Peek and Poke is an exhibition int two parts. It will offer a in Gallery 1.1.1. (School of Art) a glimpse of what is in the Permanent Collection and the Fitzgerald study Collection of the School of Art, and it will celebrate the opening of the FitzGerald Study Centre in Room B23, FitzGerald Building. The works exhibited in Gallery 1.1.1. are selected from the more than 400 pieces of art objects currently in the Permanent Collection. They are both historical and contemporary, and are by such artists of varied backgrounds as Albert Durer, Pablo Picasso, Allen Jones, Philip Pearlstein, Claes Oldenburg, David Milne, Ivan Eyre and Vic Cicansky.
Since 1950, when the original Winnipeg School of Art became a part of the University of Manitoba, art objects have been collected through private donations and through purchases. Many of these works were loaned out from the Permanent Collection to various University departments without due regard to proper maintenance. More recently changes have been made in gallery policies to take better control of the collection. An on-campus art rental program has now been in operation for a year with about 100 works being maintained and exhibited on the walls of departmental offices. A preliminary list of the Permanent Collection is now compiled to facilitate access to the collection by researchers and teaching staff. A long range collection policy is being developed with emphasis on strengthening the historical and contemporary Manitoba art component of the collection as an important resource to the University and to the community. The new FitzGerald Study Centre will now provide needed space for proper storage and exhibition of the materials in both collections.
With the opening of the new FitzGerald Study Centre, Peek and Poke will present a sampling of materials from the FitzGerald Study Collection, in Room B23 of the FitzGerald Building, School of Art, the new location of the FitzGerald Study Centre. The FitzGerald Study Collection consists of some 2,000 drawings, prints, water colors, gouache, oils and sculptures of Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald. There are also study materials such as working drawings, family papers, family photographs and memorabilia. The bulk of this collection was given to the School of Art through the kindness of the executors of Patricia FitzGerald Morrison (daughter of L. L. FitzGerald), Mr. and Mrs. Earl Green of Ottawa. The oil painting, Autumn Sonata, of 1953-54, shown in this exhibition, was a direct gift to the Collection in Mrs. Morrison’s will. The Collection has since been augmented by gifts from Dr. E. J. Thomas, the late Professor Gissur Eliasson, Mrs. Irene Heywood-Hemsworth, Mrs. Mary Ferguson, Mr. Hugh Morrison, the Alumni Association of the University of Manitoba and more recently from Mr. John P. Crabb.
Room B23 of the FitzGerald Building was renovated last year to become the FitzGerald Study Centre and consists of a study room and a vault. The area is regulated by the University’s electronic alarm system and as soon as the humidity control system is installed this year, the FitzGerald Study Collection will be housed in the vault to provide easy access to students using the Centre for research. Students will be given opportunities to view, first-hand, works from the University’s collections. The walls of the study room will be used on a regular basis as exhibition space for works from both collections. The Centre will also be developed as a resource centre for students and will house such materials as national and international exhibition catalogues, information on graduate schools, biographical information and slide collections of Manitoba and Canadian artists, etc.
- Grace Thompson.