The Beaverbrook Exhibit in Sarnia
Kitty and I recently had the opportunity to take in a special exhibit at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery in Sarnia, Ontario. While it was a bit of a drive, the event was worth it; a touring exhibit of over 70 paintings from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
It’s entitled Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Gallery and, for the most part, the exhibit lives up to it’s name. On display were paintings by British masters Turner, Sargent and Lucien Freud; a showing on the Canadian front from Cornelius Krieghoff, Emily Carr and members of the Group of Seven, as well as three paintings by the indomitable Salvador Dali. While I’m fed up with Dali getting all the credit for Surrealism and being the only surrealist that anyone can ever reference… I have to admit, the man had talent.
His one painting, Santiago El Grande, is 13 feet tall and definitely something to see. We’re glad that we made the 2 hour trip! The staff recommended that we lay down on the ground below the painting to take in the full effect of the piece. It did help. The painting was originally meant to go to the Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, near Madrid, Spain but ended up being sold by Dali to Lady Dunn, a friend of Lord Beaverbrook. She then donated the work to the Beaverbrook Gallery just before its opening.
There were works in the exhibit from all time periods. I think the oldest piece was painted almost 500 years ago and it looked stellar for it’s age. What really struck me about the exhibit (outside of the stunning visual art) was how many of the pieces were picked up for a small sum (see the write up beside the Lucien Freud painting) and were now in a priceless collection. The investment opportunity in Art was hanging all over the walls and that really impressed me; that in our modern age of RRSP’s, GIC’s and TFSA’s, just one of these artworks was worth more than most of us could save in a lifetime. I think it’s time to start reacquainting people with the idea of investing in Art as a way to diversify their portfolios (no pun intended).
The exhibit is on display until February 7th. That leaves a little less than a month to get out and take in the show before it moves again. This will be the only Canadian stop on the tour so, if you’re close to Sarnia or even a few hours out, make the trip and see the show. It’s worth it!
For now, that is all.