Fonds LA.SC106 - Angela Grigor-Arthur Lismer collection

Identity area

Reference code



Angela Grigor-Arthur Lismer collection


  • [197-]-2002 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

52 cm of textual records 33 photographs 21 audio cassettes 8 microfiche 5 phonograph records

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Angela Nairne Grigor is a writer and art educator living in Picton, Ontario. Born in Britain, she attended the Wimbledon School of Art and the Brighton College of Art. She became a Canadian citizen in 1974 and received her MA and PhD from Concordia University in 1982 and 1985, respectively. She worked as a travelling art specialist for five years in England, and taught in Canadian high schools and at Concordia University. She has also exhibited her own drawings, soft sculptures and textiles. She began her research on Arthur Lismer’s teaching career in the 1980’s, and her book, Arthur Lismer, visionary art educator, was published by the McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2002. In that year she was awarded the Prix des Fondateurs de L’Association Canadienne de Histoire de l’Education for the best work in English.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Arthur Lismer, painter and art educator, was born in Sheffield, England in 1885. He studied at the Sheffield School of Art 1899–1906 and later at the Académie royale des beaux-arts in Antwerp. In 1911 he immigrated to Toronto where he worked as a commercial illustrator for the Grip Engraving Company and taught at the Ontario College of Art. He married Esther Mawson in 1912 and their only child Marjorie was born in 1913. Lismer's career as an art educator began at the Victoria School of Art and Design in Halifax, 1916–1919, followed soon after by his appointment as Vice-President of the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. In 1920 he became a founding member of the Group of Seven. His best-known works in oil are wilderness landscapes, expressionist in style with a use of raw colour and simplified form. He also produced many works on paper, including several portraits. Lismer established a Children's Art Centre at the Art Gallery of Toronto, where he was educational supervisor, 1927–1938. He was briefly educational supervisor at the National Gallery of Canada, later holding that post at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 1941 to 1967. He was assistant professor of fine arts at McGill University, 1948–1954. He died in Montreal in 1969. Arthur Lismer was a member of the Arts and Letters Club, Ontario Society of Artists, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Canadian Group of Painters, Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, and Federation of Canadian Artists. His work is in many Canadian public collections. Following her father’s death, Marjorie Lismer Bridges devoted a number of years to organizing his archival records and gradually donating them to public repositories. She wrote the “Arthur Lismer source book”, which is included in the fonds.

Archival history

Material in this collection was accumulated by Angela Grigor during 17 years of research for her book. In 2005 the files were shipped from her home in Picton, Ontario to the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The collection was acquired from Angela Nairne Grigor in 2005

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection consists of research files created by Angela Grigor in preparation for her book Arthur Lismer: visionary art educator (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002). Materials in Series 1,2 and 3 are primarily photocopies from original periodicals, pamphlets and exhibition catalogues found in institutions in Canada, the United States and England. The collection contains Angela Grigor’s correspondence with these institutions and with Arthur Lismer’s daughter, Marjorie Lismer Bridges, and her daughter, Janet Cauffiel. A number of interviews are documented, including recordings of two interviews with Arthur Lismer for the CBC, and the many interviews Angela Grigor conducted with former students, fellow teachers and other associates of the artist. Fonds is comprised of the following series: 1. Historical background research files 2. Arthur Lismer’s published and unpublished writings 3. Miscellaneous Arthur Lismer files 4. Angela Grigor’s correspondence 5. Interviews

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open. Access to Special Collections is by appointment only. Please contact the reference desk for more information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is held by the creator. Copyright belonging to other parties, such as that of certain photographs, may still rest with the creator of these items. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the fonds.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Lois Darroch-Arthur Lismer Collection; Arthur Lismer & Marjorie Lismer Bridges Fonds. Material related to Lismer’s role as an art educator may be found in the institutional files of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Notes area


Photocopied material bears institutional stamps and/or Angela Grigor’s notes regarding the location of original material.


Much of the material in this collection consists of photocopies of articles, catalogues and other printed material. Dates of original publication are given in the descriptions when known.


The arrangement of the collection is based on the organization of the material as it was received from the donor.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Archivist's note

Prepared by Sylvia Lassam, 2005.
Uploaded and adapted by Nirvana Chainani, 2019.

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places