Fonds PR3249 - Gordon Snyder fonds

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Gordon Snyder fonds

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    • [194-?]-2009 (Creation)
      Many of the records in this fonds are copies that were made in the 2000s of archival material that date back from the 1940s to the 1980s.

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    1.49 m of textual records and other material

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    Biographical history

    Art curator, artist and author Gordon Snyder was born in Edmonton, Alberta on March 11, 1951. Snyder studied Art Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and received his Diploma of Applied Art (1972-1976) from the Alberta College of Art in Calgary. A further year of post graduate work was completed in 1977. He attended the Emma Lake Summer Workshops in Saskatchewan in 1976 and 1977 and did post-graduate work at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta in 1990.Snyder has a background in arts and heritage management, fundraising, collection management and public relations, interpretation planning for heritage sites, cultural and heritage exhibits and municipal heritage planning.

    After completing his training in arts and history, Snyder worked as part-owner and Director of Canadian Art Galleries in Calgary, Alberta (1977-1979), Glenmore Gallery in Toronto, Ontario (1979-1980), and then partnered with Ralph Hedlin in 1984 to form Snyder Hedlin Fine Art Consultants. Snyder moved to British Columbia in 1989 to a career in gallery and museum management and communications when he began working at the Burnaby Art Gallery. The City of Burnaby took over the Gallery and it became part of the City of Burnaby's Cultural Services Division where Snyder became the Communications Coordinator for both the Burnaby Village Museum and the Burnaby Art Gallery. An active fundraiser, Snyder worked with staff on heritage management and all areas of public relations.

    An independent curator and writer, Snyder has curated and travelled exhibitions throughout Canada and to Europe, and has written and published a number of books on Canadian arts and heritage. Snyder's work in the heritage field also includes his position as Wainwright Main Street Coordinator and as Heritage Consultant for the Town of Wainwright (2007-2009). In 2009 he began working with the Wainwright Buffalo National Park Interpretive Centre Foundation as Marketing Manager for Buffalo Adventures.

    Snyder is a working artist who currently lives in Edmonton and Wainwright, Alberta.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    Fonds consists of contracts, budgets, correspondence, grant proposals, notes, promotional material, photographs, photocopies of research material, newspaper clippings, videotapes, audio recordings, digital photographs, and digital images of paintings for art curator Gordon Snyder's exhibit and book on artist Nicholas de Grandmaison which was mounted and published in 2007. Also includes proofs for the book and a copy of his published book, Drawn from the Past: Nicholas de Grandmaison and two framed lithographed art reproductions of Nicholas de Grandmaison pastels published by Last Arrow Ltd.: "Blackfoot Brave" and "Chief Coldweather". Videotapes include footage regarding the 1982 Glenbow exhibit "History in Their Blood" and a copy of de Grandmaison family home movies that are in the holdings of the National Gallery of Canada. Audio recordings include copies of audograph discs, for which the originals are held at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. These consist of interviews that Nicholas de Grandmaison conducted with portrait sitters, mainly First Nations people from the 1950s and 1970s. Audio recordings also include a copy of the CBC radio program "Faces Lit in the Dark" and original oral history recordings of Nicholas de Grandmaison and family members.

    The fonds also consists of material is directly related to Snyder's work as a curator, artist, and gallery owner. There are negatives, slides, and .jpeg/.tiff photos that depict images of Snyder's work or the work of artists that were curated by Snyder in a gallery, festival, or touring exhibit. These images are identified with the name of the artist also noted and provide evidence of the role and work of a curator. Includes information about artists Maxwell Bates, Ralph Hedlin, Illingworth Kerr, F.H. Johnson, Nicholas de Grandmaison, and Clarence Tillenius.

    There is also textual material (including files on the computer disks and on some of the CD-ROMs) that provides evidence of the working life of a curator and includes correspondence with artists and art dealers, drafts of program notes, printed programs that Snyder contributed to, and financial information that shows the business side of art management.

    There are audiocassettes that feature recorded artist talks given by Les Graff and Andy Fabo about their work. Snyder had dealings with both artists and these talks provide informational value related to their work and further evidential value concerning the arts milieu.

    Among these records, specific projects are particularly represented. These include major touring exhibits such as Through Alberta Eyes: The Photographs of Orest Semchishen, Snyder’s involvement with The Works International Visual Arts Society and its annual arts festival, and Snyder’s research of artist Illingsworth Kerr.

    Notes area

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    These records were donated by Gordon Snyder.


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        The records are in English, French and German.

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        Restrictions on access

        Some records are restricted. Audiovisual records must be digitized prior to use.

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is available.

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        Associated materials

        The Nicholas de Grandmaison fonds (PR3248) is held at the Provincial Archives of Alberta. See also the Herb Snyder fonds (PR2045).

        The Gordon Snyder collection of material relating to artist Illingworth Kerr is located at the University of Calgary Library.


        Further accruals are expected.

        General note

        Accession PR2010.0502 also contained 110 slides created by Herb Snyder. These records were separated from the Gordon Snyder material and added to the Herb Snyder fonds (PR2045) with the same accession number.

        Biography provided by donor and taken from the websites of the University of Calgary Library and the Community Design Strategies.

        General note

        Includes accessions PR2011.0240, PR2009.0439, PR2010.0502, PR2017.0331.

        Physical description

        Also includes 658 photographs: slides. - 204 photographs. - 72 photographs: negatives. - 30 CD-ROMs (textual records and photographs). - 3 computer discs; 9x9 cm. - 38 audio cassettes. - 10 optical discs. - 13 audio compact discs. - 2 audio discs (audographs). - 2 prints (lithographs). - 2 videotapes.

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