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Patterns of change, sources of influence : an historical study of the Canadian museum and the middle… Mak, Eileen Diana 1996

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PATTERNS OF CHANGE, SOURCES OF INFLUENCE: A N HISTORICAL STUDY OF T H E CANADIAN MUSEUM AND T H E MIDDLE CLASS, 1850-1950 by Eileen Diana Mak B.A., The University of Western Ontario, 1984 M.A., The University of Western Ontario, 1989 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of History) We accept this thesis as conforming fl:o\|the requf ed standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 1996 ©Eileen Diana Mak, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of tUJSTC^TlV The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 30 A UC-Q<T n% DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This thesis argues the continued relationship between museums and the middle class over the period from 1850 to 1950, showing in particular how major events and trends affecting the history of the middle class influenced the manner in which museums developed. It argues, however, that, despite participation in an international bourgeois culture which included a worldwide "museum movement', the regional circumstances of both museums and the middle class in Canada had a significant effect on their related histories determining, if not the final product, at least the timing of its completion and the manner in which it was reached. This argument is made through a comparison of the histories of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia, the Ontario Provincial Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the British Columbia Provincial Museum. For each institution, three themes are considered: the way in which its collection shaped or reflected a regional identity; the form of education it offered, the intended audience, and the ways in which both changed; and the impact of professionalization on both the museum and the people who worked in it. The comparisons show that, despite the uniqueness of the museums' collections and histories, in the final analysis, each institution conformed to the patterns of the 'museum movement', or, as in the case of professionalization, to the pattern of a professionalizing middle-class society. Informed by recent critical work on the history of museums, this thesis uses archival and secondary sources to establish the narratives of four Canadian museums and places them into the broader context of the international 'museum movement', while also indicating the uniqueness of Canadian cultural institutions created by the colonial experience. In this way, it adds a new perspective to the history of Canadian museums. At the same time, it adds to our understanding ii of the Canadian middle class through its demonstration of how the major societal trends affected individual members of that class. iii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Figures vi Acknowledgements vii INTRODUCTION: MUSEUMS AND THE MIDDLE CLASS 1 PART I - MUSEUMS, COLLECTIONS, AND IDENTITY: UNIVERSALITY, EPISTEMOLOGY, SIMILARITY, AND DIFFERENCE 24 Introduction 25 Chapter One - Creating Regional Identity: The Museum Collections in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia 35 PART II - THE MUSEUM AS EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION: FROM CIVILIZING ADULTS TO TEACHING CHILDREN 86 Introduction 87 Chapter Two - "Ugliness is [Not] All Right": C T . Currelly and the Rhetoric of Education 101 Chapter Three - "The Most Important Aspect of the Work of the Museum": Establishing Educational Programming for Children at the Royal Ontario Museums 132 Chapter Four - "For the Benefit of Children": Education at the Provincial Museums of Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia 166 PART III - "THE PROFESSIONALIZATION OF EVERYONE": THE SCIENTIST, THE MUSEUM WORKER, AND THE CANADIAN MUSEUM 202 Introduction 203 Chapter Five - Gentlemen of Science and the University Degree: The Museum and the Professionalization of Science 213 iv Chapter Six - Labourers, Correspondents, and Adult Education: The Continuing Role of the Amateur 252 Chapter Seven — Towards a Museums Profession: Professional Organizations and Curator Training 284 CONCLUSION: THE MUSEUM AS A MODERN INSTITUTION 321 BIBLIOGRAPHY 333 APPENDIX A: Director/Curators of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia 357 APPENDIX B: Superintendent/Cirrators of the Ontario Provincial Museum 357 APPENDIX C: Directors of the Royal Ontario Museums 357 APPENDIX D: Director/Curators of the Provincial Museum of Natural History, Victoria, B.C. 358 v List of Figures Figures 1 and 2: Ontario Archaeological Museum 82 Figure 3: Jack Fannin measures the size of a handsome elk. 83 Figure 4: B.C. wildlife in the Provincial Museum. 83 Figure 5: The evolution of a stuffed moose. 84 Figures 6 and 7: B.C. mammals in the Provincial Museum. 85 vi Acknowledgements More people helped see this thesis to fruition than I could reasonably thank in a single page. However, I would like to mention a number of them who were especially helpful or important to the process. Of the staffs of the various museums and archives in which I did my research, I would especially like to thank Lois Yorke and Darlene Brine of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia; Susan Whiteside and Anne Nickerson of the library of the Nova Scotia Museum; Julia Matthews, Sharon Hick, and Charlotte Goodwin of the Royal Ontario Museum Library and Archives; Brian Young of the British Columbia Archives and Record Service; and Bob Griffin and Peter Corley-Smith of the Royal British Columbia Museum. They all helped to make the research process pleasurable and often exceeded the bounds of duty in their willingness to help me. The staff of the library