Lucy Jarvis fonds [textual, graphic records, and sound recordings]. -- 1896-1993; predominant 1940-1985. -- 75.5cm of textual material; 50 photographs; 1 m graphic material: sketch books; 4 audio reels.

Biographical Sketch: Lucy Mary Hope Jarvis was born in Toronto on 27 July 1896, the first of five children of Edward William Jarvis and his wife, Kate Agnes Harris. E.W. Jarvis entered UNB in 1881 and later became associated with the Bank of Montreal, moving the family within the Maritimes and to various locations in southwestern Ontario. Lucy Jarvis was introduced to the world of art as a child in Yarmouth, N.S. and later continued her studies in Toronto where she attended Havergal Ladies College (Class of 1914). Between 1925 and 1929 she studied at the Art School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

While in Fredericton in 1940, Lucy, along with fellow artist Pegi Nicol MacLeod and Margaret MacKenzie, wife of UNB President Norman MacKenzie, worked to transform the long-unused UNB Observatory into an art centre. During the war years, in addition to her teaching and mentoring activities at the Art Centre, Ms. Jarvis operated a rural circuit for the National Film Board War Information Service, showing films throughout rural New Brunswick. From 1944-1946 she was also an art instructor at the Provincial Normal School in Fredericton. In 1946 Lucy Jarvis became a full-time member of the UNB Faculty as Director of Art, a position she retained until 1960. She had spent a sabbatical year of 1954-1955 in France. After leaving UNB, Ms. Jarvis was awarded a Canada Council Fellowship grant which enabled her to spend more time abroad, travelling and studying in various European studios.

Upon her return to Canada, Lucy Jarvis settled at Pembroke Dyke near Yarmouth in Nova Scotia where she continued to paint and play an active role in the arts community. To celebrate its 45th anniversary in 1985, the UNB Art Centre presented an exhibition entitled "Visual Experiences of Lucy Jarvis" which included a chronological assemblage of more than seventy works covering Ms. Jarvis's creative period from 1930-1983. Her work is represented in many private collections, and in the collections of the University of New Brunswick, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the New Brunswick Museum, and the University of Toronto. Lucy Jarvis died on 24 May 1985 at Yarmouth in her 89th year and is buried in Saint John.

Custodial history: Material transferred from the estate of Lucy Jarvis to her niece, Dr. Lucy Jarvis (Connell) Dyer of Fredericton, N.B.

Scope and Content: This fonds contains correspondence, art work, photographs, clippings, and personal materials which document the life and career of artist, Lucy Jarvis, particularly during her time at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre (1940-1960) and during her life at Pembroke Dyke, N.S. (1960-1985). Numerous sketch books created throughout Jarvis's career form the bulk of the fonds. Historical and administrative records of the UNB Art Centre form the significant textual content of the fonds. The correspondence files are also of interest, particularly relating to fellow artists and personnel from the University. Also in the fonds is the log book of a Yarmouth fishing boat (co-owned by Lucy Jarvis and skippered by Vernon Thompson), containing catch statistics and fish prices over a five-year period.

The fonds comprises eight (8) series:
Series 1: Correspondence 1931-1990; predominant [194- ] - [198- ]
Series 2: UNB Art Centre history and activities 1941-1985; predominant 1946-1960
Series 3: Personal miscellaneous materials 1926-1982; predominant [194- ] - [197- ]
Series 4: Vernon Thompson correspondence and the log book of the "Lucy Helen" 1947-1982; predominant 1947-1959
Series 5: Periodicals & newspaper clippings 1935-1989; predominant 1940-1960
Series 6: James White correspondence 1982-1984
Series 7: Photographs 1896-1993; predominant [196-]
Series 8: Lucy Jarvis sketch books [ca. 194-? - 197- ?]

Title based on the content of the fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition: Material received from Dr. Lucy Jarvis (Connell) Dyer, niece of Lucy Jarvis, on 17 January 1997.
Arrangement: Files created and arranged by the archives.
Restrictions on access: Open access. Copying for research purposes only.
Associated material: Rhonda J. Bradley. Making a place: the life and work of Lucy Jarvis as cultural educator and community catalyst in Atlantic
     Canada. MA Thesis, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1997. 166p.

Related groups of records:
UA RG 153    Oral History transcript, Lucy Jarvis, 1974 ; 44 p. tps.
UA Case 75    UNB Art Centre
UA RG 136    Presidents' Papers, Series 5, 6, and 7 (1948-1960)
MG H150      Gordon Wood fonds 1951-[1965]; correspondence from Lucy Jarvis, 36 letters and 20 photographs

Document maintained by:
UNB Archives
email address:
Last update: 2001/04/09