Meet our Summer Tour Guides: Jacob and Jennifer

Beaverbrook Art GalleryJuly 7, 20170 Comments

We sat down with our two summer student tour guides, Jacob and Jennifer, to chat about their experiences as tour guides at the Gallery. 


Why did you want to be a tour guide at the Gallery? Why do you enjoy it?

Jennifer: I’ve always enjoyed working with people…I’m studying literature in school, and arts and literature go hand in hand, so I get to learn some really interesting stuff while also interacting with people.

Jacob: I also study literature, but I’ve very much been interested by art and art history for my whole life. My dad brought me up, and he paints a lot, so I was brought up around art and visiting museums, including this one several times.

Do you have a favourite art work that’s on display right now?

Jennifer: Mrs. Thrale and Her Daughter Hester (Queeney), (1781) by Joshua Reynolds. Not only because Reynolds is an amazing painter and it’s a really beautiful piece of art. But for me to connect with a painting I have to really like the story behind it and I really do like the story of Mrs. Thrale. The fact that she disliked the painting because you couldn’t see her intelligence- she looked like a porcelain doll- so for her to not even hang it up I thought was pretty cool. Those are some of the things I would look for in role models these days.

When you do a tour, do you have certain paintings you go to every time?

Jacob: I have the layout that I can go back to, but it’s always based on the group. Today I had people from Ontario so I talked more about Homer Watson because they were from around that area. So you have that basic outline if you forget anything, but it’s always nice to personalize it to each individual group.

Why do you think people should take tours? What do you hope they get from it?

Jacob: I would hope that people would take a tour then go on their own and take what they’ve learned from the tour - whether that’s specific information about paintings, or the general context of art history. I hope my tours don’t just give information, they give a new appreciation with that for art so that people can go on their own and explore their own relationship with art (especially within the context of our own awesome gallery).

Jennifer: Anyone can come to the Gallery and enjoy a tour even if you don’t have an art background. A lot of the stuff that I’ve learned is very interesting.

What do you do when you don’t have tours?

Jennifer: We have the art cart set up for kids to come and make their own art in the Gallery. We’re always around and we let people know that when they come through if they don’t want a tour they can still ask us some questions. 

Jacob: we often get people who come up and ask questions after the tour because people don’t want the whole tour but they want to have a personal relationship with one specific piece so they want to know certain things.


Tours are free with admission and offer a more in depth perspective of the works of art on view. Offered daily now through August 26; find more information here.

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