Located Downtown in bustling Robson Square and housed in a stately 1911 former courthouse building (which pretty much belies what’s inside), the VAG is famous for its groundbreaking exhibits and original displays of contemporary art. Yet the museum, which was founded in 1931, is also lauded for its major pieces by Marc Chagall and a host of 17th Century Dutch painters. And then, there’s its fierce dedication to world-famous British Columbian artists, both contemporary and Post-Impressionist, resulting in the most extensive collection of works by 20th Century B.C. artist, Emily Carr, and an impressive selection by J. E. H. MacDonald and the so-called Group of Seven (Canadian landscape painters during the 1920s). VAG is not your typical art museum. It’s the kind of art museum so innovative and inspiring you cancel your plans for the rest of the afternoon.
Saw the Monet exhibit just before it closed then a quick shuttle through the Emily Carr exhibit (permanent). The former was ecstatically good. Nicely curated and with good informational signage. The latter gave me a deeper appreciation of Carr's work. Very enjoyable though her oeuvre seems much more coldly philosophical than Monet's who seems to let heaven flow from his brush. How did he achieve that truth with such spare treatment? The gallery is surprisingly small (in my opinion).
I have been going here for the last two years on a regular basis and have been consistently enjoying my experience. The art showcased covers a wide range of art forms and puts a spotlight on artists from Canada in a tactful way. My only complaint would be that their tours are too irregular. But that’s minimal. And only requires a bit of extra planning.
The Monet exhibition was tastefully put together: enough space to move around and facilities well organized. The restaurant is gorgeous! Vivaldi guitar concerto playing in the roof garden, birds tweeting, fragrant flowers and Sunday lunch with friends made a lovely afternoon! Spacious with plenty of seating - not like London, UK where you try to stand (inconspicuously as possible) like vultures around the tables at the V&A or Tate Britain!
Very well priced for the main art gallery in a major city although not as cheap as European galleries if that's what you're used to. I went round quite happily in about 45 minutes. Very interesting exhibitionists with a good number of Canadian artists on display.
Very nice layout that showcases 2 types of abstract art. The upper floor is dedicated to a particular artist who devoted her time to painting the forest. We had a great time here. There's also a gorgeous cafe and a gift shop