TABLE OF CONTENTS

Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Processing Information

Preferred Citation

Contact Information

Box List

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

Mowry Baden fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title:Mowry Baden fonds.
Dates:– 1959-2009.
Quantity: – 24 journals : 1,274 signed drawings, 17 photographs, and 2 exhibition catalogues ; 36.2 x 28.5 cm or smaller.

Biographical Sketch

Mowry Baden is a contemporary sculptor based in Saanich, British Columbia. He was born in Los Angeles, California on January 17, 1936 and received a B.A. from Pomona College (Claremont, California) in 1958 and an M.A. from Stanford University (Palo Alto, California) in 1965. Baden began his career as a painter but turned to sculpture in the mid-1960s as a means of clarifying problems related to painting. He fully embraced sculpture by the end of the decade, producing works that borrowed from psychology, architecture, and performance art. Among Baden's earliest sculptural works were "task-oriented sculptures" that invited viewers to engage in specific physical tasks that would be re-experienced in neuromuscular sensations after leaving the work. In 1971, after briefly teaching at Pomona College (1968-1971), Baden moved to Canada, where he taught first at the University of British Columbia (1972-1975), and later at the University of Victoria (1975-1997). After moving to Canada, Baden continued to develop as a sculptor, further exploring the idea of participatory works that challenged the sensory perceptions of the viewer.

Throughout his career Baden has produced public art as well as works for gallery spaces. His work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including in Mowry Baden: Task Oriented Sculptures at Mercer Union, Toronto, in 1987; Mowry Baden: A Choreography of the Ordinary at Open Space, Victoria, British Columbia in 1998; Freckled Gyres: Sculpture by Mowry Baden at Pomona College, Claremont, California in 2001; Mowry Baden and Roland Brener: Thirty Years in Victoria at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 2006; and Caught in the Act: The Viewer as Performer at the National Gallery of Canada in 2008. In 2009-2010, Baden exhibited five recently produced sculptures under the title Mirroring at Diaz Contemporary in Toronto. Baden has created public art works in various cities, including Pittsburgh, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Victoria. His sculptures can be found in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the Art Gallery of Victoria; the Musée d'art contemporain, Montreal; and the National Gallery of Canada, to name a few. Baden is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria. He was the recipient of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2006 and is represented in Canada by Diaz Contemporary.

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Scope and Content

The fonds includes twenty-four journals kept by Mowry Baden between December 1959 and January 2009. The journals provide a detailed record of Baden's artistic career and include detailed descriptions of many of his most important works. They also include numerous preparatory drawings for realized and unrealized sculptural projects; correspondence with colleagues, friends, and family; seventeen photographs; and two exhibition catalogues. Twelve hundred and seventy-four of the drawings are signed by Baden. Several of these had been cut out of the journals and exhibited at the Montgomery Gallery, Pomona College in Claremont, California in 2001 and at Deluge Contemporary Art in Victoria, British Columbia in 2007. Items that were not sold in these exhibitions or given as gifts were hinged back into the journals.

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

Physical description: Several pages with notes and drawings have been taped into the journals. 1274 drawings in the journals are signed. Photographs include 1 b&w photograph, 15 colour photographs, and 1 colour Polaroid. The two exhibition catalogues are tipped-in; one is for a Mowry Baden exhibition, the other for a Stephen David exhibition.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Mowry Baden in 2010.

Restrictions: Access to the Mowry Baden journals will be closed until January 1, 2031, except with the prior written consent of the Donor..

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

Finding aids: Box list available.

Associated materials: The National Gallery of Canada owns one work by Baden, a sculpture entitled The Light that Severs Day from Night (2003). This work was included in the exhibition Caught in the Act: The Viewer as Performer held at the National Gallery in 2008.

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Index Terms

Names:
Baden, Mowry, 1936-
Document Types:
Correspondence.
Catalogues.
Drawings.
Photographs.

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Administrative Information

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid developed by Philip Dombowsky in 2011.

