TABLE OF CONTENTS
Mowry Baden fonds:
Mowry Baden is a contemporary sculptor based in Saanich, British Columbia. He was born in Los Angeles, California on January 17, 1936 and received a B.A. from Pomona College (Claremont, California) in 1958 and an M.A. from Stanford University (Palo Alto, California) in 1965. Baden began his career as a painter but turned to sculpture in the mid-1960s as a means of clarifying problems related to painting. He fully embraced sculpture by the end of the decade, producing works that borrowed from psychology, architecture, and performance art. Among Baden's earliest sculptural works were "task-oriented sculptures" that invited viewers to engage in specific physical tasks that would be re-experienced in neuromuscular sensations after leaving the work. In 1971, after briefly teaching at Pomona College (1968-1971), Baden moved to Canada, where he taught first at the University of British Columbia (1972-1975), and later at the University of Victoria (1975-1997). After moving to Canada, Baden continued to develop as a sculptor, further exploring the idea of participatory works that challenged the sensory perceptions of the viewer.
Throughout his career Baden has produced public art as well as works for gallery spaces. His work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including in Mowry Baden: Task Oriented Sculptures at Mercer Union, Toronto, in 1987; Mowry Baden: A Choreography of the Ordinary at Open Space, Victoria, British Columbia in 1998; Freckled Gyres: Sculpture by Mowry Baden at Pomona College, Claremont, California in 2001; Mowry Baden and Roland Brener: Thirty Years in Victoria at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 2006; and Caught in the Act: The Viewer as Performer at the National Gallery of Canada in 2008. In 2009-2010, Baden exhibited five recently produced sculptures under the title Mirroring at Diaz Contemporary in Toronto. Baden has created public art works in various cities, including Pittsburgh, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Victoria. His sculptures can be found in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the Art Gallery of Victoria; the Musée d'art contemporain, Montreal; and the National Gallery of Canada, to name a few. Baden is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria. He was the recipient of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2006 and is represented in Canada by Diaz Contemporary.
The fonds includes twenty-four journals kept by Mowry Baden between December 1959 and January 2009. The journals provide a detailed record of Baden's artistic career and include detailed descriptions of many of his most important works. They also include numerous preparatory drawings for realized and unrealized sculptural projects; correspondence with colleagues, friends, and family; seventeen photographs; and two exhibition catalogues. Twelve hundred and seventy-four of the drawings are signed by Baden. Several of these had been cut out of the journals and exhibited at the Montgomery Gallery, Pomona College in Claremont, California in 2001 and at Deluge Contemporary Art in Victoria, British Columbia in 2007. Items that were not sold in these exhibitions or given as gifts were hinged back into the journals.
Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Physical description: Several pages with notes and drawings have been taped into the journals. 1274 drawings in the journals are signed. Photographs include 1 b&w photograph, 15 colour photographs, and 1 colour Polaroid. The two exhibition catalogues are tipped-in; one is for a Mowry Baden exhibition, the other for a Stephen David exhibition.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Mowry Baden in 2010.
Restrictions: Access to the Mowry Baden journals will be closed until January 1, 2031, except with the prior written consent of the Donor..
Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Mowry Baden fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Finding aids: Box list available.
Associated materials: The National Gallery of Canada owns one work by Baden, a sculpture entitled The Light that Severs Day from Night (2003). This work was included in the exhibition Caught in the Act: The Viewer as Performer held at the National Gallery in 2008.
Collection processed and finding aid developed by Philip Dombowsky in 2011.
[Title of item], Mowry Baden fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.