Research on the Collection takes many forms – cataloguing, documentation, the development of exhibitions, and the publishing of brochures and books. We undertake ongoing research that informs and contextualizes our Collection, as do guest-curators, visiting researchers, academics, students, and others. Artworks from the Collection are loaned to other galleries and museums for exhibition and curatorial research. Young visitors are given “researcher status” as they explore the collection in the vault and Conservation Lab and publish the results of their findings. And artists undertake research on the Collection as part of their own artistic practice.

In the development of our Collection, the selection process is also one of ongoing research and debate. This form of discourse and discussion has been aptly described by Calgary artist Mary Scott as a dialogue among the artworks themselves, as they “yammer away amongst other works in your collection when resting in the stacks with kin. Works sure enjoy being in and amongst eh, finding commonalities with neighbors, yelling and screaming over this issue or that, trouncing out of the room when miffed, hucking cream pies for effect and emphasis in a debate of one kind or other”.

An adult looks at a photograph of a group of people through a magnifying glass. The sepia photograph’s glossy surface is creased. Behind the photograph, there is a table with framed paintings resting on green and black quilted fabric.