Roloff Beny fonds [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief
Roloff Beny fonds [multiple media]
- Hierarchical level:
- R4724-0-X-E, MG31-D241
- Type of material:
- Textual material, Photographs, Art, Moving images, Sound recordings
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Link to this page:
This link identifies the web page describing this particular record. Unlike the temporary link in your browser, this link will allow you to access, and reference, this page in the future. To link to this descriptive record, copy and paste the URL where ever needed (wiki, blog, document).http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=fonandcol&id=106922&lang=eng
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
122 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Place of creation:
- No place, unknown, or undetermined
ca. 158, 475 photographs.
16 m of textual records.
ca. 195 drawings.
ca. 106 prints.
10 film reels (1 h, 43 min, 57 s).
1 videocassette (30 min).
15 audio reels (ca. 6 h, 8 min).
1 audio cassette (22 min, 15 s).
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
Fonds consists of the photographic, art, audio-visual and manuscript records of noted Canadian artist and photographer Roloff Beny, 1924-1984. This material documents the development of Beny's career, which he began initially as an abstract painter, gradually progressing towards aesthetic photography by the late 1950s. Included are files on Beny's many projects, commercial work and exhibitions. There is also documentation relating to his personal life, including diaries and family correspondence, portraits of Roloff Beny and his residences in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, Alberta, New York and Rome, Italy. The material in the Roloff Beny fonds is organized into 19 series and 68 sub-series which largely reflect his own arrangement. The series includes material maintained by his father, C.J.F. Beny in Lethbridge, Alberta, largely business records and correspondence, much of it personal, covering the years that Beny was at University through his career as an artist and later as a photographer and book designer. Though often his preferred photographic subjects were the ancient and classical cultures and architecture of Europe, the Middle and Far East, the fonds does contain a good selection of images of Canada from coast to coast. In addition there is a good deal of material relating to the book that he was commissioned to design for Canada's centennial in 1967, To Everything there is a Season, and his exhibitions including work with the National Film Board.
- Biography/Administrative history:
Beny, Roloff, 1924-1984 : Wilfred Roy Beny was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta. As a young man, he changed his name to Roloff Beny, adopting his mother's maiden name. Upon graduation from the University of Toronto, Beny studied under the master engraver and printer Mauricio Lasansky at the State University of Iowa, graduating in 1947. After continuing his studies at Columbia University and the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Beny was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for printmaking and painting, and travelled throughout Europe with the American School of Classical Studies, 1948-1952. Beny first exhibited as an artist with the Manitoba Society of Artists. Between 1941 and 1952, he held twenty-five one-man shows, in Canada, New York, Paris, Milan and Florence. Examples of his paintings and graphic art are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Fogg Museum (Boston), Yale University Museum, Knoedler Gallery (New York), the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Galleria Del Milione (Milan), and Redfern Gallery (London). Although Roloff Beny began his artistic career as a painter and graphic designer, he is best remembered as a photographer of monuments of the ancient and classical worlds, and as the designer of coffee table books. Beny's first major photographic exhibition came at the invitation of Sir Herbert Read, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, England, in 1955. Many other exhibitions followed: A Time of Gods 1962, Metaphysical Moments 1966, Pleasure of Photography 1966, Sculpture of The Renaissance 1967, Image Canada 1967, The Renaissance 1968, A Visual Odyssey 1958-1968 1968, In The Cloister of San Francesco 1974, Iran by Roloff Beny 1975, La Perse - Pont de Turquoise 1977, Patterns of Persia 1978, Roloff Beny In Italy And Canada 1980, Churches of Rome 1981, and Odyssey 1981. Beny's first published book was a collection of twenty original lithographs, An Aegean Notebook (1950). After he turned to photography, he published many collections of his photographs, some of them companion volumes to his exhibitions, including the following: Thrones of Earth and Heaven (1958), A Time of Gods (1962), Pleasure of Ruins (1964), Japan In Colour (1967), To Everything There Is A Season (1967), India (1969), Island: Ceylon (1971), In Italy (1974), two books on Iran: Persia Bridge of Turquoise (1975) and Iran: Elements of Destiny (1978), Odyssey: Mirror of The Mediterranean (1981), Churches of Rome (1981) and Gods of Greece (1983). Rajasthan was published posthumously in 1984, and Iceland and The Romance of Architecture in 1985. The last years of Roloff Beny's life were occupied in the preparation of his "Visual Journals", a proposed book in three volumes about people, architecture and nature, to be accompanied by an autobiographical text. Beny died before the project was completed.
