John Kim Bell Featured as Guest Speaker of The Curators’ Circle at The Art Gallery of Ontario

by NationTalk on September 20, 20072510 Views

September 18, 2007-Toronto

John Kim Bell, President of Bell & Bernard Limited, was the featured guest presenter last evening in the Hal Jackman Theatre at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on the historical Dundas Collection. Speaking to a full house, Mr. Bell outlined the history of the Tsimshian people in dialogue with Dr. Gerald McMaster.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my public conversation on the Tsimshian Treasures with John Kim last evening. The wonderful words that flowed from many of those in attendance indicate a success,” said Gerald McMaster, Ph.D., Curator of Canadian Art at the AGO. “ The turnout was greater than I imagined, which signals to me that we’re on the verge of exciting people about the future of a transformed AGO.”Born in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, John Kim Bell, is an internationally recognized conductor, producer, composer, and philanthropist. Of particular note was Mr. Bell’s recent production of the documentary film Lost Treasures of the Northwest Coast which tells the story and repatriation of The Dundas Collection.

The Dundas Collection is among the most important collections of North American First Nations art in existence, which was auctioned by Sotheby’s in October of 2006 for more than $7 million. Originally acquired by Rev. Robert James Dundas, a missionary working in British Columbia, this collection of Tsimshian First Nations art has been absent from Canada since 1863. Several Canadian individuals and institutions, intent on returning the work to Canada, purchased the majority of the collection.

David Thomson, son of the late Lord Thomson, purchased several items of the collection to ensure they remained in Canada and attended the evening reception.

Mr. Bell stated that the function of his documentary is to record this unprecedented moment in Canadian history and to build awareness within the Aboriginal community about the importance and value of The Dundas Collection.

Mr. Bell’s documentary will air on December 29, 2007 on the Aboriginal People’s Television Network.

The exhibition features 39 First Nations objects from the 18th and 19th centuries ranging from everyday items such as spoons and bowls to ceremonial and decorative works. Highlights of the exhibition include two wooden ceremonial masks, two clubs carved from antler and a clan hat.
Treasures of the Tsimshian from The Dundas Collection exhibition runs from July 18th until October 7th at the AGO.


For further information about John Kim Bell, please contact Trina Moyan, Director of Communications for Bell & Bernard Limited at 519-445-1222 or

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