Viking exhibit will be first to raid Royal Alberta Museum’s new feature gallery – Edmonton

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Viking culture has been experiencing somewhat of a renaissance of late if you judge by TV shows, so it’s fitting that the Norse seafarers will be the focus of an exhibit at an Edmonton gallery experiencing somewhat of a renaissance of its own.

The Royal Alberta Museum announced this week that the inaugural exhibit at its new 3,660 square-metre feature gallery will be “Vikings: Beyond the Legend.”

READ MORE: 24,000+ visitors flock to newly opened Royal Alberta Museum

Watch below: In October 2018, Julia Wong filed this report about how many visitors the new Royal Alberta Museum received in the first few days after it opened to the public.







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“The largest international touring exhibition of Viking artifacts opens at the new Royal Alberta Museum this spring,” the museum said in a news release.

According to the museum, artifacts featured in the exhibit will include a reconstruction of the 37-metre Roskilde 6, the longest Viking warship ever found. It features 1,000-year-old wooden planks and metal supports “showing the ship’s original lines.”

READ MORE: World’s largest modern-day Viking ship arrives in Canada after 6-week transatlantic journey

The display of more than 650 artifacts will also feature jewelry, swords, coins and tools from the ninth to tenth centuries that can be viewed, and the exhibit will be rounded out with interactive experiences and augmented reality.

“We are excited to see the new Royal Alberta Museum host its first feature exhibition,” said Ricardo Miranda, Alberta’s minister of culture and tourism. “This is another example of opportunities the museum brings to Albertans, so I encourage everyone to go feed their curiosity this April.”

The Royal Alberta Museum’s executive director said “Viking history still resonates today” and the exhibit will help explain why to visitors.

“Beyond their legendary reputation as warriors, these skilled artisans, farmers, traders and explorers influenced much of our modern society,” Chris Robinson said. “We are honoured to host this world-class exhibition.”

READ MORE: Did the Vikings really teach ancient Inuit how to spin yarn? New research upends old assumptions

Watch below: Some Global News videos related to vikings.


The exhibit is a joint venture between the National Museum of Denmark and MuseumsPartner in Austria.

“Vikings: Beyond the Legend” runs from April 18 to Oct. 20. Tickets will be available on the museum’s website.

The Royal Alberta Museum’s new location in downtown Edmonton opened in October 2018.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it’s crowdfunding to buy

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LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER.

That’s the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it’s always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said.

Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn’t seen it until now.

The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it’s hoping more people donate on next week’s « Giving Tuesday, » a day devoted to donations following « Black Friday » shopping.

Here’s a look inside the room:

The art gallery is crowdfunding to buy the permanent installation. 0:37

The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year’s ultra-popular Kusama exhibit.

There’s also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what’s said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room.

The work of Yayoi Kusama, pictured here, was celebrated during a special exhibit at the AGO last year that the gallery said attracted some 169,000 people. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Four people will be able to fit in the room, which is set to arrive in spring of 2019.

The AGO said more than 169,000 people checked out the Infinity Mirrors exhibit last year, which featured a number of rooms created by the Japanese artist along with other works of her art.

 To date, just 17 museums around the world are home to one of Kusama’s mirrored rooms.

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Artists fear paintings lost after long-running Vancouver gallery closed

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Artists across Canada are left hunting for their work after Vancouver’s Harrison Galleries quietly shut its doors in April. 

The gallery represented more than 40 artists including Bill Schwarz of Cambridge, Ontario and Drew Kielback of Langley, B.C. 

Schwarz started consigning his work through Harrison Galleries and its owner, Chris Harrison, in 2013. 

Harrison Galleries was a popular venue for artists and locals in Vancouver. (Marc Smith/Marc My Travels)

« He said all the right things. He said, ‘I’d like to see some of (the) paintings originally…because I want to see brush strokes.’ To an artist, that means the guy knows what he’s talking about, » Schwarz said in an interview at his studio. 

In March this year, after he asked for an inventory of 44 paintings he had consigned to the gallery, Schwarz says Harrison told him he was closing the gallery, because the landlord had quadrupled the rent but that he would try to open in another location.  

That didn’t happen. 

Chris Harrison took over Harrison Galleries from his father who opened it in 1958. (Marc Smith/Marc My Travels)

Lost paintings

After what Schwarz says was a lot of prompting, Harrison eventually sent back 33 paintings, but 11 are missing.

When he couldn’t get a clear answer as to where they might be, Schwarz decided to contact other artists.

« He has about 44 artists. so, at random, I picked 10 of them, sent emails to them and said this is my story. Within three hours, I had a deluge from the 10 of the eight saying exactly the same story, » he said.

Drew Keilback was one of them. 

He had met Alex Harrison, Chris’s father — who founded the gallery in 1958  —  years before and was thrilled to be able to consign his paintings there in 2010.

‘It was a big name in Vancouver,’ says B.C. artist Drew Keilback who sold his work through Harrison Galleries for eight years. (Daniel Beauparlant/CBC)

« It was the gallery I wanted to get into and finally when I had enough paintings we went in, and Chris looked them over and accepted them and I thought, ‘oh that’s great’ … it was a big name in Vancouver, » he told CBC. 

When the gallery closed, Harrison eventually returned several paintings, but Keilback says some were damaged, and he’s still missing six paintings.

« He said they were in storage and that he would get to it, but when I phoned him back I never got another answer, » he said.

The coffee shop at Harrison Galleries. (Marc Smith/Marc My Travels)

CBC News has been unable to contact Chris Harrison  by phone or email despite several attempts. Those who know the industry say the lack of written agreements between galleries and artists is a problem.

Business of art

« Unfortunately, artists are not necessarily always thinking about things like paperwork and contracts. The scene being what it is, oftentimes, it’s more by verbal agreement, » said Annie Briard, an instructor at Emily Carr University. 

Bill Schwarz has filed reports with Waterloo Regional Police and Vancouver police in an effort to find his paintings. 

« Title never really transfers to the gallery. The gallery is really kind of an agent acting for you to sell the paintings and then retains a commission, so the paintings are always yours, » he said.

Keilback says the loss of his work is hard to take.  

« You’re pouring your heart and soul into it more or less and you’re trusting them to represent you, » he said.

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