Tag Archives | Canada

Book Review: Museum Pieces by Ruth Phillips

Museum Pieces: Toward the Indigenization of Canadian Museums

Ruth Phillips (2011, Montreal: McGill-Queens’s University Press)


Reviewed by Aaron Glass (Bard Graduate Center)

“Canada’s collaborative models of museum practice have arisen as organically from its history as the canoe or the snowmobile.”

The first sentence of Ruth Phillips’ long-awaited volume of essays on museums and indigenous people encapsulates a number of her analytical perspectives: it delimits the general institutional field of her study and suggests that particular collaborative practices are characteristic of their national context and their slowly evolving forms. But by invoking iconic modes of both indigenous and settler transportation, Phillips also implies that the museum itself is a form of technology—an engineered machine for achieving specific goals. She even materializes her own contributions to the field by invoking the polysemous term “pieces” to describe the essays contained herein.…

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Reading Artifacts Summer Institute 2012

Discover alternative historical perspectives and methods in the midst of Canada’s largest collection in science, medicine and technology. Our annual artifact sessions in the CSTM storage facility bring together Canadian and international scholars from across the disciplinary spectrum. Participants immerse themselves in our collections gaining renewed appreciation for artifacts and the multiple, unpredictable stories they tell.

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Captain Cook’s Nuu-chah-nulth club returns to BC

[image from The Globe and Mail]
Recently, Canadian art collector and philanthropist Michael Audain acquired a carved Nuu-chah-nulth club that Captain Cook had collected at Friendly Cove on Nootka Sound, British Columbia on his Third Voyage in 1778. In March, Audain donated the rare object to UBC’s Museum of Anthropology in a televised ceremony. This was the last known piece from Cook’s collection to have been in private hands (the Globe and Mail reported it to be worth around $1.2 Million). Global News, the Vancouver Sun, CBC radio, and CBC TV news coverage all celebrated the club’s “repatriation” to Canada, noting that now the club was “back home” (at least, back in the now-Province and Nation from which it originated if not quite the First Nation).…

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