Fonds F1723 - Leonard and Reva Brooks fonds

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Leonard and Reva Brooks fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • 1918-[200-?] (Creation)
    Brooks, Reva
  • 1918-[200-?] (Creation)
    Brooks, Leonard

Physical description area

Physical description

10 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Leonard and Reva Brooks are noted Canadian artists who have lived and worked in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, since their arrival there in 1947.

Reva Brooks was born in Toronto 10 May 1913, and was educated at Dovercourt Public School, Central High School of Commerce, Central Technical School, Toronto, and took courses at the University of Toronto. She married Leonard Brooks on 18 October 1935. A noted photographer, Reva Brooks' works have been exhibited in Toronto, Montreal, London, and Vancouver Galleries; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Anglo-Mexican Institute, Mexico; Witte Museum, San Antonio, Texas; Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.; Dartmouth College; Group Show Creative Photography, 1956; Salon International du Portrait Photographique, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, 1961; Grands Photographes de Notre Temps, Versailles, 1962; Expo 67, Montreal; Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico, 1970; Centro Cultural Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Casa de Cultra Aguascalientes, Mexico; Universidad de Guanajuato; Travelling Exhibition USA, 1971; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1972. Her works are represented in the collections of the Bibliotheque Nationale Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artas, Mexico; David Alfaro Siqueiros, Mexico; Rufino Tamayo, Mexico; Rico Lebrun, Los Angeles; John Huston, Ireland; MacKinley Helm Collection, Santa Barbara; Ansel Adams, Carmel, California; Ayala and Samuel J. Zacks, Toronto; Helen Hayes, New York; Kate Simon, New York; Henry Miller, California; Freeman Tovell, Ottawa. Reva Brooks died in San Miguel de Allende on 25 January 2004.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Leonard and Reva Brooks are noted Canadian artists who have lived and worked in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, since their arrival there in 1947.

Leonard Brooks was born in London, England, 7 November 1911 and came to Canada in 1912, where he attended public and high schools in North Bay, Ontario. From there he studied at Central Technical School and the Ontario College of Art, in Toronto. During 1932-34, he travelled and painted in England, France, and Spain, and exhibited in London and Barcelona. On 18 October 1935, he married Reva Silverman, daughter of Morris and Jennie (Klein) Silverman, in Toronto. He then entered the Ontario Teachers' Training College, Hamilton and beginning in 1937 he taught art at the Northern Vocational School, Toronto. During World War II (1943-45), he served with the R.C.N.V.R. as a Lieutenant; and in 1944 he was appointed an Official War Artist. In 1947 he went to Mexico where he attended the Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes, San Miguel de Allende, taking courses in lithography and fresco. Thereafter, the Brooks resided in San Miguel. Leonard also instructed on the art of painting at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; Doon School of Art, Ontario; University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas; and Wells College, Aurora, New York. He has exhibited in Canada, England, and the United States, and his works hang in galleries around the world, including the National Gallery, Ottawa; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City. He is also the author of several authoritative texts on painting and has been a prime mover in establishing a musical presence in San Miguel.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence, photographs, subject files, Arts and Culture files, audio and video tapes, sketches; architectural drawings; and the diary of Reva Brooks, which give an idea of the richness and active nature of their lives. The correspondence covers several continents geographically, and several decades of time. Topics range widely, and include numerous references to North American and Mexican arts and culture. Photographs of Leonard Brooks World War II art are included.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Leonard and Reva Brooks - 1991, 1992, 1993; Ms. Karen Close, 2004; and Dr. John Virtue, 2014.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

1002.15 SE5046.150985107.15123.1F5 A9F5 E9F5 E10F5 F10MI 134SR1166.1-SR1166.8SR1189

Availability of other formats

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright provisions apply to all unpublished correspondence, please see archivist.

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No further accruals are expected

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Description created on 1999/08/27. Last updated 10/12/2015.
Archivist(s): Anne MacDermaid, Shirley Spragge, Paul Banfield, Ken Willmott

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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Location (use this to request the file)

  • Shelf: 1002.15 SE
  • Shelf: 5046.1
  • Shelf: 5098
  • Shelf: 5107.1
  • Shelf: 5123.1
  • Shelf: F5 A9
  • Shelf: F5 E9
  • Shelf: F5 E10
  • Shelf: F5 F10
  • Shelf: MI 134
  • Shelf: SR1166.1-SR1166.8
  • Shelf: SR1189