We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Dreadful disappointment”

Vancouver Art Gallery
Book In Advance
More Info
$18.56*
and up
Skip the Line: Vancouver Art Gallery Admission
Ranked #56 of 352 things to do in Vancouver
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Located just steps from vibrant Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver Art Gallery offers the city's top cultural experience featuring four floors of historical and contemporary art. Enhance your experience by relaxing in the locally-loved Gallery Cafe and enjoying the beautiful Gallery Store. The Gallery is closed December 25th and 31st anually and on April 20th, 2015.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Dreadful disappointment”
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Having visited great art galleries in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, we couldn't believe that this must be the only large-city art gallery anywhere in the world that did not possess a permanent art collection. When we visited, two floors of exhibitions were also closed - so we just left without seeing any art.

For a city the sizeof Vancouver to have such an poor art museum should be more than a little embarrassing. When comparisons are made with British provincial city art galleries - such as Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool - all of which are smaller - and probably poorer than Vancouver, one simply despairs. The city fathers of Vancouver should hang their heads in shame - and should certainly sack their gallery director!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

841 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    213
    277
    156
    112
    83
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Coquitlam
1 review
“An incredible disappointment”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

My husband and I went on donation night (Tuesday evenings). The building is architecturally attractive, which is unfortunately the best part of the gallery. Mostly empty walls, very little artwork, and a few weird videos (someone sitting, someone sleeping, someone's eyes staring on 5 TV screens as a man says weird things). Definitely not my idea of art. The one interesting carving project going on and a couple of pieces in the first room appealed to me, but that was it. The tiny artwork description plaques were very far away from several of the pieces, and some were not even around, I believe. There were security people everywhere, and it was quite intimidating having someone only a few feet from me watching my every move in each room. We were through the entire gallery in 45 minutes.

The receptionist was unbelievably rude. As it was donation night, we donated into the donations box that is right by the entrance. Then we entered a giant line to get to the one receptionist, who then asked us for a donation. When I explained that we'd already donated into the only obvious donation box, she glared at us. My husband was wearing a backpack, and was rudely told that he could not take it in, even when he explained that he had valuables that could not be left unsecured. He had to remove things from his pack and take them in with him, and leave the actual pack at a desk. When we returned later, no one checked ID or anything for the backpack. We will never be going back.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank kanimikala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterville, Maine
Level Contributor
120 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“What a bust!”
Reviewed September 28, 2013

How they can charge an entrance fee for this is beyond me. The best thing I can say about this place is that it was dry on a rainy day. Saw a few Emily Carr paintings but the rest was more along the line of installation art. Empty walls, empty galleries, and still a $10 entrance fee. If you are in transition between shows, close down or let people in for free.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank PatMaine50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
1,330 reviews
369 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,717 helpful votes
“Less Than Overwhelmed”
Reviewed September 28, 2013

The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG), established in the early 1930s, is located in an impressive building, the former main courthouse for Vancouver. During our visit the first two floors were closed due to renovations, and all we saw was the third and fourth floors, which had some exhibits that where not particular appealing to us. There are few exhibits for a lot of space. We actually found the gift shop on the ground floor more interesting than the exhibits. Unlike other sites in Vancouver, the VAG was a disappointment. In its current form it is not worth the price of admission. Photographs are not allowed.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank CJTravelerTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Expensive and very disappointing”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We visited this museum today. It was explained that two floors were closed for refurbishment. It might have been better if the whole place was closed. There is a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder so perhaps some people find the "art" on display interesting and inspiring. We certainly did not and were tempted to ask for a refund!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Liz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Vancouver Art Gallery also viewed

Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
 
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
 

Been to Vancouver Art Gallery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing