Matthew Teitelbaum, Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO
Matthew Teitelbaum, the Art Gallery of Ontario's Michael and Sonja Koerner director, and CEO, joined the AGO in 1993 as chief curator and was appointed director in 1998. Born in Toronto in 1956, he is the son of Ethel Teitelbaum and the late painter Mashel Teitelbaum, and holds an honours bachelor of arts in Canadian history from Carleton University, a master of philosophy in modern European painting and sculpture from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen's University. He has taught at Harvard, York University and the University of Western Ontario, and has lectured across North America.
Prior to joining the AGO, Mr. Teitelbaum held curatorial positions with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon and the London Regional Art Gallery. In 2006, Mr. Teitelbaum received the honour of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his ongoing commitment and contributions to the arts.
During his tenure at the AGO, its permanent collection has experienced significant growth and its research capabilities have been strengthened. Since 1993, the AGO has acquired nearly 60,000 works, including the renowned Thomson collection of Canadian historical art, European works of art (small scale devotional sculpture, medieval and gothic ivories, and boxwood carving chief among them) and historical ship models, the Murray Frum collection of African art, the Gotlieb collection of prints by James Tissot and Andre Masson, significant collections of photography, and individual works by artists as diverse as Gerhardt Richter, Oliafor Eliason, Doris Salcedo, Mike Kelly, Mona Hatoum, and Rodney Graham - as well as historical works by Cézanne, Leger, Bonnard, van Gogh and Denis, and sculpture by Giovanni Bernini.
Under his leadership, the AGO has become the central repository of works by such contemporary artists as Betty Goodwin, Paterson Ewen, Kazao Nakamura, Jack Chambers, David Blackwood and Greg Curnoe, reinforcing the AGO's position as a passionate advocate for Canadian art. In 2001, Mr. Teitelbaum created the first permanent archival position in a Canadian art museum, positioning the Gallery as a leader in research and study of the lives, contributions and working methods of artists.
Mr. Teitelbaum's vision for the Art Gallery of Ontario is that it become "the imaginative centre of our city and province, reflecting our diverse and dynamic setting." While working to enhance the AGO's international profile as a leading cultural destination and innovative partner in the celebration of art, he has sought news ways to connect the art of our times to daily life and contemporary issues.
Begun in 2002 and completed in November of 2008, the $276-million transformation of the AGO was realized by the Toronto-born architect of the world, Frank Gehry. Building on the generous gift of the late Ken Thomson's unparalleled collection of Canadian and European art, Transformation AGO increased the viewing space for art by 47 per cent, added more than 3,000 works to the Gallery's permanent collection, and dramatically changed the gallery spaces within the existing beaux arts building.
In addition to cornerstone donations from the Thomson family, Transformation AGO was fortunate to secure the support of more than 45 donors of $1 million or more, in excess of 3,000 gifts from AGO members and the larger community and the vital support of both the provincial and federal governments.
Mr. Teitelbaum is a past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and is chair of its nominating and governance committee. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Susan Cohen, and two sons.