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No Canadians need apply the worrying trend in arts hiring

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Way back in 1995, when the Art Gallery of Ontario had appointed its second American chief executive in the space of five years, one mischievous journalist suggested that the first thing he would ask Maxwell Anderson would be to name his favourite member of the Group of Seven. Anderson was a former curator of Greek and Roman art who came to Canada from a small university gallery in the United States. He was replacing Glenn Lowry, an American specialist in Islamic art who has been director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York ever since he left Toronto 20 years ago.There was no joking about trick Canadian questions this week when the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ont., named Briton Ian Dejardin as its new director: Dejardin probably knows more about the Group of Seven than you or I do.As director of London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery he has introduced Europeans to classic Canadian art with a pair of successful touring exhibitions devoted to Tom Thomson and the Group, and Emily Carr. Advertisement He is a bold choice for the McMichael, a treasure chest of early 20th-century Canadian painting located in a bucolic setting a half-hour drive north of Toronto. With the AGO now trumpeting a Lawren Harris show curated by the American actor Steve Martin, there seems to be a new international interest in art that Canadians have cherished for generations, and Dejardin is well-placed to bring wider and perhaps more serious attention to the McMichael, long a favourite of school groups and day-trippers.But he is also the fifth international appointment to head a major Canadian cultural institution in the past 15 months. He follows two Americans (Joshua Basseches at the Royal Ontario Museum and Stephan Jost at the AGO) and two other Britons (Tim Carroll at the Shaw Festival and Anthony Sargent at the Luminato Festival, where an Australian was also recently appointed as artistic director). Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img

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