With a history dating to 1908, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia acts as a
gateway for the visual arts in Atlantic Canada by bringing the art of
the world to Nova Scotia and the art of Nova Scotia to the world. It is
committed to this mission as an agency of the Province of Nova Scotia
and one of the premier arts institutions in Canada. The Gallery is
responsible for acquiring, preserving and exhibiting works of art, and
for providing education in the visual arts.
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is an agency of the Province of Nova
Scotia for the acquisition, preservation and exhibition of works of
art. As such, its mission is “to bring the art of the world to Nova
Scotia and the art of Nova Scotia to the world. This will be achieved
by providing leadership in the development and preservation of quality
collections, exhibitions, and education and public programs.” The
Gallery’s goal is to develop a collection, exhibition program, and
public program which brings both Nova Scotians and visitors in contact
with contemporary and historic art associated with the province, as
well as with art from across the region, the country and from other
countries and cultures.
The Gallery’s two venues make up approximately 90,000 square feet of
space which houses the permanent collection of over 14,000 pieces. In
addition, AGNS brings in many Nova Scotian, national and international
exhibitions every year, which contributes to the paintings, sculptures,
drawings, prints, photographs, ceramics and other works that can be
found on display.
This handsome building at 341 Main Street was constructed in 1912-1913
as the Royal Bank of Canada's Yarmouth branch (1913 to 1979). It is a
two storey late Victorian Commercial style building with a granite and
sandstone facade. On the west and the south sides it has large
segmental arched bays with Corinthian keystone trim, pilasters with
Corinthian capitals and is topped by a classic cornice with dental
From 1979-1997, this building in which the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Western Branch - Yarmouth now stands was occupied by a variety of small businesses. In 1997, this space was purchased by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to house the Western Branch - Yarmouth, which officially
opened its doors on May 28, 2006, as the first satellite gallery of any
provincial art gallery in Canada. The interior had to be entirely
renovated and a wooden addition built at the back of the original structure, which now houses the Main Gallery as well as individual galleries
for contemporary art, historic art, folk art, works on paper and
ceramics that are brought in from the Permanent Collection of the AGNS.
In its present use as part of the AGNS this fine building continues as a Yarmouth, N.S. Landmark.