Series LA.SC076.S6 - Arts’ Sake files

Identity area

Reference code

LA.SC076.S6

Title

Arts’ Sake files

Date(s)

  • 1977-1983 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Extent and medium

7 cm of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

(1936-1990)

Biographical history

Robert Nelson Markle, Canadian artist, writer, educator and musician, was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1936 and died in Holstein, Ontario in 1990. He began his studies at the Ontario College of Art (OCA) in 1954, but was expelled before graduation. While at OCA, he met Marlene Shuster, a fellow student, whom he married in 1958. The focus of Markle’s work from his early days was the female nude, particularly burlesque dancers, and Marlene became his primary model and muse. In 1962 Markle had his first group exhibition at The Isaacs Gallery in Toronto, becoming one of the “Isaacs Group” of artists. In 1965, Markle paintings shown in the exhibition Eros ’65 at the Dorothy Cameron Gallery were seized on a charge of obscenity, drawing considerable media attention. In the mid-1960s Markle began to write for magazines such as the Toronto Telegram Showcase, Maclean’s, and Toronto Life, publishing widely on topics as diverse as striptease, hockey, childhood Christmases, and Gordon Lightfoot. Markle also worked extensively as an illustrator, contributing images to magazines and literary journals. His work as an educator included terms at The New School of Art (1966-1977) and Arts’ Sake (1977-1982) as well as OCA and the University of Guelph. From the early 1960s, Markle played tenor saxophone and piano in the Artists’ Jazz Band. In 1970 the Markles moved to a farmhouse outside of Holstein, Ontario, although Robert re-established a studio in Toronto from 1979 to 1982. In 1979, he won a commission to decorate a Toronto hamburger restaurant, which was named Markleangelo’s in his honour. His other large-scale commissions include wall-sculptures for the Ellen Fairclough Building in Hamilton, Ontario, and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. He executed painted outdoor murals in Owen Sound and Mount Forest, Ontario. Markle was killed in a traffic accident in 1990. Of Mohawk ancestry, Markle used his mother’s spelling of his surname, although it was spelled “Maracle” on his birth certificate. Markle worked primarily in painting and ink drawing, and also explored photography, collage, printmaking, wooden sculpture and neon. He collected folk art, which inspired a number of whirligig works later in his career. His work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Series consists of records relating to Robert Markle’s participation in the creation of and teaching at the independent visual arts school “Arts’ Sake” in Toronto. Records include notes on curriculum and on the concept of the school, and promotional material. Series also includes Markle’s notes on the New School of Art, ca. 1977.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open. Access to Special Collections is by appointment only. Please contact the reference desk for more information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright of material in this fonds is held by the heirs of the creator. Copyright belonging to other parties, such as that of photographs, may still rest with the creator of these items. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission for the reproduction of any part of the fonds

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Edward P. Taylor Library and Archives, Art Gallery of Ontario

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Originally prepared in 2003

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

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