Collection Overview


Emily Carr, Windswept Trees (detail), 1930.

Legacy Art Galleries has a rich and varied art collection of approximately 18,000 objects. Legacy makes artworks accessible through exhibitions, campus and community displays, on-line records, and for research and teaching. Collection strengths include art of the Pacific Northwest, with a significant focus on contemporary Indigenous prints; Arts and Crafts decorative arts; and European, Asian, and Pre-Columbian works. Legacy’s database enables you to access the collection for your own interest and research, complete with images where copyright permits. Stay tuned as we launch our new improved database in 2019.

Explore our current online database, where our entire collection is accessible to view.

As a visitor to this site and our collection database, please note that the materials you access are provided for personal and/or scholarly use only. You are responsible for obtaining any copyright permissions that may be required for further uses of the material.

Contact Caroline Riedel if you have inquiries related to copyright or photography reproduction of collection materials.


The University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries manages the art collection amassed by UVic since its founding, including most significantly the Katharine and John Maltwood Bequest (1964), the Michael C. Williams Estate (2001) and other gifts and purchases received since that time. Under the guidance of its Art Collections Policy and with the generous support of donors, the staff and the Art Collection Committee aim to build upon existing strengths and develop collections to support Legacy’s mandate, which serves the goals set out in UVic’s Strategic Framework and engages widely with communities within the Pacific Northwest context.


Legacy has loaned artwork to a variety of community partners, where our collections are enjoyed by the public. Although this program is currently on hold, below are some examples of the locations where our collection can be found in the community.

Swan's Hotel & Brewpub

In 2001, UVic received an incredible gift from local benefactor Michael C. Williams, who left his collection of contemporary art as well as several properties to the university, including Swan's Hotel & Brewpub. The rooms of Swan’s are now adorned with pieces from Williams’ impressive collection of Pacific Northwest artists. Although situated in private rooms, these pieces are available for research and exhibition purposes upon request.

Until recently, Swan’s Pub housed many stunning pieces from the Williams Collection. Although these pieces have been removed as a result of recent renovations, the majority will soon be on public view once again on the UVic campus.

Government House

Government House is the home of British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor. The Government House Art Collection is supplemented by loans from Legacy's collections, including works by Myfanwy Pavelic, Joseph Plaskett, Robert Davidson, Donald Harvey and Susan Point. Public tours of Government House occur monthly.

Health Centres

Island Medical Program at Royal Jubilee Hospital

The Royal Jubilee Hospital features an installation of regional artwork in a variety of media featuring Donald Harvey, Gordon A. Smith and Doug Morton.

Access Health Centre

More than forty works of art from our collection are installed at the Access Health Centre in Victoria. Beginning in 2008, UVic Art History & Visual Studies students worked with Legacy and Cool-Aid staff over several years to install works at the health centre as well as mount three exhibitions at Legacy Gallery (Regarding Wealth, Connect the Blocks, On Communities and Nations). The project was an opportunity to develop the practice of participatory curation beyond the classroom or a traditional gallery space. Works installed include photographs by Courtney Milne and prints by artists from this region such as Art Thompson, Gordon A. Smith and Tom Hunt.

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