Creating Con[text] activates works of art in the University of Victoria’s Michael Williams Bequest Collection through the oral history research of Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer and her graduate students. Over the course of a number of years Dr. Butler Palmer and her students have gathered an extensive array of interviews with people associated with the late downtown businessman and art supporter Michael Collard Williams and the artists he collected. Featuring paintings by Angela Grossman, Jack Shadbolt and Emily Carr, eminent British Columbia painters whose careers span more than a century into present day, the exhibition allows the stories of artists, dealers, collectors, and viewers to infuse the works of art with more deeply understood meaning.
Curated by Professor Martin Segger and Caroline Riedel
In conjunction with UVic’s 50th anniversary this exhibition, guest curated by former director Martin Segger, celebrates more than five decades of art at the University of Victoria.
The three founding components that underpin today’s University of Victoria Art Collection mark the stages in the institutional establishment of he University itself. The formal development of the Victoria College Art Collection was prompted by the amalgamation of the Victoria Normal School of Victoria College at the Lansdowne campus in 196. The commissioning of public art to enhance new buildings essentially began with construction on the Gordon Head Campus in 1961. The death of Katherine Emma Maltwood in 1961, just two years before issue of the University of Victoria’s letter patent, prompted her husband John to act on her wishes quickly and the Maltwood Art Gallery at Royal Oak passed into the hands of the University in 1964. Each initiative was to determine in its own way the future development of the University’s now 27,000 item art collection. – Martin Segger (Director and Curator 1973-2011)
Michael’s World was the inaugural exhibition at the Legacy Art Gallery and Cafe. It showcases a number of works by studio artists, many of whom received support from Michael C. Williams in the early days of Old Town Victoria’s artistic revival. From the 1970s to the 1990s, more than 100 artists and craftspeople were situated in downtown studio space and constituted the core of this revival.
The gallery program will be based around Williams’ collection of over 1,000 paintings, drawings and sculptures by some of the most renowned artists of the Pacific Northwest. Williams passed away in November 2000, leaving his estate to UVIc. His generosity made the Legacy Art Gallery possible.
The exhibition introduced in this catalogue provides a fascinating first glimpse of the extensive art collection bequeathed to the University of Victoria by the late Michael Collard Williams, and gives us an insight into the tastes and interests of that discerning collector.
Michael Williams Legacy in Vancouver:
Selected works from the vast Michael Williams collection of West Coast art on display at the Pendulum Gallery (HSBC Building) in Vancouver from March 8-19, 2004. Hosted by the UVic Alumni Association Vancouver Branch, in conjunction with the UVic Co-operative Education Program and the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery.
Visit the archived website for the Vancouver showing of The Williams Legacyhere
Six magnificent pieces of art representing the collaborative work of Northwest Coast artists. The ceremonial furnishings were a gift from Michael C. Williams. This website was created in conjunction with the University of Victoria’s centennial celebrations and the Michael Williams Legacy Exhibit, August 25 – October 10, 2003.