Charles Bronfman’s Claridge Collection Auction

By: Duncan McLean

Collection

Sale of the Claridge Collection Benefits Historica Canada

Probably the most distinctive corporate collection of Canadian art and design, the Claridge Collection was the passion of Charles Bronfman and his late wife Andrea, whose vision was to fill the office space of Claridge Inc. in Montreal with new Canadian art and crafts.

The collection was an eclectic mixture of fun and colourful, the best and the brightest; but not always the best known. For every work by a ‘name’ – which included paintings by Toni Onley, Allen Sapp, David Bolduc and Denyse Thomasos; photographs from Edward Burtynsky and George Zimbel; ceramics by Vic Cicansky, Robin Hopper, Greg Payce and Walter Ostrom – the collection included works by artists with little or no wide recognition in Canada.

Visionary and almost egalitarian, the collection was a true representation of what was being produced by artists and craftsmen from across the country at that time. We can only imagine how much fun the approval process was, as the Bronfmans gave every piece presented to them by curator Franklin Silverstone for their consideration their personal yay or nay.

We applaud Mr. Bronfman’s decision to direct the proceeds of the sale of the Collection to benefit Historica Canada (formerly the Historica Dominion Institute), for which Mr. Bronfman has been a long-time patron. And we admire that Mr. Bronfman’s son Stephen, current executive chair of Claridge, is creating a new Claridge Collection, representing today’s Canadian artists, both stars and emerging stars.

Stephen Ranger was quoted in the Globe and Mail in November 2013 just prior to the first auction saying, “The outgoing Claridge Collection is distinguished by ‘superb taste and respect for artists.” Just prior to these final auctions in April 2015, we are proud to say that it has been an honour and privilege to conduct the Claridge Collection auctions on behalf of the Bronfman family.

Part V: Decorative Arts at 1:00 pm
View the Auction Gallery
Download the Catalogue PDF

Part VI: Fine Art at 7:00 pm
View the Auction Gallery
Download the Catalogue PDF

Artist Biographies
View the Artist Biographies Catalogue (PDF)


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