Fonds LA.SC073 - K.M. Graham fonds

Identity area

Reference code



K.M. Graham fonds


  • [1900]-2008 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

765 cm textual records
7992 photographs: 2760 prints (col., b&w, albumen prints); 4121 slides; 570 negatives, 541 transparencies
530 drawings
3 floppy discs
1 microcassette

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Kathleen Margaret Graham (1913-2008), née Howitt, was a Canadian abstract painter whose work was predominantly inspired by landscape forms. Born in Hamilton, she spent most of her life in Toronto and summered in Algonquin Park. Graham earned her B.A. at Trinity College, University of Toronto. Her husband, Wallace Graham, was a prominent doctor and academic.

K.M. Graham took up painting full-time in 1962, following the sudden death of her husband. She attended night classes at Central Technical School in Toronto, but was essentially self-taught as a painter. She was for many years a volunteer at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and enjoyed the support of a close group of practicing artists. Her friend and mentor, Jack Bush, selected and hung her first exhibition “Homage to Emily Dickinson” at the Carmen Lamanna Gallery in 1967.

In 1971, Graham made her first of many trips to Cape Dorset, where she later became an artist in residence in 1976 and produced several series of lithographs in addition to her works on canvas. From the 1970s through to the 1990s, Graham travelled extensively to Newfoundland and Labrador, which became another major inspiration for her work.

Graham exhibited actively from the 1960s until the 2000s at influential galleries including Carmen Lamanna, The Pollock Gallery, David Mirvish and the Moore Gallery. Her work is found in numerous major public collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the British Museum. She became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1973 and was made an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Toronto in 1975.

Archival history

The material now constituting this fonds consists of two accruals transferred directly from the artist's house to the Art Gallery of Ontario: an original donation in 2010 and a second accrual in 2019.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

AGO Credit line: Gift of John Wallace Graham, 2010; Gift of John Wallace Graham, 2019

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

The 2010 donation has been arranged into 11 series, constituting boxes 1-32 and 75-79. The 2019 accrual has been arranged to follow existing series in the K.M. Graham fonds (series 1, 2, 5-10), constituting boxes 33-74.

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 is held by the Estate of K.M. Graham. 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 to publish any part of the fonds.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

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

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Archivist's note

Prepared by Aline Zara, 2019 with assistance from Amy Furness, 2019 and Marie-Lyne Bergeron, 2010. Uploaded and adapted by Aline Zara, 2020.

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