Fonds LA.SC154 - Pollock Gallery fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Pollock Gallery fonds


  • 1916–1982, predominant 1962–1981 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

60 cm of textual records
2,010 photographs
8 drawings
4 prints
3 photomechanical prints
3 postcards
1 poster

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Pollock Gallery (active 1960–1981), was a commercial art gallery in Toronto established by art dealer, author, art educator and painter Jack Pollock. First located at 205 Elizabeth St in downtown Toronto in 1960, the gallery initially represented Canadian artists, most notably Norval Morrisseau. In 1966, the gallery showed works by the Hungarian-Canadian painter Julius Marosan. Later, works by British and American and other artists were exhibited, including those by David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Anni Albers and Dieter Roth.
Within a year, the gallery relocated to 201 Elizabeth St (1961–1963), then 599 Markham St (1963–1971, with another site at 604A King St West 1966–1968), 356 Dundas St West (1972–1975, with another site at the Toronto Dominion Centre 1972–1973), and lastly 122 Scollard St in the Yorkville area of Toronto (1975–1982, with another site, 209 Adelaide St East 1980–1983). During its years of activity, the gallery employed Brian A. Marshall Schieder, Philip Ottenbrite (assistant director), Eva Quan, Frank Costin, Laurie Payne (graphic director), Helen Boyd, Renya Onasick (advertising and publicity), Lawrence Hurst (gallery administrator), Stephen Long (librarian) and others. Within months after Jack Pollock became chronically ill, the main gallery officially closed in December, 1981; the Pollock Gallery went into bankruptcy in 1983.

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Henry Pollock (1930–1992), known primarily as Jack Pollock, was a Canadian art dealer, painter, art instructor, author and owner/director of the Pollock Gallery in Toronto. Born in Toronto, he attended the Ontario College of Art there and the Slade School of Fine Art in London, England. He opened the Pollock Gallery in Toronto in 1960. In 1962, Jack Pollock met Anishinaabe painter and printmaker Norval Morrisseau while teaching in northern Ontario. Shortly after, he mounted an exhibition (1962) of the artist’s work at the Pollock Gallery, which continued to represent Morrisseau for several years. In 1979, Jack Pollock collaborated with author and broadcaster Lister Sinclair (1921–2006) on the illustrated publication The art of Norval Morrisseau (Toronto: Methuen, 1979). Pollock also wrote We all are all (Toronto, 1980), a privately-published book of poetry illustrated with his own drawings; Dear M (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1989), a memoir in letters written to his psychiatrist between 1984 and 1987; and several exhibition catalogues. After he became chronically ill, the Pollock Gallery closed in 1981. In 1984 he moved to Gordes in the south of France. Jack Pollock died in Toronto in 1992. Paintings, prints and drawings by Jack Pollock are in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ont.) and other public art museums in Canada.

Archival history

The material now constituting the Pollock Gallery fonds remained on the last premises of the gallery after it closed and was retained by the landlord of the property. It was transferred to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in October 2016 and July 2017.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

AGO credit line: Gift of Rosalyn and Michael Marx, 2018

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of administrative records of the Pollock Gallery in Toronto during the period 1967–1982; gallery correspondence; files on gallery artists and others; photographs of sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wyle; records of gallery owner Jack Pollock; and material related to gallery artist Norval Morrisseau and to a book about him co-written by Jack Pollock.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to series 1, 2, 6 and 8 of the fonds is partially restricted for a period of 50 years from the date of the document. Researchers should apply to the archivist for assistance. Access to Special Collections is by appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction

Various copyright holders. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the fonds.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

Language and script notes

Chiefly in English, with some items in French.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The Jack Pollock fonds contains personal records of Jack Pollock.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion

Created 1 February 2019


  • English



Archivist's note

Description prepared by Gary Fitzgibbon, 2018.
Uploaded and adapted by Nirvana Chainani, 2019

Accession area

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