The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is situated on the ancestral lands and treaty lands of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and the traditional territory of the Mississauga Nation which has a postal and physical address of 72 Queen Street, Civic Centre, Oshawa, ON L1H 3Z3.
The RMG is a vibrant and engaging art gallery dedicated to sharing and protecting the stories of our communities through art, shared authority, education, and engagement. The Gallery is a meeting place for exploration and experimentation, a place where art, artists, and the community come together in conversation.
The gallery’s mission says: “We work together with our communities to create conversations through the arts that encourage people to experience the world differently.”
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is the largest public art gallery in Durham Region with a permanent collection of over four thousand works of art including some from the group of seven and then we have the largest collection of painters 11 works in Canada which is an abstract art collective that has connections to Oshawa but also is important across the country and a lot of people come to see those works. And then we also show touring exhibitions that come in from across the country as well so it’s like travelling out to other museums and seeing the works that they have there but we bring them to Oshawa. We have a family workshop series called Second Sundays where families are free to come and do workshops, art workshops with their children. From there we have classes and camps for basically all ages from tots up to adults. We do life drawing classes and then throughout the year, we have lectures and art tours.
The RMG was founded in 1967 after Oshawa designer William Caldwell organized an exhibition of work by local artists at a commercial space on Simcoe Street. Seeing the need for a more permanent home for the arts, Ewart McLaughlin and his wife Margaret (painter Alexandra Luke) offered major financial support and works from their own private collection toward the establishment of an expanded public art gallery for the City of Oshawa.
The gallery was incorporated with the name of Robert, founder of The McLaughlin Carriage Company, grandfather of Ewart, and father of Col. R.S.(Sam) McLaughlin (General Motors of Canada). Isabel McLaughlin, an important modernist painter and cousin of Ewart, also became a lifelong patron of the gallery. A founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters, she provided ongoing generous financial support as well as significant gifts of over 100 works of important Canadian and international works.
The RMG is independently incorporated, governed by an elected Board of Trustees, operating with professional staff and volunteers. Support is generously provided by The City of Oshawa, The Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts, Department of Canadian Heritage – Museum Assistance Program and the RMG Volunteer Committee.
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