Art Gallery of Alberta

New AGA lecture series explores the art of collecting.

Media Release
May 7, 2013

New AGA lecture series explores the art of collecting.

Edmonton, AB (May 7/13) – You don’t need to be a millionaire or an art expert, but what does it take to start your own art collection? The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) explores this question in The Collectors Series, a new series of talks with Canadian private art collectors. The first talk takes place on May 15 at 7 pm.

Throughout 2013, AGA exhibitions and programs will examine the role of collecting, both institutional and private, and how these collections are reflective of certain times, places as well as personalities.
In this ongoing lecture series, the AGA has invited a small group of Canadian private collectors to speak, in conversation, about their interests, goals and ambitions for their collections. What is evident is that one need not be an art expert or a millionaire to start an art collection. Interest, curiosity and passion are often enough to spark what could eventually be a lasting visual legacy.

Our year-long investigation of collecting will continue this summer with two exhibitions of new acquisitions to the AGA collection. New Acquisitions: The Mitchell Endowment opens May 25 and New Acquisitions: Views and Vistas opens July 20.

The series begins on Wednesday, May 15 at 7pm with Grande Prairie art collector Murray Quinn in conversation with AGA Executive Director / Chief Curator Catherin Crowston. Then on Wednesday, June 26, join Ottawa-based collector Joe Friday joins Dr. William Wood, and on Wednesday, September 11, Vancouver art collector and writer Claudia Beck is in conversation with Nancy Tousley.

Murray Quinn has been acquiring works for the past 21 years. His collection holds almost exclusively contemporary works including painting, sculpture, video, photography, conceptual and kinetic pieces. Some of the artists represented in his collection include Chris Cran, Jason DeHaan, Brian Jungen, Evan Penny, Michael Snow, Peter von Tiesenhausen and Joyce Weiland.

Joe Friday has been building his art collection for more than 20 years. It is focused on contemporary, conceptual-based art and includes works by a number of Canadian and international artists, including Ian Wallace, Brian Jungen, Ken Lum, Gareth Moore, Liz Magor, Carol Wainio, Geoffrey Farmer, General Idea, Ron Terada, Simon Starling, Thomas Ruff, Fiona Banner, Douglas Gordon, Elmgreen & Dragset and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Friday’s collection has been the subject of an exhibition and catalogue entitled, Prototype, at the Carleton University Art Gallery. His collecting activities have been featured in a number of publications, including Canadian Art, the Globe and Mail, Report on Business and the Ottawa Citizen. He has spoken about collecting in a number of venues, including Art Forum Berlin, the Canadian Visual Arts Summit and the University of Ottawa.

Claudia Beck is an art collector and writer who lives and works in Vancouver. In 1976, Beck started the NOVA Gallery to show photographs by such artists as Fox Talbot, Julian Margaret, Walker Evans, Ian Wallace and N.E. Thing Co. It was the first gallery to show the work of Jeff Wall and is considered to be a pioneer among commercial photography galleries. When the NOVA Gallery was closed in 1982, Beck and her partner donated a large portion of the photography collection to the Vancouver Art Gallery, which was marked by an exhibition titled Real Pictures. Beck has sat on the Board of Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery during their building project, is a trustee of the Vancouver Art Gallery and has served for four years as head of the Acquisitions Committee of the Getty Museum Photo Council in LA.

The Collectors Series
Ledcor Theatre, Art Gallery of Alberta
Tickets: $15/$10 AGA Members per talk

To purchase tickets visit or call 780.422.6223.

Wednesday, May 15, 7 pm
Murray Quinn with Catherine Crowston

Wednesday, June 26, 7 pm
Joe Friday with Dr. William Wood

Wednesday, September 11, 7 pm
Claudia Beck with Nancy Tousley

For media information or to coordinate interviews please contact:

Kimberly Van Nieuvenhuyse, Communications Specialist

T: 780.392.2468 E:

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a centre of excellence for the visual arts in Western Canada, connecting people, art and ideas. The AGA is focused on the development and presentation of original exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from Alberta, Canada and around the world. The AGA also offers a full-range of art education and public programs. Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta maintains a collection of more than 6,000 objects and is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta. It is the only museum in the province solely dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture.

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of its Members, donors, sponsors and government. The AGA is grateful for the generous support of the many public and private donors and sponsors who have made the AGA’s New Vision possible, as well as the ongoing support of the City of Edmonton, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts and our Members.