The Hart House Collection and the ‘Cosmopolitanism’ of Canadian Art
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 7-8:30pm
Part of Re-Collections: Between History and Storytelling
A program of A Story of Canadian Art: As Told by the Hart House Collection
19th Annual Janet E. Hutchison Lecture with Barbara Jenkins, Associate Professor of Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University
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