TABLE OF CONTENTS

Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Processing Information

Preferred Citation

Contact Information

Series Level Descriptions

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

Joyce Wieland fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title:Joyce Wieland fonds.
Dates:– 1952-1989.
Quantity: – 349 drawings and other material.

Biographical Sketch

Joyce Wieland, a filmmaker, painter, quilter, printmaker, and sculptor, was born in Toronto in 1930. She studied commercial art at Central Technical School in Toronto with Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Doris McCarthy, and Robert Ross. After graduating in 1948, Wieland worked as a package designer and, from 1952 to 1955, as an educational and commercial film animator at Graphics Film, where she met the artist and filmmaker Michael Snow. Wieland and Snow were married in 1956. During the early part of her career, Wieland mainly produced paintings influenced by abstract expressionism, culminating in her first solo exhibition at Toronto's Isaacs Gallery in 1960. After 1960 her work increasingly reflected the influence of pop art. In 1963 Wieland and Snow moved to New York, and two years later she stopped making paintings in favour of mixed media works, in which domestic materials and techniques such as embroidery and quilting were featured. Wieland created several works using non-traditional materials during the 1970s, including Defend the Earth/Défendez la terre, a quilted wall mural for the National Science Library, Ottawa (1972-1973), and Barren Ground Caribou, a quilted cloth assemblage for the Spadina Subway, Toronto (1977-1978). During the 1960s and 1970s, Wieland was also active in the area of experimental filmmaking, producing, most notably, Reason Over Passion/La raison avant la passion (1967-1972), a non-narrative film about Canada that explored nationalist and ecological themes; Rat Life and Diet in North America (1968), a satire on the Vietnam War; and The Far Shore (1976), a romantic fable set in the Canadian wilderness. In 1992, a year after becoming the first living Canadian woman artist to be given a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada (True Patriot Love, 1971), Wieland returned permanently to Canada, where she continued to create work with feminist and nationalist themes. She resumed painting in 1980, producing numerous works with figures set in visionary landscapes. A retrospective of Wieland's work was held at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1987. Wieland completed one of her last works in 1990, a mural entitled The Ocean of Love for Via Rail's transcontinental train.

Joyce Wieland's work is represented in several public collections in Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. American museums that own her work include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. She has received numerous awards, including the Award for Exceptional Merit, Philadelphia International Festival of Short Films (1971); the Victor M. Lynch-Staunton Award (Canada Council, 1972); the Order of Canada, Officer (1983); and the Visual Arts Award, Toronto Arts Foundation (1987). Wieland stopped producing art in the early 1990s, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She died in Toronto in 1998.

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Scope and Content

The fonds consists of drawings and prints produced by Wieland throughout her career as an artist; three oil paintings believed to date from the 1950s; photographs, including personal photographs, photographs of Wieland's art, and photographs related to her film The Far Shore; posters and reproductions; and miscellaneous graphic items. Many of the drawings in the fonds are preparatory sketches for Wieland projects. There are also six completed signed prints, including one of Soroseelutu Cape Dorset (c. 1977), two of The Hind (1984), and three of For Jeanne Moreau (1984), and eleven drawings by Ann Pritchard, who served as art director of The Far Shore. Approximately one-third of the works in the fonds are signed by Wieland.

Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

Physical description: Other material includes 33 prints, 3 oil paintings, 289 photographs, 26 posters and reproductions, and 9 graphic items.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Doug MacPherson in 2009.

Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Joyce Wieland fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

Finding aids: Series level descriptions are available within the current document; an item level description in the form of a FileMaker Pro database is available upon request.

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Index Terms

Names:
Wieland, Joyce, 1930-1998
Organizations:
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Montreal Print Collectors Society
Document Types:
Correspondence.
Newsletters.
Photographs.
Posters.
Prints.

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Administrative Information

Processing Information

Collection arranged and described by Philip Dombowsky in 2010.

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], Joyce Wieland fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

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Contact Information

Cyndie Campbell
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources 
Library and Archives 
National Gallery of Canada 
380 Sussex Drive 
P.O. Box 427, Station A 
Ottawa, Ontario 
K1N 9N4 

T 613-990-0597 
F 613-990-9818 

 
ccampbel@gallery.ca 


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Series Level Descriptions

Drawings. – 1952-1989. – 1952-1989. – 349 drawings, 33 prints, and 3 oil paintings. 

Series consists of drawings, prints, and oil paintings. Many of the drawings are preparatory sketches for Wieland projects, including Defend the Earth/Défendez la terre, a quilted wall mural from 1972; The Arctic Belongs to Itself, a lithograph produced in 1973; Barren Ground Caribou, a quilted cloth assemblage produced in 1974; and The Far Shore, a feature film made in 1976. The series also includes eleven costume sketches drawn by Ann Pritchard, art director of The Far Shore, as well as several sketches that are independent of any particular project. 
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
Physical description: Drawings include two works in gouache and one in watercolour.
Finding aids: Box list available.

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Photographs. – ca. 1976-ca. 1987. – 285 photographs : multiple processes. 

Series includes personal photographs, photographs related to the film The Far Shore, and photographs of art works and exhibition installations. Among the personal photographs are two of Wieland as a child and two showing Wieland in her studio. Items related to The Far Shore include two photo-collage mock-ups for a brochure or an invitation and two photostats. The photographs of art works mainly depict pieces produced by Wieland in the 1960s and the 1980s. The colour transparencies in the series mostly depict landscape paintings produced by Wieland in the 1980s. Several of these works were reproduced in the catalogue that accompanied the Joyce Wieland retrospective exhibition held at the Art Galley of Ontario in 1987. 
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
Physical description: Photographs include 120 b&w photographs, 91 b&w negatives, 24 colour photographs, 6 colour negatives, and 44 colour transparencies.
Finding aids: Box list available.

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Posters and reproductions. – 1968-1987. – 25 graphic items. 

Series includes 21 posters and 4 reproductions of art works by Wieland. Included are five copies of the poster that Wieland designed for The Far Shore, a poster announcing the showing of the same film at the London Film Festival in 1976, two copies of Wieland's poster for the Toronto conference, Chief Billy Diamond Speaks on James Bay, and two copies of the poster for the retrospective exhibition Joyce Wieland held at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1987. Also included are three copies of a printed reproduction of Wieland's painting Sunlight and Firelight (1980) and a reproduction of Wieland's painting Captain, printed by Mark Graf Publishing, Hudson, Quebec.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
Finding aids: Box list available.

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Miscellaneous. – ca. 1952-ca. 1980. – 9 graphic items, 1 printed reproduction, and 4 b&w photographs. 

Series consists of miscellaneous printed items including reproductions of two early drawings by Wieland, the front of a Christmas card, advertisements for Pyrex and Dalco Table Cream, and a book jacket for Five Little Peppers by Margret Walsh. Some of this material may relate to Wieland's studies at the Central Technical School or to her employment as a package designer after she graduated. Also included is Wieland's certificate for entrance into the Royal Canadian Academy of Art dated November 18, 1973; an invitation (and mock-ups) to a celebrative dinner for Jean Sutherland Boggs, former director of the National Gallery of Canada; a signed reproduction of The Morning After the Dawn Before by Walt Humphries; four photographs of a Christmas design; and miscellaneous notes. 
Finding aids: Box list available.

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