Category Archives: Theme Week

“When is a Bear a Frog?” : Examining Material Culture Interpretation

Carved wooden dagger handle

Amy Woodson-Boulton As someone interested in the history of museums, I have thought for a long time about how we can use the objects in museums’ collections along with their archives to enrich our understanding of both. Recently I have been studying how ideas about art and the discipline of anthropology shaped the reception, display, and interpretation of Indigenous material… Read more »

The Branded Puerto Rican Drink with Cuban Connections

Carlos A. Santiago In 1893, Puerto Rican poet Lola Rodriguez referred to Cuba and Puerto Rico as “two wings of the same bird.” Both islands experienced colonialism under the Spanish empire and were exploited by the hegemonic power of the United States. Although they have had similar experiences, these two islands have historically been viewed differently. During the nineteenth and… Read more »

The Toronto Church Memorials to Soldiers of the Great War Project

Ross Fair Each Remembrance Day, Torontonians assemble for services of remembrance at public cenotaphs such as the civic cenotaph at the front steps of Old City Hall, the University of Toronto’s Soldiers’ Tower and at the Cross of Sacrifice in Prospect Cemetery, where hundreds of Great War soldiers are buried. Yet, these public sites of remembrance represent but a small… Read more »

Tombs with a View: Memorial Stones and Transatlantic Family Histories

Krista Barclay  As I entered Edinburgh’s New Calton Burial Ground in the fall of 2018, I was struck by the placard on the front gate advertising ‘tombs with a view’ – the view from the cemetery’s perch on Calton Hill really was spectacular. I was visiting the site as part of my dissertation research on the families formed by Indigenous… Read more »

Art, Taxidermy and Notebooks: The University Art Gallery As Site Of Cross-Disciplinary Exploration

Laurie Dalton As as the Director/Curator of a university art gallery that holds a permanent collection of art, I often think of ways in which objects can be displayed and understood in new contexts. Typically, museum collections are siloed, as are the displays. For example, at a natural history museum you rarely see visual art being used as a counterpoint… Read more »

Giving Deaccessioned Museum Objects A New Home And Purpose

Cara Tremain In 2018, the Kelowna Museums Society (KMS) announced their decision to deaccession various ethnographic objects from Oceania via the BC Museums Association listserv. The KMS consists of three museums that together aim to reflect the culture and community of the Okanagan region. Thus, the deaccessioned objects were not relevant to their mandate of focusing on objects of local… Read more »

Materiality and Theatre History at the Stratford Festival Archives

Stephanie Johns and Stephanie Vaillant The Stratford Festival, located in Stratford, Ontario, is North America’s largest repertory theatre that focuses on performances of Shakespeare, the classics, musicals and new works. The Stratford Festival Archives, housed at 350 Douro Street, is responsible for collecting and caring for the Stratford Festival’s history in its many and varied forms. As a way of… Read more »

Stitching our World Back together – Material Culture Revitalization at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig

Mitch Case “Everyone has the right to feel good about who they are, and for us, with all that we have been through since the coming of the visitors to our island, this place given to us by the creator – it’s been a long time that we have not felt that way, but everyone, and there is no exception… Read more »

Memory and Objects: Family History, Local Economy, and Hook Rugs

Stephanie Pettigrew I would like to thank all of my family members who participated in helping me put this together, particularly my sister Debbie, my great-aunts Cecile, Stella, and Sophie, and my cousins Yvonne, Lisa, and Laura, who helped immensely with photos, by sharing memories, and spending hours chatting with me about what were sometimes difficult topics. Thank you. I… Read more »

Material Culture Theme Week Introduction

      No Comments on Material Culture Theme Week Introduction

Krista McCracken My love of material culture is tied to my love of textiles. In particular, I love embroidery and I am interested in the use of textiles to explore personal and community connections to the past. I put the call out for this theme week with the hopes of bringing together posts that explored the impact of material culture… Read more »