How We Filled the Vault: Sixty Years of Collecting at the MacKenzie Art Gallery

27 April 2013 – 1 September 2013

  • Open House 2012 vault

How We Filled the Vault: Sixty Years of Collecting at the MacKenzie Art Gallery

April 27 – September 1, 2013

Opening Celebration: Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 pm l Free Admission

A party in the lobby of the T.C. Douglas Building! Remarks at 8 pm, with a party to follow featuring 60 years of art, food, drinks, and music by  DJ Sean Flotre!

Exhibit and Vault Tours: Saturdays in May, June, July and August at 2 pm

Take a guided tour of the How We Filled the Vault exhibit and end with a trip down to the MacKenzie Vault, home to more than 4,000 works in the Permanent Collection. Free Admission. (There will not be a tour on Saturday, May 25 due to a building closure for scheduled maintenance.)


January 2013 was the official launch of a year-long celebration of the MacKenzie’s 60th anniversary. Our major anniversary exhibition, How We filled the Vault: Sixty Years of Collecting, will be the largest display of the Permanent Collection since the MacKenzie opened its doors at our current location in 1990. Featuring approximately 300 works from a collection of over 4,000, this exhibition will tell the story of the Permanent Collection’s evolution over the past 60 years.

The exhibition will be an opportunity to assess the Gallery’s achievements as a collecting institution. A follow-up to the highly successful Ruins to Renaissance: The Rise of the MacKenzie Bequest, the exhibition will focus on six decades of purchases and donations that have built on the founding bequest made to the Gallery by Norman MacKenzie.

The exhibition looks at collecting activity decade by decade with two objectives. First, it highlights the acquisitions that have come to define the collection, from its first purchase in 1957 of Harold Town’s Tower of Babbling, to works by luminaries such as Lawren Harris, Pablo Picasso, Ed Kienholz, Bob Boyer, Dorothy Knowles and Joe Fafard, among others. Extended wall labels will provide further context demonstrating how the acquisition of key works of art established new directions or deepened existing holdings, and how they helped put the MacKenzie on the cultural map. Second, the exhibition provides insights into the contributions of individual directors, curators, and donors. Illustrated panels will delve into the collecting vision and interests of the people who shaped the collection and gave it its multi-faceted character. Engaging digital content will also be developed and made available on the free myMacKenzie app for the iPhone and iPad.

A legacy of the exhibition will be a major publication, a partnership with the University of Regina, to be published by the Canadian Plains Research Centre. With texts by Dr. Stephen King and Timothy Long, this richly illustrated book will examine the historical and ongoing collecting activities which link the University and the MacKenzie. The publication is scheduled to be launched during Culture Days 2013 at the MacKenzie Open House on September 29th.

Top image: Harold Town (Canadian, 1924 – 1990), The Tower Of Babbling (detail), 1955, oil on masonite,120 x 91.9 cm. MacKenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina Collection, gift of the Mackenzie Art Gallery Society

In the news

CTV REGINA: Cracking open the vault by Kelsey Chadwick for CTV Regina

How we filled the Vault by Alex J Macpherson for Verb Magazine

MacKenzie Art Gallery Cracks open the vault by Barb Pacholik for The Regina Leader Post

PHOTO GALLERY: behind the scenes at the MacKenzie Art Gallery Photos by Brian Schlosser for The Regina Leader Post

How We Filled The Vault by Gregory Beatty for Prairie Dog 

PHOTOS: Regina’s MacKenzie Art Gallery puts full vault on display by Courtney Mintenko for NewsTalk 650 CKOM

MacKenzie Art Gallery’s Big Year SaskSecrets Tourism Saskatchewan’s Online Newsletter

Pick of The Day: How We Filled the vault by Greg Beatty  for Prairie Dog