Fredericton’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery opened in 1959. It was the gift of Lord Beaverbrook (Sir William Maxwell Max Aitken, 1879-1964) to New Brunswick, the province, where he grew up and first prospered. I cannot think of a comparable gift of this type in Canada. On opening day, he had not only paid for the land and the building, but had filled it with three hundred and twenty-three first class works of art. In addition to his own collection, he also convinced rich and powerful friends, in particular fellow New Brunswicker Sir James Dunn, to donate important pieces to the gallery before it opened. Since then the collection has grown to over two thousand works that include a second gift of paintings from Lord Beaverbrook.
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