The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia collects, preserves, and exhibits visual arts for the benefit of residents and visitors to Nova Scotia. Over 18,000 works are currently in the Permanent and Study Collections. New works are added by donation, bequest, and purchase.

Collection Priorities

The Gallery's collection focuses on works by:

  • Visual artists with strong ties to Nova Scotia, such as Maud Lewis
  • Visual artists with strong ties to the Atlantic Provinces
  • Canadian artists, both historical and contemporary
  • International visual artists that complement the Permanent Collection

Using the Collection

You can search the full collection database online using Argus. Images of works can be requested for personal or professional use. Research visits are also welcome.

Rights & Reproductions

By Canadian law, copyright for a work of art belongs to the artist, their designate, or their estate during the lifetime of the artist plus 50 years. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia holds the copyright for several artist’s estates—including Maud Lewis—as well as specific permissions for works in the Permanent Collection.

To use an image:

If the copyright for a work belongs to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, both image fees and reproduction fees apply. If a work is in the public domain (the copyright has expired) or the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia does not hold copyright, only an image fee is applied.

The Gallery will provide contact information for the copyright holder if available but it is the responsibility of the applicant to acquire permissions to use the image(s) provided.