The Art Gallery of Ontario, one of Canada’s leading museums, is selling some of its holdings of A.Y. Jackson, one of the founders of the Group of Seven painters. The first two works will be sold in May auction cycle with more oil sketches offered after. The first sale is led by Laurentian Hills ($250-350k), a winter scene canvas, from 1932 – 1933, that was exhibited in the 1936 retrospective of works that was the first showing of the Group of Seven. Also included is Red Cedar ($125-175k), depicting a common theme in important works by the Group of Seven.
Here’s Heffel’s release explaining the sale:
Heffel Fine Art Auction House is honoured to offer at auction a selection of paintings by Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson from the renowned collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Highlighted by major canvases spanning the Group of Seven artist’s extensive career, the works are being deaccessioned to benefit the museum’s acquisition fund, which will help diversify and broaden its collection.
A founding member of the Group of Seven, A.Y. Jackson is one of Canada’s most celebrated and important artists. 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.
One of North America’s foremost art museums, the AGO is known around the world for its notable collection of Canadian art, and specifically its extensive holdings of works by members of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. A.Y Jackson is well represented, and each of the paintings and oil sketches selected for auction at Heffel has a comparable work that will remain in the AGO collection. They have had limited public exposure and have never been offered at auction.
“We are most honoured to continue Heffel’s longstanding partnership with the AGO and assist with the thoughtful divestment of these very special Jackson paintings,” said David Heffel, President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. “This is a unique opportunity for passionate collectors to bring home a piece of Canadian history with outstanding museum and prior private collection provenance.”
“Art collections are dynamic and require refinement over time,” said Julian Cox, AGO Deputy Director and Chief Curator. “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.”
The works will be proudly presented across a series of Heffel’s upcoming auctions beginning in May 2019. To give collectors and enthusiasts an opportunity to see the works up-close, they will be available for preview prior to their respective auctions.
In accordance with the AGO’s rigorous deaccessioning policy, representatives for the original donors of the works have been consulted.
Heffel has had a long history of partnerships with major public and private institutions, including Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Terra Foundation for American Art, Imperial Oil Limited and HSBC Bank Canada, among others, resulting in the successful deaccessioning of important artworks through public auction.