- Finding aid no.:
- Finding aid:
Textual records (Electronic) A pdf file listing of all the textual volumes and their associated files. MSS2003 Available at the link below: (90: Open)
http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf001/p000000552.pdfPhotographic Material (Paper) Introduction and series level descriptions with associated box numbers, listed by series. Also, box lists for b&w, col. and oversize listed by volume. FA-295. Available in the Reference Room. A copy is available in Photo A&R. (90: Open)Photographic Material (Paper) Box list by series, located in Consultation Room 326. FA-295. Copy available in Photo A&R Section. (90: Open)(Paper) Photographic Material-People Finding Aid, subject index of portrait sittings, located in Consultation Room 326. Copy available in Photo A&R. 295Moving images and sound recordings: (Electronic) See MISACS for item level descriptions.
- Additional information:
- General Note:
Received in 1994, 1995 and 1996 from the Estate of Roloff Beny. The main part of the fonds was transferred to the National Archives from Beny's home in Rome, Italy., Additional material was received in 1995 from the Estate of Roloff Beny through the University of Lethbridge. This material includes records originally stored at the Beny family residence in Lethbridge., These files were organized by Charles Francis Beny, Roloff Beny's father, unofficial business manager and financial advisor. Also included are records arranged by Roloff Beny established during his education at the University of Toronto and his years as a resident of New York City., A small portion of material was transferred from London in 1995. This material forms part of the original Roloff Beny fonds and was selected by Eva Neurath of the publishing house of Thames and Hudson from Roloff Beny's archive in Rome following his death in 1984., A publishing agreement required that Thames and Hudson have access to this material for the production of both Visual Journeys: Roloff Beny (1994), and People: Legends in Life and Art (1995), his unrealised volume of portraits. Both were produced by Mitchell Crites, Beny's former assistant, close friend and biographer., Upon completion of these projects both textual and photographic material was to be returned to the National Archives. The major portion of this collection consists of Roloff Beny's own files relating to the publication of his Visual Journals: People, an autobiographical text illustrated with his selection of portraits. In addition, posthumous material has been retained, including correspondence and interviews with Beny's biographer Mitchell Crites.
- Exhibitions note:
- Exhibition "Visual Journeys: The Photography of Roloff Beny" at the Royal Ontario Museum, 1994 and the National Archives of Canada, 1995., Exhibition "Roloff Beny: Legends in Life and Art", travelling portrait exhibit at the National Archives of Canada, 1995 and various venues in Europe through 1996-1998.
- Container note(s):
1291 : photos from accession 2005-0942. 100 exhibition prints (portraits).
1292 : photos from accession 2005-0942. 100 exhibition prints (portraits).
1293 : photos from accession 96-171.
1294 : photos from accession 96-171.
- Subject heading:
- Former archival reference no.:
- Other accession no.:
Ordering and Viewing Options
- Conditions of access:
Photographs by Roloff Beny, except for the exhibition "A Visual Odyssey", copyright held by the National Archives of Canada.
Photographs from the Exhibition "A Visual Odyssey", copyright is held by the Nickle Arts Museum. Permission for reproduction and publication required from the Nickle Arts Museum, The University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
Photographs of Roloff Beny by other photographers, various copyrights.
Art material by Roloff Beny - copyright held by the National Archives of Canada.
Art material by other artists - various copyrights.
Moving images and sound recordings: Reproduction and use in any form requires the written permission of the copyright holders.
The researcher is responsible for determining whether material is subject to copyright and for ascertaining the name of the person or organization holding the copyright. The recipient is also responsible for determining whether any use of copyrighted material does or does not constitute an infringement of copyright under the Copyright Act.
- Date modified: