Book: Put on Her Mettle/The Life and Art of Jacobine Jones)

Sculpture of a Goalie by Jacobine Jones, South Facade of Kerr Hall

This is an excellent biography of renowned Toronto sculptor Jacobine Jones, who designed murals and other sculptural details for many architectural projects in Canada. It was written by Natalie Luckyj, an assistant professor in art history and the Director of the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University. Professor Luckyj did part of her research at the Ryerson Archives.

Jacobine Jones’ connection to Ryerson is in her design of two sculptural figures – a student and a hockey goaltender– for the outside wall of the south side of Kerr Hall, looking out onto Gould Street, near the Egerton Ryerson statue. At the time of their design and installation in the early 1960s, the sculptures –along with other sculptural works by well-known artists (Dora de Pedery-Hunt, Thomas Bowie and Elizabeth Wyn Wood) – caused a furor on campus when faculty and students deemed them unworthy of a postsecondary institute such as Ryerson. Interestingly enough, some 40 years later, the sculptures are now considered unique and rare examples of this type of artistic work within an architectural setting in the City.

Furthermore, most of the finished sculptures which adorn Howard Kerr Hall were actually carved by master stone carver, Louis Temporale, whose name has resurfaced in the past several years when his designs for the old postal building at Bay and Lakeshore were preserved and incorporated into the Air Canada Centre. Copies of some of Mr. Temporale’s papers are kept in the University Archives.

The Archives has recently worked with the Office of University Advancement in promoting these and other works of art on campus.