TABLE OF CONTENTS
Donald W. Buchanan fonds:
Donald William Buchanan, art historian, arts administrator, and author, was born in 1908 in Lethbridge, Alberta, the son of Senator William Ashbury Buchanan (1876-1954), publisher of the Lethbridge Herald, and Alma Maud Buchanan (née Freeman) (1877-1956). Buchanan studied modern history at the University of Toronto and held a fellowship at the University of Oxford. In 1934 he received a fellowship from the Carnegie Corporation to train in museum administration and to complete a biography on the Canadian artist James Wilson Morrice (1865-1924). The following year Buchanan founded the National Film Society of Canada (known as the Canadian Film Institute since 1950); from 1937 until 1940, he worked at the Canadian Radio Commission (now the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). After leaving the Canadian Radio Commission, Buchanan worked for the National Film Board, where he established the stills division; from 1947 until 1960 he was employed by the National Gallery of Canada, serving as director of the Industrial Design Division (1947-1953) and later as the Gallery's Associate Director (1955-1960). Buchanan returned to the Gallery in 1963 as a member of its Board of Trustees.
Buchanan wrote several books on art and design during his career, including James Wilson Morrice: A Biography (1936), Canadian Painting from Paul Kane to the Group of Seven (1945), Design for Use (1947), The Growth of Canadian Painting (1950), and Alfred Pellan (1962). In 1958, after developing an interest in photography, Buchanan took a six-month leave of absence from his job at the National Gallery to photograph areas of France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Jordan. The photographs produced by Buchanan during this trip led to an exhibition entitled entitled A Not Always Reverent Journey: Photographs by Donald W. Buchanan (1959), organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada. Buchanan continued his career in photography after he retired from the National Gallery, exhibiting his work at the Here and Now Gallery, Toronto, in 1960; La Galleria George Lester, Rome, in 1962; and The Blue Barn Gallery, Ottawa, in 1964. He also published two books of his photographs, A Nostalgic View of Canada (1962) and Sausages and Roses (1963). Buchanan's career as a photographer was put on hold in December 1963, when he was appointed director of the International Fine Arts Exhibition Man and His World at Expo '67. Buchanan died after being struck by a van on an Ottawa bridge in 1966.
The fonds consists of black-and-white contact prints and negatives produced by Buchanan during his travels throughout Canada and during trips to countries including France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and Tunisia from the late 1950s until the early 1960s. Photographs from some of the negatives were shown in exhibitions in Canada and abroad, and were reproduced in exhibition catalogues and books such as Ossip Zadkine (National Gallery of Canada, 1956) and A Nostalgic View of Canada (McClelland & Stewart, 1962).
Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Physical description: Photographs include 223 b&w contact prints and 663 b&w negatives. The contact prints are individual images. Many of these have been cropped.
Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased from Thomas L. Beckett, Ancaster, Ontario, the former owner of Beckett Gallery Limited in Hamilton, Ontario
Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Donald W. Buchanan fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Finding aids: Box list available.
Associated records: The collection of the National Gallery of Canada includes eight photographs (gelatin silver prints) by Donald W. Buchanan.
Accruals: No further accruals expected.
Related groups of records: The Donald W. Buchanan-James Wilson Morrice Collection at the E.P. Taylor Research Library and Archives, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, consists of letters solicited by Buchanan for his book entitled James Wilson Morrice: A Biography (1936). Correspondents include Léa Cadoret, W. Somerset Maugham, Gerald Faustus Kelly, Charles Prendergast, Elizabeth R. Pennell, Clive Bell, Walter Pach, David Morrice, Pavel Ettinger, and Henri Matisse.
Collection arranged and described by Philip Dombowsky in 2014.
Purchased from Thomas L. Beckett, Ancaster, Ontario, the former owner of Beckett Gallery Limited, Hamilton, Ontario. Beckett obtained the collection from Donald Buchanan's brother, Hugh Buchanan, who had moved to Hamilton from Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1962. Hugh received the material from his brother's estate in 1966.
[Title of item], Donald W. Buchanan fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.