Fonds - Glenn Lewis fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Glenn Lewis fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on its provenance.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1950 - 2007 (Creation)
    Lewis, Glenn

Physical description area

Physical description

3.04 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Glenn Lewis was born in Chemainus, British Columbia in 1935. He studied at the Vancouver School of Art, obtaining an Honours degree in 1958. He then obtained a teaching degree from the University of British Columbia in 1959. He continued his studies in art under Bernard Leach in Cornwall, England, studying ceramics from 1961 to 1963. He then taught ceramics at the University of British Columbia from 1964 to 1967. Although an intensely important part of his artistic repertoire, his work with traditional pottery was replaced with an interest in the progressive avant-garde in the 1960s, with conceptual and performance art. Always questioning the dialectic between conventional objects and art, social obligation and natural instinct, function and beauty, his past experience with sculpture played an important role in his new projects.<br>
Much of his work between the 1960s and the 1980s included some aspect of sculpture or positioning as a questioning of the dichotomy between the static and the transient. He was fascinated with seeking commonality and human links revealed by conventional items and popular myth. He experimented with photography, film, and even horticulture, becoming increasingly interested in nature and topiary. He was involved in a number of artists' collectives and artist-run centres, which included the New Era Social Club in 1968 and the Western Front in 1973. Many of his works were collaborative and included members of these collectives, often questioning the perception of reality by a public manipulated by the media. New media in all types became the catalyst for much of his work through the 1980s and 1990s, an investigation into its power to influence and broadcast, and yet limit perception at the same time. This attention to new media eventually led to his appointment as Head of Media Arts at the Canada Council in 1987. He was awarded with five Canada Council grants throughout his life as well as serving as the Canada Council Head of New Media from 1987-1990. He was also awarded the prestigious "Emily" award from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2000.<br>
Glenn Lewis currently lives and works in Vancouver.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of 3.04 meters of textua, photographic and other material created or collected by artist Glenn Lewis. Consists of records pertaining to and reflecting Lewis' travels, employment, study, artist collectives and associations, and artistic projects from 1950 to 2007. Records consist of photographic materials (prints, slides and negatives), journals/day-planners, postcards, letters, lecture notes, manuscripts, articles, notes and miscellaneous writings, published books and catalogues, exhibit pamphlets and brochures, grant and commission information, legal documents, artwork and drawings, 1 CD and 1 DVD, and 3 ceramic pieces.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Glenn Lewis.


Chronological arrangement originally imposed by Glenn Lewis. The files remain in this order, although the finding aid reflects a more function-based arrangement. Accruals have been added in chronological order as per the wishes of Lewis.

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Finding aids

Series descriptions available as well as box and file lists.

Associated materials

Morris/Trasov archive, Eric Metcalfe fonds, Victor Doray (Intermedia) fonds, Gary Lee Nova fonds, PUMPS fonds.

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Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created December 18, 2010.
Revised by BCANS Coordinator, January 7, 2011.

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