Snagging touring art exhibition a major coup for city gallery

The largest piece in the upcoming Beaverbrook exhibition is this painting by Salvador Dalí, Santiago El Grande (1957) oil on canvas, 407.7 x 304.8 cm, Beaverbrook Art Gallery: Gift of Sir James Dunn Foundation.

Journal Staff

The largest art exhibition in Sarnia-Lambton’s history is coming to the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery this fall.

Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery exhibition features 75 paintings by major Canadian and European artists spanning four centuries.

A trio of masterworks by Salvador Dali form the centerpiece of the exhibition, which runs Oct. 2 to Feb. 7. One, the four-metre-high Santiago El Grande, is widely considered one of the Spanish surrealist’s most accomplished paintings.

The rest of the collection features a who’s who of artistic heavyweights; including Henri Matisse, Eugene Delacroix and John Constable, portrait painter Thomas Gainsborough and landscape master J.M.W. Turner.

Seminal Canadian artists represented include Paul Kane, Cornelius Krieghoff and Emily Carr.

Some of the pieces are valued at more than $20 million, gallery officials said last week.

The event is one of most ambitious cultural undertakings ever attempted in Lambton County, and something of a coup for the Sarnia gallery.

An estimated 10,000 visitors are expected, but with limits placed on the number in each viewing area at any given time.

Already, more than 20 coach and school tours, corporate receptions and business meetings are booked, officials said, and active marketing has yet to begin.

The exhibition is a selection of works from a Fredericton-based art collection acquired by Canadian business tycoon William Maxwell Aitken, or Lord Beaverbrook.

Sarnia is the only tour stop in central Canada and the northeastern U.S. Previous stops included Winnipeg, Calgary, Alabama and Florida.