TABLE OF CONTENTS
Charles W. Jefferys and Jean Adams Jefferys fonds:
Charles William Jefferys was a prolific Canadian artist, illustrator, and author who was best known for his portrayals of early Canadian life. He was born in Rochester, Kent, England on August 25, 1869, the son of Charles T. Jefferys, a builder, and Ellen Kennard. In 1875 he immigrated with his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; they later moved to Hamilton, Ontario, in 1878, before settling in Toronto around 1880. Jefferys began formal training as an artist in 1884 at the Ontario School of Art. From 1885 to 1890 he apprenticed with the Toronto Lithographing Company, where he was also hired-out to work as an illustrator for the Toronto Globe. In the fall of 1892, Jefferys went to the United States to work for the New York Herald as an artist-reporter. He married artist Jean Adams (1872-1898) in 1894. Jean was a member of the Toronto Art Students' League and a contributor to their calendar. Jefferys lived in New York and New Jersey until 1899, the year Jean and their son Charles Robert died. He returned to Canada in 1901 and eventually settled in York Mills. Jefferys illustrated a large number of books, including illustrations for The Makers of Canada (1903-1911) and Chronicles of Canada (1914-1916). Jefferys also co-founded the satirical periodical The Moon (1902-1904), and he wrote and illustrated Canada's Past in Pictures (1934) and The Picture Gallery of Canadian History (1942, 1945, 1950). During World War I, Jefferys, unable to go overseas, was commissioned by the Canadian War Records to paint soldiers training in Canada at Camp Petawawa and Niagara. Following the end of his commission, he taught painting and drawing in the Department of Architecture at the University of Toronto. His art was exhibited widely throughout his life in Canada and abroad, and he remained active in many organizations, including the Ontario Society of Artists, the Royal Canadian Academy, the Art Students' League, and the Arts and Letters Club. After his retirement in 1939, Jefferys continued to produce illustrations and murals until his death in Toronto on October 8, 1951.
The fonds consists of fifty-six drawings by Charles W. Jefferys, which include twenty-six pencil drawings, twenty-seven pen-and-ink drawings, and three watercolours. The drawings and watercolours vary in size and mainly consist of portraits, figure studies, and historical subjects on paper. Many of the drawings are signed and dated from between 1890 to 1900. The fonds also includes two sketchbooks attributed to Jean Adams Jefferys consisting mainly of pencil drawings of outdoor landscapes. Many of these drawings depict farm life, portraits and figure studies, and farm animals. The sketchbooks also contain pen-and-ink drawings of figure studies and border designs, and perspective notes written in pencil. Many of the drawings have captions, but are not signed or dated. On the front cover of one of the sketchbooks is a pencil and pen-and-ink drawing of a blindfolded Lady Justice, kneeling and holding two hearts. This sketchbooks contains thirty-five drawings, including a portrait sketch of Canadian artist Frederick Sproston Challener (1869-1959). The second sketchbook contains twenty-nine drawings.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Maggie Keith, 2011.
Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Charles W. Jefferys fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Finding aids: Box list available.
Related material: The collection of the National Gallery of Canada includes numerous paintings and drawings by Charles W. Jefferys.
Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Kira A. Brown in 2011.
Donated to the National Gallery of Canada by Maggie Keith in April 2009. Maggie Keith inherited the drawings from her partner art historian and curator Robert Stacey (1949-2007). Robert Stacey was the grandson of Charles W. Jefferys.
[Title of item], Charles W. Jefferys and Jean Adams Jefferys fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
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