Q: How were the funds raised to acquire the Infinity Mirror Room?
As a charity, the AGO relies on generous donors to acquire new works of art and make exhibitions and programming possible. Before the #InfinityAGO campaign began, the AGO secured $1 million towards the purchase of the Infinity Mirror Room from the David Yuile & Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund held in The AGO Foundation. The #InfinityAGO campaign raised an additional $651,183 from over 4,700 donors joining together. The outpouring of support is inspiring and reinforces that this extraordinary artwork belongs in the AGO Collection. Recognizing the importance of this work, we reached back into the Hodgson Fund – a fund dedicated to art acquisitions – to complete the campaign.
Q: What is the David Yuile & Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund?
The David Yuile & Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund was established in The AGO Foundation in 2005 as the result of a generous bequest from the Estate of David Y. Hodgson. The Hodgson Fund is an endowment fund supporting the acquisition of contemporary art for the AGO Collection. Over the years, the Fund has enabled the AGO to acquire significant artworks by leading Canadian, Indigenous and international contemporary artists. Among the works to enter our Collection are iconic works by Brian Jungen, Suzy Lake and Kent Monkman, as well as key pieces by renowned international artists Pierre Huyghe, Steve McQueen and Adrián Villar Rojas, among others. As a charitable organization, the AGO has limited funds available for Collection-building, and we are deeply grateful for the acquisitions that the Hodgson Fund has made possible.
Q: Why is the AGO crowdfunding to buy a Kusama Infinity Mirror Room?
We are devoted to bringing the world’s best art to Toronto. Kusama is one of the world's leading contemporary artists. It’s clear Toronto loves Kusama. Over 165,000 people visited the AGO to see the exhibition, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. We want to bring a Kusama artwork to the AGO…forever. As a charity, we rely on the generosity of donors to acquire new artworks that will help build the AGO’s Collection to be enjoyed today and for generations to come. We’re asking the people of Toronto to help bring a Kusama Infinity Mirror Room to Toronto…for infinity so today’s art lovers and future generations can enjoy this mesmerizing work.
It’s actually not the first time we’ve done this. Back in 1958, the Art Gallery of Toronto (an earlier name for the AGO) showcased a new purchase, Jacopo Tintoretto’s Christ Washing the Disciples’ Feet. In order to afford the purchase, the art museum hung a reproduction of the painting, covered with one-by-one inch squares of white paper, which were sold to supporters, visitors and members of the public for $10 each. As donations came in, squares were removed to reveal the reproduction. Once all the squares were purchased, the museum had officially raised enough money to buy the painting.
Q: What happens to my donation if you don’t raise the full amount needed?
We’re confident that, with the public’s support, we can reach our goal and bring the Infinity Mirror Room to the AGO. The AGO has a strong history of successful fundraising campaigns. We know that the people of Toronto love Kusama. Thousands of you lined up, in person and online, early in the morning and late into the night for the chance to see the work of Kusama. Kusama has a home in our hearts. Now her work needs a permanent home at the AGO. And your donation will help make that happen. The AGO will not return donations. We know $1.3 million is an ambitious goal. But we’re confident in our community that we’ll reach our goal. Every donation brings us closer to bringing an Infinity Mirror Room to Toronto...forever. A central theme in Kusama's work is the idea of connectivity. We like that the InfinityAGO campaign means thousands of people working together to bring great art to Toronto. Together, we can reach infinite possibilities.
Q: How much does the fundraising campaign cost?
One of the benefits of crowdfunding is the relatively low overhead. That means more dollars go to the acquisition of the artwork. To reach our goal, we need a lot of donations from a lot of people – tens of thousands of people – and it costs money to get the word out. There are also costs for fulfilling the benefits of a crowdfunding campaign, from buttons to umbrellas and more. The total cost of the #InfinityAGO campaign is approximately 15% percent of our overall goal, with over 85 per cent of funds going to acquire the art work.
Q: How many donors does the AGO need to reach its goal?
Tens of thousands. Every donation brings us closer to our goal. Join the growing community of supporters devoted to bringing great art to Toronto for today and future generations. Kusama has a home in our hearts. It’s time Kusama’s artwork has a home at the AGO…forever.
Q: How long will the #InfinityAGO campaign last?
We hope to reach our goal within 30 days because we want to bring the Infinity Mirror Room to Toronto this spring. We need thousands of donations to make that happen. Our goal is ambitious but we know Toronto wants more Kusama. We’re confident that the people of Toronto will come together to bring an Infinity Mirror Room to Toronto…forever. When we work together, the possibilities are endless.