Rembrandt loan show will finally launch in Ottawa as National Gallery of Canada reopens to the public

Ontario museums have been shut for months because of surge in Covid cases this April

Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-portrait Wearing a Hat and Two Chains, (1642-43), oil on panel Photo © Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

The National Gallery of Canada will welcome visitors back to its building this Friday after a months-long closure, caused by a surge in coronavirus cases which sent the province of Ontario into lockdown in April. The Ottawa museum’s reopening—at 50% capacity indoors—means that the public will be able to see a major Rembrandt loan show originally scheduled for May. “We are thrilled to finally be able to open our doors,” says the gallery’s director and CEO Sasha Suda.

“There is so much for us to continue sharing with the communities that we exist to serve—in person,” she added. “This summer season reflects the interconnection of the deep work we have done internally over the last year and I couldn’t be prouder.”

The summer programme launches with the blockbuster exhibition Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition, which highlights his evolution as an artist and includes works by others he associated with, even some rivals. And as part of its new inclusive mission centred on the Anishinaabemowin word Ankosé, meaning “everything is connected”, the National Gallery will also show contemporary pieces by Black and Indigenous artists from its collection alongside the Old Master works.

The National Gallery is requiring timed tickets to enter the museum and exhibition, which will be available on its website this week. But while the Rembrandt show’s opening was delayed by more than two months, it will still close on 6 September as originally planned, since it travels to the Stadel Museum in Frankfurt, where it will be on view 6 October-30 January 2022.