Fonds MsC-173 - John Koerner fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John Koerner fonds

General material designation

  • Textual records
  • Photographic materials
  • Records in electronic form (born-digital)

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1959-2011 (Creation)
    Koerner, John

Physical description area

Physical description

.45 m of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

John Koerner was an artist and art teacher in Vancouver, B.C. Born in Moravia, Koerner studied law at Charles University in Prague and at the Sorbonne. With the rise of the Third Reich in Germany, he left Prague with his father and uncles, living in Paris before settling in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Koerner helped his family establish a lumber business in New Westminster before working as an artist and art teacher at the Vancouver School of Art and the University of British Columbia. He became friends with painter Lawren Harris, who invited him to join the exhibition committee of the Vancouver Art Gallery. A number of his works were acquired by the National Gallery of Canada, the Tate in London, Clare Hall at Cambridge University and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. Koerner was influenced by Japanese art and the German spiritual philosopher and painter Bô Yin Râ.

He was married twice: first to Eileen Newby, who died in 2001, and then to Lisa Birnie. Koerner died in Vancouver at the age of 100.

Custodial history

Records were in the custody of John Koerner prior to their acquisition by Simon Fraser University Library Special Collections and Rare Books in 2013.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of photographs, diaries and journals documenting Koerner's artworks and travels to Japan, and one drawing.

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This fonds has not been processed. Restrictions on access may apply; please consult staff for more information.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Works in this fonds are under copyright. Researchers are required to secure permission from the copyright holders for usage of this material, except for those covered by fair dealing.

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Created January 5, 2016. SS

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Script of description


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