The Hart House Collection and the ‘Cosmopolitanism’ of Canadian Art
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 7-8:30pm
Vincent Massey’s insistence that Canadian works of art should hang on the walls of Hart House was more than a nationalist attempt to support Canadian artists. In his quest to provide U of T students with a taste of the broader cultural education he experienced at Oxford, he was cultivating a ‘cosmopolitan’ perspective that can be viewed as a sort of cultural legitimation for the free flow of goods and services in a transatlantic political economy. Thus, the development of the Hart House collection should be viewed as part of a larger project that Massey was intimately involved in: Canadian participation as an equal partner in a cosmopolitan, transatlantic cultural economy. From a broader theoretical perspective, Massey’s efforts underline the importance of critically considering cultural factors in our understanding of the construction of global economic markets.
University College, Room 140