A new AGO exhibition shows Impressionism unlike you’ve seen it before

Viewers may see parallels between today’s Toronto and an industrializing Paris in the 1800s in this groundbreaking exhibition; tickets go on sale Feb. 1

TORONTO – Beloved for their lush landscapes and sea vistas, the masterpieces of Impressionism are some of the world’s most recognizable artworks. The distinctive styles of Monet, Degas, Pissarro and others are seen on the walls of the most monumental museums, but are also present in our daily lives through countless reproductions on posters, notecards and calendars. An upcoming AGO exhibition broadens that view of Impressionism, shining a new light on the work of some of the world’s most famous artists. In a groundbreaking first, Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more explores the Impressionists’ fascination with industry, technology, and labour during the rapid industrialization of Paris and France in the 1800sOpening in Toronto on Feb. 16, this collection of rare and exceptional artworks invites AGO visitors to imagine their own city in the changing streets, lives and landscapes of late 19th century France.

Organized by the AGO and curated by Dr. Caroline Shields, the AGO's Assistant Curator of European Art, this revelatory exhibition features over 120 paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs and period films, including rare works from museums in the United States and Europe.

"At the heart of this exhibition is a collision between the old and the new, as people, cities and ways of life are dissembled and rebuilt. The thrills and challenges that we experience in times of immense change are feelings that persist just as strongly today in Toronto as they did in Paris in the 1870s.  Issues of affordability, sprawl and transit are just as prevalent now as they were 150 years ago,” Dr. Shields says. “Seeing these works together for the first time provides an incredibly rich addition to the story of Impressionism as we know it."

Timed-entry tickets go on sale to the public on Feb. 1, 2019 and are $16.50 for post-secondary students and youth ages 17 and under, $21.50 for seniors and $25 for adults. Tickets will be available online at ago.ca, in person and by phone. Admission is free for AGO Members and for children five and under. AGO Members have access to an exclusive preview before the exhibition opens to the public. More information on the benefits of AGO membership can be found at www.ago.ca/membership.

Find more details about Impressions in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more here.

The exhibition is accompanied by a variety of thematic programs, menus and other offerings, including:

Join Dr. Caroline Shields, Assistant Curator of European Art on Wednesday, March 20 at the AGO for an illustrated talk in Baillie Court as she explores the themes and works featured in Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more. Tickets cost $15 for students, $20 for the public and $17 for members and  are on sale now at ago.ca

This winter, instructors from the AGO’s Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School offer a series of exhibition-inspired courses. Follow in the footsteps of the Impressionists and explore painting, photography, or watercolour in the adult course series called Impressionism Today. Courses begin the week of February 4. For more details and to register, visit ago.ca/learn/courses

Do you know a mini-Monet or tiny Tissot? Get inspired and spend some quality time making Impressionist-inspired art during Family Sundays through March. Parents and children can also join instructors for side-by-side workshops in the Gallery School, or take a self-guided tour around the exhibition with a family-friendly “travel brochure” designed to spark conversations for all ages. For more details, visit www.ago.ca/family-sundays

Straightforward, simple and deliciously French; historians place the origins of the Parisian bistro in the same period as Impressionism. Inspired by this culinary tradition, AGO Bistro has created a delicious seasonal menu of French favourites and themed cocktails to match. Looking for an extra special night out? Join AGO chefs on February 22 for a curated dinner celebrating the cuisine of Chef Eugènie “La Mère” Brazier, the mother of modern French cooking. Tickets for this exceptional dining experience are $120 for the public and $108 for AGO members. For more details visit www.ago.ca/events/curated-dinner-modern-french-cuisine

Take home an Impressionist masterpiece with themed gifts, accessories and prints, all available from shopAGO. With full illustrations of works from the exhibition, the hardcover catalogue is a perfect keepsake to commemorate the show. Edited by Dr. Caroline Shields and co-published by the AGO and DelMonico Books, the catalogue features essays by Joseph Clarke, Mary Hunter, James Rubin and Monique Johnson Impressionism in the Age of Industry will be available at shopAGO in February 2019.

Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more is organized by the AGO.

Lead Sponsor 


Supporting Sponsor 

Heffel Fine Art Auction House  

Generously supported by

Robert Harding & Angel Yang

The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation

Media Partner

The Globe and Mail

Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 5.9 million, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO’s collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art such as Untilled by Pierre Huyghe to European masterpieces such as Peter Paul Rubens’s The Massacre of The Innocents; from the vast collection by the Group of Seven to works by established and emerging Indigenous and Canadian artists; with a photography collection that tracks the impact of the medium with deep holdings of works by artists such as Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus; and with focused collections in Gothic boxwood miniatures and Western and Central African art. Drawing on this collection—as well as collaborations with museums around the world—the AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, taking special care to showcase diverse and underrepresented artists. A major expansion designed by Frank Gehry in 2008 with lead support from the family of Ken Thomson makes the AGO a highly-photographed architectural landmark. Visit ago.ca and follow @AGOToronto to learn more.

Nov. 29, 2018 – March 24, 2019:                          Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires

Feb. 16, 2019 – May 5, 2019:                                Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and More

June 20, 2019 – Aug. 25, 2019:                            Brian Jungen

Oct. 12, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020:                                Early Rubens

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

For hi-res images and other press inquiries, please contact:

Michael Watkins; Public Relations Officer

Andrea-Jo Wilson; Manager, Public Relations

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