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“The Ladies, God Bless Them”
Women’s Volunteerism and Collections Development at the AGW (1950s-70s)

October 4, 2014 – January 4, 2015

Location: Charles & Ethel Cohen Family Gallery, 3rd floor

Sponsored by the AGW's Volunteer Committee

The Women's and Junior Women's Volunteer Committees, formed in 1950 and 1956 respectively, made significant financial and social contributions to developing the AGW's Canadian art collection during the 1950s-1970s. This exhibition profiles the support these groups gave to the Gallery's first curator, Daphne Hein, and the long-term director-curator of 40 years, Kenneth Saltmarche. Through their combined efforts, important works by such noted Canadian artists as William Kurelek, David Milne, Arthur Lismer, George Heriot, Prudence Heward, Homer Watson and Jean-Paul Riopelle were purchased. These committees were the backbone behind some of the Gallery's most important collecting, and Saltmarche knew all too well that his success as a judicious aesthete with aspirations to form a major public art collection was dependent on this chapter of the Gallery's history as a women's movement.

An e-publication accompanies this exhibition, exploring the gendered histories of waged and unwaged work at the AGW, while also profiling Saltmarche's vision for the formation of a Canadian art collection.

Curated by Catharine Mastin.


THE LADIES, GOD BLESS THEM Publication (high-res)THE LADIES, GOD BLESS THEM Publication (high-res)
THE LADIES, GOD BLESS THEM Publication (low-res)THE LADIES, GOD BLESS THEM Publication (low-res)

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