Fonds LA.SC152 - David Blackwood fonds

Identity area

Reference code



David Blackwood fonds


  • 1900-2017 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

5m of textual records and graphic material
1773 photographs (1638 prints, 132 negatives, 3 slides)
5 videocassettes
4 books
2 bound volumes of publications
6 sketchbooks
12 drawings
1 notebook
1 magazine

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

David Blackwood (1941- ) is a Canadian artist known for his prints depicting Newfoundland life and culture. Born in Wesleyville, Newfoundland in 1941, Blackwood was exposed to subjects which influenced the themes represented in his art: fishermen and sealers and their families; relationships with the land; harsh landscapes; and the importance of tradition to communities on Canada’s east coast.
Blackwood attended the Ontario College of Art from 1959-1963, where he studied printmaking. Subsequently, he was the first artist-in-residence at Erindale College at University of Toronto Mississauga, from 1969 to 1975. The Erindale College Art Gallery was renamed The Blackwood Gallery in 1992 in the artist’s honour. In 1976, Blackwood was the subject of a documentary produced by the National Film Board of Canada – titled Blackwood – which was nominated for an Academy Award. Blackwood was a member of the AGO Board of Trustees and the Inuit Art Foundation in Ottawa. He was also the recipient of numerous other awards and accolades, including honorary doctorates at the University of Calgary and Memorial University of Newfoundland (1992); a National Heritage Award (1993); the Order of Ontario (2002); and the Order of Canada (1993).

Blackwood has exhibited nationally and internationally, with over 90 solo shows throughout the span of his career. In 1999 he donated 242 archival prints to the AGO, making the gallery an international research centre for the artist’s work. He was named an honorary chair of the AGO in 2003. The AGO presented a major retrospective of Blackwood’s work in 2011, titled Black Ice: David Blackwood Prints of Newfoundland. Blackwood’s works are also in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Winnipeg Art Gallery, National Gallery of Florence, and Uffizi Gallery in Florence, amongst others. Blackwood has resided in Port Hope, Ontario since the 1970s, where he was a teacher of drawing and painting at Trinity College School.

Archival history

The materials now constituting the David Blackwood fonds were transferred from David Blackwood’s studio to the Art Gallery of Ontario in March 2017.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

AGO Credit Line: Gift of David and Anita Blackwood, 2018

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of documentation of David Blackwood’s career as a visual artist in Canada. Accumulated content includes exhibition catalogues and related documents, biographical information on David Blackwood, publicity materials, photographs and slides, preparatory drawings and sketchbooks, certificates and other awards on paper, video recordings of special events, ephemera, written correspondence with artists and art galleries, and Blackwood’s research materials from various projects.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Research and Subject Files, Biographical Files, and Correspondence Files were originally interfiled, mostly alphabetically, with some exceptions. Materials have been arranged into distinct series by the archives, with the original order maintained within each series.

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, 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.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese

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

Select publications from the library of David Blackwood were transferred to the Art Gallery of Ontario along with the materials now constituting the David Blackwood fonds. The publications consist of source materials and exhibition catalogues pertaining to Blackwood’s career. A list of all publications included in the transfer is available; titles incorporated into the AGO Rare Book collection have been indicated.

Related descriptions

Notes area

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Description control area

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Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion

Description and finding aid prepared 2018.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description and finding aid prepared by Hannah Johnston, 2018.
Uploaded and adapted by Nirvana Chainani, 2019.

Accession area

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