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Virtual Sightseeing – Vancouver Art Gallery

Written by Library in Library Blog on May 13, 2021
Welcome to AC Library’s virtual sightseeing tour! In this series, the Library will take you to different local sites of interest. We’ll explore these sites using the online resources available to all students and faculty through the Library databases, along with other accessible virtual resources. Join us this week as we learn more about the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Founded in 1931, the Vancouver Art Gallery was originally located on West Georgia Street. The initial collection was mostly focused on British artists and only included a small amount of work by Canadian artists. By the 1950s a need for a wider range of art was recognized, and an expansion was made to the collection and building. More Canadian artists were included, including many paintings by Emily Carr. In 1983 the Gallery was moved to a larger building to accommodate the growing items for exhibition.

Left Image: Stuart Thomson Vancouver Art Gallery – Opening Day [at 1145 West Georgia Street], October 5, 1931, photograph, City of Vancouver Archives,

Right Image: Arbron, Vancouver Art Gallery, May 5, 2012, photograph, Flickr,

The pieces on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery have grown greatly since, with nearly 9,000 items in the permanent collections alone. It is now one of the largest art galleries in Canada. The collection is presented in exhibitions in the Gallery, as well as used by researchers, scholars, students, authors, and even other museums. Highlights of the collection include 19th century British Columbia art, modern Canadian art, historical and contemporary Indigenous art, contemporary Asian art, and many types of photography.

The Gallery is currently located in Downtown Vancouver on Hornby street, within a few minutes walk of the Burrard SkyTrain station. It is currently open to visitors, with masks and social distancing mandatory, and by donation on Thursdays. Their current exhibitions include themes of storytelling (Stories That Animate Us), animation and other forms of narratives (Sun Xun: Mythological Time), and offsite outdoor exhibits (Evann Siebens + Keith Doyle: Pedestrian Protest).

“About.” Vancouver Art Gallery, Accessed October 15, 2020.

“Art Connects.” Vancouver Art Gallery, Accessed October 15, 2020.

“Vancouver Art Gallery.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, Accessed October 19, 2020.

“Vancouver Art Gallery.” Tourism Vancouver, Accessed October 19, 2020.

Cover Image:
MandyJ, “Vancouver Art Gallery”, November 24, 2007, photograph, Flickr,

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