Current Exhibitions

Jane Buyers: Gather...Arrange...Maintain

January 24th, 2015 to April 19th, 2015

Ivey Galleries

Inscriptions # 13, 2004 porcelain with pigmented shellac, plaster and watercolour Collection of McMaster Museum of Art Gift of the artist, 2009 Notes on Macbeth: Enter Lady Macbeth, 2004 etching, lithograph, chine collé on paper Courtesy of the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art Gather...Arrange...Maintain, 1990 bronze Collection of Woodstock Art Gallery Gift of the Artist Book of Hours lII, 2007-2008 graphite on paper Courtesy of the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art.jpg

Gather…Arrange…Maintain is a focused survey drawn from a thirty-year period of the work of the contemporary Canadian artist Jane Buyers. Consistently moving between a variety of media and processes in drawing, sculpture and printmaking, her work has investigated wood, steel, plaster, paper, bronze, found objects and porcelain.

Trained in the era of Minimalism and Conceptualism, Buyers remains attracted to the physicality of material and to process as agency. Much of her work foregrounds labour in which repetition at a slow pace gradually creates a surface or builds a form. Fusing the organic with the artificial, Buyers searches for a synthesis of materials and forms to speak of opposing desires and representational tensions. Buyers’ work consistently evokes human presence through a poetic use of surrogate objects and forms.

Her early work is rich with references to domestic proxies such as garments and architecture, while tools and books have reappeared in a number of various bodies of work over time. Frequent references to natural forms, such as a leaf, a flower or a tree, are often gathered from domestic sources, such as textiles and ceramics, which serve both utilitarian and decorative purposes. These romanticized, artificial representations are significant to Buyers as reflections of impulses of manipulation and idealization, expressive of a desire to be connected, to make order, and to find meaning in our surroundings.

Organized by the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.

In Full Flower: Hand-picked from the Collection

January 17th, 2015 to April 19th, 2015

Ivey South Gallery

Kate Taylor-Cumming, White Roses, c. 1955, watercolour on paper, Gift of the Kate Taylor Cumming Memorial Collection, 2001 Jamelie Hassan, Margret's Mother's Lace Shawl â

This exhibition pulls together examples for both the material culture and art collections to demonstrate the prevalence and diversity of flower imagery in Canadian (and more generally, Western) culture. More specifically, it highlights the longstanding tradition of floral motifs as an inspiration in the arts and fashion.

Artists from different eras and cultures have used different styles and media to depict aspects of nature, and within this category, floral designs. From still life compositions to high fashion to homespun garments, flowers imbue aesthetic and utilitarian items with beauty and personality.

Floral subject matter transcends the mere enhancement of immediate surroundings, or a sense of the feminine, though they have long been important in both decorative and gendered contexts. Flowers have long held myriad practical uses and spiritual meanings. Such symbolism became extremely popular again in the Victorian period, a time of widespread collecting, classifying and cultivation. For generations, a veritable “language of flowers” spelled out messages for a broad and eager audience.

Over time, floral design have transformed from naturalistic depictions handicrafted with natural materials to more abstracted images and patterns increasingly mass produced via new technologies and synthetic media. The gap between the natural world and modernity creates an interesting aesthetic and philosophical tension, played out in the decoration of the workaday, avant-garde, and beyond.

The Art of Nature: A Student Exhibition

January 10th, 2015 to May 3rd, 2015

Volunteer and Moore Galleries

Kate Mitchellm grade 12, Banting Untitled Artwork by Meena Allder-Myrie, Student at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School Untitled Artwork by Robin Rodrigues, Student at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School Aly Shakettle, Grade 10 Untitled Artwork by Sarah Riley, Student at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School Emily Morse, grade 11 Daniel Atryos, grade 10 Emily Swang, grade 12 Jessica Marson, grade 12 Rachel Meadows, grade 12 Sue Chagr, grade 11

Museum London invited elementary and secondary students (K-12) in the Thames Valley District School Board and London District Catholic School Board to reflect on the theme of "nature" and create artwork in a variety of media. Teachers were encouraged to explore environmental issues, such as climate change, deforestation, resource depletion and endangered species with their students and make this a cross-curricular learning experience incorporating the visual arts, language and social studies. Outdoor sports, camping trips, and family pets also served as inspiration for students to create art that had personal meaning.

All students submitted a brief artist statement along with their artwork. All submissions were juried and approximately 120 pieces of student art are included in the exhibition. Museum London is committed to fostering partnerships with the wider education community and promoting opportunities for students to learn through the visual arts.

All the students, parents and teachers who contributed to The Art of Nature will be invited to a reception to be held at Museum London on Thursday, February 12.

Nature London at 150

December 20th, 2014 to March 29th, 2015

Interior Gallery

This Peregrine Falcon, Penelope, was killed accidentally in downtown London in 2007. Nature London member Peter Read secured a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources to have her stuffed. He uses her for educational purposes. For a decade, Nature London members monitored a local Peregrine Falcon nest, aiding the young learning to fly amidst the hazards of city traffic. In recent years, the nesting pair has not been successful in producing young. Peregrine Falcon and Permit lent by Peter Read. Keith Reyonlds (left), Frances Jacobs (later Girling) (centre) and Mel Dale (seated, right), all members of Nature London, visit Goldenwing Woods in 1937. Photo Courtesy of Nature London Frances Girling observes birds through a telescope. A member of the McIlwraith Ornithological Club from 1934 to 2010, she served on the club executive and was a mentor to numerous young naturalists. Girling remembered one experience she had as a woman club member: She once saw a then-rare Red-bellied Woodpecker but her sighting was not accepted until it had been verified by a man. Photo courtesy of Nature London

Museum London is excited to present an exhibition marking the 150th anniversary of Nature London. Developed in collaboration with Nature London members David and Winifred Wake, this exhibition will explore the “who, why, what, and when” of this amazing organization.

