De Pédery-Hunt, Dora
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4
Reference: 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll free in Canada and the US)
4.005 m of textual records. 151 medals gold, silver, bronze, copper various dimensions. 26 plaques bronze. 1 pin. 243 photographs. 285 prints. 26 drawings. 231 casts plaster, plasticine, wax. 18 architectural drawings. 1 pendant silver.
Dora de Pédery-Hunt, sculptor and medallist, was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1913. She completed studies, in Budapest, at the Royal Academy of Applied Arts in 1943; two years later, she and her family moved to Hamburg, Germany, where her father, a physicist, worked with the British Admiralty. In 1948, through the sponsorship of Major Thomas S. Chutter, she immigrated to Canada; her parents followed shortly. Her first years in Canada were difficult ones financially, during which she had little time to pursue her art. Early in her career, Frances Loring and Florence Wyle were instrumental in securing for her a job teaching sculpture in a vocational school. By the early 1950s, the artist began receiving commissions from a variety of corporate and private clients. At the same time, she was developing and patenting a sculptural casting medium and producing a line of Christmas oranments and cards under the name "Dora Studios". Participation in a Canadian National Exhibition show, with one of her cast medallions, led to her notice by the National Gallery of Canada Director, Alan Jarvis. With his support, de Pédery-Hunt was successful in receiving a Canada Council grant that enabled her to study in Europe for six months and further her skills. Subsequent to her return, she received a commission from the Canada Council, in 1961, to produce an art medal for them to be awarded annually. Other important medallic commissions followed. At the same time, the artist began receiving larger commissions, of a more architectural nature, completing many works of liturgical art (including Stations of the Cross, tabernacles and crucifixes) for religious orders throughout Ontario. For over 20 years, de Pédery-Hunt has been instrumental in elevating the ancient art of medal making in Canada. Outstanding commissions included the 1967 Canadian Centennial Medal, the 300th Anniversary Hudson's Bay Company medallion, in 1968, and the 1976 Olympic gold coin. She captured, as well, the faces of prominent political and artistic figures including Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Pauline McGibbon and Celia Franca. Dora de Pédery-Hunt is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, a past president of the Sculpture Society of Canada and was the Canadian representative of La Fédération internationale de la Médaille. In 1974, she was awarded the Order of Canada and, in 1983, York University presented her with an honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters. Over a long career, the artist has received many international awards and her technically superb, sculptural works are housed in both public and private collections throughout the world. Fonds consists of the following series of textual records: Personal correspondence and memorabilia; Business files; Project files, containing some architectural drawings; Associations, committees and organizations; Sculptor's Society of Canada files; Exhibition notices and invitations; and Published material and clippings. Fonds consists prints of Christmas cards by various artists including Frances Gage, Gerald Tooke, Adrian Dingle, York Wilson, West Baffin Eskimo Co-op, Janos Buda, and Dora de Pédery-Hunt. Fonds consists of photographs primarily of people for medal and coin projects by Dora de Pédery-Hunt; a photo album of landscapes; interior and exterior views of George Reid's cottage, Northern Ontario; views of the Coniagas Mine; general views of Cobalt, Ontario. Fonds consists of drawings of medal and coin designs by Dora de Pédery-Hunt. Fonds consists of a medallic series of 421 items such as casts, medals, plaques and pins such as: the Sir John A. Macdonald prize medal; Lawrence of Arabia medal; Pierre Elliott Trudeau medal; Mother Teresa medal; portrait plaque of Celia Franca and a commemorative pin of the opening of Roy Thomson Hall. The business files, 1964, 1971 consists of business correspondence, not specifically related to particular projects. Material includes correspondence and financial records from the 1950s, related to her Christmas card and ornament business which operated as "Dora Studios"; a small amount of material pertaining to Pédery-Hunt's development and patenting of a sculptural casting medium entitled "Tenastic"; correspondence, invoices and receipts from foundries, printers and framing galleries; income tax returns and accompanying expenditure accounts; correspondence to and from financial institutions; legal correspondence related to her studio rentals and copyright and patent petitions; requests for Pédery-Hunt's participation in exhibitions and sculptural competitions; and requests for information from cultural administrators, artists and clients.