The MacKenzie Art Gallery permanent collection began with the bequest of Regina collector Norman Mackenzie in 1936.
Between 1912 - 1936 he amassed an impressive collection of paintings and drawings of the Italian Renaissance, antiquities of Asia and the Middle East, and works by contemporary artists of his day, including James Henderson and Inglis Sheldon-Williams. MacKenzie's was the first art collection of note in Saskatchewan. Since then, the Gallery has acquired new works of relevance and value to the people of Saskatchewan. Many of the pieces have been donated by private collectors and prominent artists, others are purchased with acquisition funds raised in the community or from various government programs.
Today the collection includes more than 4,000 artworks including Canadian historical and contemporary works. Our collection of 19th and 20th century European works on paper is regarded as one of Western Canada’s finest. In recent years, photography, folk art and work by Aboriginal artists have also been a focus of our collecting. The permanent collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery is held in trust, leaving a legacy of art for the people of Saskatchewan.
The MacKenzie Art Gallery’s mission is to serve our community by exhibiting, collecting, preserving and interpreting original works of art. As a public art gallery, we do not sell the works in our collection nor do we offer appraisal services to private collectors.
The preservation of the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s collection for future generations is an important part of the Gallery’s mandate. To do this, our Conservator works to minimize all causes of deterioration or damage during storage and display. Controlling light, heat, relative humidity and handling is essential for conservation. We occasionally assist with conservation and restoration for other public and private collections. Find out more about the MacKenzie Art Gallery conservation services.
I volunteer because I want to give to the community and often have a smile on my face when leaving a Travelling Art Program class. The kids come up with insightful comments and are keenly observant. I recall the student who said nothing during the class discussion but watched intently. At the end, I asked the group "If you could take one of these paintings home to keep in your bedroom, which one would it be and why?" He said he would take the the painting of large, gray rocks from the North because it was calming and he wouldn't feel so lonely. - Audrey Henderson, MacKenzie Volunteer for 2 years