Requests for Loans

The Art Gallery of Ontario is committed to broadening access to its collections and supporting educational initiatives that promote a new understanding of art, through a program of outgoing loans. Requests from museums and institutions to borrow artwork are reviewed and assessed on their merits by a team of staff, with consideration to our own programming and preservation priorities. We welcome the opportunity to engage with projects of scholarly merit and importance, and encourage potential applicants to make contact with us at an early stage.



Even when there has been comprehensive early communication, the loan will not be initiated until a formal request has been submitted, in writing, to the Director of the AGO.

  • Please submit your request as early as possible.
  • The minimum lead time required to prepare a loan varies with the number of objects requested.
  • Minimum notice period for borrowing one to five artworks from the AGO is 12 months
  • Minimum notice period for borrowing six or more artworks from the AGO is 18 months
  • We are sometimes asked to process loans with shorter lead times. The minimum notice periods given here represent the real limits of what can be achieved with existing resources. For extraordinary projects, the AGO is prepared to evaluate if there is the means for us to meet the borrower’s needs outside of the standard timeframe. ‘Rush’ fees, and additional labour and material costs are typically assessed to the borrower as a result.
  • The fee for loans of one to five objects is set, for six or more objects it is negotiable.
  • Charges for crating, framing, conservation assessment & treatment, etc. are often levied in addition to the loan fee.
  • For loans involving large numbers of works, unusually complex artworks, or very labour-intensive arrangements, it may be necessary to add an incremental fee. The borrower will be advised of this necessity as early as possible in our loan assessment process.



Providing the right information:

The letter of request should include the following information:

  • Full identification of the works requested, including accession number or other AGO registration numbers
  • The name of the curator or other principle organizer, and the name of the organizing museum, with contact details
  • A description of the project:
    • the title of the exhibition
    • its intent, relevance and scope
    • works of art to be included
    • whether the exhibition will tour; venue(s) and dates
    • whether there will be a catalogue or other permanent record of the project
  • A clear statement of how the AGO’s work will add value to the exhibition, and if it will be reproduced in a catalogue.


Formalizing the request:

A formal letter of request to borrow works of art from AGO collections should be addressed to Stephan Jost, Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Stephan Jost
Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO
Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Canada
M5T 1G4

All letters of request should be sent by email to [email protected] and copied to the Assistant Registrar, Outgoing Loans [email protected].



Donna Austria
Assistant Registrar, Outgoing Loans
[email protected]
416-979-6660 x6306

Alison Beckett
Registrar, Touring & Loans
[email protected]
416-979-6660 x6493


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