Browse the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Collection online with new search tool

Art and heritage enthusiasts across Canada and around the world can now explore dozens of items in the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Collection using a new online search tool.

Over the last 155 years, the Upper Chamber’s world-class collection has grown to include more than 6,000 works of art, ceremonial objects and heritage furniture that are significant to the responsibilities and material culture of the Senate and that celebrate Canadian history, events, ideas and identities.

Many of the items in the artwork and heritage collection, managed by Senate Curator Tamara Dolan and assistant curators Meghan Paterson and Natalie Whidden, can be found displayed in the Senate of Canada Building in downtown Ottawa or used in routine parliamentary functions, such as Senate sittings.

Senate Curator Tamara Dolan sits on the train station bench, a notable piece of heritage furniture in the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Collection.
Senate Curator Tamara Dolan sits on the train station bench, a notable piece of heritage furniture in the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Collection. Ms. Dolan manages the thousands of items in the collection.

“Together, the works in the Senate’s collection help weave a story of Canada’s growth as a country and how Parliament has evolved to keep pace,” Ms. Dolan said. “The collection’s items also illustrate the important work, contributions and legacies of Canadian senators.

“The new online search tool offers the public closer access to these items than ever before — it’s like peeking into a virtual time capsule of Parliament!”

Artworks, artefacts and heritage furniture in the Senate’s collection are safely kept in a storage facility when they aren’t being used or displayed in parliamentary spaces.
Artworks, artefacts and heritage furniture in the Senate’s collection are safely kept in a storage facility when they aren’t being used or displayed in parliamentary spaces.

The Senate Mace is one of the most important artefacts in the Upper Chamber’s collection.
The Senate Mace is one of the most important artefacts in the Upper Chamber’s collection. It represents the authority of the Senate, granted by the Crown, to meet and pass laws; that’s why it’s carried into the Senate Chamber during the Speaker’s parade before each sitting.

Official portraits of former Senate Speakers hang over the grand staircase connecting the entrance and foyer of the Senate of Canada Building.
Official portraits of former Senate Speakers hang over the grand staircase connecting the entrance and foyer of the Senate of Canada Building. The Senate commissions a portrait of every Speaker in recognition of the procedural and protocol importance of that role.

The online collection features a selection of artworks and artefacts from a variety of time periods and allows users to filter their search by category, date and topic.

Clicking on a particular item will lead to a detailed description, as well as curatorial information about its provenance and materials. You might also find links to related multimedia articles on the Senate’s digital magazine, SenCAplus, or to short essays about the significance of these items by art and museum professionals from across the country. New items will continue to be added over time, so come back often.

To learn more about art and heritage at the Senate, please visit the Art & Heritage section of the website and the “Artwork and heritage” playlist on the Senate’s YouTube channel.

Browse the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Collection online with new search tool

Art and heritage enthusiasts across Canada and around the world can now explore dozens of items in the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Collection using a new online search tool.

Over the last 155 years, the Upper Chamber’s world-class collection has grown to include more than 6,000 works of art, ceremonial objects and heritage furniture that are significant to the responsibilities and material culture of the Senate and that celebrate Canadian history, events, ideas and identities.

Many of the items in the artwork and heritage collection, managed by Senate Curator Tamara Dolan and assistant curators Meghan Paterson and Natalie Whidden, can be found displayed in the Senate of Canada Building in downtown Ottawa or used in routine parliamentary functions, such as Senate sittings.

Senate Curator Tamara Dolan sits on the train station bench, a notable piece of heritage furniture in the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Collection.
Senate Curator Tamara Dolan sits on the train station bench, a notable piece of heritage furniture in the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Collection. Ms. Dolan manages the thousands of items in the collection.

“Together, the works in the Senate’s collection help weave a story of Canada’s growth as a country and how Parliament has evolved to keep pace,” Ms. Dolan said. “The collection’s items also illustrate the important work, contributions and legacies of Canadian senators.

“The new online search tool offers the public closer access to these items than ever before — it’s like peeking into a virtual time capsule of Parliament!”

Artworks, artefacts and heritage furniture in the Senate’s collection are safely kept in a storage facility when they aren’t being used or displayed in parliamentary spaces.
Artworks, artefacts and heritage furniture in the Senate’s collection are safely kept in a storage facility when they aren’t being used or displayed in parliamentary spaces.

The Senate Mace is one of the most important artefacts in the Upper Chamber’s collection.
The Senate Mace is one of the most important artefacts in the Upper Chamber’s collection. It represents the authority of the Senate, granted by the Crown, to meet and pass laws; that’s why it’s carried into the Senate Chamber during the Speaker’s parade before each sitting.

Official portraits of former Senate Speakers hang over the grand staircase connecting the entrance and foyer of the Senate of Canada Building.
Official portraits of former Senate Speakers hang over the grand staircase connecting the entrance and foyer of the Senate of Canada Building. The Senate commissions a portrait of every Speaker in recognition of the procedural and protocol importance of that role.

The online collection features a selection of artworks and artefacts from a variety of time periods and allows users to filter their search by category, date and topic.

Clicking on a particular item will lead to a detailed description, as well as curatorial information about its provenance and materials. You might also find links to related multimedia articles on the Senate’s digital magazine, SenCAplus, or to short essays about the significance of these items by art and museum professionals from across the country. New items will continue to be added over time, so come back often.

To learn more about art and heritage at the Senate, please visit the Art & Heritage section of the website and the “Artwork and heritage” playlist on the Senate’s YouTube channel.

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