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Jeanne Parkin

Jeanne Parkin is a proponent of public Canadian art. In 2006, the City of Toronto awarded Parkin with a Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating her decades-long contributions to the visual arts scene of Toronto.

A portrait illustration of Jeanne Parkin.

Art & Collections Specialist and Curator
Born in 1922

After completing a Masters in Art History at Harvard University, Jeanne Parkin began her career as Head of Circulating Exhibitions and Adult Education at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) in 1947. At the gallery, she would join the Women’s Committee, an all women’s volunteer group that worked tirelessly to fundraise and help the gallery build a significant collection of art works. Parkin’s career would lead her to working on large scale public art projects around the city, like Art in the Subway in 1974.

Eventually Parkin established her own company, Jeanne Parkin Arts Management Ltd., where she aided private corporations and institutions in building their own art collections and launching arts-based initiatives.

Explore more women who transformed Toronto.

Further Resources
Read this interview with Parkin by the AGO
Jeanne Parkin wrote a book titled Art in Architecture: Art for the built environment in the province of Ontario (1982). It still makes the reading lists of many Canadian universities’ Architecture courses. Check it out at the Toronto Public Library.
Explore the Art Canada Institute’s in-depth biography.
Listen to the Art Canada Institute’s podcast episode on Jeanne Parkin.
Read about the groundbreaking Plastics exhibition that Jeanne worked on, as chronicled by the University of Toronto.
Read about the Art in the Subway movement that Jeanne Parkin was a part of, as chronicled by Spacing Toronto.
Learn more about the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Women’s Committee here.

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