- 1988 - 2009 (Custody)
- [191-?]-1988 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
8 cm of textual records
1 photograph album
1 film reel
1 audio reel
Name of creator
Gershon Iskowitz (1919-1988) was an abstract painter based in Toronto for much of his artistic career. Born in Kielce, Poland on 24 November 1919, he survived internment in Nazi concentration camps and lost his entire family in the Holocaust. Iskowitz studied art in Munich at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in 1947, soon transferring to private studies with Oskar Kokoschka. He moved to Toronto in 1949. His work developed from wartime imagery to a focus on landscapes (particularly inspired by practice in the Parry Sound area), eventually arriving at his mature abstract expressionist style in 1967. Iskowitz began exhibiting with Gallery Moos in 1964, a relationship which continued throughout his career. He taught at the New School (Toronto) from 1967-1970, and his informal mentoring of artists in Toronto is often noted. Iskowitz, along with Walter Redinger, represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1972. The artist established the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation in 1985, with the mandate of awarding the Gershon Iskowitz Prize to a mature practising artist; since 2007 the Foundation has partnered with the Art Gallery of Ontario to administer the Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO.
Following Iskowitz’s death, material now constituting this fonds was gathered by friends and maintained by the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation. It was transferred directly to the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2008.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
AGO Credit Line: Gift of the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation, 2009.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Fonds consists of personal and professional records of Gershon Iskowitz, including photographic documentation of his family and early life, self and studio, and works of art; publicity material including newspaper clippings about his career; personal artefacts such as identity documents; a small amount of personal correspondence; and a condolence book signed at his memorial service.
- Publicity material
- Identity documents
- Personal correspondence and notes
- Writings about the artist
- Sketch and notes for Northern Lights Septet #3
- Audiovisual records
- Artist’s palettes
- Condolence book
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Original order of material was not apparent by the time the material was acquired by the AGO. Material was arranged by the archivist.
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
Various copyright holders. 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
Generated finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Gershon Iskowitz Foundation (Custodian)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Description and finding aid prepared by Amy Marshall Furness, 2009.
Uploaded and adapted by Nirvana Chainani, 2019