Kleinburg, Ontario 11 September 2007 —The McMichael Canadian Art Collection announced that its Sunday, September 9th launch of The Art of Robert Bateman retrospective set an all-time record for its own exhibition opening day attendance.  More than 2,000 people – a capacity crowd for the McMichael – came to hear Robert Bateman speak during the opening ceremonies and to tour this outstanding exhibition.

Robert Bateman is one of the world’s most renowned wildlife artists and a leading environmentalist – the exhibition of approximately 50 works looks at all aspects of his artistic career.  The 77-year old Canadian artist has not had a showing at a Canadian public gallery for more than 15 years.  The exhibition, The Art of Robert Bateman, will be at the McMichael – the only Canadian venue – until October 28, and then will begin a 14-month long tour of art galleries and museums in the United States.

“This is the largest number of people we have had pass through our doors for an exhibition opening in the gallery’s forty-one year history,” said Thomas Smart, Executive Director and CEO of the McMichael.  “Robert Bateman is a true national treasure, and Canadians came out on Sunday to see, hear and meet a living legend."

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Culture. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of more than 5,500 artworks, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, First Nations and Inuit artists.