Matthew Teitelbaum became the fifth Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario in September 1998. His leadership and vision was instrumental in achieving the $300 million transformation of the AGO by world-renowned, Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry in November 2008. During his tenure at the AGO, its permanent collection has experienced significant growth – the Gallery has acquired nearly 60,000 works - and its international reputation has been strengthened.
Under his leadership, the AGO has become the central repository of works by such contemporary artists as Betty Goodwin, Paterson Ewen, Kazao Nakamura, Jack Chambers, David Blackwood and Greg Curnoe, reinforcing the AGO's position as a passionate advocate for Canadian art. In 2001, Mr. Teitelbaum created the first permanent archival position in a Canadian art museum, positioning the Gallery as a leader in research and study of the lives, contributions and working methods of artists.
Mr. Teitelbaum is a past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and is a member of its futures task force and sanctions task force committees. He is actively involved in Luminato: Toronto’s festival of Arts & Creativity, serving on both the Festival Advisory Committee and its Board of Directors. In 2006, Mr. Teitelbaum received the honour of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French government for his ongoing commitment and contributions to the arts. In 2008 he received the RCA medal from the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts for his outstanding contribution to the development of the visual arts in Canada. In addition, in 2009 he was awarded the MOCCA award for his leadership in the completion of Transformation AGO, as well as the Canadian Centre for Diversity’s Human Relations Award.
Born in Toronto in 1956, he holds an honours bachelor of arts in Canadian history from Carleton University, a master of philosophy in modern European painting and sculpture from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen's University. He has taught at Harvard, York University and the University of Western Ontario, and has lectured across North America. He and his wife Susan Cohen have two sons.