- 1951–2009 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
ca. 5930 photographs
4 m of textual records and graphic material
9 matrices for prints
7 optical discs
5 linoleum blocks
4 layout designs
2 greeting cards
1 audio cassette
1 rubber stamp
Name of creator
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.
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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Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Rules for Archival Description
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
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.