6101 University Avenue
Nova Scotia
B3H 3J5
Phone: 902 494 2403
Fax: 902 494 2890
Website: http://artgallery.dal.ca/

Dalhousie Art Gallery

The Dalhousie Art Gallery is a public art gallery, an academic support unit within the educational and research context of Dalhousie University, and a cultural resource for the whole community. In our role as a public art gallery, we offer a balanced program of travelling and in-house curated exhibitions of both contemporary and historical artworks, and a related program of artists’ presentations, lectures, panel discussions, films and videos, and other special events. We are the custodians of a rich and varied Permanent Collection which we hold in trust for the enjoyment and education of the whole community, actively documenting, preserving, presenting, interpreting and adding to this collection.

 Permanent Collection Highlights (5)

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Permanent Collection

The Dalhousie Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection has been acquired by purchase, donation or bequest over many years, and is continually growing. It presently comprises over 1,000 works, including contemporary and historical paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, photography, mixed media works and artifacts, both Canadian and International in origin. We hold the collection in trust for the benefit and education of the entire community.
The earliest donation of a work of art to Dalhousie was was an engraving by John James Audubon (Rice Bird and Red Maple). It was donated by The Rev. Thomas McCulloch, the first President of the University, in the 1830s - long before the Art Gallery itself was founded. Other gifts of art followed (see How a Collection grows), so that by the time the University Art Group was formed in 1943, there was a small but significant collection of works scattered across the campus. The Art Group brought in traveling exhibitions, showed films on art, and loaned out its collection of framed art reproductions to various university departments for a small fee. This latter activity was a fore-runner of the Gallery’s present popular Loans on Campus program.
The collection does not languish in the darkness of the vault, however. The Gallery’s Curator regularly organizes focused exhibitions of works drawn from the collection, which are often accompanied by illustrated catalogues and brochures. Works are loaned on request to other institutions, and are also placed in secure offices and meeting rooms in various university buildings, through our Loans on Campus program. The collection is also made available to the university community, art students and sc...+ [ Read all ]


Gerald Ferguson
Frottage Work 1994 - 2006
Ash Can paintings 2006
11 May to 30 June
This comprehensive survey presents selections from each series in Gerald Ferguson’s 15-year exploration of “frottage,” including fireback paintings, clothes line abstractions, rod, rope and hose works, drop cloth paintings, and fence and drain cover pieces, among others, culminating in a focused selection of the most recently finished series Ash Can paintings 2006. Ferguson’s frottage process involves placing raw canvas over various mundane objects and rollering paint across the surface; the resultant images are surprisingly rich and iconic, continuing the artist’s critical dialogue with Modernist painting. The exhibition includes 17 works that Ferguson has donated to the Dalhousie Art Gallery’s permanent collection, and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue containing the artist’s commentary on the progress of this series. The exhibition is curated by Susan Gibson Garvey and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

A walk in the park
11 May to 30 June
Contemporary work from the permanent collection
This exhibition includes mainly three-dimensional works by contemporary Canadian artists Marlene Creates, Nancy Edell, Michael Fernandes, John Greer and Terence Johnson, selected from the Dalhousie Art Gallery’s permanent collection by Susan Gibson Garvey around the theme of “groomed nature.”

Previous Exhibitions

12 January to 25 February 2007
Imaging a Shattering Earth:
Contemporary Photography and the Environmental Debate

12 January to 25 February 2007
Songs of Praise for the Heart
Beyond Cure
Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby

9 March to 22 April 2006
Material Transfer

9 March to 22 April 2006
Affecting Presence

13 January to 26 February 2006
Nicolas Baier
Scénes de genre [Genre Paintings]

13 January to 26 February 2006
The Idea of North

10 March to 30 April 2006

10 March to 30 April 2006
I am a music video

12 May to 2 July 2006

Exhibitions (5)

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Forthcoming exhibitions

Opening Reception | Thursday 16 August at 8 pm
17 August to 7 October
Suzanne Caines, Laura Calvi, Jeanne Ju, Jon Knowles, Ryan Park, Kevin Rodgers and Aaron Schmidt form Actual, an exhibition of work by emerging artists with Halifax art roots. In these works the artists privately and imaginatively pursue public, political, social and institutional realities. Bizarre video, tangible installations, photography and conceptual works occupy the gallery space (and possibly beyond). The word actual means “existing in fact or reality” or “occuring at the time,” while the original french word (l’actualité) means “news.” The work in Actual points to our world, while making it. The exhibition is curated by Emily Jones (also with Halifax art roots).

Recent Textile art and Popular Culture
19 October to 25 November 2007
Guest curated by Sarah Quinton (Senior Curator at the Textile Museum of Canada) this exhibition examines the use of idioms and images from popular culture in the work of contemporary textile artists from Canada and the US. Participating artists Scott Kildall, Allyson Mitchell, Mark Newport and Michèle Provost (among others) explore popular myth, comic book heroics and contemporary social and sexual mores through their material practices of knitting, appliqué, embroidery and crochet. Their evident skill and craftsmanship acknowledges traditional craft values even as their cultural and critical sensibilities position them within more recent “neo-craft” practices. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Sarah Quinton, and is organized by Dalhousie Art Gallery to coincide with the international Neo...+ [ Read all ]



Opening hours

11 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday

*With prior notice we may also be able to accommodate groups from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday

Museum internal and external photos (1)

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Free guided tours are offered to schools and community groups of all ages. We recommend booking a tour at least one week in advance. For a better, more focused experience, groups larger than 30 individuals may be divided into two tours.


At the Dalhousie Art Gallery we seek to engage and challenge visitors with an exciting range of contemporary and historical works of art. Our staff comprises artists, curators and educators eager to facilitate first-hand experience and discussion.
Our Critics Series and scholarly lecturers are scheduled for those with an interest in critical issues in the arts. Panel discussions are also arranged periodically, with interesting panelists who tackle ideas that arise out of the current exhibition.
Artist’s presentations and curator’s talks are designed for a broader public audience, and give the artist an important voice in the interpretation of their own works.
Screenings take place in the Dalhousie Art Gallery every Wednesday at 12:30 pm and 8:00 pm. from January to April and September to December each year. Special film series are also planned to coincide with cultural events in Halifax, such as the Scotia Festival of Music and the Atlantic Film Festival. Our film program is curated by Halifax film critic and writer, Ronald Foley Macdonald (pictured left), who is usually available for discussion and questions following each evening screening. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.