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Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Wikipedia.
Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Wikipedia.

Art Gallery of Ontario Will Deaccession Seventeen Paintings to Diversify Collection

The Art Gallery of Ontario is planning to auction seventeen artworks in order to fund the acquisition of works by artists currently underrepresented in its collection, reports the Art Market Monitor. The institution is one of several art museums to recently announce they will deaccession works to diversify their holdings. SFMoMA revealed that it will sell a Rothko painting worth between $35 million and $50 million earlier this year.

The works up for sale are by Montreal native and Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson. They will be included in Heffel Fine Art Auction House’s upcoming auctions, beginning in May. “A founding member of the Group of Seven, A.Y. Jackson is one of Canada’s most celebrated and important artists,” the auction house said in a statement. “He is best known for his outstanding representations of the Canadian landscape, other examples of which have seen enthusiastic bidding and exceptional results at auction in recent years.”

David Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House, added: “We are most honored to continue Heffel’s longstanding partnership with the AGO and assist with the thoughtful divestment of these very special Jackson paintings. This is a unique opportunity for passionate collectors to bring home a piece of Canadian history with outstanding museum and prior private collection provenance.”

The auction house estimates that the works may fetch more than $660,000. Among the major works to be sold are the winter landscape Laurentian Hills, which has a high estimate of $350,000, and Red Cedar, which could raise up to $175,000.

Commenting on the sale, AGO deputy director and chief curator Julian Cox said: “Art collections are dynamic and require refinement over time. We are very fortunate to have a strong representation of A.Y. Jackson works in our collection, and will continue to have a significant number representing the breadth and fullness of his career after the deaccessioning of these works.”