Ontario Society of Artists fonds

Reference Code: Fonds - F 1140
Title: Ontario Society of Artists fonds
Date of Creation: 1847-2000
Date(s) of Accumulation: 1872-2000
Physical Description:

5.8 metres of textual records

ca. 917 photographs

ca. 187 photographs : slides

ca. 277 photographs : negatives

30 items of textual records

10 audio discs

8 audio reels

5 drawings

2 architectural drawings

11.1 MB of electronic records (textual records, photographs and 2 access databases)

Scope and Content:

Fonds consists of records created and accumulated by the Ontario Society of Artists. It includes administrative records of the society, such as correspondence, incorporation documents, minute books, society histories, archives and scrapbook project records, exhibition management files, biographical and professional profiles of society members and nominees, annual reports, financial records and records relating to the activities of the Society's Executive Council.

Fonds also contains catalogues of the society's annual exhibitions, which began in 1873, and includes annual reports, bulletins, and other printed material and publications from art galleries and associations across Canada and elsewhere.

Fonds includes photographs of society members and events, including juries and hanging committees, exhibition openings and installations, as well as a large number of black and white photographs of paintings and sculpture exhibited at annual shows and special exhibitions. Five sketches created by artist J.D. Kelly for an OSA composition class were donated to the society in 1953 and form part of the fonds.

Sound recordings are recordings of radio transmissions relating to the history of the OSA, topics in art and annual exhibition openings.

These records document the business and activities of the Ontario Society of Artists in their promotion of Ontario art and artists through the staging of annual juried and special exhibitions, fundraising projects, presentation of art education through the media and support of the visual arts in Ontario through membership in other cultural and artistic organizations and associations.

Fonds has been arranged into fourteen series, which have been re-numbered from their original designations. The finding aid includes a reference to the old reference codes. The photographs and sound recordings in this fonds have been re-integrated with the subject related textual files. A previous arrangement of this fonds had separated the photographs and sound recordings based on physical medium only.

Administrative History or Biographical Sketch:

The Ontario Society of Artists was formed in 1872 to encourage original art production in Ontario amongst professional artists.

Click on the link(s) below for more information.

Ontario Society of Artists

Finding Aid:

See series descriptions to access online lists for each series.

Structure of Collection:

View how this material is structured within its collection. Select items to navigate through the different available levels of description, including online series, sub-series and listings.

Restrictions on Access:

See series descriptions for access restrictions.

Physical Condition:

Some files contain mould.

How to order these records:

Reading Rooms: Consult the online list to identify the records that you require. Order using reference code and barcode number.

Reading Rooms: Please note that this material may be stored off-site. A minimum of 1 business day is required to retrieve off-site material from storage. Please contact a Reference Archivist for more information.

Reading Rooms: Electronic records are held in our Electronic Records Repository. Please contact a Reference Archivist for information about accessing these records.

Terms For Use and Reproduction:

See series descriptions for terms governing use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: Part of the fonds was acquired by the Archives of Ontario from the Ontario Society of Artists in March of 1965, and another part was obtained from that organization in August of 1972. Included is a copy of "Ontario Art Chronicle" by Robert F. Gagen, obtained from a copy loan from the Fine Arts Department of the Toronto Public Library in January of 1968.
Additional records were donated to the Archives of Ontario by the Ontario Society of Artists in April 1993.
Availability of Other Formats:

See series descriptions for information on the availability of other formats.


Title based on content of fonds. Consult the Archives of Ontario's Visual Database for the availability of photographs in this fonds.

Other/Former Codes:

Accession Numbers: 6006, 9620.MU 2250 - MU 2272; MU 3376 - MU 3382, MS 418 and 27699.