Permanent Collection

MacLaren Permanent Collection

The MacLaren houses a Permanent Collection comprising 27,390 works of art, including a unique archive of over 23,000 vintage Soviet press photographs. The balance of the collection represents visual culture in Canada with an emphasis on contemporary art. The majority of these acquisitions were facilitated through generous donations by artists and private collectors. Currently, the strength of the collection lies in works on paper as well as modern and contemporary Canadian art from artists in this region and from across the country. The MacLarenArtCentre holds the collection in public trust for this community for today and for future generations.  Highlights of the collection include:

  • Spirit Catcher by Ron Baird (1986) at the foot of Maple Street in Barrie, the first work in the collection and an icon in the Barrie landscape
  • The SOVFOTO ARCHIVE, a specialized collection of 23,116 vintage Soviet press photographs dating from 1936 to 1957 and representing the history of the former Soviet Union
  • Over 2000 works on paper by Canadian artist Michael Forster from the late 1940s until the early 1990s
  • 51 drawings and illustrations by Canadian artist Bertram Brooker primarily from the 1930s
  • Numerous paintings and works on paper from the 1960s to the present day by contemporary Canadian artists such as Tim Zuck, Walter Bachinski, Will Gorlitz, David Craven, Renee Van Halm, Allan MacKay, John Hartman, Tony Scherman, Ron Martin, William Ronald, Carl Beam, John Gould, Paul Fournier, Erik Gamble, Shirley Wiitasalo, Greg Murphy, Ted Fullerton, Harold Klunder, Stephen Hutchings, Takao Tanabe, Tom LaPierre, James Lahey, Cathy Daley, Jack Chambers, Jack Bush, Diana Dean, Tom Hodgson, Joyce Wieland, Brian Burnett, Frederick Hagan, Ric Evans, Jaan Poldaas, Robert Houle, Janet Jones, Leopold Plotek and Henri Robideau.
  • A growing collection of sculpture by artists Peter von Tiesenhausen, Clarissa Inglis, Marlene Hilton-Moore, Richard E. Prince, Ted Bieler, Sorel Etrog, Duane Linklater and Robert Hengeveld.
  • An education outreach collection of prints by Woodland First Peoples artist Norval Morrisseau
  • Several watercolours by Lucius O'Brien
  • Photographic works by Japanese artist Akira Komoto
  • Works on paper exploring the environment by internationally recognized German artist Nils-Udo and American artist Alan Sonfist
  • A woodblock print by one-time Barrie resident Graham Scholes