A Life Collected: The Vernon MacKelvie Gift of Canadian Art

Gallery 1C03


Bertram Brooker, Houses on a Hill, undated, watercolour, 30 by 21.5 cm.

Opening Reception:  Thursday, June 16, 2011, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. at The University of Winnipeg Library

A public exhibition highlighting exciting works recently donated to The University of Winnipeg’s permanent art collection by alumnus Vernon MacKelvie (BA ’44) will open Thursday, June 16 at 3:00 pm. The works, all of which are by Canadian artists, will be on display until October 15, 2011 in the Hamilton Galleria and University Archives, both located in The University of Winnipeg Library (4th & 5th floors of Centennial Hall). NOTE NEW END DATE: Exhibition extended until October 15, 2011!

Though MacKelvie reveres the arts and has been attending exhibitions and collecting artworks for more than sixty years, he does not count himself as an art expert but, rather, an art appreciator. He comments: “You don’t have to be wealthy to build a fine art collection. You just have to have good taste and educate yourself.”

Vernon MacKelvie’s life and voice as a collector speak to the viewer through the works presented in A Life Collected.  Of the selected twenty-four pieces on display, all are by Canadian artists, many of whom practiced on the Prairies and in Ontario and Québec. These were the places between which MacKelvie divided his time, and where he sought out new images by Canadian artists to add to his collection.

Featured artists such as Bertram Brooker, Paraskeva Clark, Betty Dimock, Dorothy Knowles and Philip Surrey represent various styles and movements of the last six decades of Canadian art. MacKelvie’s total gift of fifty pieces is a fine complement to the University’s permanent collection, whose purview is work created by established twentieth-century and contemporary Manitoba and Canadian artists.

A Life Collected is curated by Alexis Kinloch. Both the curator and collector will be in attendance at the opening reception.

The University of Winnipeg Art Curator Department wishes to thank The University of Winnipeg Foundation and the History of Art Programme for their support of this exhibition project. We also gratefully acknowledge the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.

Exhibition Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed statutory holidays.
Admission to exhibition and opening reception is free and open to everyone.

Jennifer Gibson
Art Curator
The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3B 2E9
Ph: 204.786.9253
F: 204.774.4134