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Generations The Sobey Family and Canadian Art

February 16, 2024 to May 12, 2024

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The Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art exhibition focuses on the collections of the Sobey family, which rank among the most remarkable private collections of Canadian art. 

The 150 works exhibited belonging to different members of three generations of the Sobey family showcase emblematic figures of 19th and 20th century Canadian art: Emily Carr, the Group of SevenDavid MilneWilliam KurelekPeter Doig, and Mario Doucette, in addition to Canadian Impressionists. The collections also encompass a considerable number of works by James Wilson MorricePaul-Émile Borduas and Jean Paul Lemieux


The Sobey collections do not overlook 21st-century art. The exhibition includes works by great contemporary First Nations artists such as Annie Pootoogook, Brenda Draney, Joseph Tisiga, Ursula Johnson, and Kent Monkman, several of whom have received the prestigious Sobey Art Award.   


Kent Monkman, Study for “mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People): Resurgence of the People,” (Final Variation), 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 107,3 × 213,4 cm. Collection of the Sobey Art Foundation © Kent Monkman


"Donald Sobey understood the artists of a bygone era. He was deeply devoted to them

but he also understood contemporary Canadian art and that we must encourage such artists

to ensure their place in art history."

Sarah Milroy,
Chief Curator of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
and co-curator of the exhibition


Alex Colville, Road Work, 1969. Acrylic polymer emulsion on Masonite, 54,6 × 87 cm. Empire Company Ltd., Stellarton, NS. © A.C. Fine Art Inc.

David Milne, Gray Billboards, circa 1912. Oil on canvas, 61 × 50,2 cm. Collection of Frank and Debbi Sobey © Estate of David B. Milne

John O'Brien (1831 - 1891), A Barque in a Storm off a Rocky Coast, 1865, Oil on canvas, Collection of Donald and Beth Sobey

Emily Carr (1871 - 1945), Near Langford, BC, c. 1939, Oil on canvas, Collection of Kent Sobey and Meghan MacGregor

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In addition to presenting the works of several artists rarely seen in Québec City, Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art thus offers a genuine panorama of Canadian creativity past and present, reflected both in tormented landscapes and abstractions, and in personal narratives and striking revisions of Canadian history. 

This exhibition was organized and circulated by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.



J.E.H. MacDonald, Morning, Lake O’Hara, 1926. Oil on canvas, 76,2 x 88,9 cm, Empire Company Limited, Stellarton, NS.