Fonds LA.SC123 - Barbara Astman fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Barbara Astman fonds


  • 1951–2009 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

ca. 5930 photographs
4 m of textual records and graphic material
315 prints
33 postcards
9 matrices for prints
8 videocassettes
7 optical discs
7 posters
5 linoleum blocks
5 tiles
4 layout designs
3 models
3 collages
2 greeting cards
2 drawings
1 audio cassette
1 rubber stamp

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Barbara Astman (1950- ) is a Toronto-based artist who has worked in a wide range of photographic and mixed-media formats. Born in Rochester (NY), Astman was educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology School for American Craftsmen and, after moving to Toronto in 1970, the Ontario College of Art. She was a pioneer in the field of colour xerography, and her practice has included a mix of camera art, new media, sculpture and light projection installations. Thematically, her work has explored issues of identity, history, memory, systems of representation and gender perspectives, often involving her own body as a subject. She has executed a number of public art commissions for clients including the Calgary Winter Olympics, the City of Ottawa (St. Laurent Complex Recreation Project), Hayter Street Developments (Bay/Hayter Condominiums, Toronto) and Cadillac Fairview Corporation (Simcoe Place, Toronto). Astman is now a professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, where she has been teaching since the mid-1970s. She is represented by the Corkin Gallery. Her work is found in prominent public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris, France), and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Archival history

The materials now constituting the Barbara Astman fonds were transferred by the artist to the AGO in 2009.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

AGO credit line: Gift of Barbara Astman, 2012

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records of the artistic and academic career of Barbara Astman, chiefly in Toronto from the 1960s to the first decade of the 21st century, including photographs of her projects and exhibitions, correspondence and textual documentation of projects, personal and other photos and journals, and some audiovisual materials.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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. Certain files in the accrual to Series 2 (Project and Exhibition Records), Series 13 (Personal Correspondence), and Series 16 (Financial Records) are restricted. See series-level descriptions for details.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is held by the creator or her heirs. Copyright belonging to other parties, such as that of 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/collection.

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

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Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Subject access points

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Art Gallery of Ontario

Rules and/or conventions used

Rules for Archival Description



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Archivist's note

Originally prepared by Amy Marshall Furness, 2010-2011. Revised by Eva Lu, 2017; re-revised and completed by Hannah Johnston, 2018.
Uploaded and adapted by Nirvana Chainani, 2019.

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