Isaacs, Avrom, 1926-2016

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Isaacs, Avrom, 1926-2016

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Dates of existence

1926-2016

History

Avrom Isaacs, Toronto art dealer, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1926 and moved to Toronto with his family in 1941. He graduated with an Honours B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Toronto in 1950. While at university, he opened a picture-framing store with a friend and became the sole proprietor of the Greenwich Art Shop by 1950. Isaacs came into contact with many of Toronto's emerging artists while working at his store and began displaying their art on his shop's walls. This led to the opening of the Greenwich Art Gallery in 1955. The space was renamed The Isaacs Gallery in 1959 and moved to Yonge Street in 1961. Isaacs opened the Inuit Gallery in Toronto in 1970, the first commercial gallery in the world devoted solely to Inuit art. In August 1991, Isaacs consolidated his two galleries to form the Isaacs/Inuit Gallery, which closed in 2001 at the time of his retirement from the business. Over the course of his career, Isaacs represented numerous Canadian artists including Dennis Burton, Michael Snow, Graham Coughtry, Gordon Rayner, Jack Chambers, Joyce Wieland, Mark Prent, John Meredith, William Kurelek, Robert Markle and Gathie Falk. He also sponsored poetry readings, underground film screenings, and mixed media concerts at his gallery. Isaacs served on the executive of the Professional Art Dealers Association of Canada (PADAC), is a former director of the Toronto Arts Awards Foundation, and an Honorary Fellow of the Ontario College of Art. He has served on various arts advisory boards at the municipal, provincial and federal levels and was a member of the board of the Canadian Filmmakers' Distribution Centre from 1979 to 1982, serving as its Chairman from 1981 to 1982. In 1992, Isaacs was made a member of the Order of Canada, was awarded an honorary doctorate by York University, and received the RCAIC (Royal Canadian Architectural Institute of Canada) silver medal. In 2005, 'Isaacs seen : 50 years on the art front, a gallery scrapbook' compiled by Donnalu Wigmore, was published in support of 'Isaacs seen', four interconnected exhibitions held in Toronto that year to illustrate his career.

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Final

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2019/05/02 KCP. Added VIAF.

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