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Bright Particular Stars: The Theatre Portraits of Grant Macdonald

Bright Particular Stars: The Theatre Portraits of Grant Macdonald

January 30–March 17, 2007

Curated by Dr. Janet Brooke

Organized and circulated by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre

University of Toronto Art Centre

Aficionados of the stage will delight in the many intriguing depictions in this selection of theatre portraits by the late Canadian artist Grant Macdonald (1909-1987), now held in the collection of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston. Most works were created from the 1930s to the 1960s, and feature such Canadian theatrical luminaries as Robertson Davies, Frances Hyland, Don Harron, William Hutt, Kate Reid, and William Shatner. Actors from the British and New York stage were also portrayed by the artist and some examples of these in the exhibition include Laurence Olivier in the 1945 Old Vic production of Oedipus Rex, and Mary Martin in South Pacific, which ran in New York from 1949 to 1954.

Accompanied by extended wall texts that give details on the actors’ careers, the exhibition is made up of sixty-three key works from the several hundred left in the artist’s estate. The show is curated by Dr. Janet Brooke, Director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University, and is accompanied by a full-colour brochure with a lively text by arts journalist Martin Hunter.

Opening Reception

Thursday February 1, 2007, 6-8pm
University of Toronto Art Centre

Lecture

From Behind the Scenes to Centre Stage
Friday March 2, 2007, 2-4pm
University of Toronto Art Centre

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the project support of Manulife Financial, the Abraham and Malka Green Foundation and The McLean Foundation.

Title Image: Grant Kenneth Macdonald, Dame Sybil Thorndike as Mistress Quickly in King Henry IV, 1946. Ink and watercolour on paper. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston. Gift of the McLean Foundation, 1990.

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