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Ron Thom & The Allied Arts

Thu Feb 13 to Apr 27, 2014, All Day

Ron Thom was one of Canada’s greatest architects, with enduring testaments to his genius, such as Massey College and Trent University, still among the country’s most admired buildings. But Ron Thom, like Frank Lloyd Wright and other architects of his generation, believed in creating not just a building for a client, but a whole world—from the landscaping to the interiors, and the furniture to the ceramics. This exhibition explores Ron Thom’s brilliant architecture in the context of his total aesthetic. Ron Thom and the Allied Arts is a travelling exhibition organized by the West Vancouver Museum in collaboration with Trent University and Massey College.

“Few architects have helped shape Canadian architecture as poetically as Ron Thom. From his early days as a west coast artist to his crowning achievements designing Massey College and Trent University, Ron Thom devoted himself to a profoundly holistic approach, wherein the fields of architecture, ceramics, visual arts, furniture and landscape formed a continuum. He was a fan of the Mingei folk craft movement, wherein potters and other artisans opting out of the industrial age found a higher beauty in the hand-made. Of this architect’s long and illustrious career, Ron Thom and the Allied Arts celebrates the most creatively fertile period, 1947 – 1972, with a focus on five west coast houses, Massey College, Trent University, and the ceramic and other arts that inform them. On display will be a selection of Ron Thom’s original paintings, prototypes for furniture and fittings, architectural drawings and sketches, archival and architectural photography, the original hand-rendered 1960 Massey College presentation boards, and the ceramics he commissioned as an integral component of it all. ”

– Adele Weder, Curator

Exhibition Programs & Events

Tuesday February 11, 7 – 8 pm
Ron Thom and His Legacy

Moderator: Adele Weder
Panelists: Shawn Micallef, Larry Richards, and Brigitte Shim

Thursday February 27, 12 – 1:30 pm
Lunch + Learn: The Changing Face of Modernism in Toronto
Speaker: Shawn Micallef

Tuesday March 25, 6:30 – 8 pm
Canadian Modern: The Allied Arts in Canada
Speaker: Dr. Sandra Alfoldy

Friday March 28, 6 – 10 pm
Mod Mad Party: A Bash Inspired by the Era of Mad Men

Thursday April 10, 6:30 – 8 pm
Digitizing Contemporary Ceramics
Speaker: Ezra Shales

Wednesday April 23, 6:30 – 8 pm
Moxy, Monumentality and Ceramic Murals
Speaker: Susan Surette