Title and statement of responsibility area
Rita Briansky Fonds
General material designation
- Multiple media
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title of fonds based on the creator.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1910 - 2020 [predominant 1950 to 2000] (Creation)
- Briansky, Rita, 1925-
Physical description area
1.0m of textual documents and other material
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Rita Briansky, painter, printmaker-etcher and teacher, was born in 1925 in Grajewo, Poland. Together with her mother and two sisters, Bella and Becky, the family moved to Ansonville, Ontario in 1929. Here, they joined Briansky's father and uncle, Jake Perlmutter, and his family in Ansonville, which at the time had a small Jewish community. In 1939, the family moved to Val d'Or, Quebec and finally to Montreal in 1941. Then in her mid-teens, Rita Briansky was a keen student who nourished a continued interest in art. With the move to Montreal, the Briansky Family struggled financially and was unable to afford the fee for Rita's high school education. It was the Yiddish poet Ida Maze (Massey) who found Rita a job so she would be able to pay for her schooling. This encouragement served as the beginning of a valuable friendship, as well as helping foster Briansky's artistic career.
Massey later introduced Rita to Alexander Berkowitz who at the time was giving art classes at the St. Urbain Street "Y" Her training and experience quickly expanded, taking the young artist through Montreal's Ecole des Beaux-Arts and New York's Arts Student League. In 1949, Rita married fellow painter, Joseph Prezament. The couple had two children together, Anna and Wendy. Briansky's work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions both in Canada and internationally. Her body of work is diverse in both theme and subject matter, reflecting her interests in fields such as astronomy and the natural world, while remaining deeply rooted in her own experiences.
Following her travels to her birth place and memorial sites in Poland in 1995, Briansky produced the "Kaddish series". as her reflection on the trauma of the Holocaust. Other series have broadly used landscape, portraiture and still life as a passionate response to the world around her and that speak fundamentally to the human condition. Briansky has participated in multiple collaborative projects, for example the children's book "On Stage, Please" with dancer/ choreographer Veronica Tennant. Briansky is long-established within Montreal's art community working and living alongside a tight-knit group of artists. In addition, she has worked as teacher, both of art history and studio arts. Briansky's artistic practice has won her multiple awards and her work is included in the permanent collections of institutions such as the National Gallery in Ottawa, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
The material was donated by Rita Briansky in August 2012.
Scope and content
The fonds contains documentation, professional and working materials of Rita Briansky's many projects and works. The fonds consists of textual records, including correspondence, selections of the artist's writing; graphic material, including sketchbooks and photographic documentation of her work; audio recordings of Rita Briansky's interviews and reviews; newspaper clippings, bibliographic reference publications and articles citing the artist's work. In addition to textual material, the Rita Briansky Fonds includes 54 sketchbooks, 255 etchings, 1701 photographs, and 3 audio cassettes.
Immediate source of acquisition
Textual material in Series 2 through 4 was given an imposed order as no discernable original order could be identified. The graphic material in Series 3, 6 and 7 were vetted for duplicates, though otherwise maintain the order given by the artist.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Selected images from Series 1, 6 and 7 have been digitized and are available to researchers upon request.
Restrictions on access
Privacy restrictions may apply.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright restrictions may apply.
Detailed finding aid available, file level control.
Standard number area
Subject access points
Name access points
- Massey, Ida, 1983-1962 (Subject)
- École des Beaux-arts de Montr̩eal (Subject)
- The Art Students League of New York (Subject)
- Prezament, Joseph (Subject)
- Tennant, Veronica, 1946- (Subject)
- National Gallery of Canada (Subject)
- Winnipeg Art Gallery (Subject)
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Subject)
- Bercovitch, Alexander, 1891-1951 (Subject)
- Jewish Painters of Montreal (Subject)