- [1967-1990] (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
Robert Fones (born in London, Ontario, 1949) is a visual artist, curator, writer, designer and educator. Employing a strong ethnographical and archaeological component in his work, Fones uses sculpture, painting, woodblock printmaking, typography and photography to investigate the transition from manual to industrial production, and the hidden processes and impacts of geological and cultural change within contemporary society. Since 1976 he has lived and worked in Toronto, represented variously by Carmen Lamanna
Gallery, S.L. Simpson Gallery and (currently) Olga Korper Gallery. He has exhibited at artist-run centres and public institutions throughout Canada and, internationally, in the USA and Germany. His work is held by the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario and other public and corporate collections. Fones is an active participant in the visual arts community, having served on the board of the Art Gallery of Ontario, C Magazine Foundation and the Acquisitions Committee of the Design Exchange. He curated an exhibition for The Power Plant on the work of Toronto furniture designer, Russell Spanner, and Cutout: Greg Curnoe, Shaped Collages 1965–1968 for Museum London. He has written extensively
about art and artists such as Greg Curnoe, Murray Favro, Donald Judd and John Massey. Fones has taught at OCAD University, the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, and in the Art and Art History Program at Sheridan College. He has published numerous reviews and articles in Vanguard, C Magazine, Parachute and other publications, published several artist books, participated in several poetry readings across the country; and undertaken several design and public art projects. He received the Toronto Arts Award in 1999 and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2011.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Series is comprised of the journals of Robert Fones. The journals contain records and notations of daily life and art production; reflections on his personal life; and notes on his creative processes and inspirations. Often they include insertions of found images, product labels, pages from instruction manuals, photographs, letters, ephemera and samples of the artist’s poetry and writing. There are numerous connections between these books and the artist’s finished works. While several of the books contain drawings and collages, journal entries are the predominant feature, distinguishing them from the sketchbooks in Series 8. There are four daily diaries in this series. This series also includes one address book, undated.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Arrangement: Dates provided by the artist, except as noted. Arranged by the archivist in chronological order from start dates of journals.
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 may still rest with the creator of these items. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of this 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
Conservation: Many of the insertions have started to come loose from the pages of the earlier journals and some journals contain loose pages, as noted in the item level description. Care should be taken in the handling of these items.
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Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Originally prepared in 2012