Arts of Global Africa & the Diaspora


In 2020, the AGO established the Department of the Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora. The goal of this new department is to address historic gaps and erasures related to the representation of Africa and its diasporas through programming, acquisitions, and exhibitions. The creation of this department expands and formalizes work that has been underway at the AGO for several years. For example, in 2019 the museum was able—with major support from Toronto’s Black communities—to acquire The Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs, a singular collection of more than 3,500 historical images from a range of Caribbean islands. Through its “Friends of Global Africa and the Diaspora” committee, the department is committed to expanding its holdings of modern and contemporary art by African and diasporic artists, with recent acquisitions by Moridja Kitenge Banza, Sandra Brewster, Andrea Chung, Leasho Johnson, Bidemi Oloyede, Emmanuel Osahor, and Marc Padeu.

Also under the purview of the department is the Murray Frum Gallery of African Art, dedicated to showing works by modern and contemporary African and African diasporic artists. Refurbishment of the Gallery has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.


Global Africa supercard features


Marvin Gelber Print & Drawing Study Centre

This state-of-the-art facility is open to the public and dedicated to the study of prints, drawings and photographs. It houses a collection of over 70,000 works which date from the 13th century to the present day. Find out more about the AGO's prints and drawings collection.

Image Licensing

Find the image you need from the Art Gallery of Ontario, one of the most distinguished art museums in North America. AGO Images licenses to scholarly and commercial clients worldwide. Be inspired by Tom Thomson, James Tissot, Kennth Noland, Walter Trier and many more amazing artists.

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. 

Conservation at the AGO

Conservation is the care and protection of cultural objects. As the caretakers of collections, conservators examine, research, clean and repair artworks, while also taking action to prevent future deterioration. Here at the AGO, the Conservation Team includes conservators, mat makers, framers and mount makers. These specialists work together to ensure each work will look its best not only for today, but also for generations to come.

Provenance Research Project

The AGO is committed to investigating the provenance of works in its permanent collection, particularly as it pertains the ownership history of European painting and sculpture during the 1933–45 period. The purpose of this is to increase awareness and understanding of the spoliation of works of art by the Nazis and others.

The AGO's Deaccessioning Policy

The Art Gallery of Ontario cares for its collections according to the highest standards. Its resources should only be devoted to works of art that serve its mission and are worthy of such care. This occasionally demands that works be judiciously and carefully deaccessioned from the collections. The proceeds from this are reinvested in new works of art.

Artefacts Canada

Thanks to the important contribution of this country's heritage institutions, the Artefacts Canada database contains close to 4 million object records and approximately 800,000 images from Canadian museums.

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