You will meet its earliest members and discover that they learned about the insects, birds, and plants of the region not only because they loved nature, but also because they wanted to help farmers and others prosper through their economically useful scientific findings. As the times changed, the organization that became Nature London added a commitment to preservation. Its members could not and did not sit idle while urbanization and industrialization threatened species and their habitats with destruction. Over 150 years, as you will see, Nature London members have shared with others through field trips, lectures, and publications, their joy in, and enthusiasm about nature.

As well as featuring treasured objects and images held by Nature London, the exhibition will include material from the collections of Museum London, the University of Guelph, and the Departments of Botany and Zoology at the University of Western Ontario.

Nature's Handmade

December 13th, 2014 to May 10th, 2015

Forum Gallery

Paul Walde (Canadian, b. England, born 1968), Improvisation: Sporangium, 1998-2002/2006 mushroom spores on primed wood panel, Gift of the Artist, 2012

The title of this exhibition re-interprets--and perhaps updates--part of a famous quote from English Restoration-era poet and critic John Dryden (1631-1700):

By viewing Nature, Nature’s handmaid, art, makes mighty things from small beginnings grow.

The natural world has been constantly envisioned by artists around the world. This has been especially true in the case of Canadian art, where the landscape has been used to assert the very identity of the country and its inhabitants. While the wilderness imagery of generations of Canadian painters is known to many, over the last half century a significant number of contemporary artists have also conceptualized nature, though in different ways, and to address a variety of aesthetic and social concerns.

Selected works bypass traditional representations of the landscape to combine aspects of the natural and man-made in engaging ways. Different materials, process, and content exemplify the back-and-forth exchange between nature and nurture. Works by Joyce Wieland, Ed Pien, Paul Walde, Spring Hurlbut and several others combine individual handiwork with elements of mass production. Found objects, even materials deemed to be detritus, resemble or mix with organic materials which "speak for themselves," or make ironic statements about artificiality and industry.

Work and Perseverance: Paintings by Women Artists

November 8th, 2014 to November 8th, 2015

Community Gallery

Viola Depew (Canadian, 1894-1992), Nicotiana, 1956, linocut on paper, Gift of the Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers, 1956 Hortense Gordon (Canadian, 1887-1961), Untitled, undated, coloured pencil crayon on buff paper, Gift of Mr. Jens Thielsen, London, Ontario, 2000 Pegi Nicol MacLeod (Canadian, 1904-1949), Men on Telephone Poles, c. 1935, watercolour on paper, Gift of Mr. Richard Alway, Toronto, Ontario, 1983

Over the course of the twentieth century, the development of public art museums and galleries in Ontario (and indeed, across Canada) was spurred to a large extent by the efforts of women. They served in groups as volunteers fundraising for building and collecting, and as individual artists and benefactors who contributed to and championed cultural excellence. Many belonged to women’s artists groups, which existed in part because of female artists’ being barred from (or more generally devalued by) existing groups such as the Arts & Letters Club or Royal Canadian Academy. Selected works include longstanding favourites by regional artists Eva Bradshaw and Florence Carlyle, as well as by Yvonne McKague Housser, Pegi Nicol MacLeod, and many more. Several paintings entered the collection as gifts by women’s or female-dominated groups in this region, such as the Women’s Art Association of Canada and the Volunteer Committee of Museum London.

In the Air: Canadian Plein Air Painters

September 27th, 2014 to April 12th, 2015

Centre Gallery

Barker Fairley (Canadian, born England, 1887-1986) Sketching At Ward's Island, c. 1940 oil on board 28 x 35.4 cm Collection of Museum London; Gift of Mr. David Campbell, Toronto, Ontario, 1991 School of Tom Thomson Untitled Sketch, undated oil on wood panel 21 x 26.7 cm Collection of Museum London; Purchased with Funds from the Mitchell Bequest, 1955 Paint Mixing Box mahogany, with sliding tray, containing mixing tray 5 x 16.4 x 22 cm Collection of Museum London; Transfer from the London and Middlesex Historical Society, 1858

Artists have long painted outdoors, but by the mid-nineteenth century, working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon School and the Impressionists. This trend soon took root in Canada, which already had a tradition of painting out-of-doors that was connected to military pursuits. This exhibition looks at the work of some of the nation’s best-loved plein air artists, and features important views of the London area--of the Thames River, well known edifices, early neighbourhoods, and more -- by historical and contemporary painters.

Visible Storage Project

March 2nd, 2014 to February 9th, 2016

Lawson Family Gallery

Greg Curnoe, Car, 1967, oil, metal, masonite, wood, 168 x 173 cm, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Moore, London, Ontario, through the Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1978 Jack Chambers, Daffodils, 1976, oil on canvas, 76 x 76 cm, Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Moore, London, 2011 Bertram Brooker, Abstraction, Music, c. 1927, oil on canvas, 43 x 61 cm, F. B. Housser Memorial Collection, 1945 Arthur Lismer, Pine Tree And Rocks, 1921, oil on canvas, 83 x 102 cm, F. B. Housser Memorial Collection, 1945

This installation permanently displays more than 100 works of art primarily focussed on London artists but featuring many of the great works of Canadian art from our vaults. With walls devoted to the works by Paul Peel, the Group of Seven, and artists such as Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, and Paterson Ewen, Visible Storage allows you to always see old favourites from the collection as well as discover new ones.

This exhibition has been digitally enhanced. Browse images, videos and text online at

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