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Owens Art Gallery

61 York Street, Sackville, New Brunswick, E4L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/12/13

Owens Art Gallery as early as 1900.; Town of Sackville
Early view from post card
Frieze lists 12 artists; Owens Art Gallery
terra cottage frieze
Owens Art Gallery as seen from York Street.; Town of Sackville
Front facade

Other Name(s)

Owens Art Gallery
Owens Musuem of Fine Arts

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1894/01/01 to 1895/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/02/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Officially opened in 1895, the hillside location of the Owens Art Gallery on the campus of Mount Allison University overlooks downtown Sackville, This Local Historic Place consists of the elegant Beaux-Arts style structure. The gallery’s exterior is of local sandstone with a series of decorative terra-cotta panels encircling the façade.

Heritage Value

The Owens Art Gallery was designated as a Local Historic Place as it is the oldest university art gallery in Canada and one of the oldest institutions devoted to art in the country. It is also designated for its Beaux-Arts classical style.

The Owens Art Gallery has performed a dual role since its opening in 1895; serving as a public gallery for the Town of Sackville and the region, and as the widely acknowledged fine arts teaching facility of Mount Allison University. The Owens Art Gallery is recognized today for its exhibition and publishing programs and its art program. The art school was integrated into Mount Allison University in 1937 and the first Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Canada was granted by Mount Allison in 1941.

Source: Town of Sackville - Historic Places File "Owens Art Gallery"

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements of the Owens Art Gallery that relate to its architectural style and that can be associated with the time period in which the gallery was constructed include:
- Beaux-Arts scheme;
- the location and context of the gallery, on a hillside, and part of the central campus overlooking the downtown area of Sackville;
- stone exterior of olive-coloured Rockport sandstone;
- signs of original broad bellcast roof crested with wrought iron;
- decorative terra cotta frieze that bears the names of famous artists, designed by architect, decorates the front and both sides of the gallery;
- blind colonnades;
- central wooden door opening to the community;
- rusticated foundations with an angular batter that emphasizes the ground hugging profile.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Community Planning Act

Recognition Type

Local Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Special or Training School


Architect / Designer

Edmund Burke


John F. Teed

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Sackville, Historic Places Filing Cabinet, Owens Art Gallery File Folder

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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