Ross Fox

Dr. Ross Fox

Ross Fox

Research Associate (Canadian Decorative Arts) Retired

Area: World Cultures, Canada, World Art & Culture


B.A. (Honours), Art History, University of Windsor, 1972
M.A., Museology, Wayne State University, 1975
Ph.D., Art History & Archaeology, University of Missouri, 1987

Ross Fox is a decorative arts and material culture specialist who retired from the ROM in December 2011, where he was the curator responsible for Canadian Decorative Arts. He remains a ROM Research Associate and is an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Fine Arts, University of Toronto. Though primarily a Canadianist, Fox also has extensive experience with the fine and decorative arts of Europe and the United States, particularly of the 18th and 19th centuries. Previously he was associated with the Mead Art Museum (Amherst College, Massachusetts), Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ontario), National Gallery of Canada, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Fox was the curatorial interpreter and developer of the decorative arts exhibits in the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada, which opened in October 2007, as part of the ROM’s building expansion. Currently he is writing a book on Canadian silver. Among other research projects are: furniture of Lower Canada (Quebec) 1763-1837; Loyalist and early American artifacts in Canada; period rooms in museums; and Grand Manan Island as a topographical and symbolic landmark in Canadian landscape art.

Major publications include Quebec and Related Silver at the Detroit Institute of Arts (Wayne State University Press, 1978); Presentation Pieces and Trophies from the Henry Birks Collection of Canadian Silver (National Gallery of Canada, 1985); The Art Gallery of Hamilton: Seventy-Five Years (1914-1989) (1989); and The Canadian Painters Eleven from the McLaughlin Gallery (Amherst College, 1994). He also wrote the section on Canadian silver in Grove’s Dictionary of Art (1996).

Recent Publications

Year Publication
In prep. "Three New York Chippendale Desk and Bookcases and a Mystery Resolved, with an Appendix on John Brinner, Cabinetmaker."
In Prep. "Alexander Johnston (c. 1715-1781), Scottish Jacobite Exile in London as Silversmith to British Aristocracy and Colonial American Gentry."
2012 eds. Rolsalind Pepall and eds. Diane Charbonneau. "Early Québec Furniture Heritage and 19th Century Innovations." Decorative Arts and Design, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Collection, 2, 96-99, 210-211.
2012 "The Silverware of Joseph-Gaspard Chaussegros de Léry: An Account from Late 18th - Century Québec." Silver Society of Canada Journal, 15, 14-30.
2012 "The Importance of Designer Labels." ROM Magazine, (Spring): Vol. 44, 4, 16-21.
2011 "Julius Barnard (1769-after 1820) as Peripatetic Yankee Cabinetmaker." Vermont History, 79, 1, 1-25.
2010 "Focus Five: The Sterling Quality: British and Canadian Silver 18th-20th Century." Winnipeg Art Gallery
2010 "English Silversmiths and Goldsmiths in Canada During the 18th Century." Silver Studies (United Kingdom), 26, 69-74..
2009 "Lois Etherington Betteridge, Pioneer of a Craft Revival in Canada." Silver Studies, (United Kingdom), 25, 5-13.
2008 "The Beaver and the Maple Leaf: Emblematic Paradigms." Beaver Tales: Canadian Art and Design (exhibition catalogue) , (University of Toronto Art Centre), 6-13.
2008 "Robert Cruickshank (1743-1809), Silversmith of London and Montreal." Silver Studies, The Journal of the Silver Society, (United Kingdom), 23, 83-95.
2008 "Pioneers of a Silver Craft in Acadia, 1700-1755." Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, 11, 23-44.
2008 "Design, Presentation Silver and Louis-Victor Fréret (1801-1879) in London and Montreal." Material Culture Review/Revue de la culture matérielle, 67, 25-43.
2006 "Pitcher Puzzle." Rotunda, 38, 3, 43-44.
2006 "Early Canadian Furniture Design at its Best: A Sofa by Thomas Nisbet." The Upper Canadian, 26, 3, 8-9.
2005 "Silver Standard: Peerless As a Masterful Silversmith, Laurent Amiot Set the Standard for Exceptional Silversmithing in Colonial Canada." Rotunda, 37, 3, 32-39.
2005 "Carl Poul Petersen." High Style: Masterworks from the Bernard and Sylvia Ostry Collection in the Royal Ontario Museum , Royal Ontario Museum, 68-69.
2005 "Canadian Silver at the Royal Ontario Museum: Some Highlights of a Growing Collection." The Upper Canadian , 25, 5, 8-9.
2004 "The German Factor in the Arts of New France and Lower Canada (Quebec) 1713-1812." Bulletin of the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts , 22, 3, 5-10.
2004 "Scandinavian Design in Canada: Recent Acquisitions of Silver by Canadian Silversmiths Carl Poul Petersen and Douglas Boyd." Rotunda, 36, 3, 9-12.
2004 "Luc François (Frère Luc)." Allgemeines Kunstler-Lexikon: Die Bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Volker, 43 (Munich/Leipzig: K. G. Saur), 531-534.
2004 "Furnishing Excellence: Thomas Nisbet’s Superbly Crafted Furniture Represents the Best in Pre-Confederation Cabinetmaking." Rotunda, 36, 2, 30-37.
2003 "Tilted Silver: This Curious Item of 19th-Century Silverware Helped North Americans Keep Their Cool." Rotunda, 35, 3, 49-51.
2003 "Early Canadian Stoneware." Rotunda, 35, 3, 9-11.
2003 "Certifiably Canadian: Trademarks Identify Silver Service As Made in Canada." Rotunda, 36, 1, 49-51.
2002 "The Remarkable Legacy of Robert Cruickshank." Rotunda, 35, 2, 32-39.
2002 "The Crockery Merchant of King Street West: In 19th-Century Toronto, One Store Was Known As the Place To Buy Fine Quality Ceramics." Rotunda, 35, 2, 45-46.
2002 "Cellini Myth." Rotunda, 35, 1, 45-47.
2001 "Rare Coffee Pot Causes a Stir: Loyalist Heirlooms with a Known Canadian Provenance are Exceedingly Rare." Rotunda, 34, 1, 45-47.
2001 "An Irish Freedom Box with Canadian Associations." Journal of the Silver Society of Canada, 4, 2, 17-19.