Kitchener-Waterloo

Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery seeks founders from 60 years ago

The Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery is turning 60 in January and wants to throw a party for its founding members; unfortunately, there's a problem with the guest list.

Gallery hopes to honour 10 men and women with a founders dinner

The Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery is turning 60 in January and wants to throw a party for its founding members.

But there's a problem with the guest list. 

Executive Director Shirley Madill has pored over the early minutes and has identified 10 men and women as the gallery's founders, but each individual is mentioned by last name only. 

So she is asking the community to help identify the remaining members. Their names are:

  • Mrs. W. H. Sims.
  • Mrs. R. Ashton.
  • Mrs. A. M. Shaw.
  • Mr. D.M.C Shaw.
  • Dr. D. W. Whaley.
  • Mr. W. W. Foot.
  • Mr. J. Schlachter.
  • Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Magee.

"At this point, the only names that are familiar to us are Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Eastman, because Elizabeth Eastman's works are in our collection," Madill says. 

Madill says the founders had big ideas for their small-town gallery, wanting to rival the likes of the Art Gallery of Toronto and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. 

KWAG Executive Director Shirley Madill is hoping to find the 10 founding members of the art gallery in time for the gallery's 60th anniversary. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)
 "They were innovative and they were visionaries, but they were also fearless," she says, adding that the gallery would not exist as it does today without their foresight. 

"They were going to do this and it didn't appear in the minutes at all that there was anything that was going to hold them back."

Madill wants to honour these men and women with a founders dinner in early 2016, to kick of the gallery's 60th anniversary. 

Anyone who recognizes one of the names above is encouraged to contact Madill at smadill@kwag.on.ca, Judith Stephens-Wells at judysw@rogers.com, or Kris Schumacher at m.schumacher@sympatico.ca.   

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