Call Number: Mss 210, Pc 190, Tc 115 (A.97-67,
Title: George Swinton fonds.
Extent: 4.8 m of textual records and other material.
Biographical sketch: George Swinton was born in
Vienna, Austria on April 17, 1917. He studied Economics & Political
Science in Vienna from 1936-1938 before coming to Canada in 1939.
He served five years with the Canadian Intelligence Corps in the
Canadian Army, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1944. He completed
a Bachelor of Arts at McGill in 1946 and took courses at the Montreal
School of Art & Design from 1946-1947 and the Art Students'
League of New York from 1949-1950.
Swinton was the Curator of the Saskatoon Art Centre from 1947-1949.
He was an instructor at Smith College from 1950-1953 and Artist-in-Residence
at Queen's University from 1953-1954. That fall he joined the faculty
of the School of Art at the University of Manitoba, a position that
he held for twenty years. From 1974-1981 he was a professor of Canadian
Studies at Carleton University. His final academic position was
an adjunct professorship in the Department of Art History at Carleton
University from 1981-1985.
Swinton had many interests outside of academia. He was the art
critic for the Winnipeg Tribune from 1954-1958. He hosted
the CBC television series "Art in Action" from 1959-1962.
He was the recipient of many honours including the Centennial Medal
in 1967, Member of the Order of Canada in 1979, Professor Emeritus
from Carleton University in 1986 and an L.L.D. from the University
of Manitoba in 1987.
He was a reknowned authority on Inuit Art and the author of numerous
articles on the subject. His own art hangs in the National Gallery
of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
He wrote four books: What is Good Design? with Donald Buchanan
for the National Industrial Design Council, Ottawa in 1964; Eskimo/Sculpture/Esquimade,
published by McClelland & Stewart in 1965; Sculpture
of the Eskimo, published by McClelland & Stewart, the New
York Graphic Society and Christopher Hurst of London in 1972, and
Almost Poems, which was self-published in 2001. A revised
edition of his third book was retitled Sculpture of the Inuit
and was published by McClelland and Stewart in 1992. He
died in Winnipeg on April 22, 2002.
Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University
of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in two accessions.
One accession was donated by Swinton's daughters, Moira and Nelda,
in 2005 and 2007. The other was donated by George Swinton in 1997.
Scope and content: The 1997 accession is divided
into 10 series. They include: biographical material, swinton's writings,
academic correspondence & papers, gallery correspondence, documents
pertaining to Swinton's book, Scultpure of the Inuit, documents
related to art exhibitions, documents related to Inuit art, documents
related to Canadian art (as opposed to dealing exclusively with
Inuit Art), and research materials.
The 2005 accession is separated into 13 series. They include biographical
information, correspondence with publishers, correspondence, manuscripts
& drafts, articles & speeches, reviews & brochures of
Swinton's work, miscellaneous, sketches, map cabinet material, tape
collection, photographs, slides & negatives.
The 2007 accession consists of video tapes and tape collection.
Physical description: 4.8 m of textual records,
1321 sketches, 20 audio tapes, 3462 photographs, 52 proof sheets,
669 slides & 3334 negatives.
Separation statement: Published material, correspondence
and poetry deemed private by the family have been set aside to be
returned to the donors. The hard drive from Swinton's computer has
Restrictions: Some financial records, correspondence,
manuscripts and letters of reference are restricted.
Accruals: No further accruals are anticipated.
Finding aid: On-line finding aids to this fonds
are available at the links below:
Pc 190 (A.97-67)
210, Pc 190, Tc 115 (A.05-47, A.07-70).