Fonds AR440 - Limners fonds

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Limners fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • 1972-2008 (Creation)
    Limners (Group of artists)

Physical description area

Physical description

14.5 cm of textual material 30 photographs : b&w and col., 25 x 20 cm or smaller 3 monographs

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Administrative history

The Victoria Limners Society, commonly referred to as The Limners or The Limner Group, was a collective of painters, potters, sculptors and other visual artists that formed in 1971 in Victoria British Columbia. The name “limner” comes from traveling journeymen painters from the Middle Ages who painted portraits and signs. The Victoria Limners Society incorporated as a non-profit society under the Societies Act of British Columbia in October 1972 and it was dissolved in 2008. Many of their group shows were held at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Winchester Gallery in Victoria, but they also showed in other venues from Vancouver, to Edmonton, to the Atlantic provinces.

1996 marked the 25th anniversary of the Limners and was celebrated with a series of exhibitions at various venues in Victoria, including the Winchester Gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Emily Carr House. This year also saw the publication of a book by Patricia Bovey of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria called "A Passion for Art: The Art and Dynamics of the Limners" by Sono Nis Press. This book examined the contribution of the Limners to the Victoria arts scene since the 1970s, both at a group and individual level, as well as the Limners’ relationships with other Canadian artists.

In the late 1990s, Agustin Luviano-Cordero produced a video about the Limners, which was funded in part by Employment and Immigration Canada’s Job Development Programme. It was likely titled "The Limners: Art and Friendship" and it aired on the Knowledge Network, Rogers, Shaw Cable and possibly the Bravo Channel.

Over the years, Limners members have included Maxwell Bates, Pat Martin Bates, Richard Ciccimarra, Robert De Castro, Walter Dexter, Nita Forrest, Colin Graham, Helga Grove, Jan Grove, Leroy Jensen, Elza Mayhew, Myfanwy Pavelic, Nikola Pavelic, Carole Sabiston, Herbert Siebner, Robin Skelton, Sylvia Skelton, Karl Spreitz and Jack Wilkinson.

Honorary Limner members have included Dennis Bowen, Ann Mayhew, Dick Morris, Peter Pollen, Bernie Ruffo, Martin Segger and Montcrieff Williamson.

Custodial history

It appears that the records in this fonds were largely held in the custody of Limner secretary Sylvia Skelton until their donation. Many of the records are reproductions. Some records are duplicated in other Limner members' fonds.

Scope and content

Fonds documents the activities of the Victoria Limners Society from 1972-2008 and includes correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records and society filings. It also contains records related to various group exhibits, including the Limners’ 25th anniversary exhibition in 1996, as well as records related to a book and video produced about the group. A small number of newspaper clippings, exhibition pamphlets, various editions of a booklet on the Limners Society artists and black and white photographs showing Limner members at exhibitions and meetings can be found in this fonds. This fonds has been arranged into into six series: 1) letters; 2) minutes; 3) financial records; 4) society filings; 5) 25th anniversary exhibition; and 6) publications and graphic materials.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Material deposited by Limner members Carol Sabiston, Jan Gove, Helga Grove, Pat Martin Bates via the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery on 20 August 2010.


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  • English

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Finding aids

Detailed finding aid available; fonds and series level control; file list and box list available

Associated materials

Robin Skelton fonds, University of Victoria Special Collections Herbert Siebner fonds, University of Victoria Archives Martin Segger fonds, University of Victoria Archives (see name access points below)

Related materials


2010-043, 2017-004. Further Society accruals are not expected.

General note

The University of Victoria Library carries several monographs on the Limners, including the items listed below. Consult the library catalogue for details: Bovey, Patricia E. 1996. A Passion for Art: The Art and Dynamics of the Limners. Sono Nis Press, Victoria, BC; The Limners. 1972. Pharos Press, Victoria, BC. Introduction by Robin Skelton; The Limners. 1975. Pharos Press, Victoria, BC. Introduction by Robin Skelton; The Limners. 1978. Pharos Press, Victoria, BC. Introduction by Robin Skelton; The Limners.1981. Pharos Press, Victoria, BC. Introduction by Robin Skelton; Skelton, Robin. [1967]. Inscriptions. Morriss Printing Co., Victoria, BC. Drawings by Herbert Siebner; Whittakker, Julia Fredericka. 1989. Limners: Art in Victoria, 1920-1989. Masters thesis.

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  • English

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