This Saturday, the Professor and I decided to check out the newly renovated Art Gallery of Ontario. We decided on having brunch at "Frank" the latest dining area in the new building.
I had read tepid reviews of both the physical and culinary offerings in this new eating space and I must say I would totally agree. The open-to-the-sidewalk entrance of the eatery makes it a rather exposed area as does the avenue to the washrooms...intersecting one of the major dining areas up top. Luckily, we were seated by the upstairs railing on the side, and had neither the interruption of entering guests, nor the distraction of the constant parade to the washrooms. The interesting china settings are modern Danish and the only other place that they are to be seen is in MOMA in New York. The cutlery and serving vessels are Georg Jensen. The table tops are acrylic in primary colours. Click here to see the menu...ever changing, this is not the exact one we had.
The spiral staircase is totally magnificent. It looks rather harmless, but does extend beyond the first glass ceiling and is a five story climb. The good news is that if you make it to the top there is a modern art display and another very small coffee bar should you require sustenance. There is also an elevator if you wish to whisk back down.
One cannot adequately describe, nor can pictures adequately capture the true essence of this structure. It feels so solid. The wood absorbs a lot of noise. It is majestic and magnificent and truly worth a stroll.
One of the advantages to having a membership is that you can check your coat, walk in, take in a small exhibit and not feel as though you have to take a nap half-way through your visit. We really enjoyed the current "William Holman Hunt", Sin-and-Salvation exhibition. If you enjoy Pre-Raphaelite art, this is a small but wonderful installation. Now until May 10, 2009.
British painter William Holman Hunt (1827–1910) founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with his friends John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1848.
The group challenged the artistic, political, social and religious values of the time. Taking subjects from history, literature and modern life, Hunt addressed gender relations, the crisis of faith and problems in the Middle East – difficult issues which have resonance for us today. The exhibition brings together more than 60 works, including Hunt's most famous paintings, The Awakening Conscience, The Light of the World and Isabella and the Pot of Basil. Also on view are costumes from the artist's studio, works on paper and historical documents.
Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, in association with Manchester Art Gallery.
I'd say this is a MUST SEE attraction in Toronto. If you are looking for something to do in the March Break or have visitors coming to town, it makes for a wonderful outing. There truly is something for everyone. We will definitely do this again.