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Art Gallery of Ontario

Munn, Kathleen Jean, 1887-1974

  • AGOAC00423
  • Personne
  • 1887 - 1974

Kathleen Jean Munn (1887-1974) was a modernist Canadian painter active in Toronto between the World Wars. She was the youngest of six children born to a Toronto jeweler who died when she was four (of an infection caused by the impact from a champagne cork) leaving her mother to manage the family business. Her talent for drawing was encouraged by her maternal grandmother, an accomplished amateur painter, and she was sent to study at the Westbourne School with F. McGillivray Knowles from 1904 to 1907. Knowles encouraged personal expression and an understanding of the principles of art and Munn thrived in this environment. In 1909 she began to exhibit Barbizon inspired landscapes at the OSA, RCA and CNE exhibitions, moving through periods influenced by Whistler, Corot, Puvis de Chavannes and the post-impressionists. About 1912 Munn first traveled to New York to study at the Art Student’s League and in 1914 she was awarded first prize at the Summer School in Woodstock NY. In 1915-16 she began a series of landscapes in which she showed a mastery of modernist techniques. Her association with the Art Student’s League, whose teachers were early proponents of modernism, was an important influence. Her notebooks show that she was reading extensively and broadly in the areas of literature, philosophy and aesthetics. She studied Jay Hambridge’s mathematical principles, the concept of ‘dynamic symmetry’ and Denman Ross’s colour theory. She seems to have been drawn to writers who proposed an underlying system of order and logic as a basis for individual expression. She also toured Britain and the major art centres of continental Europe in 1920, accompanied by her sister, and this trip seems to have encouraged her quest for a means to express religious and spiritual themes in a contemporary fashion. She was ultimately uncomfortable with complete abstraction and believed that art should express a larger purpose, influenced by readings of Blavatsky, Blake, Whitman, and others. The Group of Seven shared her interest in the spiritual content of painting but she was intolerant of their nationalism; of her contemporaries she formed the closest bonds with Bertram Brooker and Lemoine Fitzgerald. Her studio, in a large room overlooking the ravine at the family home at 320 Spadina Avenue, was visited often by Brooker. The household consisted of three unmarried siblings: Will (Jr.), who ran the family business, May, a teacher who ran the household, and Kathleen. During the 1920’s she began to work on a series of paintings that explored Christian themes and she devoted the 1930’s to the subject of the Passion. Two major drawings from this series were purchased by the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1945. She exhibited a number of these drawings with Fitzgerald and Brooker at the Malloney Galleries in Toronto in 1935 but there as little critical response. Discouragement at her lack of critical success, combined with the death of her brother in 1935 and her sister’s increasing disability, led to the end of her artistic output around 1939. Most of her work remained in family hands. The Art Gallery of Toronto exhibited her Passion drawings in several group shows in the 1940’s and the Willistead Art Gallery in Windsor included her Ascension in a 1954 show of drawings. She died twenty years later, in October 1974.

Wegman, Jules Frederic (1865-1931)

  • AGOAC00388
  • Personne
  • 1865 - 1931

Jules Frederic Wegman was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland on 14 July 1865 and received his early education there. He came to the United States with his father Julius, also an architect, at the age of ten years and trained with him. At one point he was sent to Jerusalem to measure the city and its buildings, and his drawings were used to reproduce the city at the Worlds’ Fair at St. Louis in 1904. Wegmen then spent several years in the Chicago office of Daniel H. Burnham & Co., a leading figure of American architecture. He appears to have also worked there under his own name, and is credited with the design of the Newbury Building, South Wabash Avenue at East Ninth Street in Chicago, in 1896. In 1905 he was invited to join the Toronto firm of Darling & Pearson, and worked there until his death in 1931, becoming a partner in 1924. He worked on the Sun Life Building in Montreal, the North Toronto Station at Yonge and Summerhill, and the 1925 expansion of the Art Gallery of Toronto. He spoke at least four languages fluently and traveled widely, collecting photographs and drawings of architectural details. In 1911 he joined the Arts and Letters Club and lunched there regularly. In 1912 he was Chairman of the Toronto Chapter of the Ontario Association of Architects and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada shortly before his death.

