- [187-]-1942 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
10 cm of textual records and graphic material (2 volumes and additional textual records)
Name of creator
Joseph Loxton Rawbon (1855-1942) was an artist and art restorer active in Toronto in the 1920s. He was born in Cape Town, moved to England ca. 1861, and emigrated to Canada in 1871. Rawbon began his career as a gun maker in his father’s employment, but turned later to art and photography. He won prizes for his work at several fairs in southern Ontario. Rawbon claimed to have invented the keyless stretcher for artists’ canvases, and developed his own “Rawbon Process” to clean the varnish from paintings. He served as a lifeguard as a member of the Queen City Life-Saving Association.
Material constituting this fonds was acquired by Joan Murray, a former curator of Canadian art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, from Rawbon’s son, John L. Rawbon. Material was transferred to the Library in May 1969. With the exception of the album and the notebook, items in the fonds were added to the Library’s artist file on Rawbon. They were removed in 2005 to reconstitute the J. Loxton Rawbon fonds. The album and notebook were part of the General Archives collection until 2005.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Transferred to the Library by Joan Murray in May 1969.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Fonds includes an album (disbound) containing 45 photographs of paintings and prints restored by Rawbon, with a typed description of the "Rawbon Process" signed and dated, 1921. Collectors and collections mentioned include: Elliott W. Atkins, Toronto; Hôtel Dieu, Kingston; Major Kenneth C. Macpherson, Ottawa; Col. W. O’Brien, Shanty Bay; D.A. Story, Halifax; R.E. Cooper, Victoria; A.J. Gough, Toronto; C.S. Gzowski, Toronto; Mrs. John Small, Toronto; Henry O’Brien, K.C., Toronto; Walker House, Toronto. Fonds also includes a notebook containing a list of “Canadian Artists: Members of the Royal Canadian Academy and The Ontario Society of Artists”, September 1922. The back pages of the notebook contain records of sales of “Oxford” and “Lusterize” polish formulas, and of free sample canvas stretchers sent out to clients. Fonds also includes 14 prizes and diplomas won in art and photography competitions at fairs in southern Ontario (1874-1887); 2 photographs of J. Loxton Rawbon; notes on art restoration methods; correspondence and testimonials; and press clippings related to Rawbon’s career.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Fonds is arranged in a single series.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Because of its fragility, the album may not be consulted by researchers without special legitimate reason.
Researchers are requested instead to use photographic reproductions, available on request. Access to Special Collections is by appointment only. Please contact the reference desk for more information.
Conditions governing reproduction
Material in this fonds is in the public domain. Permission of the Art Gallery of Ontario is required for
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Dates of creation revision deletion
27 June 2018
Prepared by Amy Marshall, 2005.
Uploaded and adapted by Nirvana Chainani, 2019