Sculpture Saturday – Taking in Art at the AGO Before the Lockdown

last Tuesday, Brendan, Sevin and I decided to go to the AGO

When I booked the tickets I knew that Tuesday would be the last day before another lockdown here in Ontario. Frankly I was quite surprised at how many people had the same idea, especially since it was a Tuesday and many people were back to work, mostly remotely, but none the less there was a bit of a line-up to get in even with timed tickets.

I really wanted to see Picasso’s Blue Period but Sevin was not really into this show so we walked through quickly. Hopefully I can go back when the lockdown is lifted.


One of my favourite areas of the AGO is the Galleria Italia with its floor to ceiling windows and beautiful wooden arched beams. I thought Sevin would enjoy this more and of course she found a seat to sit in right away. Since COVID the cafe in the galleria is closed and the tables have been removed. In its place a number of bronze sculptures are prominently displayed.

Sunbird II by Soral Etrog, 1962
Andrieu D’Andres by Auguste Rodin, 1888-89
Eustache de Saint-Pierre by Auguste Rodin, 1887
Fisher-boy Dancing the Tarantella by Francisique-Joseph Duret, 1883

Busy, Busy, Busy…..

….the month of November has been incredibly busy but very enjoyable for the most part

It seems that the number of cultural events that I get to experience are few and far between but lately I’ve been going to quite a few shows. As they say ‘when it rains it pours’.

The month started off, sadly with my aunt’s death and her memorial gathering six days later. On a hIMG_3284appier note my daughter celebrated her birthday and  my son came home for a short visit from London all in the same week. I also attended a show called Between the Pages with a group of friends where we were treated to readings from the top five books that were short listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. All the authors were there and we listened to them answer questions that were given to them by the evening’s host, Carol Off.IMG_3275

In the following week we celebrated Remembrance Day at school on the 11th. It is always a big deal at our school and the children and staff prepared a very moving and memorable assembly for the community. IMG_3297Two days later I attended an afternoon concert at the Edward Johnson building where the Dover String Quartet played to a full house. They were the winners of last year’s Banff Springs String Quartet competition. It was an amazing concert and received rave reviews from two newspaper critics. The concert was sponsored and hosted by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto.

A week later on the 20th, my husband and I saw the show, The Book of Mormon at the Princess of Wales Theatre. It was a very funny show. Just what the doctor ordered. We needed a good laugh after getting the news that my husband will need another surgery to remove the other half of his thyroid. They discovered that the nodules were cancerous. Apparently cancer of the thyroid is very slow growing and as his doctor put it, it’s not the illness that he’ll die from. None the less, the news was discouraging and the play helped alleviate some of his despair.

Two days later, our good friends, D and D called us and invited us to brunch at the restaurant, Frank, at the AGO. The art gallery was featuring works from Michelangelo and Rodin so after our meal we decided to take in the show. I have to admit that I found the Michelangelo pieces somewhat underwhelming. Many of the works were very small and people moved into the the pieces way too closely for my liking but I can understand why.

The Rodin pieces on the other hand were all sculptural and much larger. I enjoyed seeing the sculpture, The Thinker, up close and personal. It was also interesting to see how large Rodin made the extremities of his figures. The hands and feet of many pieces were massive. IMG_3410 IMG_3409 IMG_3408 IMG_3405

On the 25th I received a phone call from my friend L and she informed me that our friend, C  had put her back out and couldn’t use her tickets for the ballet the next day. She offered them to us and so the next day we headed downtown, had dinner together and then went to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts to see the ballet, Nijinsky. It was an incredible performance. I was mesmerized by the slow motion action going on in the background and the shear physicality of the lead dancer’s movements. How that man isn’t black and blue all over is beyond me.

Finally on Friday, November 28th we were guests of our friends D and D at the University of Toronto production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, It was charming and fun to watch.

As I said earlier ‘ when it rains, it pours’. So much to see and do. I’m exhausted just writing about it. Now that we’re into December I’m sure things will not slow down but for different reasons. November was truly a month for the arts.