralist David Alfaro Siquéiros in Mexico and studied in acrylic technique with Jose Gutierrez. In later years he studied watercolor and sumi painting with Mataichiro Isoda in Kyoto, Japan, and metal-smithing in Corfu, Greece.
His work has been exhibited with galleries across Canada but also in France, Mexico, the Canary Islands and the United States. About 40 of his works are in corporate and public collections in Canada. Notably in the collections of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, and in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Greater Victoria Public Library; they consist of paintings and carved works in gold leaf, ivory and other precious materials. Eight of his works in public collections have been honored with the designation “of outstanding significance and national importance” by the Canadian Cultural Review Board.
As an educator, along with various teaching in Toronto, Thunder Bay and Victoria art classes, his main academic teaching was as a Lecturer in Fine Arts at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay (1977 to 1979) and an Instructor in painting for the Department of Extension of the University of Victoria (1981 to 1984) He wrote as an art reviewer and critic for the Toronto Citizen (1971 to 1972)
Anthony Thorn lives in Victoria, British Columbia