TABLE OF CONTENTS

Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Contact Information

Box List

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

Eric and Maud Brown fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title:Eric and Maud Brown fonds.
Dates:– 1908-1979.
Quantity: – 21 cm of textual records and 2 photographs.

Biographical Sketch

Eric Brown, the first Director of the National Gallery of Canada, was born in Nottingham, England in 1877. His brother was the British landscape painter Sir Arnesby Brown (1866-1955). In 1909, at the invitation of F.R. Heaton (1866-1939), head of W. Scott and Sons, Montreal art dealers, Brown immigrated to Canada, where he superintended a loan exhibition of British paintings in Montreal and worked for the Art Gallery of Toronto. In Montreal and Toronto, Brown met Sir Edmund Walker (1848-1924), who hired him first to undertake work for the Toronto Art Association and then as both Secretary for the Advisory Arts Council and Curator of the National Gallery, Ottawa. In 1910, Brown married Florence Maud Sturton (1881-1978) of Holbeach, Lincolnshire, a teacher and graduate of Cambridge University. As first Director of a young institution, Brown's primary concern was the establishment of the Gallery and the building of its collections. To these ends, Brown travelled across the country, promoting the Gallery's programs. He also travelled frequently in Europe and the United Kingdom, developing contacts with art historians, dealers, and advisors. Maud Brown was herself keenly interested in art and art education. She lectured on art at various locations across Canada and took an interest in establishing art education programs for children at the National Gallery. After Eric Brown's death in 1939, Maud Brown maintained ties with the Gallery and wrote several articles, as well as a book on the career of her husband (Breaking Barriers: Eric Brown and the National Gallery, 1964).

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Scope and Contents

The fonds consists of correspondence and typed excerpts from correspondence (1908-1978), most of which was written while Eric Brown was travelling; thirteen of Eric Brown's diaries and notebooks (1922-1937); typescripts and notes for lectures by Eric and Maud Brown; and newspaper clippings related to the Browns' lectures. The correspondence includes letters between Eric Brown and H.O. McCurry (1889-1964), Assistant Director of the National Gallery of Canada, concerning exhibitions (including the Canadian section of the 1924 and 1925 British Empire exhibitions), politics, finances, acquisitions, and other matters related to the Gallery. Invitations and correspondence from art dealers, galleries, and various other individuals, as well as correspondence addressed to Sir Edmund Walker from Dr. James MacCallum (1860-1943) concerning a painting by Tom Thomson (1877-1917), and telegrams from Lord Beaverbrook (1879-1964) to Walker regarding the Canadian War Memorials Fund are also included. In addition, there are letters of condolence sent to Maud Brown following her husband's death and typed excerpts from letters by Walker, Emily Carr (1871-1945), and Charles Ricketts (1866-1931), used by Maud Brown for her book on her husband. Letters between Maud Brown, H.O. McCurry, W.G. Constable (1887-1976), and others discussing Eric Brown's posthumous reputation and articles on Eric Brown and his career are included, as is correspondence between Maud Brown and the Gallery related to Brown's art collection. The fonds includes a photograph of Eric Brown's tombstone and a photograph of a drawing of Maud Brown.

Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada by Maud Brown, ca. 1965, following the publication of her book on Eric Brown.
Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Eric and Maud Brown fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Related material: Photographs of Eric and Maud Brown are included in the H.O. McCurry collection, National Gallery of Canada Archives.
Finding aids: Box list available.

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Index Terms

Names:
Brown, Eric, 1877-1939
Sturton, Maud Brown, 1881-1978
Document Types:
Clippings.
Correspondence.
Diaries.
Drawings.
Notebooks.
Photographs.
Typescripts.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Eric and Maud Brown fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

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Contact Information

Cyndie Campbell
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources 
Library and Archives 
National Gallery of Canada 
380 Sussex Drive 
P.O. Box 427, Station A 
Ottawa, Ontario 
K1N 9N4 

T 613-990-0597 
F 613-990-9818 

 
ccampbel@gallery.ca 


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Box List

Box Folder
Box 1 File 1 General correspondence, 1908-1923 
File 2 Excerpts from B.E. Walker's letters (typed), 1912-1913 
File 3 General correspondence, 1924-1930 
File 4 Excerpts from letters (typed) and typescript of newspaper clipping, 1928-1929 
File 5 General correspondence, 1935-1937 
File 6 General correspondence, 1938-1939 
File 7 Lectures and articles 
File 8 Letters of sympathy regarding Eric Brown's death, 1939 
File 9 Newspaper clippings and articles regarding Eric Brown's death, 1939 
File 10 Lectures, vol. 1 
File 11 Lectures, vol. 2 
Box Folder
Box 2 File 1 Lectures, vol. 3 
File 2 Lectures, vol. 4 
File 3 Lectures, vol. 5 
File 4 Lectures and articles 
File 5 Notes 
File 6 Notebooks and diaries, vol. 1 
File 7 Notebooks and diaries, vol. 2 
File 8 Maud Brown's personal scrapbook 
File 9 Photograph of a drawing of Maud Brown 

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