The Robert McLaughlin Gallery’s Permanent Collection of over 4,700 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. For more information about our history and founding click here.
To learn how to explore our digital collection, visit this page.
Painters Eleven (P11) 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 (RMG) collection began in 1967 when artist Alexandra Luke, a member of P11, donated thirty-seven works from her private collection including work by all of the members of P11. Today, the RMG’s collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints by P11 has grown to over 1,000 works, including works from before and after the years the P11 group were active from 1953-1960. The RMG has regular exhibitions featuring works by the group, pulling together different aesthetics or themes.
The Thomas Bouckley Collection is a photographic collection originally compiled by Oshawa historian and collector Thomas Bouckley. It consists of over 3,500 images that depict the visual history of this community. 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@example.com.
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Canadian Abstraction Timeline
Abstract art in Canada dates back to the 1920s—a period of art dominated by the Group of Seven. Considered “rebels” for resisting traditional forms of art, abstract artists celebrated abstraction for its ability to convey emotion and individuality. This timeline features various abstract artworks in the RMG’s collection to visualize the ongoing history of abstraction in Canada.
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These activities offer fun ways to look at, discuss, and respond to a selection of artworks from the RMG’s Permanent Collection. Geared towards learners of all ages, each activity features images and information about artworks and artists and encourages more discovery through our online collections portal.