Van Horne, William Cornelius, Sir, 1843–1915

  • AGOAC00672
  • Personne
  • 1843-1915

Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915), principal builder of the Canadian Pacific Railway and prominent businessman, was an important collector of paintings and Japanese ceramics and an accomplished amateur painter. Born in Illinois, he worked for American railway companies in various capacities until 1882, when he was appointed general manager of Canadian Pacific Railway, the construction of which was completed under his direction. In 1888, Van Horne was elected president of the company, and in 1899, he became president of its board of directors. He retired from active work in the company in 1910. Van Horne incorporated the Cuba Company in 1900 following a visit to that country; under its operations he built and operated a railway, sugar plantations and hotels. In North America, Van Horne was executive or director of more than 40 companies, and was considered one of Canada’s most successful businessmen. William Van Horne married Lucy Adaline, daughter of Erastus Hurd of Galesburg, Illinois, in 1867. They had 3 children: Adaline (1868-1941), William (1871-1876), and Richard Benedict (1877-1931). The family lived principally in Montreal, and also had residences in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and in Cuba. Van Horne was knighted (KCMG) in 1894. Sir William’s art collection is considered to have been the most prominent pre-First World War collection in Montreal. It contained Old Master and 19th-century European paintings and Japanese ceramics, and also featured ship models and European decorative arts. Van Horne lent regularly to the Montreal Art Association (precursor to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) from 1887 to 1912. His reputation as a collector resulted in his appointment to the consultative committee of the Burlington Magazine in London from 1905 until his death in 1915. Following Sir William’s death, the bulk of his ceramics collection was left to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the art collection passed to the joint ownership of Lady Van Horne and her children Adaline and Richard Benedict, according to terms of Sir William’s will. Lady Van Horne died in 1929. Under the terms of her will, a portion of the art collection went to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the rest was shared among her children. Richard Benedict Van Horne died in 1931. His widow, Edith Molson, had no claim to any share in the remains of the art collection; subsequently she married R. Randolph Bruce. A fire at the Van Horne mansion in 1935 did not damage any paintings. Adaline Van Horne, who had been managing the collection through the 1930s, died unmarried and childless in 1941. Ownership of the collection then passed to Richard Benedict and Edith’s son William C.C. Van Horne (1907–1946) and his wife Margaret (d.1987), familiarly known as “Billie” (née Hannon). When William died, leaving no heir, ownership of the collection remained with his wife. Margaret Van Horne managed the art collection for over forty years, corresponding with art dealers and conservators in order to achieve optimal values for paintings. Numerous paintings were sold in several different auction sales over the course of this time. She continued to live in the Van Horne mansion until 1972. The house was demolished the following year to great protest in the architectural conservation community. When Margaret Van Horne died in 1987, the remainder of the collection passed to her brother Matthew Hannon. Upon Matthew Hannon’s death in 1988, the remainder of the art collection passed to his heirs.

Iskowitz, Gershon

  • AGOAC00461
  • Personne
  • 1921-1988

Gershon Iskowitz (1921-1988) was an abstract painter based in Toronto for much of his artistic career. Born in Kielce, Poland, he survived internment in Nazi concentration camps and lost his entire family in the Holocaust. Iskowitz studied art in Munich at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in 1947, soon transferring to private studies with Oskar Kokoschka. He moved to Toronto in 1949. His work developed from wartime imagery to a focus on landscapes (particularly inspired by practice in the Parry Sound area), eventually arriving at his mature abstract expressionist style in 1967. Iskowitz began exhibiting with Gallery Moos in 1964, a relationship which continued throughout his career. He taught at the New School (Toronto) from 1967-1970, and his informal mentoring of artists in Toronto is often noted. Iskowitz, along with Walter Redinger, represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1972. The artist established the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation in 1985, with the mandate of awarding the Gershon Iskowitz Prize to a mature practising artist; since 2007 the Foundation has partnered with the Art Gallery of Ontario to administer the Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO.

Brownstone, S. (Shieky)

  • SB
  • Personne
  • fl. 1977

Dr. Yehoshua (Shieky) Brownstone is a photographer in London, Ontario. He was formerly a Professor in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Western Ontario.

Wainwright, Andy

  • AGOAC00501
  • Personne
  • 1946-

J.A. Wainwright (1946- ) is a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction; and an emeritus Professor of English at Dalhousie University. He published Blazing Figures: A Life of Robert Markle (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press) in 2010.

Munro, Will

  • AGOAC00042
  • Personne
  • 1975-2010

William Grant Munro (1975-2010) was a Toronto-based visual artist, community builder, event organizer and entrepreneur. Munro spent his childhood and teenage years in Mississauga. He graduated in 2000 from the Ontario College of Art and Design, where he studied sculpture and installation. In 1999, he founded Vazaleen, a now legendary series of dance parties. In 2006, he and Lynn MacNeil purchased the Beaver Café, a hub of artistic, musical and social activity at Queen Street West and Gladstone Avenue in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. Munro worked as a DJ for events in the visual art community. He served on the Board of Directors of Art Metropole and York University. His artwork has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at numerous venues including Art in General, New York; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Mercer Union, Art Gallery of York University, and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto. His work is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art.

Factory 77 (Art gallery : Toronto, Ont.)

  • AGOAC00077
  • Collectivité
  • 1976 - 1982

Factory 77, initially known as Galerie Scollard, was a Toronto artist-run gallery focused on art education which operated between 1976 and 1982. Galerie Scollard was established in Toronto in 1976 as a non- profit charitable organization by Dushka Arezina, a Yugoslavian emigrée, artist, and art historian. It was coined a “centre for education in vision” and was located on Scollard Street in Toronto. The gallery was operated by a Board of Directors of which Harvey Cowan was the chairperson and Kenneth Lund the president. Dushka Arezina sat on the Board of Directors as treasurer and was also the gallery’s executive director. Galerie Scollard ceased opera tions under that name in 1978 and was re-established as Factory 77 in November 1978 upon moving into a former carpet factory at 77 Mowat Ave. in Toronto’s Parkdale area. Factory 77’s operations were overseen by Arezina and a Board of Directors chaired by Lund, a Toronto lawyer. It aimed to present a broad view of contemporary visual arts by exhibiting established artists together with emerging ones. In the years between 1978 and 1982, the gallery mounted more than 13 exhibitions per year, featuring prominent Canadian artists such as Mary and Christopher Pratt, Lynn Do noghue, and Ken Danby. The gallery also placed significant emphasis on exhibitions by Eastern European artists such as Jiri Ladocha. The gallery aimed to foster student participation through exhibits of student and youth work, and placed significant focus on art education and appreciation outreach programs in elementary and secondary schools in the Toronto area. Due to financial and administrative difficulties, Factory 77 ceased operations permanently in February 1982.

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