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News / April 3, 2015

News in Brief: Auction Results Soar, Mendel Purchases Paintings

This week, Canadian historic art exceeded auction estimates and Gregory Burke fielded questions about the transition to the Remai Modern Art Gallery.
A rendering of Saskatoon's Remai Modern, due to open in 2016. A rendering of Saskatoon's Remai Modern, due to open in 2016.

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

On Wednesday, Christie’s held a successful auction of historic Canadian art from the collection of British-born, Canadian-raised Peter Winkworth. The sale nearly tripled its top estimate, bringing in more than $6 million for some 325 lots. Christie’s Nicholas Lambourn stated that the sale set “a new benchmark for the best of the 19th-century Canadian art.”

Through the Winkworth sale, several Canadian institutions made important acquisitions. The National Gallery of Canada acquired a painting of Montreal’s urban hub—Bonsecours Market, Montreal (1880)—by William Raphael, and the Canadian Museum of History acquired several objects including a depiction of General James Wolfe.

With support from the Movable Cultural Property Program, the Mendel Art Gallery is purchasing 15 paintings from the Port Huron Museum in Port Huron, Michigan. The paintings—portraits and landscapes—are by three Saskatchewan artists, Inglis Sheldon-Williams, Augustus Kenderdine and James Henderson.

Gregory Burke, CEO and director of the Mendel Art Gallery (which will close this summer and be replaced by the Remai Modern Art Gallery in 2016), spoke this week about the projected transition between the two institutions, addressing concerns about operating costs and the Remai’s admission fees.