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THE PORTRAIT GALLERY OF CANADA TO UNVEIL MAJOR DONATIONS AND LOAN

February 25, 2003 (Ottawa) The Portrait Gallery of Canada, which will exhibit portraits of people from all walks of life who have helped shape Canada, has received a donation, as well as a loan, of major, internationally-known works of art.

Among the donations are 139 portraits from the Estate of the late Harold Town, the internationally-acclaimed Canadian artist. The long-term loan is for two portraits from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. To mark this milestone in the development and recognition of the Gallery, both nationally and internationally, an unveiling ceremony is taking place on Parliament Hill.

"These portraits will intrigue and delight future generations of Canadians as they enrich our history and provide a unique glimpse of some unforgettable personalities," said Ian E. Wilson, National Archivist of Canada.

The Harold Town portraits portray 22 prominent Canadian cultural personalities from the 1970s to the early 1980s including Margaret Laurence, F.R. Scott and Irving Layton. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s two oil paintings are by eminent Scottish artist Sir James Guthrie. The first shows Sir Robert Borden, Canada’s Prime Minister during the First World War, and the second depicts Baron Edward Morris, who served as Newfoundland’s Prime Minister during the same period. The two works were done as studies for the massive painting Statesmen of World War I, now on permanent display in the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

"This is a real moment of celebration," said Lilly Koltun, Director of the Portrait Gallery of Canada. "Not only are the Town portraits extraordinary expressions of one of Canada’s most talented artists, all the donations and the loan represent the generosity and enthusiasm with which Canadians and others internationally have responded to our country’s new portrait gallery."

The unveiling will take place in the presence of many of the artists, donors and sitters for the portraits with a selection of works on display. The event is planned for Friday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 200 of the West Block, Parliament Hill. All media are welcome.

In addition to the Parliament Hill event, the Portrait Gallery is hosting a one-day Symposium entitled "Portraiture Between Narrative and Abstraction" on Saturday, March 1 at the Alumni Auditorium, University of Ottawa. The symposium, whose key-note talk will be given by Robert Fulford, is free and is open to the public.

For more information, please contact:

Louisa Coates, Media Relations
Library and Archives of Canada
Telephone: (613) 992-9361 / cell 295-5516
E-mail: media@lac-bac.gc.ca