Fonds SC038 - C.W. Jefferys and Robert Stacey fonds

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00012 SC038


C.W. Jefferys and Robert Stacey fonds


  • 1839-1987 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

5 m of textual and graphic records

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles William Jefferys (1869-1951) was a prolific Canadian artist, illustrator and author. He was a talented landscape painter whose work was widely exhibited and collected, but is best known for his illustrations of Canada’s past. He was born in Rochester, Kent. In 1875 the Jefferys family emigrated to Philadelphia, then in 1878 they moved to Hamilton before settling in Toronto around 1880. Jefferys began formal training as an artist in 1884 when he started attending evening classes at the Ontario School of Art. The following year, Jefferys began a five-year apprenticeship at the Toronto Lithographic Company, where he was also hired out to work occasionally as an illustrator for The Globe. He worked as an artist for The Globe, as well as for a number of other Canadian newspapers until the fall of 1892 when he was taken on as an artist-reporter for The New York Herald. Jefferys lived in New York and New Jersey until 1899, returning to Canada permanently in 1901, eventually settling in York Mills. Jefferys illustrated a large number of books and articles providing illustrations for The Makers of Canada (1903-1911), Chronicles of Canada (1914-1916), was co-founder of the satirical periodical The Moon (1902-1904), and wrote and illustrated Canada’s Past in Pictures (1934) and The Picture Gallery of Canadian History (1942, 1945, 1950). He also gave frequent lectures and published numerous articles on art, architecture, and Canadian history. From 1912 to 1939 Jefferys was instructor of freehand drawing at the Department of Architecture at the University of Toronto. He also was a lecturer and part-time instructor at the Ontario College of Art. Jefferys worked for Canadian War Records in 1918, recording the activities Polish Army in Exile at Niagara and Toronto and the Siberian Army in Exile in at Camp Petawawa, Ontario. Jefferys was active in many organizations, including the Ontario Society of Artists, Royal Canadian Academy, Art Students’ League, and the Arts and Letters Club. He exhibited his art widely throughout his life, in Canada and abroad, and his work appears in major institutions across Canada. Robert Stacey (1949- ) is the grandson of C.W. Jefferys. He is an art historian, author, editor, picture editor and curator based out of Toronto. Has written numerous books and articles on C.W. Jefferys and many other aspects relating to Canadian art and graphic design, with titles including The Hand Holding the Brush: Self Portraits by Canadian Artists, Canadian Bookplates, Massanog: the art of Bon Echo, and Sir Daniel Wilson (1816-1892): ambidextrous polymath.

Name of creator

(1949 - 2007)

Biographical history

Robert Stacey was born on July 2, 1949, to Harold Stacey and Margaret Ellen West ("Peggy") Jefferys. He graduated from Northview Heights Secondary School in 1968, and went on to earn an Honours BA in English Literature at the University of Toronto in 1972. During the summers, he worked as a library assistant in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections of the University of Toronto Library. After his graduation, he worked for several rare book dealers, and spent six months in England in 1973 working for A. Zwemmer Ltd., a book publisher and dealer. After returning to Canada, in September 1973 Stacey became the manager of Pan Gallery, where he organized exhibitions on posters, private-press ephemera, and more. With the assistance of a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, Stacey began researching Canadian art and writing reviews for Artmagazine and other publications. In 1975, he began first as an apprentice, and eventually as an editor for Dundurn Press. Over the next thirty years he would continue his work as a freelance writer, editor, researcher, consultant, and exhibition curator, and published many essays, reviews, criticisms, and studies on Canadian /art. He is often recognized for his photography research, which allowed the inclusion of images in many important publications. Among his many other notable achievements, Stacy was appointed the first Canadian Research Fellow in the National Gallery of Canada's Research Fellowship Program in 1991. Stacey died of liver failure on November 4, 2007, in Toronto.

Archival history

Upon the death of Jefferys in 1951, ownership of his papers and effects passed to his four heirs, Margaret Stacey, Elizabeth Fee, Barbara Allen, and Katherine Helm. The C.W. Jefferys Estate Archives was divided and held by each of these individuals, but eventually came under the general administration and care of Robert Stacey. Stacey used the material during his research on the life and work of Jefferys. He arranged the records and supplemented the original manuscript material by collecting published work on Jefferys as well as compiling copies of original Jefferys material from archival and museum collections throughout Canada. The Estate donated the archives to the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1989.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records relating to the life and work of the artist and author Charles William Jefferys. It includes the artist’s correspondence, notebooks, research materials and manuscripts of his written work. Also included in this fonds are the research materials compiled by Robert Stacey, the artist’s grandson, about all aspects of the life and work of Jefferys, including information on all Jefferys’ writings and art, articles and reviews published by and about Jefferys, as well as information about the artist’s personal life, professional activities and travels. Stacey also conducted research on the Jefferys family history. Fonds is comprised of the following series: Jefferys family genealogy compiled by Stacey Jefferys’ accounts and business records Jefferys’ associations and clubs records Jefferys’ personal records Jefferys’ correspondence Stacey’s research files on places and people associated with Jefferys Writings by Jefferys Writings on Jefferys Stacey’s research files on Jefferys’ illustrations “The Moon” files Stacey’s research files on Jefferys’ art Stacey’s notes on locations associated with Jefferys Stacey’s research files on owners of Jefferys’ art C.W. Jefferys Estate Archives contents Stacey’s research files on Jefferys’ exhibitions Jefferys’ notebooks Portraits of Jefferys and family Newspaper clippings collected by Jefferys and Stacey Jefferys’ photographs and clippings from Western Canada

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Various copyright holders. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the fonds.

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