Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is an art museum on the eastern edge of Toronto's downtown Chinatown district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. With 486,000 ft² (45,000 m²) of physical space, the AGO is the tenth-largest art museum in North America.
Its collection includes more than 38,000 works spanning the 11th century to the present-day. It includes an extensive collection of Canadian art, which depicts the development of Canada's heritage from pre-Confederation to the present. Indeed, works by Canadian artists make up more than half of the AGO's collection. The museum also has an impressive collection of European art, including works by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Vincent Van Gogh, and Edgar Degas. In addition to these, the AGO also has one of the most significant collections of African art in North America, as well as a contemporary art collection illustrating the evolution of modern artistic movements in Canada, the United States, and Europe, including works by Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and Jenny Holzer. Finally, the AGO is home to the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre, which houses the largest public collection of works by this British sculptor. Moore's bronze work, Two Large Forms (1966–1969) greets visitors at the museum's entrance.
In 2004, the AGO unveiled a $194 million renovation plan by architect Frank Gehry. The new design would completely alter the exterior of the building and replace several existing galleries. The plan has resulted in AGO patron Joey Tanenbaum's resignation from the Gallery's board, and a withdrawal of his support, in protest over the plan which would destroy several galleries funded by his family. The plan is currently up in the air, with the Gallery worried that, if they go along with the plan without Tanenbaum's support, they will be giving the signal to other potential benefactors that their contributions may not be permanent. At the same time, the AGO risks embarrassment by cancelling the plans altogether. The project remains highly controversial.
The AGO was founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens, as the Art Museum of Toronto.