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Call Number: Mss 210, Pc 190, Tc 115 (A.97-67, A.05-47, A.07-70)

Title: George Swinton fonds.

Dates: 1906-2002.

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 been erased.

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:

Mss 210, Pc 190 (A.97-67)

Mss 210, Pc 190, Tc 115 (A.05-47, A.07-70).