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Authority record

Aarons, Anita

  • Person
  • 1912-2000

Anita Aarons (1912-2000) was an Australian-born artist, educator, curator and arts administrator who was active in Toronto from 1964 to 1984. During her time in the city she taught at Central Technical School, was the allied arts editor for Architecture Canada (1965-1971), worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario as a curator in the Extension Services department in the early 1970s, and became the founding Director of the Art Gallery at Harbourfront (precursor of The Power Plant), 1976-1984. In 1985 Aarons moved to Noosa, Queensland with her husband, the artist Merton Chambers, where they were both instrumental in the establishment of the Noosa Regional Gallery.

Amis, Ric

  • Person
  • 1947-

Richard Lea Amis (1947– ), chiefly known as Ric Amis, is a media artist living in Toronto who works in still photography and video art. He was born in Montreal and studied at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) and the University of British Columbia. In the 1980s and 1990s, he volunteered with several artists’ and art-related organizations, including artists’ housing co-operatives and art collectives, retaining records from his participation. Ric Amis also held salaried positions as general manager of Trinity Square Video 1978–1980, and managing director of the Association of National Non-Profit Artists’ Centres 1984–1990. Between 1993 and 1996 he was executive director of the magazine Opera Canada, and since 1997 has been proprietor of a computer-support company in Toronto.

Bagnani, Mary Augusta Stewart, 1903-1996

  • Person
  • 1903-1996

Mary Augusta Stewart Houston Bagnani (1903–1996), known after marriage as Stewart Bagnani, was an administrator at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) and a lecturer in fine art. Born in Toronto of a distinguished family, she was the daughter of Stewart Fielde Houston (1868–1910), manager of Massey Hall in Toronto and first editor of The Financial Post. Her mother was Augusta Louise Beverley (Robinson) Houston (1859–1935), daughter of Mary Jane (Hagerman) Robinson (1823–1892) and John Beverley Robinson (1821–1896), mayor of Toronto (1856), member of Parliament in Ottawa (1872–1880) and Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario (1880–1887). Augusta Robinson was one of five children: John Beverley, Napier, Christopher, Minnie Caroline (d. 1923; from 1881 Mrs William Forsyth Grant) and Augusta herself (from 1898, Mrs Stewart Fielde Houston). Stewart Bagnani’s great-grandfather was Sir John Beverley Robinson (1791–1863), Chief Justice of Canada West (now Ontario) from 1829 to 1862. (Mary Augusta) Stewart Houston attended school in England and in Toronto (Bishop Strachan School), and later studied art history in Rome, where she met Gilbert Bagnani. After her marriage to Dr Bagnani in Toronto in 1929, Stewart Bagnani worked beside her husband in the excavations at Tebtunis entrusted to the Royal Italian Archaeological Expedition in Egypt of which Dr Bagnani was director. On site, she drew and painted watercolours (now at Trent University) of early Coptic church frescoes, and recorded observations of excavation workers and of local customs to accompany Dr Bagnani’s photographs. When Gilbert and Stewart Bagnani moved to Canada in 1937, they worked at enlarging the farmhouse on their estate Vogrie to accommodate collections of books and works of art. In the 1950s, a mural was commissioned for a room in the house from Canadian artist William Ronald (1926–1998) of the Painters Eleven. In 1951, while her husband was teaching at the University of Toronto, Mrs Bagnani became head of Extension at the Art Gallery of Toronto, a position she held until 1963. When Dr Bagnani accepted a post at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont. in 1965, Mrs Bagnani gave lectures there on fine art, worked on promoting the Mackenzie Gallery at the university and volunteered at Kingston (Ont.) Penitentiary. A pamphlet and transcripts of two lectures by Stewart Bagnani are in the library collection of the AGO.
After her husband died in 1985, Stewart Bagnani lived in Toronto until her death in 1996 at the age of 93. She was buried with her husband Gilbert in Cobourg (Ont.).

Reid, G.A. (George Agnew), 1860-1947

  • Person
  • 1860-1947

George Agnew Reid (1860-1947) was a Canadian artist, architect, educator and administrator influential in the early 20th century and instrumental in the formation of a number of important Canadian art institutions. Born in Wingham Ontario to a Scottish farm family, he studied architecture and book-keeping at his father’s insistence. In 1878 he moved to Toronto to study art. He was able to extend his art education under Thomas Eakins in Philadelphia, where he met the painter Mary Heister. In 1888 the couple travelled to Europe and studied at the Julian and Colorossi Academies, returning to Toronto in 1889. The house he designed and built in Wychwood Park was his home until the end of his life. In 1890, George Reid began reaching at the Central Ontario School of Art and Design. He eventually became principal and researched new theories of art education in the United States and Europe. Under his direction, the art school became independent of the Board of Education and moved into its own building, which he designed, in 1921. He also served as its first Principal. In 1892, George and Mary Reid built two cottages from his design at the artist colony in Onteora, New York. This led to the design of other summer homes and a small church in the Catskills community. They spent summers at this location until 1917 when the war made travel to the United States difficult. In 1921 Mary Heister Reid died, and in 1923 George Reid married Mary Wrinch, a former student and close friend of his first wife. His later life was filled with accomplishments, including the painting of murals for public spaces in Toronto City Hall, Jarvis Collegiate, the Royal Ontario Museum and elsewhere. He was instrumental in obtaining permanent funding and staff for the National Gallery in Ottawa, and was a force behind the establishment of the Art Gallery of Toronto. He was a member of the RCA, serving as President 1906-1907. He influenced a generation of students, among them C.W. Jefferys, through his teaching and created a number of works that exemplify his generation, including Forbidden Fruit, Mortgaging the Homestead, and The Foreclosure of the Mortgage.

Silcox, David P.

  • Person
  • 1937-

David Phillips Silcox (1937- ) is a Canadian art historian and arts administrator. He has held positions at the Canada Council, York University in Toronto, federal and Ontario culture ministries, the University of Toronto and other academic and cultural institutions. From 2001 to 2013 he was president of Sotheby’s Canada. David Silcox has written books on Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. His biography of Canadian artist David Brown Milne, Painting Place: the life and work of David B. Milne, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 1996. He is also co-author with David Milne Jr of the catalogue raisonné of Milne’s paintings, for which the David Milne Project was instituted. David Silcox was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2006.