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

George Escher fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title:George Escher fonds.
Dates: 1958-2012.
Quantity: 44 cm of textual records, 1 gouge tool and 1 bone spoon.

Biographical Sketch

Born in Rome in 1926, Giorgio Arnoldo (George) Escher was the eldest son of Giulia (Jutta) Umiker and Dutch artist M.C. Escher (1898-1972). An aeronautic engineer, George married Corrie Weisfelt in the Netherlands in 1957, immigrating to Canada in 1958. They settled in St. Andrews East, Quebec, and later moved to Mader's Cove, Nova Scotia where George was chief engineer for Paceship Yachts/ABCO Plastics in Mahone Bay. Shortly after they arrived in Canada, M.C. Escher began writing letters to George and Corrie, and later their daughters Juliet and Kathleen (Kathy), every two weeks or so to keep them informed of his activities and news of family and friends, a practice he kept up until shortly before his death. In 1985 George was asked by a family friend to give a lecture about his father's work at the Interlochen Center of the Arts in Michigan. He subsequently wrote a number of essays and gave many lectures about his father's life and work in Europe, the United States and Canada. In 1995 George gave the opening talk for the exhibition, M.C. Escher: landscapes to mindscapes / M.C. Escher : le paysage en m tamorphose, a exhibition organized to celebrate George's donation of 90 prints by his father to the National Gallery of Canada. George gave the Kathleen Fenwick Memorial Lecture at the National Gallery of Canada in 2014 to mark the opening of the exhibition, M.C. Escher: the mathemagician / M.C. Escher, le math magicien. The occasion also included the book launch of M.C Escher: letters to Canada, 1958-1972 and M.C. Escher, lettres canadiennes, 1958-1972, a National Gallery of Canada publication featuring a selection of letters sent to George, Corrie and their children by M.C. Escher. George Escher donated over 230 prints by M.C. Escher, and 5 etchings and by Giovanni Battista Piranesi from his father's collection to the National Gallery of Canada, making the museum one of the largest repositories for artwork by M.C. Escher in the world, after the Haags Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, and the National Gallery in Washington. After Corrie developed Alzheimer's, the couple moved to Ottawa to be near their eldest daughter Juliet. Corrie died in Ottawa in 2005. George died in 2018.

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Scope and Contents

The fonds consists of photocopies of letters, in Dutch, written by M.C. Escher to his son George, to George's wife, Corrie, and to the couple's two children, Juliet and Kathy. There is also a letter written by M.C. Escher's youngest son Jan to George Escher, as well as several letters addressed by M.C. Escher to various other individuals, all of which are included in the collection to provide narrative continuity. The letters discuss Escher's work, including current projects, collaborative books on his art, the sale of his prints, and the production of various films on his life (including the CBC production, Man at the Center (1969)). The letters also make reference to the artist's health, his family and friends, his personal reading, current events and the celebrities, political officials and academics who came into contact with Escher over the course of his career (including Cornelius V.S. Roosevelt (1915-1991), Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999), Roger Penrose (1931- ) and Dr. Arthur L. Loeb (1923-2002)). Also included is the hand-written translation of the letters by Elsje Mandl, the typed and edited copies of those translations, and correspondence with George Escher about the translation and editing of the letters. In 2016, George donated a bone spoon and gouge (woodcutting tool) used by his father to make his prints.

Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada by George Escher in 1991 and 2016.

Location of originals: The original correspondence, together with the greater part of M.C. Escher's archive, is in the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.

Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the George Escher fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

Copyright: The copyright for the correspondence by M.C. Escher is with the M.C. Escher Company B.V., Baarn, the Netherlands. Copyright for the English and French translations of the M.C. Escher correspondence is with the National Gallery of Canada.

Related material: George Escher donated over 230 original prints by M.C. Escher and 5 etching by Giovanni Battista Piranesi from his father's collection to the National Gallery of Canada between 1990-2016. George also donated a modern copy of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Carceri d'Invenzioni and a small selection of publications about M.C. Escher and his work to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives in 2016.

Finding aids: Box list available.

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Index Terms

Names:
Escher, George, 1926-2018
Escher, M.C., 1898-1972
Document Types:
Correspondence.
Typescripts.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

George Escher fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

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Contact Information

Reference Services
Library and Archives 
National Gallery of Canada 
380 Sussex Drive 
Ottawa, Ontario 
K1N 9N4 

T 613-714-6000 ext. 6323 

[email protected]


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Box List


Box Folder
Box 1 File 1 Correspondence from M.C. Escher, 12 October 1958-28 December 1961 
File 2 Correspondence from M.C. Escher, 13 January 1962-29 December 1965 
File 3 Correspondence from M.C. Escher, 16 January 1966-29 December 1968 
File 4 Correspondence from M.C. Escher, 26 January 1969-31 January 1972 
File 5 English Translation of Correspondence, 12 October 1958-20 March 1960 
File 6 English Translation of Correspondence, 27 March 1960-28 December 1961 
File 7 English Translation of Correspondence, 13 January 1962-30 May 1965 
File 8 English Translation of Correspondence, 13 June 1965-29 December 1968 
File 9 English Translation of Correspondence, 2 December 1969-23 February 1972 
Box Folder
Box 2 File 1 Typescript of the unedited translation, 1958-1961 
File 2 Typescript of the unedited translation, 1961-1965 
File 3 Typescript of the unedited translation, 1965-1972 
File 4 Correspondence with George Escher, 2002 
File 5 Correspondence with George Escher, May 2003 
Box Folder
Box 3 File 1 Correspondence with George Escher, January 2004 
File 2 Correspondence with George Escher, 2007-2012 
File 3 Edited Translation, 1958-June 1960 
File 4 Edited Translation, July 1960-December 1961 
File 5 Edited Translation, 1962-1963 
File 6 Edited Translation, 1964-May 1965 
Box Folder
Box 4 File 1 Edited Translation, June 1965-1967 
File 2 Edited Translation, 1968-1972 
File 3 Excerpts 
File 4 Gouge Tool 
File 5 Bone Spoon 

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