Margaret McNee, a senior partner at McMillan LLP, was at the post office when she spotted a familiar image. There, on a display of soon-to-be-released stamps, was a sepia-toned man and woman gazing out a six-pane window at nothing but white light. McNee recognized it immediately as Window, by Montreal photographer Angela Grauerholz. After all, a limited-edition proof of the photo hangs on a wall at the McMillan Toronto office — and McNee curates the firm’s entire art collection.
So why was it about to be on a stamp? Turns out, Canada Post was on year four of a five-year series celebrating Canadian photographers, and Window was one of its most recent selections. “I made a note of the date the stamps were to be issued, then I went back to purchase some,” says McNee. (They were available this past summer, but are now out of print.)
By the time McNee started to oversee McMillan’s collection, in 1991, the firm had already bought the three-year-old piece from a Montreal gallery. She had loved it immediately. It forces passersby to wonder: what are those two people looking at? “In a corporate setting, finding art with that sort of mystery is rare.”
This story is from our Winter 2016 issue.
Photo courtesy of Angela Grauerholz and Art 45 in Montreal