Though it was before the formal existence of the gallery or a properly identified permanent collection, the Sarnia Women's Conservation Art Association thought it important to purchase contemporary Canadian artwork that reflected their strong sense of community and national pride. The first paintings purchased by the group in 1920 included, H.S. Palmer's Sawing Logs (1919), J.W. Beatty's Winter Scene (Near Toronto) (1918), and A.Y. Jackson's Spring in Lower Canada (Maples, Early Spring) (1915). These are now seen as the first three works of what became our permanent collection. In 1956 the SWCAA donated 26 works by well-known Canadian artists including Tom Thomson, and members of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries to the Sarnia Library, where chief Librarian Reg Bradley allowed the collection to grow and flourish.
The Gallery’s collection comprises of primarily Canadian historical and contemporary works of both local and national significance. Exhibitions from the permanent collection provide a framework to highlight selections of works from the collection and are loaned to other institutions locally, nationally and internationally. Each exhibition cycle, there will be an exhibition on display from the gallery's permanent collection in the Dr. J Telford Biehn gallery, located on the second floor.
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If you would like more information about our Permanent Collection, contact Shelly Mallon at [email protected] or call (519) 336- 8127 ext. 3222.