Original creations on paper, canvas, and in other media
The Archives has a variety of original works of art, often acquired as part of the records of the artists who created them. Some highlights:
Ronald McRae: The records of this Toronto illustrator and costume designer, whose works date back to the 1920s, were acquired in 1981. They include 119 original costume and other drawings, photographs of McRae and several friends, and greeting cards, magazine covers, and dust jackets he designed -- one for a novel by Carl Van Vechten. Despite this wealth of material, there is still much we don't know about McRae. In his time he was a well-known man about town. We'd welcome contact from anyone who might have more information about his life. Accession number: 82-004.
JAC: This artist collective -- John Grube, Alex Liros, and Clarence Barnes -- produced paintings and drawings by working together on the same surface. Many of their canvases reflect the political battles of Toronto's gay community in the 1980s. Each also created works in his own right. The records of Clarence Barnes, received by the Archives in 1995 (accession number 95-013), include hundreds of his sketches and several paintings.
Tony Wilson: Born in Saskatchewan in the mid-1940s, Tony Wilson exhibited his work across Canada throughout the '60s and '70s. In 1981 he became one of five members of the Toronto artist collective, ChromaZone. Some of his pieces -- including "Work to Rule", a massive wall mural that was part of the 1983 "Chromaliving" exhibition -- were featured on a full-colour page of The Body Politic in its January 1984 issue. Accession number: 93-014.
Gallery Without Walls: The Archives has the records of this organization, and a number of the works it exhibited in Toronto bars in the early 1990s. There are also related personal records; feel free to ask us for more details.
AIDS Memorial Competition: Launched in October 1990, this project sought submissions for design of Toronto's permanent AIDS Memorial. The Archives holds original plans and drawings for many of the submissions, first exhibited at Lesbian and Gay Pride Day in 1991. The winning design, built and unveiled in 1993, now stands in Cawthra Park, near the corner of Church and Wellesley Streets, the centre of the city's most visibly gay neighbourhood.