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WAG@Home offers opportunities to explore the decorative arts

Simply Splendour: Porcelain, Silver, and Master Drawings sharing works from the Gallery’s permanent collection

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory, December 7, 2020: The Winnipeg Art Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition focusing on the WAG’s permanent collection: Simply Splendour: Porcelain, Silver, and Master Drawings at the WAG, curated by Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO.

This exhibition spotlights the most opulent pieces in the WAG collection. Prepare to be dazzled by sparkling silver, fine porcelain, and delicate drawings, sharing an intimate view of the life of their makers and owners.

Although the WAG is closed to the public until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the community is invited to take a virtual tour of the newly installed exhibition and explore others through WAG@Home. In addition, the Gallery Shop offers curbside pick-up and online shopping at This holiday season there are many ways to Share the Light of Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre opening at the WAG in February 2021. Meaning “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut, Qaumajuq connects to the WAG building on all levels, leading into exhibitions like Simply Splendour, which runs until summer 2021.

About Simply Splendour: Porcelain, Silver, and Master Drawings at the WAG

  • The Decorative Arts have been, and continue to be, an important component of the WAG’s collection and exhibition activity. Simply Splendour, on view until June 13, 2021 brings them into the light in an accessible and engaging manner.
  • Decorative arts are valuable social documents of their time, as these objects have intimate connections to the daily life of their makers and owners. They speak to social custom, contemporary taste, class distinction, and fashion.
  • The opportunity to display together such a diverse range of artmaking – from porcelain to silver to pen and ink on paper – covering four centuries, affords the visitor a rewarding glimpse at the sister arts to painting and sculpture.
  • This special collection first gained momentum in the 1950s when the Gallery accepted a donation from the estate of Melanie Bolton-Hill. By the 1970s, a collecting strategy for decorative arts reflected a focus on British and Canadian porcelain, silver, glass, and studio ceramics. Today the collection, spanning the late 17th to 21st centuries, numbers over 4,600 works.
  • The Drawings collection at the WAG also has roots in the 1950s with the purchase of an 18th century French drawing by Jean Baptiste Pillement. This collection boasts a notable assembly of 16th century to contemporary European and Canadian works, with most of the major European schools represented.
  • Simply Splendour provides an educational perspective on the creation and uses of historic objects and drawings.

Simply Splendour gathers everyday objects and drawings in an array of media, from the WAG’s lesser-known Decorative arts collection. This show pays homage to the many collectors and donors who have graciously entrusted these artworks to the WAG, while exploring the various techniques and materials used to create them. Manitoban history and art buffs will delight in this new perspective on their collection, even if it’s all virtual right now.”

—Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery


The Everett Family with Lila Goodspeed Everett, Tannis M. Richardson.

Associated Links

Winnipeg Art Gallery – Simply Splendour

WAG’s Permanent Collection

Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Amy Rebecca Harrison
Engagement Supervisor
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Amber O’Reilly
Engagement Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (the WAG) is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. The WAG holds in trust the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. To celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit, the WAG is building Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre. Opening in February 2021, the centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. To learn more visit



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WAG-Qaumajuq recognizes that land acknowledgements are part of an ongoing dialogue with Indigenous Nations, and we are grateful to live and work on these lands and waters. Institutionally, WAG-Qaumajuq is committed to acknowledging our colonial history and we are actively working to interrogate the Gallery’s colonial ways of being.

WAG-Qaumajuq is LEED certified.

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Winnipeg Art Gallery—Qaumajuq
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