Monday, January 14, 2019

National Gallery Of Canada

Earlier this month I paid an evening visit to the National Gallery of Canada. The giant bronze spider Maman by Louise Bourgeois guards the main entrance.

The walkway up to the galleries heads up this long ramp. Work has been done here last year in replacing the glass panes along this stretch, and so the last time I paid a visit, this spot was more enclosed as part of those efforts.

The glass tower had its panes replaced some years earlier. It's a Christmas tradition to have a large tree in the grand hall, and the tree was still up when I visited. We'll see more of it before this series is through.

Pausing before going in, I went to the windows, and photographed across towards Parliament Hill.

Then it was time to go in. There are Canadian galleries on the main floor, with world art on the upper level. I stepped in, and first had a look at one of the two large interior courtyards. This one has a garden inside. A glass roof allows for daylight to come in.

The Canadian galleries were reorganized for Canada 150 with a different mandate, mixing together First Nations art with the more conventional art. The first thing you see when the door opens is this display of First Nations artifacts.

Included is this petroglyph on stone, dated to approximately 1000 AD, done by an Assiniboine artist, found in the Beaver Hills in the western plains.

A wider view of this gallery space includes items like a traditional coat encased in the foreground, with conventional paintings on the walls beyond. A couple of docents were in the Canadian section on the evening I visited. The first one was speaking with a visitor beyond this case when I took this shot. I chatted with the second one about several of the paintings in a gallery space beyond here, including one that I have photographed before, but not this time, featuring the Niagara escarpment at Hamilton in the 19th century.

The Woolsey Family is the title of this 1809 oil painting by William Berczy, a German born artist who came to Canada in the 1790s and has been deemed one of the founders of the town of York, which is now part of the greater city of Toronto.

Nearby, a display case features silver pieces used for religious purposes. 


  1. I love the first picture. You caught the spider and light beautifully.

  2. The night photos are an interesting contrast to the daylight.

  3. The spider looks frightening! I like that garden very much. Interesting that you´re allowed to take pictures in there.

  4. The giant spider is fabulous. I like the internal courtyard too.

  5. Well done. I love your night scenes.

  6. So many different, intriguing art works on display. And love the idea of an interior garden for extra ambience. An intriguing series of images. And thank you for your lovely comment on my Mornington Peninsula blog yesterday. It was appreciated.

  7. The giant spider is scary! Beautiful night view seen through the window. Nice indoor garden.

  8. The building looks nice. In many galleries you are not allowed to take photographs.

  9. The spider I have seen in another place too, in Spain!Nice photos.

  10. Hello William!
    Wonderful pictures! I like especially the first photo with the spider and the indoor garden!
    Have a lovely week!

  11. The giant spider and the petroglyph on stone are my favorites today.

  12. ...a treasure filled with treasures!

  13. When I last went, maybe 4-5 years ago, they were very strict about photos. I understand that it changed shortly after. And they hadn't been so strict before that either. Perplexing.

  14. I will have to put the National Gallery on my list of things to do the next time I visit my daughter. We have visited many of the museums in the area but not the NG. Have to rectify this omission.

  15. @Klara: thanks!

    @Maywyn: that they are.

    @Iris: they changed the policy several years ago to allow photography, for the most part. Items that are not to be photographed are noted as such on their panels.

    @Sami: I really like that spider.

    @Andy: thank you!

    @Gemma: you're welcome.

    @Nancy: the garden is a delight.

    @Joan: such used to be the policy here, but not anymore.

    @Marianne: yes, in Bilbao at the Guggenheim.

    @Dimi: thank you!

    @Jan: they're both good.

    @Tom: I agree.

    @Anvilcloud: yes, I was used to the no photos at all policy. I like it this way.

    @David: it's definitely well worth a visit.

  16. That spider is awesome, but a little menacing. I like the First Nations art you showed. :-)

  17. You get a whole different perspective when you visit places at night! The Maman sculpture freaks me out a wee bit William, but so impressive to see!

  18. I will try enlarging the photo of the petroglyph, but as it stands, I can't figure it out...nor the smaller piece. I like the family portrait.

  19. The more information that goes along with artifacts the better. Docents are usually very well trained.

  20. I love that first photo. It is so wintery looking.

  21. I love your night view of Parliament Hill and that courtyard is lovely.

  22. What a wonderful place. I love the interior garden and the picture of the Woolsey Family:)

  23. @DJan: I think the mixing of artistic styles was precisely the right thing to do.

    @Grace: Maman has quite a presence!

    @Barbara: it's not labeled as such, but it appears to me to be a small bowl of sage grass, which you might expect with indigenous culture.

    @Red: yes, I've found that I've enjoyed interactions with docents here.

    @Sharon: it is!

    @Marie: so do I.

    @Jeanie: thanks!

    @Rosie: thank you!

  24. I especially like your first photograph showing the giant bronze spider.

    All the best Jan

  25. The inside garden. That is very special!

  26. It is a nice time of day to visit!

  27. A clever idea to have an indoor garden .

  28. The first photo and the inside garden are my favorites.

  29. Wonderful nite photography of another beautiful place filled with creativity and history ~ thanks ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  30. @Jan: thanks!

    @Aritha: that it is.

    @RedPat: I certainly think so.

    @Fun60: it is indeed.

    @Bill: I like them both.

    @Carol: you're welcome.

  31. i love when shots like that happen ... a picture within a picture ... way cool!! spider always is neat. is that something that will be there for a long time or just pass through? that hallway looks super tiny. ( ;
    have a nice week.

  32. We're gonna need a really BIG can of Raid!

  33. Sure glad spiders aren't that big!!!

  34. Marvelous galleries. And is this all free to enter, William?

  35. @Whisk: it does, yes.

    @Beth: the spider is permanent.

    @Norma: the itsy bitsy spider...

    @Happyone: definitely a good thing.

    @Catalyst: on Thursday evenings it's free. Memberships are reasonable for a full year.

    @Kay: that it is.

    @Francisco: thanks!

  36. That giant spider sculpture is impressive!

  37. That courtyard would be neat for wedding or family photos.

  38. That giant spider is amazing! I enjoy a museum like this that has articles such as coats and silver pieces as well as paintings. Looks like a fun place to spend an evening!