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The Vancouver Art Gallery acquires photographs by Robert Frank and Charles Gagnon

Robert Frank’s historic photograph Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey (1955) is part of a major group of artworks donated recently to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Other new acquisitions include more than one hundred photographs by Canadian artist Charles Gagnon, a significant collection of works by Myfanwy Macleod, and a number of other art works.

Robert Frank, Parade, Hoboken, NJ, 1955. Silver gelatin print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery , Gift of Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft.

Vancouver art patrons Andrew Gruft and Claudia Beck donated the famed Frank photograph, along with photographs by artists Greg Girard, Rodney Graham, Erich Salomon, and Aaron Siskind, among many others. Mr. Gruft and Ms. Beck have been enormously generous to the Gallery over many years and have played a prominent role in developing the Gallery’s collection of historical and modern photography. The Frank photograph, a seminal work in the landmark series of photographs called The Americans, is a huge asset to the Gallery’s already esteemed collection.

“When we received the Frank photograph in the building recently, I had the opportunity to see it for the first time outside of a frame, uncovered by glass,” said Gallery director Kathleen Bartels, “As someone who has studied the history of photography, it was one of those rare, career-defining moments, and I am so grateful to Andrew and Claudia for their extraordinary generosity to the Gallery. This is an enormous gift to the people of Vancouver and the province. We are honoured to have this work in our collection, along with the other works of art generously donated to us.”
Charles Gagnon was a significant figure in Quebec’s arts community and a student of the work of Robert Frank. The group of 111 photographs donated by Gagnon’s estate represents a major addition to the Gallery’s existent collection of the artist’s work, which includes paintings and works on paper.
Vancouver artists Myfanwy Macleod, Alex Morrison and Elspeth Pratt all gave works to the permanent collection. Other notable new acquisitions include an oil painting by Arthur Lismer donated by Turrall A. Moore, and a number of works by Lawrence Weiner.

“It’s a reflection of the respect that people have for the Vancouver Art Gallery that they continue to give so generously to its permanent collection,” said Gallery Acquisitions chair Jane Irwin, “This is a sign of support for the work of the Gallery and the positive feeling which the community has as we look ahead to the future new Gallery.”
The Vancouver Art Gallery’s permanent collection numbers over ten thousand works of art.

VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver