About the Collection
The RMG’s permanent collection of over 4700 artworks includes nationally significant modern Canadian abstraction, the largest holding of works by Painters Eleven in the world, an expanding collection of contemporary art, and public art. The RMG is dedicated to collecting with intention in order to reflect the diverse voices and contemporary issues that make up the continuing story of Canadian art, including that of our local community. Explore our collections.
Painters Eleven was the first collective of abstract artists in Ontario. They were founded in 1953 at the cottage of artist Alexandra Luke on the Oshawa/Whitby border. The Robert McLaughlin Gallery’s collection began in 1967 when artist Alexandra Luke, a member of the Painters Eleven, donated thirty-seven works from her private collection. Luke’s donation of art included work by all of the members of Painters Eleven and helped to establish the RMG’s unique focus on collecting and exhibiting the work of Painters Eleven. Today, the RMG’s collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints by Painters Eleven has grown to over 1000 works, including works from before and after the Painters Eleven years (active 1953-1960). The RMG has regular exhibitions featuring works by the group, pulling together different aesthetics or themes.
The RMG’s collection consists of over 4,500 works of art, acquired either by purchase or gift. About 60 of these works are on view at any one time in the Permanent Collection galleries. Works are also loaned to other institutions locally, nationally, and internationally. The RMG collects historical, modern and contemporary Canadian art, and holds Canada’s largest collection of works by Painters Eleven. The RMG also has a growing collection of Public Art.
The Thomas Bouckley Collection is a photographic collection originally compiled by Oshawa historian and collector Thomas Bouckley. It consists of over 3500 images that depict the visual history of this community and is searchable online. The RMG actively engages the community with the collection through public programming and exhibitions, as well as an ongoing effort to augment and grow the collection by addressing gaps and omissions through community partnerships. Please contact Sonya Jones, Curator of Collections, for information about the Thomas Bouckley Collection at [email protected].
The RMG Archives includes artist files, interviews, and special collections. To book a research appointment or for information, please contact Sonya Jones at [email protected].
The RMG Library is the largest and most comprehensive art library located between Toronto and Kingston, with particular focus on Canadian art. The Library is open to the public for in-library use by appointment only. Please contact Sonya Jones to make an appointment at [email protected]