History of Victoria art Gallery

History of Victoria art Gallery

History of Victoria art Gallery

About Gallery

When it opened in 1951, the Greater Victoria Art Gallery exhibited art in the historic 1889 mansion that now adjoins the seven modern galleries. With nearly 20,000 works of art, the Art Gallery has the largest public collection in British Columbia and is a vibrant and active part of Victoria’s art community. Here is everything you need to know about the History of Victoria art Gallery.

William Ridgeway Wilson

One thing you need to know about the History of Victoria art Gallery is that the William Ridgeway Wilson-designed Spencer Mansion in 1889. The property originally stretched from Fort Street to Rockland Avenue and included formal gardens, two tennis courts, stables, and a carport. The coronation, the Belvedere, offers an inspiring view of the sea. The mansion was donated by Miss Sarah Spencer in 1951 to become the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

History of Victoria art Gallery

Gallery Shop and Art

Today, the mansion houses The Gallery Shop and Art Rental & Sales, as well as administrative offices on the second floor. One thing you need to know about the History of Victoria art Gallery is the Gallery Shop offers handmade pottery, jewelry, scarves and other fine crafts from local artisans.  Art Rental & Sales allows individuals or businesses to buy or rent artwork for a low monthly fee.

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Special occasions

This program represents and financially supports artists in the community while helping to raise funds for the gallery. The mansion can also be rented for meetings, weddings or special occasions. The villa was last painted in the summer of 2016 in the colors used around 1900.

From 2001 to 2003

One thing you need to know about the History of Victoria art Gallery is the showrooms were originally added to the Spencer mansion between 1955 and 1978. From 2001 to 2003, the seven galleries were completely renovated and equipped with the latest in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, giving the Art Gallery one of the best air conditioning systems in Canada. These changes allow the Art Gallery to host prestigious traveling exhibitions and bring higher quality artwork to Vancouver Island. The main entrance, corridors and gallery store have been significantly improved aesthetically.

Asian collections

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria prides itself on having a diverse selection of exhibits, including exhibits from our own world-class Canadian, historical and Asian collections, as well as creating, commissioning and hosting important contemporary exhibits. Both the Arts Council of Canada and the BC Arts Council recognized the Art Gallery for its outstanding performances over the years.

History of Victoria art Gallery

Work of British Columbia

The work of British Columbia’s most important historical artist, Emily Carr, is on permanent display. An exhibition of paintings, excerpts from her books, and archive images from her offers an in-depth look at this inspiring local artist who captured the British Columbia landscape and indigenous life in color.

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The collection contains more than 1,500 decorative art treasures, including an exhibition of British oil paintings from the 17th century to the present day, including works by Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Jones Barker and Walter Sickert. Other items on display include sculptures, glassware, and decorative art objects.


Cuts in funding from the central government now mean it is introducing admission fees to temporary exhibitions for the first time since the gallery opened. One of the two galleries can be rented as a venue for wedding ceremonies or aperitifs.


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