TABLE OF CONTENTS

Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Processing Information

Preferred Citation

Contact Information

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

Robert Murray fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title:Robert Murray fonds.
Dates:– 1998.
Quantity: – 3 drawings : 22.9 x 29.1 cm.

Biographical Sketch

Robert Murray, sculptor, painter, printmaker, and art teacher, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1936 and grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He began studying art in Saskatoon, taking courses at the Bedford Road Collegiate High School under Ernest Lindner (1897-1988) and at the Saskatoon Teachers' College under Wynona Mulcaster (b. 1915). In 1960, after attending the Regina College School of Art (1956-1958) and the Emma Lake Artists' Workshop led by Barnett Newman in 1959, Murray moved to New York City, where he studied at the Art Students' League under Will Barnet (1911-2012). As an artist, Murray had started out as a painter and a printmaker but shifted his focus to sculpture beginning in 1959, when he accepted a commission to design a sculptural fountain for Saskatoon City Hall. The commission was Murray's first attempt at designing large scale sculptural works in metal fabricating plants. He continued in this vein in subsequent years, designing numerous monumental constructions in steel and aluminum, including the red painted steel sculpture entitled Ferus, which he produced at the Treitel-Gratz factory in New York in 1963. The work was installed on Lookout Island in Georgian Bay, Ontario and was shown at the Washington Square Gallery, New York in 1964 and at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, the following year. It was purchased in 1999 by the National Gallery of Canada, which held a Robert Murray retrospective entitled The Factory as Studio during that year. Along with the National Gallery of Canada, Murray's work can be found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the New Brunswick Museum, Saint John; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Murray currently lives near Unionville, Pennsylvania with his wife, Cintra Wetherill Lofting, and their two children. He spends his summers in Georgian Bay, Ontario.

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Scope and Content

The fonds consists of three ink drawings on wove paper depicting Murray's monumental welded steel sculpture Ferus on Lookout Island in Georgian Bay. Each of the three drawings are signed "RM 98" in the bottom left hand corner and "Ferus" in the bottom right hand corner.

Source of title: Title based on contents of series.

Immediate source of acquisition: The drawings were donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Maggie Keith in April 2009. Maggie Keith inherited the drawings from her partner, art historian and curator Robert Stacey (1949-2007).

Terms governing use and reproduction: Written requests for reproduction or publishing of material from the Robert Murray fonds must be made to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

Finding aids: Fonds level description available.

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Index Terms

Names:
Murray, Robert, 1936-
Document Types:
Drawings.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The drawings, produced approximately a year before Ferus was sold to the National Gallery, were a gift from Robert Murray to Robert Stacey in 1999. Murray gave the drawings to show his appreciation for Stacey's interest in Ferus and his passionate discussions about keeping the work in place on Lookout Island.

Processing Information

Collection arranged and described by Philip Dombowsky in 2012.

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], Robert Murray 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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