The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) announced it will deaccession 17 paintings by Candian artist A.Y. Jackson in order to fund the acquisition of works by artists less represented in the institution’s encyclopedic collection. Jackson was a founding member of the Group of Seven, the celebrated troupe of Canadian landscape painters from the 1920s and ‘30s.
Julian Cox, AGO Deputy Director and Chief Curator, said in a statement:
Art collections are dynamic and require refinement over time. [...] We are very fortunate to have a strong representation of A.Y. Jackson works in our collection, and will continue to have a significant number representing the breadth and fullness of his career after the deaccessioning of these works.
The seventeen paintings will be for sale in Heffel Fine Art Auction House’s upcoming sales beginning in May. The auction house estimates that the works could bring in more than $C 660,000 (or about $US 495,000), according to Artforum.
The deaccessioning of works to fund collection diversification has been a common practice among institutions lately, with SFMOMA announcing in February that it would sell a Mark Rothko painting valued at between $35 million and $50 million, and the Baltimore Museum of Art announcing last year that it would sell seven works before using those funds to purchase works by artists of color and women.