Avis Lang - Jack Chambers collection
- 1953-1974, predominant 1972-1974 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
13 cm of textual records
Name of creator
Avis Lang [Rosenberg] (1944-) is an art historian, teacher, curator, writer and editor who lived in Vancouver for many years. In 1972, as a member of the faculty of the Fine Art Department at the University of British Columbia, she wrote to Canadian artist Jack Chambers (1931-1978) beginning a correspondence that led Chambers to invite her contribution to a scholarly monograph on his work. In 1973, Peter Mellen took over the editorial direction for the book and differences of opinion prompted her to resign the project. Her essay, “The Hart of London: a film by Jack Chambers” was included in The Films of Jack Chambers, edited by Kathryn Elder (Cinematheque Ontario and Indiana State University Press, 2002).
Name of creator
Jack (John Richard) Chambers, artist and experimental filmmaker, was born in London, Ontario in 1931. He studied at the Escuela Central de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid from 1957 to 1959. In Spain he met Olga Sanchez Bustos, whom he married in Canada in 1963. They made their home in London and had two children, John (b. 1964) and Diego (b.1965). Chambers’ style of painting and drawing in the 1960s was characterized by a dreamlike quality. Toward the end of that decade, his work became intensely focused on the depiction of reality, often relating closely to source photographs, most of which were taken by the artist himself. Between 1964 and 1970 Chambers also directed eight films. The subjects of his work were often domestic or regional, focusing on his experience in London. In 1967, Chambers founded Canadian Artists’ Representation to try to establish fee scales for reproduction rights and rental fees for works in public exhibitions, and served as president from 1967 to 1975. In 1969 Chambers published his essay “Perceptual Realism”, and that same year, was diagnosed with leukemia. From 1971 to 1977 he worked on “Red and Green,” a study of art and perception (unpublished). Chambers died in London in 1978. His work is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and numerous other Canadian galleries.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Collection was acquired from Avis Lang on February 14, 2003.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Collection consists of correspondence between Avis Lang Rosenberg and Jack Chambers over a three-year period, slides created for the proposed book, transcriptions of taped interviews, contents of a notebook, poetry and prose written by Chambers, research notes, Lang’s writings on Chambers, exhibition catalogues and a private press publication containing illustrations by Chambers. Much of the material is present in photocopied form. File titles were assigned by Avis Lang, except where square brackets are used. The collection is arranged in a single series.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright is held by the creators and their heirs. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the collection.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A detailed list of slides in the collection can be found in the 2003 finding aid.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Unpublished material originally photocopied on coated paper stock that is fading has been re-photocopied and inserted at the end of the file.
Two published catalogues, _Jack Chambers, a retrospective_ and “London Collects” have been integrated into the AGO library collection.