Museum of Vancouver mulls moving into VAG building

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      The Museum of Vancouver’s CEO said her organization is interested in possibly relocating to the downtown Vancouver Art Gallery building, but other locations will also be considered.

      “So many people—and I thank them for their support—are keen to have us move into the VAG (Vancouver Art Gallery) building,” Nancy Noble told the Straight today (April 25). “And it’s not that we’re not very interested in that, but we really have to look at what the best options are for the museum in the long run.”

      Noble’s comments came the day after city council voted in support of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s plan to relocate to a city-owned site at West Georgia and Cambie. Gallery officials want to create a larger, purpose-built home as part of a $350-million plan.

      Noble said the Museum of Vancouver’s name has been coming up on social media in relation to the current gallery site, located in a former courthouse building on Robson Street.

      “We just kind of thought, ‘Wow, we better clarify what we’re doing,’” she said. “Really, it’s more about that—is that we need to clarify that, yes, we’re very interested in the current VAG building but it’s not the only location we’re interested in.”

      Noble said the museum has been considering a move for several years from its current home in a city-owned building in Vanier Park. She said the museum is now conducting a study of its space needs and potential locations it could relocate to.

      Noble said the goal is to find a downtown site that is closer to transit and other cultural institutions and more accessible for tourists. She acknowledged the art gallery building has appeal, noting it has been renovated to house a museum and is in a prime location.




      Apr 25, 2013 at 4:54pm

      During the Council meeting yesterday it was pretty clear that a new tenant for the present day VAG courthouse site won't be considered for years. If the $350million funding for a new Art Gallery is in place for 2015, then and only then will a possible move by MOV be examined. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves.


      Apr 25, 2013 at 7:20pm

      The Museum of Vancouver is an undiscovered gem which - unlike the Vancouver Art Gallery - actually deserves a new home.


      Apr 26, 2013 at 10:19am

      Forest, please elaborate on your statement that the VAG does not 'deserve' a new home.


      Apr 26, 2013 at 12:29pm

      I am happy to qualify my provocative statement. I find the programming at the VAG is more often mediocre than not, comprised of a series of populist blockbusters, interspersed with local talent (Vancouver conceptual photographers, ad nauseum). As a decades-long member of the VAG, I would like to see Vancouver's Art Gallery engage in more 'mature' exhibitions. I know that makes me sound like an awful snob, but can't we please have some Ad Reinhardt, or West Coast abstract expressionism or Prairie abstractionism or ? I realize that the VAG lacks the funding of other big-city art galleries (such as the Fisher and Anderson families' support of the SF MOMA) and yet the VAG has benefited greatly from the generosity of M. Audain and others. In effect, the programming under K. Bartells leaves me flat. And given the huge costs involved in creating a purpose-built gallery (yet another starchitect abomination ala Daniel Libeskind's ROM ?), and especially in these auster times, the justification is weak.


      Apr 26, 2013 at 11:43pm

      Just got back from Auckland, New Zealand where the local city museum is an absolute gem. I urge the Vancouver Museum curators to travel to Auckland to see what a local city museum can be. Moving into a neo-classical building downtown is a good first step. The Vancouver Museum as it is now is just not a very memorable experience.


      Apr 29, 2013 at 12:57pm

      Finally, I can make up my mind whether or not to support the Vancouver Art Gallery in its pursuit of a new building. 'Forest' doesn't like the programming, so there you have it, mind made up. The Vancouver Tourism Challenge is on right now Forest, anything else I should avoid? Thanks.