When one of my friends told me she had never been to the Art Gallery of Ontario, I felt shame on the part of Torontonians everywhere. As a cultural landmark of the city (if not the province), the AGO hosts an exciting array of exhibits showcasing Canadian and international artwork, and is a gallery that every Torontonian and tourist should visit.
Taking advantage of the free general admission offered every Wednesday evening (6:30-8:30PM), my friend and I decided to peruse the AGO’s delectable collections and the exhibit “Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts”, on for a limited time at the gallery.
The outside of the AGO is unique in its design and structure—a sort of submarine-like shape in which the glass exterior houses Gallery Italia. While most of the AGO exhibits prohibit pictures, the Gallery Italia is an exception and we managed to snag a few pictures of this lovely exhibit which houses gorgeous woodwork and carvings.
The jewel in the AGO crown right now, however, is the special exhibit “Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts”. It is a beautiful exhibit, with videos and displays of authentic Indian clothing, cars, jewellery, swords and more that traces Indian history back to the times of royalty.
My particular favourites of the exhibited items include a gorgeous solid-silver carriage, wall-length scrolls with exquisite, detailed paintings, and bejeweled capes and clothing items. It is a feast for the eyes, and I encourage you to visit the exhibit while you have plenty of time to study the intricate details of every displayed item. For me, two hours just wasn’t enough.
We also looked at the Henry Moore sculpture exhibit, which explored ‘the shape of anxiety’ and had an interactive portion where you could touch and compare some of the carvings. The sculptures were abstract but beautifully haunting. The boat display on the lowest level of the AGO was also a pleasant surprise; it featured large and very detailed ship models in an architecturally appealing display. Although I have never been interested in models, the ships were so intricate and detailed that I was fascinated and amazed.
The AGO is a wonderful place to take your date, or to go with friends who enjoy art. While I would not recommend the AGO for young children, it is still a great Family Day location (the AGO is open on Family Day, Monday February 21st, 2011 from 10AM-4PM). I think the AGO provides a wonderful opportunity to become more cultured and educated artistically through a tactile and exploratory approach, and I encourage you to visit it.
Tuesday: 10 AM – 5:30 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM – 8:30 PM
Thursday-Sunday: 10 AM – 5:30 PM