The Flight Attendant’s Remarkable Art Collection

Talk about a life artfully lived. Find a job that takes you from city to city. In your free time, search for out-of-the-way places with up-and-coming artists. Dig for exciting works that you can afford, then share them widely when you get home.

That’s exactly what Gerd Metzdorff did.

Working with Canadian Airlines and Air Canada, Metzdorff was a flight attendant, then purser for 40 years. Two of his favourite art-hunting spots were Germany – where he was born before immigrating to Burnaby with his family as a toddler – and New York. With his modest per-diems in pocket, Gerd got to know early-career artists, gallerists, and art scholars.

Over time, this passionate art lover’s collection grew to include works by Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Andreas Gursky, along with internationally renowned Canadian artists like Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Ian Wallace.

Until May 8th, 2022,  you can see this remarkable collection at Griffin Art Projects ‘Per Diem: The Gerd Metzdorff Collection’. It’s an exhibit curated by Lisa Baldissera, with details below. But first, a peek in…



See full photo credits below 

Gerd Metzdorff. Photo by Christos Dikeakos. December 2020


Cindy Sherman’s photo of Lucille Ball. 1975/2001


Ian Wallace. In the street, Cologne Series III, 1985, 2005


Stan Douglas. Vancouver Flats. 2002


Thomas Ruff. Portrait – Gisela Benzenberg. 1983



Per Diem @ Griffin Art Projects

Full Photo Credits

Rodney Graham
Gifted Amateur, 2010
Print on paper
20 x 20 inches
Collection of Gerd Metzdorff


Christos Dikeakos
Gerd Metzdorff
no. 1-4
December 2020
archival inkjet photo
Courtesy of the artist



Cindy Sherman
Untitled, 1975 / 2001, 2001
Fujicolor Crystal Archive Print Photo
8 ¼ x 10 ½ inches
Collection of Gerd Metzdorff


Ian Wallace
In the street, Cologne Series III, 1985, 2005
Photograph transferred to canvas
60 x 80 inches each
Collection of Gerd Metzdorff


Stan Douglas
Vancouver Flats, 2002
Photograph on print paper
44 x 22 ½ inches
Collection of Gerd Metzdorff


Thomas Ruff
Portrait – Gisela Benzenberg, 1983
Photograph transferred to plexiglass
70 ¾ x 88 ½ inches
Collection of Gerd Metzdorff


Love In The Rain


Vancouver Cocktail Week 2022

Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton