The Prints and Drawings Collection

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The AGO's Prints and Drawings collection comprises more than 20,000 prints, drawings, and watercolours, housing works on paper from the 1400s to the present day. The Prints and Drawings collection intersects with many of the AGO’s collecting areas, including European, Canadian, Inuit, Modern, Contemporary, and Photography.

The collection is grounded in European prints, drawings, watercolours and pastels, and the main strengths of the AGO's holdings are Italian (1500s–1700s), French (1600s-1800s) and British (1700s-1900s). The collection also includes small but distinct holdings from the Dutch and German schools.

Highlights include drawings by Michelangelo, François Boucher, John Constable, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Thomas Gainsborough, Paul Gauguin, Vasily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele and Vincent van Gogh. Large holdings of Canadian works on paper include those of Greg Curnoe, Betty Goodwin, David Milne, Michael Snow, Walter Trier, F.H. Varley and David Blackwood.

The collection also contains French and English Caricatures, European and American posters, Cologne Dada and large groups of prints by Rembrandt, Francisco Goya, James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, James Tissot, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, James McNeill Whistler, Ernst Barlach, Käthe Kollwitz, Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore, and Robert Motherwell.

Because only a small percentage of the Gallery’s vast collection of prints and drawings can be on view at any one time, works from the permanent collection are available for study in the Marvin Gelber Print and Drawing Study Centre by appointment and during drop-in hours on Wednesday afternoons. The Study Centre makes accessible the collection of prints, drawings and watercolours, as well as the large collection of photographs.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE COLLECTION


COLLECTION RESOURCES

E.P. Taylor Library & Archives

The E.P. Taylor Library & Archives is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday. Access to the Archives and Special Collections is by appointment. Book collections are searchable through our online catalogue. Special collections holdings may be browsed online using our alphabetical list.

Marvin Gelber Print & Drawing Study Centre

This state-of-the-art facility is open to the pubic 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.

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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