Mira Godard dies

Art dealer Mira Godard dies

Mira Godard, one of Toronto's most prominent art dealers, has died at age 82. We don't often write obituaries on blogTO - and I don't really know enough about Godard do her justice - but given that she was a cultural pioneer and a key player in the growth of Toronto arts community, I think her passing deserves mention on these pages.

Pasted below is a brief obituary from Johanna Robinson, Executive Director of the Art Dealers Association of Canada:

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mira Godard.

Born in Bucharest, Romania, Mira Godard studied Art History at the Ecole du Louvre and Physics and Math at the Sorbonne University. She continued her studies in Canada, acquiring a B.Sc. from Concordia University in 1954 and an M.B.A. from McGill University in 1960. In 1959 she purchased the Agnes Lefort Gallery, which at the time, was the gallery of standing for avant-garde artists, such as Paul-Emile Borduas. In 1962 she opened the Mira Godard Gallery and paved the way for Yorkville to be the hub for Canada's most respected commercial art galleries. She yet again opened a gallery in Calgary in the late 1980s, which played an important role in bringing contemporary art to the West.

Her contribution to creating an art scene and art market in Canada cannot be understated. The Mira Godard Gallery has shown some of Canada's most important artists - Alex Colville, Christopher and Mary Pratt, David Milne, the Estate of Lawren Harris, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Joe Fafard, to name a few. She brought groundbreaking International exhibitions, including an important show of late Picasso paintings, and her brief relationship with the famed Marlborough Galleries made great Modern art available to Canadian collectors. She leaves behind a legacy that will be continued under the direction of Gisella Giacalone.

Among her many pioneering contributions was the creation of the Art Dealers Association of Canada. A founding member of PADAC, she was the Association's first President in 1967. This year she finally agreed to accept the Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, having refused to accept it before, feeling her life's work was not done. The Art Dealers Association of Canada will proceed with the award at the Annual General Meeting in November with great regret and sadness. We honour her memory and contribution, which is incalculable in the development of Canada's contemporary art market.

Born in 1928, she died on September 20, 2010 in Toronto.

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Lead image from p|m Gallery's website


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