The Permanent Collection: Whispers from the Vault

27 juillet 2024 – 16 juin 2025

About the Exhibition

Curated by

Timothy Long

Organized By


The vault is a noisy place. Works are always whispering their stories. And those stories are always changing, depending on who you talk to and the perspectives they bring. Sometimes small works have big voices, demanding to be heard. In other cases, the voices are faint and even the artists’ names have been forgotten, an invitation to research and recovery. 

This exhibition celebrates my thirty-five years at the MacKenzie (1989–2024) in the style of a vault tour. Over the course of my career, telling stories about the collection while guiding groups through the basement has become a favorite form of communication. I see the vault tour as a model of learning, a venue for research, and an opportunity for diverse audiences to engage with the presence, meaning, and mystery of art. 

The focus of selections will be on revelations which came to me through repeated looking, archival research, and conversations with guests and artists. A curator-led podcast will add to the experience for those accessing the exhibition, whether at the gallery or online.

View from the MacKenzie Art Gallery permanent collection vault, 2024, Photo Don Hall.