The new Remai Gallery

If a great city is partially defined by the art that it keeps, then Saskatoon will soon reach the status of awesome.

While I was in town last week on a media tour of the city, a major announcement hit the press circuit. The Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, soon to be the largest art gallery in the province, will acquire a donated collection of 405 Picasso prints valued at $20 million dollars.

Once construction is complete, the new Remai will be the largest art gallery in the province, housing a civic collection of regional, national, and international art that has been preserved and maintained since the city’s earliest days. Renowned artists in the collection will also include Emily Carr, A.Y. Jackson, Lawren S. Harris, William Perehudoff, and Dorothy Knowles.

Chapeau by Picasso
[Pablo Picasso Portrait de Femme au Chapeau a Pompons et au Corsage Imprime, 1962. Reproduced by permission © Picasso Estate/SODRAC (2012)]

When entrepreneur and philanthropist Ellen Remai leaned that the Picasso prints were for sale, she seized the opportunity to help build the art gallery’s permanent collection by purchasing them. By doing so, she has created a legacy for both the Remai Art Gallery and the citizens of Saskatoon. Ellen’s generosity doesn’t stop there. In 2011, she also contributed $30 million towards the construction and future programming of the new civic gallery. Visitors will be able to see the Picasso collection when renovation of the new Remai Art Gallery is completed in 2015.

As the Picasso prints will form part of the Gallery’s permanent collection, there will be no charge to enjoy them.

Pablo Picasso created the prints between 1951 and 1966. These pieces were assembled by Saskatchewan-born art dealer Dr. Frederick Mulder, who lives in London.

To learn more about the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan as well as the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation, visit the website.

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