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About the Collection

About Helen and Walter Zwig

While Helen and Walter Zwig made their life in Toronto, they shared a fearlessness and taste for adventure that led them far afield. America and Europe, but also the South Pacific and South and Central America, which they traversed by sailboat. Over the course of thirty years – before satellite and cellphones – they circumnavigated the globe by sea, often alone for long stretches of time. 

Sailing was one means by which they were able to explore the unknown. Art was another. Helen and Walter had a habit of learning about and purchasing artworks on these voyages – an interest they brought back with them to Canada. We are thrilled to share that art with the city they so loved, and hope the Helen & Walter Zwig Foundation Collection will be a living legacy for two individuals as idiosyncratic as the deeply personal collection they amassed.

Helen and Walter first arrived in Toronto in 1947. Walter would become a visionary developer who helped initiate the city’s post-war building boom. He passed away in 2017, after Helen in 2012.

About The Collection

The Helen & Walter Zwig Foundation Collection was organized by Helen and Walter's children. The current director is Clara Puton, a curator and an art, craft, and design historian. Prior to joining the Collection, she studied at Bard Graduate Center in New York City, graduating with a MA in Design History, Material Culture, and Decorative Arts. She also holds a BA in Art History from McGill University.

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