Retro Vibe + Fantastic Art = a fun opening

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Curator David Aurandt of the RiverBrink Art Museum in Queenston is pleased to have the only known portrait of Major General Sir Isaac Brock at the museum for an 1812 exhibit. Photo by Penny Coles of the Niagara Advance

Last week I had the chance to visit one of the many Niagara Region attractions I’ve been dying to get to ever since I started working at the Niagara Historical Society and Museum.

Imagine this – you’re a wealthy lawyer who loves Canadian art and history. You want to retire to a beautiful location and hope that someday your extensive collection can be exhibited to the public; so you build a beautiful home and when you die you leave it and all of your collection to a foundation. Also you have your remains buried in the front lawn . . . a little bit eccentric to be sure, but don’t let that throw you off!

The Riverbrink Art Museum is a fantastic stop for art and history lovers. Housed a quintessentially 1970s house (ie hardwood everywhere except for the turquoise bathroom) the museum/gallery space has an exceptional collection of Canadian art and its current exhibit Riverbrink’s War of 1812 features the Gerrit Schipper “Portrait of Isaac Brock” c. 1806 on loan from the Guernsey Museum and Gallery, while certainly the most famous piece on display I would say it is only a small taste (literally- the picture is only a few inches square) of the fantastic collection on display.

For book lovers the Museum has an amazing collection including the Jesuit Relations and a full set of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

The museum is a fun stop along the way in Niagara and a really interesting building that could almost be a living history site of the 1970s if it wasn’t an art gallery!

Important note: Photos are not allowed inside the gallery, the museum is Open May to October from 10-5.

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