Fonds LA.SC179 - Jean Blodgett fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Jean Blodgett fonds


  • 1957-2003 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

120 cm of textual records
1031 photographs
18 audio cassettes
1 doll
1 mobile

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Ruth Jean Blodgett (American-Canadian, 1945-2020) was a curator known for her work on Inuit art and associated with a number of Canadian museums including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Blodgett was born in Moscow, Idaho and grew up in Prosser, Washington. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado before pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia (1974). Blodgett’s MA thesis on multiple human images in Inuit sculpture proved foundational to her career. As a curator at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (ca. 1976-1979) she produced exhibitions on Jessie Oonark, Inuit shamanism and the artists of Povungnituk, among other topics. Through the 1980s, Blodgett worked as a freelance curator, producing significant exhibitions for the Art Gallery of Ontario (Grasp tight the old ways : selections from the Klamer family collection of Inuit art, 1983, and North Baffin drawings: drawings collected by Terry Ryan on North Baffin Island in 1964, 1986), the London Regional Art Gallery (Etidlooie Etidlooie, 1984), and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Selections from the John and Mary Robertson collection of Inuit sculpture, 1986). By 1984 she had moved to Ottawa where she taught courses at Carleton University. Blodgett was Chief Curator of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection from 1988 to 2000, where she co-led the borrowing of the Kinngait archive of drawings and produced exhibitions and publications on Inuit graphic arts. Her major book on Kenojuak Ashevak was published in 1981 and went through 6 editions. Blodgett moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 2004, where she was a visiting professor in Arctic Art at the University of Alaska and participated as an expert team member in travel expeditions for Adventure Canada. During this time she continued to do freelance research projects such as In the Shadow of the Midnight Sun for the Art Gallery of Hamilton (2007). Jean Blodgett died in Fairbanks in 2020.

Archival history

The materials comprising the Jean Blodgett fonds were transferred by her estate from storage in Peterborough, Ontario, where they had been kept since her death.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

AGO Credit Line: Gift of the Ruth Jean Blodgett Estate, 2023

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the personal and professional records of Jean Blodgett, including research materials such as correspondence, notes, photographs and audio recordings; records of her Arctic travel; curriculum vitae and related records; personal photographs; and two Inuit craft objects.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open. Access to Special Collections is by appointment. Please contact the reference desk for more information.

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

Script of material

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Created 2023; uploaded 11 February 2024


  • English



Archivist's note

Prepared by Amy Marshall Furness

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