TABLE OF CONTENTSCollection Summary
National Gallery of Canada English Docents fonds:
Volunteer guiding has had a long history at the National Gallery of Canada but it was not until 1974 that an official Docent Programme was initiated by Roberta Pollock, Chairman of the National Gallery Association (Friends of the National Gallery of Canada). Jean S. Boggs (b. 1922), then Director of the National Gallery, stipulated that the National Gallery Association should fund the endeavour and that all future docents should undergo training approved by the Gallery's Education Services. Those selected paid, in part, for the cost of a four year training programme and also contributed towards a fund for a library for the programme. Roughly twenty-six English-speaking docents and thirteen French-speaking docents were recruited in the initial campaign. In 1976, docents began giving half-hour lunch time mini-talks on individual paintings. By 1977, English and French-speaking docents were trained by different instructors. Within the programme, each group had its own representatives and held its own meetings. In the same year, the docents began giving school and public tours in the Gallery. By 1978, the training programme was reduced to two years, with a strong emphasis on instruction in Canadian art. The Docent Programme continued to operate mainly under the auspices of the Friends of the National Gallery, while the Gallery determined financial arrangements and set docent working hours. From 1970 to 1979, a docent fund (made up of contributions both from the docents and from the Gallery) was established in order to cover both administrative expenses and book and catalogue purchases. The number of docents has increased over the years. In 1990 there were fifty-one English-speaking and twenty-three French-speaking docents. The Gallery maintains a commitment to ongoing docent training.
Fonds consists minutes, reports, notices of meetings, and memos (1983-1990), including a list of chairpersons for the English Docents Programme (198?-1996); correspondence regarding mini-talks organized by docents (1987-1996), including one polaroid photograph of "Radio City" (1967-1968) by Canadian artist Gary Lee-Nova (b. 1943), a letter from Lee-Nova, a letter from National Gallery of Canada curator Charles C. Hill (b. 1945) regarding the attribution of a work, and notes for a talk on "The Ballad of a Wise and Curious Wizard" (1966) by Lee-Nova; administrative correspondence (1989-1994), including thank you letters, organization of tours, gifts sent to docents and resignations; memos, press releases and minutes regarding Friends' Day (1988-1991); an obituary for former National Gallery of Canada docent Mary Adele Tollefson; a copy of the docent handbook (1984), including a copy of an article by Docent Trainer, Mary P. Flanders, "Evaluating Docent Performance", guidelines for docent seminars (1982-1995); and notes, memos, ballots and nomination forms from the English Docents Nomination committee (1991-1996).
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
[Title of item], National Gallery of Canada English Docent fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources
Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
P.O. Box 427, Station A