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Archival description
Fones, Robert
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Sketchbooks and colour-mixing books

Series is comprised of the sketchbooks used and kept by Robert Fones. The volumes primarily contain sketches and drawings, often related to specific artworks, design projects or artist book works. Some of the sketchbooks, as noted in the descriptions, contain finished drawings that the artist has chosen to leave intact within the sketchbooks. The sketchbooks may also contain some diaristic writings, personal reflections and technical notes, thus there is some overlap with the journals especially in earlier volumes. Also included in this series are several colour mixing books used by Robert Fones, which consist of colour mixing formulas for several of his artworks, as noted in the descriptions.

Fones, Robert

Rubber stamps

Series comprises 21 rubber stamps designed by Robert Fones and used during his participation in the correspondence art movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Fones, Robert

Robert Fones fonds

  • LA.SC125
  • Fonds
  • [19--]-2011

Fonds consists of Robert Fones’ correspondence, journals, sketchbooks, art production materials and files for artworks and public art commissions, unpublished handmade artists books, a set of rubber stamps used for correspondence art, and ephemera related to Coach House Press, a publisher Fones had a longstanding relationship with. Fonds also includes Fones’ research and business files as well as files related to his design, curatorial and writing projects.

Fones, Robert

Research files

This series is comprised of research material on subjects Robert Fones found inspirational and/or influenced his artistic endeavours over the course of his lifetime. These include files on different artistic processes, tools and equipment as well as family history, his grade school and high school records, and his travels. It also includes files on artists and other individuals who greatly influenced his career and/or with whom he had close personal/professional ties, as well as on individual works of art, graphic design, typeface design and other subjects he explored in his work. It includes draft copies of artist talks he has given over the years are included, as well as portraits of him taken by Arnaud Maggs for the 1999 Toronto Arts Awards.

Fones, Robert

Public art commission files

Series is comprised of the files and production materials specifically related to the public art commissions proposed and/or carried out by Robert Fones between 1991 and 2007. It includes project proposals, production materials such as stencils, technical drawings, colour charts and production specifications, correspondence, research and project notes. There are files for the All Star Game Banners project, Torys, Scribeners, Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.

Fones, Robert

Project files

Series is comprised of archival materials relating to various curatorial, graphic design and artist book projects that Fones has undertaken during his artistic careers. It includes material towards an artist book on cones that was never completed, source material for Anthropomorphiks, and materials relating to artist books Field Identification and Head Paintings. It also includes research notes, correspondence, and drafts of catalogue essays and speaking notes for his curatorial projects: Russell Spanner: A Spanner in the Works and Greg Curnoe’s Cut-Out: Shaped Collages (1965-1968). It also includes artwork and related materials for several graphic design projects.

Fones, Robert

Personal Correspondence

Series is comprised of correspondence sent to and from Robert Fones over the past 55 years, the bulk of which consists of personal letters and correspondence art received by Robert Fones from 1969 to 1975 from artists and writers from Vancouver, from the San Francisco Bay area, New York, Toronto and southwestern Ontario. It includes correspondence art and zines (consisting of a mixture of collages, manipulated photographs, stamps, letters, drawings, visual poetry, recycled images often mimeographed or photocopied) from artists such as Victor Coleman (aka Mr. Peanut), Michael Morris (aka Marcel Dot), Anna Banana, Dr. and Lady Brute, Michael Binder (aka Cloud), General Idea, Hank Bull, Chicken Bank, Daddaland, and others. It also includes correspondence from poets and writers such as Michael Ondaatje and Christopher Dewdney.

Fones, Robert


Series is comprised of the journals of Robert Fones. The journals contain records and notations of daily life and art production; reflections on his personal life; and notes on his creative processes and inspirations. Often they include insertions of found images, product labels, pages from instruction manuals, photographs, letters, ephemera and samples of the artist’s poetry and writing. There are numerous connections between these books and the artist’s finished works. While several of the books contain drawings and collages, journal entries are the predominant feature, distinguishing them from the sketchbooks in Series 8. There are four daily diaries in this series. This series also includes one address book, undated.

Fones, Robert

Handmade artist books

Series is comprised of unpublished artist books by Robert Fones created between 1964 and 1972. The bulk of the books are dated 1964 and 1965 while Fones was attending H.B. Beal Secondary School in London, Ontario. Two books, Ticket to Ride and Letters I’ve Known and Loved: the Life and Legend of the Alphabet are incomplete and unbound. Only the book jacket for Norwegian Wood was completed. All books contain original artwork and text.

Fones, Robert

Coach house press

Series is comprised of various ephemera, including Can-D-Man postcards, invitations to book launches and other events, samples of letterhead and logos, newsletter, one audio cassette of talking books sampler, a partial publication by David Rosenberg, Excellent Articles in Japan. It also includes invitations to Fones’ book launch for Anthropomorphiks.

Fones, Robert

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