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#RetroAGO: Picasso-mania

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The recent reopening of the Level 1 suite of Margaret Eaton, Marvin Gelber, and Betty Ann & Fraser Elliott Galleries has caused quite a stir with its amazing installation of Modern works from the AGO Collection. Visitors, AGO staffers and volunteers are buzzing about the exciting works on display (especially the Picassos!) in the first gallery spaces to be unveiled as part of our Look:Forward reinstallation project.

Now take a look back to 1964, when the Art Gallery of Toronto (as the AGO was then called) thrilled Toronto audiences with the first-ever Canadian retrospective of Pablo Picasso’s work. The month-long visual extravaganza showcased 270 artworks on loan from all over the world. By 1960s standards, the numbers are astounding: 107,214 visitors came through our doors and 23,736 copies of the catalogue were sold.

We have photos to prove it, including around-the-block lineups (including the old Art Gallery of Toronto façade) and bustling galleries. The AGO wouldn’t have another Picasso exhibition of this scale until 2012.

Picasso and Man, view of central fountain in Walker Court
Picasso and Man, view of central fountain in Walker Court. Photo courtesy of the AGO.

two women infron of picasso painting
Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Visitors outside Gallery entrance
Visitors outside Gallery entrance (taken on the last Sunday of the exhibition). Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Picasso and Man, exhibition opening
Picasso and Man, exhibition opening. Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Women at Picasso and Man, exhibition opening
Picasso and Man, exhibition opening. Photo courtesy of the AGO.

People looking closely at picasso painting
Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Person looking at paintings
Photo courtesy of the AGO.

crowd in gallery
Photo courtesy of the AGO.

people in gallery
Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Picasso and Man, front door display and entrance to Gallery
Picasso and Man, front door display and entrance to Gallery. Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Picasso and Man, view of entrance to Gallery
Picasso and Man, view of entrance to Gallery.Photo courtesy of the AGO.

The AGO Collection is included with General Admission, and AGO Members always see it for free! Stay tuned to the AGO website to find out about the most recent updates to the Look:Forward project, and for up-to-date listings of individual gallery closures and openings.

We want to hear your memories of the AGO. Email us a recollection or a photo, and your story may be featured in #RetroAGO!

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