- [1982-2011] (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 sketchbooks used and kept by Robert Fones. The volumes primarily contain sketches and drawings, often related to specific artworks, design projects or artist book works. Some of the sketchbooks, as noted in the descriptions, contain finished drawings that the artist has chosen to leave intact within the sketchbooks. The sketchbooks may also contain some diaristic writings, personal reflections and technical notes, thus there is some overlap with the journals especially in earlier volumes. Also included in this series are several colour mixing books used by Robert Fones, which consist of colour mixing formulas for several of his artworks, as noted in the descriptions.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Further accruals expected
System of arrangement
The sketchbooks have been arranged roughly in chronological order based on the earliest date of each volume. The colour mixing books are listed at the end, also in chronological order. The date ranges to each sketchbook and colour mixing book are based, wherever possible, on dates found within or on the covers of each volume. The artist also supplied dates retrospectively. In cases of contradictory dates, dates found in the journals were used.
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/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
Related units of description
The descriptions are based on the artist’s own descriptions of content and highlight sketches and drawings related to his artwork.
Volumes have been numbered by the archives for the purposes of identification only.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Originally prepared in 2012