Between Christmas and New Year’s an aunt and I went to the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada to see the Masterworks traveling exhibit from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Sarnia gallery was closed for two months setting up the exhibit and re-opened on October 2, 2015. Although the exhibit is free, you still have to book to get a timed entrance ticket. You are allowed two hours to view the paintings and it turned out to be just the right amount of time. We opted to get the audio tour for $5 each which provides additional information to what is written beside the paintings on display. The showpiece of the exhibit is Salvadore Dalí’s Santiago El Grande (1957). You are even invited to lie down on the floor to get a better view of all the different angles and aspects of the painting. It is mesmerizing to follow the angels walking in lines through the painting. I am not a big Dalí fan. However, I did enjoy his paintings in this exhibit.
Although the exhibit is in Canada, many of the works are British. The brochure identifies “the Beaverbrook Art Gallery – a permanent collection of extraordinary masterworks, the most significant and valuable art collection in Atlantic Canada, and one of the finest and most important holdings of British art in North America.” To be able to see these paintings by Burne-Jones, Constable and Sargent to name a few, was a real treat. One of my favourites was The Fountain of Indolence by Turner (1834), Tissot’s A Passing Storm (1876), and Krieghoff’s Merrymaking (1860) which is very busy and full of interesting characters. In addition to the paintings, there is an exhibit explaining the history of William Aitken, a Canadian who moved to England in 1910 and was later knighted Lord Beaverbrook. Yes, that Beaverbrook, of the Daily Mail. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery contains, as its foundation, “300 works of art from Lord Beaverbrook and Lady Dunn,” his second wife.
If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit. Most art galleries would charge a hefty fee to see this traveling exhibit. Did I mention that this is free? You can make a donation to the gallery if you wish but there is no requirement to do so. The exhibit is on display until February 7, 2016. There is even a little gift shop if you want to buy something to remind you of the exhibit. I bought a magnet of The Fountain of Indolence.
There is a lift to the exhibits if required and a ramp to the toilets.
To book tickets and check out the gallery: “www.masterworksatjnaag.ca”:http://www.masterworksatjnaag.ca