Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada acquires Ron Mueck’s "A Girl"

Ottawa - November 13, 2007

Two art lovers make an extraordinary gift to the National Gallery of Canada Foundation to support the acquisition of the sculpture

The National Gallery of Canada and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation are extremely proud to announce an extraordinary gift of over $500,000 by Ottawa residents F. Harvey Benoit and Dr. Lynne Freiburger-Benoit. This donation supports the purchase of A Girl, a spectacular sculpture by internationally acclaimed hyper-realist artist Ron Mueck. A Girl was one of sixteen sculptures included in the Ron Mueck exhibition presented by the National Gallery of Canada Foundation in the spring of 2007. The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery in collaboration with the Paris-based Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain.

Both avid art lovers and collectors, Mr. Benoit and Dr. Freiburger-Benoit were so taken by the exhibition, and by this work in particular, that they decided to assist the Foundation and the Gallery in its purchase. “We were intensely moved by the exhibition on a visual and an emotional level and amazed by people’s response to the works on display. And, as parents, we viscerally connected with A Girl. We simply want to give others the opportunity to feel and share the emotions this amazing sculpture provokes," said Mr. Benoit. “We feel honored to assist the Gallery, for which we both have such deep respect and affection, in making A Girl accessible to generations to come. Our hope is that we are making a contribution not only to art, but also to a more humane world in which people are brought together by their common experiences, if for only a moment," added Dr. Freiburger-Benoit.
The Gallery and the Foundation are thrilled with the gift.  “Ron Mueck is an extremely important and remarkably singular contemporary artist,” said Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada. “His works remind us that the depths of the human condition can be powerfully evoked in art through materials formed in our likeness but not exactly like us.  A Girl is a perfect case in point. It asserts a primeval presence that is entirely human in its vulnerability while its scale makes the natural phenomenon of birth surreal. We are delighted and proud to add A Girl to our collection of Mr. Mueck’s works and wish to thank Mr. Benoit and Dr. Freiburger-Benoit most sincerely for their wonderful generosity.”

“This is a truly extraordinary gift—the largest individual donation the Foundation has ever received towards the purchase of a work of art—and we are deeply grateful to Mr. Benoit and Dr. Freiburger-Benoit,” said Marie Claire Morin, President and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.

With the addition of A Girl, the National Gallery now owns three of the thirty-three sculptures Mr. Mueck has created to date, as well as a number of his maquettes and preparatory materials. The other two sculptures already owned by the Gallery are Head of a Baby (2003) and Untitled (Old Woman in Bed, 2000).

A Girl is now on public view at the National Gallery of Canada in Contemporary Gallery B105.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada mandate is to develop, maintain, and make known, throughout Canada and internationally, a collection of works of art, both historic and contemporary, and to further knowledge, understanding, and enjoyment of art in general among Canadians. To find out more about the NGC, visit http://www.gallery.ca/.

About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to supporting the National Gallery and its affiliate, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, in fulfilling their mandates. By fostering strong partnerships, the Foundation provides the Gallery with the additional financial support required to lead Canada's visual arts community locally, nationally and internationally. The blend of public support and private philanthropy enables the National Gallery of Canada to preserve and interpret Canada's visual arts heritage. The Foundation welcomes immediate and deferred gifts for special projects and endowments.


For more information, please contact:

The National Gallery of Canada
Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer

Scott Patterson
Chief, Marketing and Communications

The National Gallery of Canada Foundation
Lyse Teasdale
Chief, Communications and Stewardship