- Corporate body
A Space is an artist-run centre located in Toronto.
A Space is an artist-run centre located in Toronto.
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.
Sam and Ayala Zacks were prominent Canadian art collectors of international repute active in the mid-20th century whose gifts form the basis of the modern European art collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Ayala Ben Tovim Fleg Zacks Abramov (1912-) was born in Jerusalem and educated in Israel, Paris and London. In 1938 she married Maurice Fleg in Paris, and joined the French Resistance after her husband died in action in1940. Active in Zionist circles after the war, she met Sam Zacks in Switzerland. Samuel J. Zacks (1904-1970) was a financier, Zionist and art collector, born in Kingston Ontario and educated at Queen’s University and Harvard. Following their marriage in 1947 they immediately began to collect art of the School of Paris as well as Canadian and Israeli art and antiquities, amassing an extensive collection by the late 1950’s that was in continual demand by museums around the world. In 1956 a collection of Canadian art was donated to Queen’s University, Mr. Zack’s alma mater, the first of many significant gifts to institutions in Israel and Canada including the Hazor Archaeological Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Mr. and Mrs. Zacks were both involved in international art circles, sitting on the Boards of the International Committee of Museums (ICOM), a branch of UNELA.SCO, the International Committee of the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario and others. In 1969 Mr. Zacks received an Honourary Fellowship from St. Peter’s College, Oxford. He died in 1970 in Toronto. After his death, Ayala Zacks was awarded the Order of Canada and an honourary degree from the University of Toronto. She married Zalman Abramov, an Israeli lawyer and politician in 1976 and moved permanently to Israel in 1982.
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.
The Art Directors Club, Toronto (active 1947–1993), now the Advertising and Design Club of Canada, was a trade organization the first aim of which was “to promote the use of better art as applied to commerce and industry.” Its membership, initially around 25 and limited in 1958 to 90 members, consisted chiefly of art directors, commercial artists, photographers and typographers. After its charter was granted in January 1948, the club elected Robin Cumine, Leslie Trevor, John Belknap, O.K. Schenk and Eric Heathcote as officers for 1948–1949. Harry Caverhill, Charles Comfort, Stanley Cooper and Leslie Wookey served on the first executive committee. Presidents of the Art Directors Club, Toronto mentioned in club correspondence were Leslie Trevor and Gerald Moses. Similar organizations existed in Vancouver, Montreal, New York and elsewhere.
The first Art Directors Club, Toronto (ADCT) exhibition was held at Eatons Fine Art Galleries in Toronto in April 1949. In that year, the club first published reproductions of submissions to the exhibition in its Annual of advertising and editorial art (1949–1964). Issues of the annual included lists of artists in the exhibition and names of members of the club.
The club also administered the Oscar Cahén Memorial Award for accomplishment in the art of industry and commerce, named after Canadian painter (member of the Painters Eleven) and illustrator Oscar Cahén (1916–1956).
During the 1950s, ADCT exhibitions of advertising and editorial art were held at the Art Gallery of Toronto, now the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).
The Art Institute of Ontario (AIO) was officially incorporated in 1951 to organize and circulate exhibitions, lectures, and instructional programmes throughout the province of Ontario with the help of its institutional members. The AIO’s founding members were the Art Gallery of Toronto (now Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Art Gallery of London, Hart House, the London Public Library and Art Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, The Ontario Association of Architects, The Ontario Society of Artists, The Royal Ontario Museum, and The Willistead Art Gallery of Windsor. A proposal to form the AIO was originally put forward as early as September 1948 by the Art Gallery of Toronto, which had begun circulating exhibitions. However, funding was not formalized until 1951 when a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Education made it possible to sponsor an exhibition circulating throughout the province. In later years the AIO would also receive funding from the Atkinson foundation, Canada Council (since its founding in 1957), and the Province of Ontario Council for the Arts.
Harold C. Walker (President of the AGT from 1948-1950) originally served as the AIO’s Chairman while Martin Baldwin (Director of the AGT from 1948-1960) was its Director until 1964, when Paul Bennett took over the role (Baldwin stayed on as President). Bennett had previously been hired as the AIO’s first Field Director in 1959, serving as Director until the institute was absorbed into the AGO’s Extension Services in 1968.
Barbara Astman (1950- ) is a Toronto-based artist who has worked in a wide range of photographic and mixed-media formats. Born in Rochester (NY), Astman was educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology School for American Craftsmen and, after moving to Toronto in 1970, the Ontario College of Art. She was a pioneer in the field of colour xerography, and her practice has included a mix of camera art, new media, sculpture and light projection installations. Thematically, her work has explored issues of identity, history, memory, systems of representation and gender perspectives, often involving her own body as a subject. She has executed a number of public art commissions for clients including the Calgary Winter Olympics, the City of Ottawa (St. Laurent Complex Recreation Project), Hayter Street Developments (Bay/Hayter Condominiums, Toronto) and Cadillac Fairview Corporation (Simcoe Place, Toronto). Astman is now a professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, where she has been teaching since the mid-1970s. She is represented by the Corkin Gallery. Her work is found in prominent public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris, France), and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Gilbert Forrest Bagnani (1900-1985) was a professor of ancient history. He was born in Rome to General Ugo Bagnani and Florence Dewar. He served as a Second Lieutenant of artillery towards the end of World War I. After the War he returned to the University of Rome where he received his doctorate. Instead of entering law as he had planned, he turned to the Italian School of Archaeology in Athens to study antiquities. In 1929 Gilbert married Mary Augusta Stewart Houston (1903-1996) of Toronto, daughter of Stewart Houston (editor of "The Financial Post") and Augusta Robinson (daughter of John Beverley Robinson, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, and granddaughter of Sir John Beverley Robinson, Chief Justice and Attorney-General of Upper Canada). Gilbert and Stewart had an apartment in Rome and for seven seasons worked, in the Sahara Desert, with the Royal Archaeological Mission to Egypt. In 1937 they fled fascist Italy and purchased a 200 acre farm and house built around 1845 near Port Hope, Ontario and named it "Vogrie". In 1945 Gilbert was invited to teach ancient history at the University of Toronto and in 1958 became a Professor. He retired from the University of Toronto in 1965. The Bagnanis returned to "Vogrie". In the same year, Gilbert was asked to accept a term-appointment at Trent University. He was honoured with a LL.D. by Trent in 1971 and he continued to teach as a Professor of Ancient History until 1975.
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.).