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Collection of Art and Furniture at Rideau Hall

The Crown Collection at Rideau Hall

Origins

From the time Lord Monck moved into Rideau Hall, the government has acquired furniture and works of art for the official residence, changing the decorations and furnishings throughout the years. Today, the works of art and furniture of Rideau Hall are part of the Crown Collection and enrich our national heritage. The collection is comprised of contemporary and antique works of art, traditional Canadian furniture and pieces coming from Europe, the Far East and other regions around the world.

Collection today

The Crown Collection is managed and maintained by the National Capital Commission (NCC) and also includes the art and furniture of the other six official residences in Canada’s Capital Region. The majority of new acquisitions come from donations to the Canadiana Fund. The Canadiana Fund was established in 1990 to enhance the state areas of Canada’s official residences through donations of the finest examples of historical furnishings, paintings and objects d’art. The chosen pieces reflect Canada’s heritage and artistic traditions, or are historically associated with, or complement, the architectural style of each residence.

New acquisitions are carefully selected and special care is given to their provenance. Representing each province and territory is particularly important in the case of Rideau Hall, which acts as a window on Canadian culture. The art and furniture at Rideau Hall were chosen on the basis of their history, significance, origin or connection to a governor general in order to enhance the value of the heritage site.

Loans

To broaden the range of works displayed at Rideau Hall, the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General obtains pieces on loan from various Canadian museums, other arts institutions or even from individuals. The tradition of borrowing works of art began in the 1930s; as early as the time of Lord Bessborough, the National Gallery of Canada loaned several paintings to Rideau Hall. Today, around 100 works are on loan.

Temporary exhibitions

Temporary exhibitions are presented in the Ambassador’s Room of Rideau Hall in collaboration with cultural institutions from across the country. Below are a few examples of previous shows:

  • Trace Elements, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery from Newfoundland presented until October 2008
  • Military art special project with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Fall 2007)
  • Art works from the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Summer 2007)
  • Ontarian artist, Charles Pachter (Fall 2006-Winter 2007) in collaboration with the Canadiana Fund
  • New acquisitions from the Canada Council Art Bank (Summer 2006)
  • Artists from Saskatchewan (Fall 2005-Winter 2006) with Canadiana Fund
  • Artists from Nunavut with Kenojuak Ashevak (2004)
  • McMichael Canadian art collection (2005)
Updated: 2018-03-26
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