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

$1.5M Joy Thomson Fund to help NGC

Ottawa, Canada - April 21, 2004

Le Fonds Joy Thomson de 1,5 millions $ aidera le MBAC

The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is proud to announce the creation of a $1.5 million endowment fund in honour of Mary Joy Thomson, philanthropist, artist and visionary, who died in 1996. As Ms Thomson encouraged emerging artists, this fund will be used specifically to acquire works by Canadian artists aged 40 years and under. This represents a unique opportunity for the National Gallery of Canada to enhance its collection of Canadian contemporary art.

For decades, Joy Thomson nourished the talent of many Canadian artists involved in the visual arts and the theatre. According to former Globe and Mail theatre critic Herbert Whittaker, she was “eccentric and dynamic, so talented in many different ways.” Actor Christopher Plummer, a onetime student of Ms Thomson when she was a mime specialist in New York, once proclaimed that she was “the only true eccentric” he knew. 

“This fund will perpetuate Joy’s visionary spirit by giving young Canadian artists more visibility,” said Peter N. Thomson, who is Ms Thomson’s brother. “Her support of Canadian artists will endure for many years thanks to this initiative.”

“This remarkable and generous gift truly reflects Ms Thomson’s dedication to young Canadian artists,” says Marie Claire Morin, President and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. “We are deeply grateful for this endowment, the single largest contribution to the Foundation to date, because it will provide an ongoing source of acquisition funding.”

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Anouk Hoedeman
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
tel. (613) 990-6835
fax (613) 990-9824