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Watercolour sketch

File contains one drawing, red and black wash over pencil on paper, of a boy and girl picking apples. Two pencil sketches of entwined figures on the verso

Untitled figure drawings

File contains drawings received from Sylvia Ostry, as follows: Untitled (Seated figure), [ca. 1925]; Untitled (Seated figure in window), [ca. 1925]; Untitled (Three female nudes), [192-]; Untitled (Three female nudes in landscape), [ca. 1928]; Untitled (Female figures in mountainscape), [ca. 1928]

Printed study sources

File contains 15 leaves removed from books including plates of models and statuary. Also included are 3 leaves, probably from an art periodical, on Munsell


File contains photocopied letters from Munn’s mother and brother in Toronto reporting on family affairs, the garden, the business, etc.


Notebooks document Munn’s student life in New York City and at the Art Students League Summer School in Woodstock. She recorded her lecture notes, essays containing reviews and summaries of books read, notations regarding books of interest, sketches, anatomical drawings, copies of historical works of art, poems, and occasionally ephemera. Under the tutelage of her teachers at the Art Students League – Andrew Dasburg, Max Weber, A.S. Baylinson, Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Henry L. McFee, she embraced modernism and gained exposure to literary, artistic and musical influences of her day. The notebooks show her to be an avid reader with a keen interest in the intellectual life of her time and in the artistic expression of other cultures and epochs. There is a particular delight in pattern and an underlying search for explanation and order. On the front pastedown of Notebook No. 8 she wrote, “Perfect beauty is the expression of perfect order, balance, harmony, rhythm. Beauty is a supreme instance of order intuitively felt, instinctively appreciated”. The notebooks are undated, with the exception of No. 5.

Munn, Kathleen Jean, 1887-1974

Notebook No. 1

Cloth covered notebook with lined pages and printed cover titled ‘Students MSS Book’ filled with writing and a few small sketches in pencil and ink. Front and back endpapers are also filled with writing. The notes appear to have been taken from readings, not lecture notes, as they are in paragraph form and occasionally have page references. Some of the subjects include Wagner, Fetichism, Maeterlinck’s ‘Wisdom and destiny’, Edmund Gosse’s ‘Ibsen’, pictorial composition, Cubism, modern painting, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, Renoir and many other artists.

Notebook No. 3

Notebook with paper covered boards, cloth backstrip, disbound. Two New York addresses are written down in the first few pages, one at 215 West 57th Street, the other at 161 East 63rd Street. This notebook is more casual and fragmentary, containing notes that may have been taken at lectures and are interspersed with rough drawings in pencil. There are a number of loose pages inserted, and an envelope with stamps dated 1915. The notes are a mixture of art-related topics (specific artists suggest an art history class: Titian, El Greco, etc.), and scraps of poetry, a number of these on the subject of love.

Notebook No. 2

Cloth covered burgundy notebook, untitled, with lined sheets, filled with writing as above. The latter part of the book contains discussions of European cities - London, Munich, Berlin, Cracow - visited during Munn’s European tour in 1920. Other entries include discussions of Denman Ross’ theories of colour and design, architecture of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Renaissance, Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic, entries on Nietzsche and Gaudier-Brzeska, Japanese flower arrangement. They show that she was aware of Blast, the Vorticists, Kandinsky, and other modern painters and musicians. Notes and drawings on perspective are included, and a discussion of “Science and art drawing” by J. Humphrey Spanton. Two leaves have been torn out.

Notebook No. 8

Notebook is bound in black paper-covered boards with a red backstrip. Binding is shaken but intact. The artist’s name and the address 320 Spadina Road, are written onto the front pastedown, along with penciled notes. This notebook contains primarily drawings of patterns and motifs from Indian, Japanese, Greek, Assyrian, Peruvian, Egyptian and primitive art, some drawn on onionskin paper and tipped into the book. Most are pencil drawings with a few in coloured pencil. Decorative borders, flower arrangements, drawings of sculpture and pottery are included.

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