Private, Toronto-based art dealer and collector, Ash Prakash has donated 50 works by Canadian painter James Wilson Morrice to the National Gallery of Canada that he has collected over the past 30 years. The gallery made the announcement on Tuesday, December 8th - the artists's 150th anniversary of the birth of the artist. The collection is valued at more than $20 million. "
"(It's) an unprecedented honour and I'm just humbled and crushed with gratitude," Prakash said in an interview. "It's beyond words. what has taken place, I was merely going to do what I had committed to do a number of years ago when I started my own long journey... I just hope my gesture inspires others in our society to think of giving back a bit more than we take from this magnificent land we are fortunate to call home."
Prakash is well known for advising high-profile collectors such as Ken Thomson, and has previously donated $100,000 to the NGC last year. He also served as an advisor to prime ministers Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney.
In addition to dealing and collecting art, Prakash is a scholar and recently published, "Impressionism in Canada: A Journey of Rediscovery."
To honour the gift, the National Gallery will rename one of its Canadian galleries the Ash K. Prakash Gallery for 25 years beginning in 2017, when the Morrice collection goes on view, followed by a major retrospective of the artist in 2019.