Fonds 89-71 - Jan Gerrit Wyers fonds

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Jan Gerrit Wyers fonds

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  • 1913-1970 (Creation)

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Physical description

27 cm of textual records and other materials

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Biographical history

Jan Gerrit Wyers was born on July 20, 1888 in Emmer, The Netherlands. He left school at the age of 12 to work on his father's farm. On February 18, 1913 he left for the United States with three friends. He worked as a hired hand and on threshing crews in North Dakota and South Dakota until 1916 when he moved to Canada and bought a quarter section of land at Windthorst, Saskatchewan. Jan Wyers started painting in 1937-38 to keep himself busy during the cold winters. His first exhibition was in 1956. He exhibited 'The First Saskatchewan Harvest' and 'These Good Old Thrashing Days' in the seventh annual Saskatchewan Art Exhibition sponsored by the Saskatchewan Arts Board and held at the Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. He received an Award of Merit for the 'The First Saskatchewan Harvest'. In 1959, eight of Jan Wyer's paintings were included in the National Gallery of Canada's exhibition 'Folk Painters of the Canadian West' which toured to galleries throughout Canada and the United States. Through these exhibitions and articles in 'Canadian Art', 'artscanada' and 'Time', Wyers gained national recognition for his 'naive' style of folk art. He remained in Windthorst for most of his life until he developed Parkinson's disease and had to move to a nursing home in 1970. He died in Regina July 4, 1973.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of personal papers of Saskatchewan folk artist Jan Gerrit Wyers, 1913-1970. Included are original drawings and paintings, and slides and photographs of his art works, as well as personal and family photos depicting relatives in the Netherlands, Wyers' farm at Windthorst, and the installation of his exhibit at the Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery. Also present are personal documents, postcards from the Netherlands and North America, an exhibition catalogue and a small quantity of correspondence including 4 letters from Wyers to Ed Haveledge.

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Photographs and other material in 89-71 has been arranged by Archives staff.

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No restrictions on access.

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File list and index of photographs available for 89-71.

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General note

Includes 243 slides, 79 photographs, 38 postcards, 7 paintings, 1 drawing, and 8 oversize items.

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