Joseph Wagenbach was born in Germany in 1929 and immigrated to Canada in 1962. Since immigrating, he lived as a recluse in his small house on Robinson Street, Toronto, where he created an obsessive production of sculptures and drawings. After a severe stroke in 2006, Wagenbach was considered not well enough to live on his own and was referred to several retirement homes before he was taken into a bachelor apartment on Crawford Street, Toronto. In the summer of 2009 Wagenbach disappeared, his whereabouts unknown to this day.

At the time of the discovery, in 2006, Iris Häussler opened Wagenbach’s home to the public and organized guided tours through the house, offering a glimpse into his life and works, and engaging the public into the assessment of his artistic practice and biography. In 2009, three years after the discovery of Wagenbach’s oeuvre and subsequent life, the Joseph Wagenbach Foundation was established with the mandate to manage and promote Wagenbach’s artistic legacy.


Iris Häussler was born in Germany and trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Häussler’s work has been shown at exhibitions internationally, including a two-year solo project at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto) and participated at the 18thBiennale of Sydney, 2013.  Häussler exhibited in the exhibition More RealArt in the Age of Truthiness, Site Santa Fe (Santa Fe) and Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis). Häussler was a stipendiary of the Kunstfonds (Bonn) and won the Karl Hofer Prize 1999 (Berlin). Since her immigration to Canada she has received grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

188 St Helens Avenue, M6H 4A1 Toronto