Fonds - Women's Art Association of Canada, Winnipeg Branch fonds.

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Women's Art Association of Canada, Winnipeg Branch fonds.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1903-1908. (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

11 cm. textual records.

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Biographical history

The Winnipeg Branch of the Women's (or Woman's) Art Association of Canada (WAAC) was initially established in February 1894 with the aim, like its parent organization in Toronto, Ontario, of promoting and encouraging a "general interest in art" and of fostering "the mutual help and cooperation of women who were either serious artists or lovers of art." Dividing its membership into "active" members (professional artists and serious students) and "honorary" members (women interested in art), with reduced fees for the latter, the Winnipeg Branch was "a significant force" in the development, practice and appreciation of the visual arts in Winnipeg during two decades: from 1894-1896 (when the parent organization was known as the Woman's Art Association of Canada); and from 1903 to 1909. Strongly influenced and directed in the first instance by the parent organization's Mary Dignam in Toronto, the Branch ultimately grew restive of Eastern control and eventually broke with the Women's Art Association of Canada to form the Western Art Association in 1908. Although some members of the Branch and the Reading Circle remained under the rubric of the Women's Art Association of Canada for the year 1908-1909, participating at times in joint meetings with the new sister association, they ultimately donated money to the Western Art Association and disbanded in May 1909. Branch organization over the years was based on a slate of elected officers, working committees, such as the Selection and Hanging Committee and the Social Committee, and standing committees, such as the Handicrafts Committee and the Reading Circle. Recorded membership numbers varied from approximately 20 in 1894 to 188 in 1907. (Source: Virginia G. Berry. Taming the Frontier: Art and Women in the Canadian West 1880-1920. Calgary: Bayeux Arts, Inc.; Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2005.)

Custodial history

These items have been in the custody of The Winnipeg Art Gallery at least since the 1980s and possibly sooner, but how they came to the Gallery is not known.

Scope and content

Items consist of minutes of meetings, transcriptions of minutes, cash books (financial records), and a transcription of a cash book.

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Immediate source of acquisition


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Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

No reproduction without prior written approval.

Finding aids

The Finding Aid is a Box List.

Associated materials

Associated material: The Archives of Manitoba and the Legislative Library of Manitoba (both in Winnipeg, Manitoba) and the archives of the Women's Art Association of Canada in Toronto, Ontario also hold records of this organization.

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No further accruals expected.

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  • English

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