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], Mowry Baden 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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Box List

Box Folder
Box 1 File 1 Journal, December 1959-January 1961 
File 2 Journal, February 1961-November 1962  
File 3 Journal, June 1963-July 1965 *note: journal includes three tipped-in ink drawings, 30 x 17.5 cm. 
File 4 Journal, September 1965-May 1970 *note: journal includes three tipped-in ink drawings, 23.6 x 18 cm. 
Box Folder
Box 2 File 1 Journal, May 1970-May 1973 *note: journal includes 44 signed drawings (42 in ink and 2 in pencil), 27.2 x 20.8 cm or smaller; 7 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 2 Journal, June 1973-January 1976 *note: journal includes 1 b&w photograph and 69 signed ink drawings (incl. 2 in colour), 27.2 x 20.8 cm or smaller; 8 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 3 Journal, March 1976-November 1978 *note: journal includes 46 signed ink drawings, 27 x 21 cm or smaller; 10 drawings of varying dimensions are tipped-in. 
File 4 Journal, December 1978-March 1980 *note: journal includes 80 signed ink drawings, 27.3 x 20.8 cm or smaller; 4 drawings of varying dimensions are tipped-in. 
Box Folder
Box 3 File 1 Journal, April 1980-June 1982 *note: journal includes 76 signed drawings, 34.6 x 26.9 or smaller; 25 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 2 Journal, June 1982-January 1984 *note: journal includes 18 signed ink drawings, 35.4 x 26.8 cm or smaller; 6 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 3 Journal, February 1984-April 1985 *note: journal includes 56 signed ink drawings, 34.9 x 27.1 cm or smaller; 29 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
Box Folder
Box 4 File 1 Journal, May 1985-May 1988 *note: journal includes 7 colour photographs (family) and 81 signed ink drawings, 34.9 x 27.1 cm or smaller; 54 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 2 Journal, May 1988-October 1991 *note: journal includes 1 colour Polaroid (showing Baden with his sculpture Saguaro Descending (1990) and 60 signed ink drawings, 34.9 x 27.1 cm or smaller; 33 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
Box Folder
Box 5 File 1 Journal, October 1991-February 1994 *note: journal includes 54 signed ink drawings, 34.8 x 27.3 cm or smaller; 26 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 2 Journal, February 1994-August 1995 *note: journal contains 40 signed ink drawings and 1 signed graphite drawing, 34.8 x 27.3 cm or smaller; 2 drawings (including one in graphite) of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 3 Journal, August 1995-August 1998 *note: journal includes 62 signed ink drawings, 34.8 x 27.3 cm or smaller; 16 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
Box Folder
Box 6 File 1 Journal, August 1998-November 1999 *note: journal includes 62 signed ink drawings, 34.8 x 27.3 cm or smaller; 12 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 2 Journal, November 1999-May 2001 *note: journal includes 63 signed ink drawings, 34.8 x 27.3 cm or smaller; 13 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 3 Journal, May 2001-November 2002 *note: journal includes 73 signed ink drawings, 34.8 x 27.5 cm or smaller; 17 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 4 Journal, November 2002-November 2003 *note: journal includes 67 signed ink drawings, 34.8 x 27.5 cm or smaller; 7 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
Box Folder
Box 7 File 1 Journal, December 2003-January 2006 *note: journal includes 91 signed ink drawings, 35.4 x 27.6 cm or smaller; 23 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 2 Journal, January 2006-January 2007 *note: journal includes 76 signed ink drawings, 34.8 x 27.6 cm or smaller; 26 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 3 Journal, January 2007-January 2008 *note: journal includes 6 colour photographs (showing sculptures by Mowry Baden) and 84 signed ink drawings, 35.3 x 27.6 cm or smaller; 21 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 
File 4 Journal, January 2008-January 2009 *note: journal includes 1 colour photograph (family) and 70 ink drawings, 35.2 x 27.4 cm or smaller; 29 drawings of varying size are tipped-in. 

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