Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The Little Centre
Arts Centre of Greater Victoria 1945
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 1951 - current

1945 - current

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria was originally founded by a group of volunteers who had formed a local branch of the Federation of Canadian Artists in Victoria. The group included Ina Uhthoff, an important artist in the development of the arts in Victoria.

The group opened a gallery called "The Little Centre" on Yates Street, which Uhthoff ended up running. The gallery moved to Broughton Street and re-opened as the Arts Centre of Greater Victoria. In 1951 the gallery received the gift of the Spencer Mansion on Moss Street from Miss Sara Spencer, and moved to that location, which would be its successful home for more than a half century.

In 1955 a "promising third stage" in the gallery's expansion occured when the Rotary Club of Victoria sponsored an architectural competition to design a new fire-proof wing for the Gallery. This Wing was completed as the city's main construction project commemorating the 1958 Provincial Centenary. This wing was barely completed when Mr. R.H.H. Ker sponsored construction of a third exhibition area in honor of the centenary of his family in Victoria. This extension opened in 1959.

For many years the AGGV has sponsored exhibitions relevant to the art history of British Columbia, and their successive curators have cumulatively produced an extensive list of excellent publications detailing the history of B.C. artists and their work.

Selected Exhibitions:

1967 Sophie Deane-Drummond
1967 April 25 - May 14 Ten Canadians - Ten Decades
1976 March 2 - 28 Sally Gregson - Paintings
1977 Sept. 15 - Oct. 12 Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith (1846 - 1923)
1978 Mary Riter Hamilton (1873 - 1954)
1978 Sophia Theresa Pemberton (1869 - 1959)
1979 Oct. 24 - Dec. 9 B.C. Binning: Drawings
1980 Paul Rand
1980 March 5 - April 27 W.P. Weston
1980 July 17-Aug. 31 Jack Shadbolt - Early Watercolours
1982 April 8 - May 9 Alistair Bell - Prints 1935 - 1981
1983 Aug. 4 - Sept. 4 Thomas W. Fripp (1864 - 1931)
1983 Oct. 6 - Nov. 27 Printmaking in British Columbia 1889 - 1983
1985 British Columbia Women Artists: 1885 - 1985
1986 B.C. Binning - A Classical Spirit


Plans for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
     Its Growth in the Coming Years
     "An Invitation to Victorians to Participate in the Development of Their Gallery"
     1962, The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
     Illustrated; includes brief gallery history; building expansion;
         the permanent collection; endowment and gift plan