Monday, 25 July 2016




This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Art Museum at University of Toronto, working with the Art on Campus Program. This meant I got to spend my summer immersed in my happy place: fine art collections. My role also gave me an opportunity to explore some of the amazing collections held on campus so I thought that for my last column of the summer I would feature a few of my favourite collections. Without further ado, here is a list of some of the material you may have the opportunity to find at University of Toronto:

Adam and Eve, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, is currently on display at Art Museum (Source)

1. I would be remiss if I did not start this list with the collections under the purview of Art Museum at University of Toronto. In fact, Art Museum is the steward of not one but three distinct collections: the University of Toronto Collection, The University College Collection, the Hart House Collection and the Malcove Collection. Each of these collections developed in different ways and contains treasures of Canadian and European art. The U of T Collection, University College Collection and Hart House Collection were all developed organically before Art Museum existed and feature Canadian art by First Nations and Inuit artists, the Group of Seven, Painters 11, Beaver Hall Group and a range of contemporary Canadian artists. The Malcove Collection differs from the other three collections in that it was donated to U of T in it’s entirety and is primarily medieval material including icons, ivory sculpture and furniture. The highlight of the Malcove Collection is Adam and Eve, painted by Lucas Cranach the elder in 1538. If you don’t have a chance to visit the Art Museum, fear not! Art Museum participates in an extensive campus loan program called Art on Campus which places works from the U of T collection on public display in various faculties throughout University of Toronto. You may even see some works belonging to the collection in our very own Bissel Building.

They keep the good books behind glass at PIMS Library (Source)
2. The Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies (PIMS) Library located on the fourth floor of the Kelly Library is home to an amazing collection of rare books and medieval manuscripts. The PIMS library does not circulate their material but has a reputation with scholars of medieval culture. With 155,500 books, including illuminated manuscripts, the PIMS library collection is enough to make any medievalist weak in the knees.

Faculty Club takes great pride in their Art collection (Source)

3. Like Art Museum, the Faculty Club has developed it’s own collection of Canadian fine art including works by the Group of Seven. Since Faculty Club membership is now free for graduate students, it is worthwhile to take a tour of the art in the club and then cool off with a pint in the pub downstairs.

So there you have just a small, but by no means exhaustive, selection of some of the collections on campus. I may be able to feature more in a future column.

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