My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Visit to the Canadian Museum of History

My friend, Winnie, advised me to be sure and go to the Canadian Museum of Culture, now known as the Museum of History.  I finally got around to going there last Thursday. I was blown away, especially by the architecture of the building itself.

Front of the Canadian Museum of History 
The museum was designed by Douglas Cardinal, a famous Aboriginal architect, who attended the University of British Columbia, and the University of Texas at Austin. So Texas can claim some part of this glorious building.  Douglas Cardinal  believes in organic forms with sensuous curves. There are no corners in his buildings.

I loved these curves

This is the curator part of the museum and is not open to the general public

The inside continued the curves

I loved finding places where all these colors and patterns came together - and look - a corner!

The windows enhanced the views

This is the ceiling over the stairs in the great hall - Called Morning Star - check out the description  of the meaning the aboriginal artist depicted here

A few of the totems in the great hall

This large sculpture was on the third level but visible from the floor of the great hall

Fantastical Paddlers  

And from the back and above

The main exhibit is on the history of Canada's development my European settlers.  You walk through a series of rooms or spaces that let you see the fishing and whaling industry, farming life, life in the little towns, and the railroads.  Oil and timber industries are also demonstrated.

Two of the most interesting exhibits  to me were one about how the Acadians built one-way drains to claim marsh lands for farming.  There was just a little about how they were driven out of Canada.

The other exhibit was a one-room school house that came from a community formed by run-away black slaves.

There was also an entire hall devoted to First Nation people.  One of the most interesting parts to me were all the famous Canadians who were members of First Nation.

Then there were the little exhibits.  One was about the wreck of the Empress of Ireland, a Canadian version of the Titanic.

Then there was a whole exhibit on Snow which has helped shaped the lives of Canadians. I was particularly interested in the skies/shoes/toboggans display and the display historic vehicles in which to navigate  over snow.

This display drew me into the exhibit

There were several vehicles on display - Canadians developed the precursor to snowmobiles

If you are interested in seeing more of the buildings designed by Douglas Cardinal, click here.