In Memoriam:
Isabel Overton Bader (1 November 1926–28 August 2022)

29 August 2022

Dr Isabel Bader’s forward-thinking support of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre cannot be overstated. Her philanthropic vision assures that her legacy lives on in all that we do. Both Isabel and her late husband Dr Alfred Bader had an impeccable eye and thirst for knowledge, and we are tremendously fortunate to benefit from their discerning collecting commitments and their passions: The Bader Collection of European Art at Agnes is the single most important collection of Rembrandt and his circle at a university museum in Canada. Through the Collection of Canadian Dress and the Isabel Bader Fellowship in Textile Research and Conservation, Agnes continues to foster the next generation of textile scholars, curators and conservators. Isabel’s future-forward commitments to digital infrastructure-building has ensured Agnes is trailblazing online programming, publishing, and community engagement. And, importantly, Isabel has enabled Agnes to follow pathways toward reconciliation, ensuring that we adhere to Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by Indigenizing Agnes through establishing, with Bader Philanthropies, Inc., a Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture, as well as supporting Indigenous-led initiatives and artistic production, conducting research and culturally relevant scholarship in Indigenous art histories, and facilitating community access to historicized ancestors at Agnes.

A civically minded person with deep roots in social justice, Isabel’s insights, kindness, and humour shall be deeply missed. Our vision for Agnes Reimagined continues Isabel’s legacy and commitment to social justice through equity-focused museum practices, and by leading the social, civic and pedagogical transformation of the 21st-century university museum in Canada, and internationally.

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