1971

February

The Manitoba Centennial Citizens’ Committee, chaired by Winnipeg businessman Samuel Nathan Cohen (1919–1988), hands over one million...
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March

The Gallery acquires sculptor Leo Mol’s (1915–2009) bronze head of Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson. Funds for the purchase were...
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Around the same time, Joanne Bryers is hired as Art Educator in the spring, replacing Bonnie Pitmann. Bryers would later marry Canadian painter...
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In anticipation of the opening of its new building in late September, the WAG reveals its first logo. Created by Winnipeg artist and graphic...
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Around the same time, Joanne Bryers is hired as Art Educator in the spring, replacing Bonnie Pitmann. Bryers would later marry Canadian painter...
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September

On September 25, HRH Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930–2002) and Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, officially open the...
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While the event is a resounding success, with well over 6,000 people touring the building over two inaugural days, a building trades strike had...
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The Find Yourself posters, promoting the opening of the Gallery, are a big hit. Made of reflective material, they create the same effect as a...
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To mark the opening of the new building, the WAG acquires one of its most significant collections, the 4,000-piece collection of Inuit art from...
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November

Businessman and community leader William John Antliff Bulman becomes Board President. He is the grandson of William John Bulman (1870–1938),...
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1972

January

January 18: With the strike over and all the jobs complete, the Gallery celebrates its re-opening with a “First Night” gala opening....
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March

The Gallery’s restaurant opens on the Penthouse level in March. “Managed and operated by the owners of the popular Old Swiss Inn on...
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June

The WAG acquires close to 180 Inuit sculptures presented to the Gallery by heirs of the late Bessie Bulman (d. 1972). To hear John Bulman,...
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Opening on June 15, the exhibition Conceptual Decorative: Prints by Les Levine, 1965–1970, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is...
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July

The Gallery’s Art Education Department begins its Come Do-Come See classes for children.  The Come Do-Come See program offers art...
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The Gallery announces that 13th Winnipeg Show planned for November is cancelled, making the 12th instalment of the exhibition in 1970 the last...
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August

Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171 opens on August 12. The WAG-organized exhibition, featuring work by Daphne Odjig, Jackson Beardy...
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October

Dr. Ferdinand Eckhardt (1902–1995) celebrates his 20th anniversary as WAG Director. To hear Dr. Stephen Borys, current Executive Director of...
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November

The WAG continues to distinguish itself as an important venue for decorative arts with the exhibition The Development of English Porcelain,...
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1973

May

The WAG’s elegant modernist rooftop sculpture garden opens to the public.

June

Diane Oades becomes President of the Women’s Committee.

October

Dr. Ferdinand Eckhardt (1902–1995) celebrates his 20th anniversary as WAG Director.  Board President W. John A. Bulman comments that...
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Dr. Ann Davis is hired as Curator of Canadian Art.

For the first time, the WAG newsletter lists a wide array of Studio classes offered by the Gallery for both children and adults.  Classes...
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November

The estate of the late Arnold O. Brigden (1886–1972) donates a significant collection of close to 600 Canadian, Inuit, and European...
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December

The remaining loaned works from the 28-piece collection of Robert Standish Gage Prendergast Vereker, 7th Viscount Gort (1888–1975) enter the...
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1974

January

The Women’s Committee supports the purchase of the Ivan Eyre painting Tanglewood, marking the City of Winnipeg’s Centennial. Valued at...
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Businessman Augustus Searle Leach Jr. becomes Board President.

April

The Development of Canadian Silver opens on April 3. The WAG-organized exhibition includes almost 200 works on loan from the Henry Birks...
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September

Roger Selby (1934–1995) replaces Dr. Ferdinand Eckhardt (1902–1995) as WAG Director. The new American Director, specializing in both...
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December

Sonia Eckhardt-Gramatté (1899–1974), wife of former Director Ferdinand Eckhardt (1902–1995) and internationally acclaimed...
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1975

January

The options available in WAG Studio classes for children, teenagers, and adults expand to include filmmaking, pottery, art appreciation, basic...
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Around the same time, Jean Bloggett is hired as the first curator devoted exclusively to Inuit art. William Kirby becomes the Gallery’s...
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May

The Women’s Committee marks International Women’s Year with the purchase of an Inuit sculpture, Camp Scene, by P.O.V. Abraham...
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June

Vicky Wilson becomes President of the Women’s Committee.

July

Tilt! Pinball Machines 1931–1958, organized by Regina’s Dunlop Art Gallery, opens at the WAG on July 7.  This unorthodox and...
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September

The WAG introduces special membership rates for full-time students and seniors.

November

Two very different exhibitions open at the Gallery, both marking International Women’s Year: Images of Women and Woman as Viewer. The latter...
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December

The WAG awards its one-millionth visitor to the new Gallery building with a framed colour print by artist Don Proch.

1976

February

The exhibition Pitseolak. Retrospective. Graphic Works opens on February 13, representing “the first time an artist from Canada’s...
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Later in February, the exhibition Americans in Florence: Europeans in Florence opens. The exhibition is a loan from the Long Beach Museum of Art...
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March

The Pipoon Festival, presented by the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre of Winnipeg, opens in the Gallery’s main foyer (today Eckhardt...
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April

Manitoba’s parks department announces plans to fund an extensive landscape design project for the roof of the Gallery, in consultation with...
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May

The Hudson’s Bay Company presents a cheque for $30,000, then the largest single donation in the Gallery’s history, toward the...
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On May 11, two key individuals in the WAG’s history are honoured in with the official designation of the Muriel Richardson Auditorium and...
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June

The Women’s Committee is renamed the Volunteer Committee. Manitoba’s Lieutenant-Governor Francis Laurence Jobin (1914–1995)...
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As a result of increased government operations funding, the Volunteer Committee redirects its attention to a limited set of key areas of Gallery...
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August

In August, the Gallery acquires a major collection of Inuit art—over 900 works—from the University of Manitoba professor and artist...
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The exhibition Master Paintings from the Hermitage and the State Russian Museum opens later that month. “Undisputedly,” Roger Selby...
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September

In September, the Gallery announces that three of its curators—Ann Davis, Patricia Bovey, and Jean Blodgett—will begin teaching...
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November

The exhibition Port Harrison/Inoucdjouac opens on November 20, representing the first of a series of exhibitions devoted to the art of particular...
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1977

February

The Education Department begins its popular Art for Lunch series. These free midday presentations and discussions focus on different aspects of...
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March

The Gallery announces the creation of a series of lectures in conjunction with the University of Manitoba entitled Scholars’ Forum, which...
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May

The group Jazzmobile, headed by jazz legend Billy Taylor (1921–2010), performs at the WAG. The event spawns the Gallery’s popular...
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June

In June, Dr. Clara Lander (1916–1978) becomes President of the Board, the first woman to hold the position in the WAG’s history.

Lawyer Helen Mary Arpin (1926–2012) becomes President of the Volunteer Committee.

July

A small but innovative exhibition, Looking South, opens on July 16, presenting “works of art made by the [Inuit], but inspired or influenced...
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The exhibition Sculpture on the Prairies opens the same day, featuring a range of practices from modernist sculpture, to installation, to...
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August

Director Roger Selby (1934–1995) reports that “through the support of many individuals and corporations, the endeavours of the Board...
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A WAG-organized exhibition, Ministic Sculpture, featuring 40 stone carvings by 21 Saulteaux artists, including Saunders Keno (1934–2003),...
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October

Reflecting the increasingly contemporary and innovative programming at the Gallery, the WAG hosts The 1984 Miss General Idea Pageant...
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That month, the WAG acquires the 1975 photo-realist painting Marcia by American artist Ben Schonzeit. The portrait is of the artist’s wife,...
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Canadian Political Cartoons opens on October 28, featuring works of satirical caricature loaned from collections across the country. The...
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November

The Gallery begins an international film series, which carries into 1978, exploring sexuality in cinema. Films range from the silent classic Sex...
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1978

February

A fundraising drive is launched to purchase hundreds of drawings and print-drawings used to create prints by Inuit artists in Baker Lake, at the...
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The first Winnipeg Perspective exhibition opens on February 24. The exhibition includes work by a dozen artists, including Gordon Lebredt...
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March

On March 11, The Coming and Going of the Shaman: Eskimo Shamanism and Art opens. Organized by the WAG, it represents one of the first Inuit...
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May

Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald: The Development of An Artist, a major reassessment of the career of FitzGerald (1890–1956), opens on May 24. The...
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June

In June, lawyer and businessman Arthur V. Mauro becomes President of the Board.

Karyn Allen becomes the Gallery’s Associate Curator of Contemporary Art.

Jim Steranko: Graphic Narrative. The Structure of Comics opens at the WAG on June 30. To hear Ted Howorth, printmaker and lecturer at the...
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July

American Narrative/Story Art: 1967–1977, a major exhibition of contemporary American art from the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, opens...
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October

The WAG Education Department begins offering an experimental film series entitled Images, Ideas, Issues. The series continues through to May 1979...
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November

John Alexander MacAulay (1895–1978), longtime WAG Board Member, supporter, and Honorary President for life, dies.  In the...
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The group exhibition Form and Performance opens on November 10.  The exhibition includes work by Winnipeg artists whose work incorporates...
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December

The Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation is incorporated. To hear longtime volunteer Marjorie Drache describe the Volunteer Associates’...
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1979

January

Nancy Dillow becomes the Gallery’s first Chief Curator. Bernadette Driscoll replaces Jean Bloggett as Curator of Inuit Art. Shirley Madill...
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February

The exhibition Frontiers of Our Dreams: Quebec Painting in the 1940s and 1950s opens on February 9. The WAG-organized exhibition constitutes a...
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March

WAG Director Roger Selby (1934–1995) is elected President of the Canadian Art Museums Directors Organization.

Also in March, the Gallery’s library is officially named the Clara Lander Library, in memory of long-serving volunteer and Board Member Dr....
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May

The second annual Festival of Art and Food is held. This year, the three-day event attracts over 9,000 people.  The Gallery’s April...
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June

Pricilla Veitch becomes President of the Volunteer Associates.

July

On July 22, the exhibition Dennis Oppenheim: Works 1967–1977 goes on display. Oppenheim (1938–2011), a significant American...
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August

The Gallery acquires a collection of over 80 works of Inuit art, mostly done in ivory, bequeathed from Dr. Albert Clifford Abbott...
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1980

January

Elizabeth Legge becomes Associate Curator. In 1981, she leaves Winnipeg to pursue studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art as a Commonwealth...
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February

The innovative historical, and WAG-organized, exhibition Bustles and Rosepetals: Fashion is Art, 1882–1910 opens on February 22. The...
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March

The world-renowned philosopher Paul Churchland, then a professor at the University of Manitoba, delivers a lecture entitled “Intellectual...
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April

It becomes public knowledge that an exhibition of Ukrainian art, planned for October, would be cancelled.  Federal support for the...
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June

Businessman John D. C. Kassenaar becomes Board President.

August

The Inuit Amautik: I Like My Hood To Be Full, an exhibition exploring Inuit clothing, opens at the Gallery opens on August 8.

September

Director Roger Selby (1934–1995) publically identifies photography as a specialized area of the collection, and one that he aims to...
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November

Kathleen Campbell becomes the WAG’s first Curator of Decorative Arts.

French artist Christo visits the WAG to deliver a public lecture and discussion on his famous land art project Running Fence, a 24-mile fabric...
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