John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, better known by the title, Marquess of Lorne was the one who as governor general of Canada founded both the National Gallery of Canada and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
In inception, the gallery had few occasional gift-arts but was more a collection of the diploma works of academicians. In 1913, with the adoption by Parliament of an Act to incorporate the gallery, and the appointment of a board of trustees, it then had a semblance of other national galleries throughout the British Empire.
Located in Ottawa, the gallery has the most distinguished collection of Canadian and European paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and the decorative arts in the country. The gallery in 1907 began to buy European art from the end of the Middle Ages to the present age. Some of the important works that were bought include paintings by Piero di Cosimo, Bronzino, Canaletto, Monet and Degas.
By 1914 the gallery was sending exhibitions and making extended loans to other museums across Canada. Recently the gallery has sponsored Canadian art abroad through the Venice Biennale and other exhibitions in Tel Aviv and Beijing.
In 1968 the gallery was incorporated as part of the national museums of Canada, and in 1990 it became a crown corporation. In 1982, after more than a century in borrowed space, the Canada Museums Construction Corporation was established to provide the gallery with its own office, which was opened in May 1988.
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