WAG-Qaumajuq Announces Sale to Build Endowment Fund for Contemporary Art
Acquisition funds raised will support more diverse representation in the permanent collection
Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 20, 2023: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq announced today details of a new endowment fund for art acquisitions to support more diverse representation in the permanent collection, beginning with contemporary Indigenous art. To help build the endowment, WAG-Qaumajuq has identified artworks from the collection where there is considerable depth and representation of the artist and field, or where the artwork is no longer aligned with the strategic direction of the Gallery’s collections policy.
To establish initial funds for the endowment, WAG-Qaumajuq has deaccessioned four colour screen prints of Queen Elizabeth II from Andy Warhol’s Reigning Queens series. These artworks being offered at auction were selected by the WAG-Qaumajuq curatorial team and the directorate, in collaboration with the Works of Art Committee and WAG-Qaumajuq Board of Directors, following an extensive evaluation of the Gallery’s permanent collection. Funds raised for the endowment will support the Gallery’s interest in continuing to build a more diverse and equitable collection, particularly in the areas of contemporary Indigenous and Canadian art. The works will be sold by Cowley Abbott Auctioneers this June through public auction. Cowley Abbott will donate their selling commission to the WAG-Qaumajuq endowment fund as part of the sale.
one of the oldest civic art museums in Canada, holds notable collections of
European and Canadian art spanning over five centuries, with strong
representation in 15th and 16th-century Northern European
painting, 19th and 20th-century British art, German
Expressionism, and Canadian art in all media and periods. In addition to the
collections of painting, sculpture, and works on paper, WAG-Qaumajuq has
extensive holdings in British, Canadian, and French decorative arts. The
Gallery also holds the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in
the world, now housed in Qaumajuq, the new Inuit art centre.
- WAG-Qaumajuq announces the deaccessioning of four artworks to raise funds for an endowment to support more diverse representation in the permanent collection, beginning with contemporary Indigenous art.
- These artworks were selected by the WAG-Qaumajuq curatorial team and the directorate, in collaboration with the Works of Art Committee, and supported by the WAG-Qaumajuq Board of Directors, following an extensive evaluation of the Gallery’s permanent collection.
- The works will be sold by Cowley Abbott Auctioneers this summer through public auction.
- WAG-Qaumajuq holds notable collections of European and Canadian art spanning over five centuries, with strong representation in 15th and 16th-century Northern European painting, 19th and 20th-century British art, German Expressionism, and Canadian art in all media and periods.
- WAG-Qaumajuq has extensive holdings in British, Canadian, and French decorative arts. The Gallery also holds the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world, now housed in Qaumajuq, the new Inuit art centre.
- Andy Warhol’s Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, from Reigning Queens (1985) will be featured as part of the two-session Cowley Abbott Spring Live Auction on Thursday, June 8th at Toronto’s Globe & Mail Centre, subject to a pre-sale auction estimate of $700,000-900,000 CAD.
- Warhol’s Queen Elizabeth II prints are highly coveted and particularly rare to find offered as a complete set. This set of four silkscreens was assembled by a collector through two separate purchases before being donated to WAG-Qaumajuq.
- Previewing of the auction will take place in Montreal (April 27th to 29th) and Toronto (May 8th to June 8th) in the weeks leading up to the auction.
- For more information on the sale, please visit cowleyabbott.ca. and follow this link to view the auction listing for the Warhol silkscreens.
“With the opening of Qaumajuq, the Gallery has been more focused than ever on building an organization that is welcoming to everyone and more representative of our entire community. The important work of reconciliation and equity throughout the organization, includes the ongoing development and strengthening of the permanent collection. The initiative to establish a new endowed fund for the acquisition of contemporary Indigenous and Canadian art will allow us to reach more people and communities through the presentation and engagement with art and artmaking. As we make meaningful strides in creating a more equitable and representative collection, we hope to inspire and inform audiences in real and tangible ways.”
— Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq
“The WAG-Qaumajuq Board of Trustees is supportive of the Gallery’s commitment to continue building and refining the permanent collection so that it reaches and connects with more people and audiences. To support the vision for the Gallery, we need to continue to allocate the necessary resources; and this endowment will ensure that the future of the WAG-Qaumajuq permanent collection will better reflect the community that it serves.”
— Lewis Rosenberg, Works of Art Committee Chair
“We are privileged to have the opportunity to offer this rare set of Warhol Queen Elizabeth prints to benefit this important endowment fund and are delighted to donate our selling commission as further support of the initiative. We very much look forward to sharing these works with clients internationally towards the live auction in June.”
— Rob Cowley, President, Cowley Abbott
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
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Winnipeg Art Gallery
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The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. Opened in March 2021, Qaumajuq connects to the WAG on all levels, celebrating the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. The new WAG-Qaumajuq cultural campus is now one of the largest art museums in Canada. To learn more visit wag.ca.
About Cowley Abbott: Since its inception in 2013, Cowley Abbott’s live and online auctions have included headline-grabbing works that have regularly smashed auction records. Cowley Abbott has rapidly grown to be a leader in today’s competitive Canadian auction industry, with two galleries in downtown Toronto and representatives across Canada. Cowley Abbott’s effective set of services marry the traditional methods of promoting artwork with technology and innovative means to connect collectors with artwork of rarity and quality.