The story of the National Gallery of Canada began in the late 19th-century with a simple dream: that Canadians should have a national gallery to call their own.
It would be a place to showcase Canadian art; to preserve, study, and teach about this vast nation’s cultural heritage; and to acquire magnificent works from around the world. It would expose us to great art from all periods and in all its manifestations: paintings, photographs, sculptures, and more.
Today, the National Gallery of Canada is one of the world’s most respected art institutions, revered for its scholarship, applauded for its ability to engage audiences of all ages and all levels of artistic knowledge, and renowned for its exceptional collection of approximately 65,000 works of art. It makes its home in a grand, light-filled structure of glass and granite, in which visitors can find a cloistered garden courtyard, a glass-bottomed pool, and a reconstructed 19th-century chapel.
In my work at the Gallery, I oversee a collection of about 15,000 prints and drawings, created on three different continents over the span of 550 years – a challenging but stimulating task. Works on paper are particularly fragile and sensitive to light, and thus require a great deal of attention and sensitivity.
As Documentation Manager, my primary role is to manage the physical and intellectual control of, and access to, the collections of the National Gallery of Canada (including the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography print collection and the National Film Board negative and transparency collection).