May 27, 2017 - National Gallery of Canada - The National Gallery of Canada announces major donation
May 27, 2017

National Gallery of Canada

Damian Moppett, Watercolour Drawing Project, The Studio and the Photograph, 2003-2011. Gift of the Rennie Foundation, 2017. Photo: NGC, Ottawa.

The National Gallery of Canada announces major donation

National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Dr
Ottawa ON K1N 9N4

197 paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media pieces made by some of the most well-known Canadian and international artists working today have been donated to the National Gallery of Canada. A gift to the nation in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the donation of artwork by businessman and art collector Bob Rennie, is one of the largest gifts of contemporary art ever received by the Gallery.

Some of the iconic pieces were created by internationally renowned artists, such as Colombian Doris Salcedo, as well as Vancouver-based Brian Jungen, Damian Moppett, Rodney Graham, Ian Wallace, and Geoffrey Farmer, who is representing Canada at the Venice Biennale, which opened to the public May 13, 2017. This important donation enriches and complements the Gallery’s collection by these artists.

"This remarkably generous gift transforms the National Gallery of Canada into the collection of record for some of our country's most outstanding artists," said Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada. "It deepens the exhibition and the lending possibilities for a museum whose mission is to preserve and disseminate our country's most exceptional artistic achievements."

In appreciation of Bob Rennie’s generous gift, the National Gallery of Canada will name the Upper Contemporary exhibition gallery (B204), the Galerie RENNIE Gallery.

“For a few years now, we have wanted to make a gift from our collection to Canada, to the nation. With Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations taking place across the country, we decided this is the moment to do it, to showcase and support the rich and diverse accomplishments of artists,” said Bob Rennie. “One of the missions of the Rennie Collection is to span artists’ careers, to collect artists in-depth. Ian Wallace’s work in our collection is an excellent example of this, and it was important to us to ensure his body of work stayed together. Also, acknowledging this year’s selection of Geoffrey Farmer to represent Canada at this year’s the Venice Biennale gives us an opportunity to celebrate him, and his peers Damian Moppet, Brian Jungen, and Rodney Graham—all Canadian icons—along with their contemporary, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo.”

Bob Rennie, a real estate marketer and principal of the Rennie Foundation, is active in the Vancouver and international art communities. He is a former Chair of the Tate Modern’s North American Acquisitions Committee and a member of the Tate International Council and the Board of Trustees for the Art Institute of Chicago. He also sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia. In 2008 Bob was recognized with an honorary doctorate from Emily Carr University, and in 2014 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia for his distinguished leadership and exceptional dedication to strengthening and enhancing arts and culture in British Columbia.

“Mr. Rennie is renowned as a serious connoisseur of art,” said Thomas d’Aquino, Chair of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. “His collection is highly regarded for its range and depth, so it is exciting that he would bestow upon our national collection such a significant number of works.”  

The Rennie Collection, one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Canada, has evolved over a number of years to focus on works tackling issues of identity, social commentary and injustice, and the challenges of appropriation, painting, photography and film. In 2012, Bob Rennie donated Court by Brian Jungen to the National Gallery of Canada.

The Gallery is mounting a series of exhibitions that will display some of the donated works to a wider audience, including the Masterpieces in Focus exhibition Into the Collection: Ron Moppett & Damian Moppett, about the father/son artists, which opened on May 12, 2017, and the Canadian Biennial 2017, which opens October 19, 2017.

About the National Gallery of Canada:

About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation:


For all media requests:

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada
T 613-990-6835
bmallet [​at​]

National Gallery of Canada
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