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Tickets for Michelangelo: Quest for Genius at the AGO go on sale Sept. 26

Exhibition of exceedingly rare works on paper features 3D animations that bring the Renaissance master’s unfinished projects to life

TORONTO — Arriving this October direct from Italy, the AGO’s upcoming special exhibition Michelangelo: Quest for Genius will give Toronto its first glimpse of more than 25 drawings by the Renaissance sculptor, painter, poet and architect Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti (b. 1475). Opening on Oct. 18, 2014, and remaining on view until Jan. 11, 2015, the exhibition presents sketches from the esteemed collection of the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, Italy. Highlighting many of Michelangelo’s great unfinished projects, it tells the story of his lifelong quest for artistic perfection and the struggles and triumphs that accompanied him on his path. Tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition go on sale Sept. 26, 2014.

Regular-priced tickets range from $16.50 for students to $25 for adults. Admission is FREE for AGO members and for children ages five and under. Members will also have access to an exclusive preview before the exhibition opens to the public. More information on the benefits of AGO membership can be found at

Michelangelo: Quest for Genius tickets will also be available in a special combo package with the AGO’s acclaimed summer blockbuster exhibition Alex Colville, which features more than 100 works by the late Canadian icon. Combo tickets offer timed-entry access to any timeslot for Alex Colville and Michelangelo: Quest for Genius. Combo tickets offer incredible value at $26.50 for students, $31.50 for seniors and $35 for adults.

“Welcoming these extraordinarily rare and fragile works to Toronto for the first time is a truly special opportunity for us,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO. “Michelangelo’s name is known the world over, but this exhibition goes behind the fame to explore the struggle and creative process that made Michelangelo a master.”

Developed by Lloyd DeWitt, curator of European Art at the AGO, and David Wistow, interpretive planner, Michelangelo: Quest for Genius takes a critical look at the notion of genius, to consider the various factors that compel and impede artists’ creative processes. Using 3D computer animation and technology provided by Technology Partner LG Electronics, the exhibition brings to life several of Michelangelo’s great unfinished designs.

“At LG we pride ourselves on delivering firsts to consumers. Now with our AGO partnership, we are excited to participate in yet another first,” said Kevin Andrews, Senior Brand Marketing Manager, Home Entertainment for LG Canada. “Through LG technologies including our industry leading OLED TVs, we are able to bring the intricate detail of Michelangelo’s extraordinary works of art to life. The integration of technology at this level has never been seen before at the AGO.”

Michelangelo was far from the only genius to struggle for his art. The exhibition also examines the spellbinding work and creative process of French sculptor August Rodin (b.1840). Inspired by Michelangelo, Rodin’s career was plagued by the same criticism and rejection experienced by his artistic father figure centuries earlier, with his greatest works routinely rejected by both critics and the public. A selection of 10 sculptures by Rodin will also be on display. Exhibition highlights include:

  • Michelangelo’s vivid depiction of Cleopatra, c. 1532-33;
  • Finished presentation drawing of Madonna and Child by Michelangelo, c. 1524;
  • Michelangelo’s pen and ink sketch Study for fortifications for the Porta al Prato in Florence, c. 1529;
  • Michelangelo’s Studies for the head of Leda, c. 1630; and
  • Rodin’s life-sized sculptures Adam, 1881-1929 and Eve, 1883

For ticket prices and more information about special programming offered in conjunction with the exhibition visit

This exhibition is organized by the Associazione MetaMorfosi in collaboration with the Casa Buonarroti and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

It has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

Technology Partner: LG Electronics Canada

Generously supported by: E. and G. Odette Foundation | Charles & Rose Tabachnick 

Promotional Partner: Holt Renfrew Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto

Government Partners: Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund | Celebrate Ontario


With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

Aug. 23, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015: Alex Colville

Oct. 18, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015: Michelangelo: Quest for Genius

Feb. 7 – May 10, 2015: Basquiat

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

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For images and media inquiries, please contact:

Andrea McLoughlin; Senior Publicist, Holmes PR

Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications 
416-979-6660, ext. 403,

Caitlin Coull; Manager, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 364,