system at the University of British Columbia has been wonderful; I must extend a general "thank you' to all of them. I would, however, like to offer particular thanks to Pat, Patrick, David, and Cheryl at Inter-Library Loan, and to Ann Yandle, George Brandak, Francis Woodward, and the rest of the staff in Special Collections. Nor could I have completed this thesis without the people who guided me through my graduate work both at the University of Western Ontario and at the University of British Columbia. Special mention must go to Bruce Bowden (now of Trinity College, University of Toronto), Jan Trimble, and Jack Hyatt of UWO, and Ivan Avakumovic, and Dianne Newell of UBC; to the members of my supervisory committee, David Breen and Michael Ames, both of UBC; and to Allan Smith, UBC, my supervisor, who read and edited innumberable versions of this thesis, making my often tortured prose readable. I would also like to thank the many people who helped in an indescribeable variety of ways: Bonita Bray, Joy Dixon, Clint Evans, Harold Kalman of Commonwealth Historic Resource Management, Dorothy McLaren, Susan Neylan, Chad Reimer, Louise Robert, Alison Stanley, F. Gordon Stanley, and my family: Riek Sonneveld, Hank Mak, Robert and Marina Mak, Randy Mak, and Shirley and Al Glendenning. Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank my partner, Meg Stanley, for her love, her support, and her willingness to listen to yet another monologue on museums in Canada. I would have finished the thesis without her but the experience and the product would both have been poorer for it. It is to her that I dedicate the thesis. vii BNTRODUCnON: MUSEUMS AND THE MIDDLE CLASS A museum is itself a historical artefact, which reflects both the intellectual and material contexts in which it arose. (B. Schroeder-Gudehus, Industrial Society and Its Museums, 1) The museum-"that most Victorian of institutions"'--has its origins in the rise of the middle class. Although some scholars have searched for the origins of the museum in the ancient world, institutions with the explicit educational and implicit social agendas which mark out museums arose only in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Inextricably linked to the political and economic revolutions of the period, museums are one of a number of institutions established or appropriated by the middle class to "direct the population into activities which would...transform the population into a useful resource for the state."2 As institutions closely linked to the middle class' rise to power and to its creation of the modern state, museums provide an excellent window through which to view that class. The middle class is a problematic concept complicated by the historical and geographical specificity of its composition.3 Broadly speaking the middle class can be seen as that group of Gaynor Kavanagh, Museums and the First World War: A Social History (London: Leicester University Press, 1994): 3. 2. EileanHooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Shaping ofKmwledge (London:^ 1992): 168. 3. My ideas on the middle class have been informed by the following works: Paul Axelrod, Miking a Mddle Class: Student Life in English Canada During the Thirties (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1990); Loren Baritz, The Good Life: The Meaning ofSuccess for the American Middle Class (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989); Stuart M Blumin, The Emergence of the Middle Class: Social Experience in the American City, 1760-1900 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989); G. Carchedi, "On the economic identification of the new middle class," Economy & Society 4 (1975): 1-86; C. Wright Mills, White Collar: The American Mddle Classes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1953); Charles Moraze, The Triumph of the Middle Classes: A Political and Social History of Europe in the Nineteenth Century (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1966); RJ. Morris, Class, sect andparty: The 1 people who, as Charles Moraze describes, were the driving force behind, and the primary beneficiaries of, the political and economic revolutions of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries which transformed Europe, England, and the Americas. In Marxist terms, in which class is defined by the relationship to the means of production, the middle class were initially the capitalists, the owners of the means of production. However, over the course of the nineteenth century, changes in the nature of capitalism together with the process of professionalization expanded the middle class to include the 'new1 middle class: people such as salaried managers, professionals, retail clerks, and office workers.4 In addition to change over time, the composition of the middle class was affected by place. This was particularly true in the New World where a more fluid social structure made class origins more difficult to discern and lack of an established aristocracy allowed the wealthier members of the middle class to perform the functions of an upper class. Yet a purely economic definition of class is insufficient; a social aspect is required to fully explain the range of people who, over the course of two centuries, could be categorized as middle class. Without going so far as to argue, with Loren Baritz, that class is simply "a state of mind,"5 a consideration of shared attitudes and values is necessary to grasp the more subjective side of class belonging or class consciousness. Indeed, Baritz notes that even shared aspirations to middle-class status play a role in defining membership in the middle class. This combination making of the British middle class, Leeds 1820-1850 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990); and Mary P. Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York 1790-1865 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). 4. On this point, see especially, Carchedi, "On the economic identification of the new middle class," and Mills, White Collar. 5. Baritz, Good Life, xii. 2 of the economic and the social, then, offers an explanation of the middle class as those who, individually, were reasonably well-off financially (even if, by the end of the nineteenth century, they were usually dependent on a salaried position) and who, collectively, shared such attitudes and values as a belief in progress, science, industry, and God, a conviction of the value of knowledge and education, and a desire for respectability and status. Although, like any attempt to define something as amorphous as the middle class, this description is a vague and sweeping generalization to which there may be as many exceptions as there are examples which fit, it nonetheless serves to provide a sense of who these people were that collectively rose to power in the nineteenth century and whose histories can be tracked through the development of the institutions which they created. As the middle class gained in economic and political power in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, so too did it aim to extend its social and cultural power. The suppression of older forms of popular recreation such as the uncontrolled celebrations of the annual fair, their replacement by or re-creation in institutions such as the international exposition (or world's fair), the creation of new institutions such as the department store, and the spread of state-supported schooling for all were among the strategies invoked by the middle class to spread its attitudes and values and thereby its cultural power.6 The appropriation of the 'cabinet of curiosities' or the 6. Obviously, this is not to suggest a collective conspiracy on the part of the middle class, but rather the working of hegemony. On the leisure, fairs, department stores, and schools and their relationship to each other, see, for instance, Peter Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England: Rational Recreation and the Contest for Control, 1830-1885 (1978 rev.ed. London: Methuen, 1987); Tony Bennett, The Birth of the Museum: history, theory, politics (London: Routledge, 1995); Hugh Cunningham, Leisure in the Industrial Revolution, c. 1700-c. 1880 (London: Croom Helm, 1980); Paul Greenhalgh, Ephermeral vistas: the expositions universelles, great exhibitions and world's fairs, 1851-1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988); Neil Harris, "Museums, Merchandising, and Popular Taste: The Struggle for Influence," in Ian Quimby, ed. Material Culture and the Study of American Life (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978): 140-174; Michael B. Miller, The Bon Marche: Bourgeois Culture and the Department 3 'museum' offered an ideal vehicle through which to practice this strategy. Institutions which combined many of the characteristics of fairs, expositions, and schools, museums were places in which knowledge was created through the collection, classification, and organization of the natural and manufactured world. This knowledge was then exhibited to the public as "truth'. The rational and scientific knowledge thus created and displayed by the nmeteenm-century museum defined an hierarchical racial and social order, based on the patriarchal family, in which the white male of the middle class naturally held power over the working classes, women, children, and people of other races.7 In particular, museums of anthropological, archaeological and ethnological artefacts were used to demonstrate the "lightness' of the European8 countries' dominance over so-called primitive peoples. And, in displaying exotic artefacts, curiosities, and the art of other cultures, ie. in showing what the citizens of European nations were not, museums defined the nation within which they existed. This link between the creation of knowledge and the definition of the middle-class nation played an especially important role in 'new1 places like Canada, where newly-created knowledge Store, 1869-1920 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981); Alison Prentice, The School Promoters: Education and Social Class in Md Nineteenth Century Upper Canada (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1977); and Robert W. Rydell, All the World's a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, 1876-1916 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984). 7. For a full discussion of how museums exhibited and legitimated this hierarchy, see Bennett, Birth of the Museum, 189-208. 8. I use the term 'European' rather than 'western' in this thesis in order both to include the colonies of Australia and New Zealand, and to suggest, as Susan Pearce explains, that the actions and assumptions on which these ideas were based pre-date the use of the term "western' by Europeans. Susan M Pearce, On Collecting: An Investigation into Collecting in the European Tradition (London: Routledge, 1995): 39-40. 4 could, quite literally be used to forge a nation.9 Canadian museums, as they were established in the nineteenth century, functioned as the shapers and reflectors of the new land and the new nation through the display of specimens of the local natural history, of the "anthropological artefacts' of the local native peoples, and of the 'art' of European nations and civilizations. They claimed a past for the nation, illustrated its present, and pointed to its great future as part of industrialized civilization. The museum was an intellectual and cultural institution which the middle class could use to re-organize and reshape society in its own image. There is a vast and long-standing literature on museums. From George Brown Goode's and William Henry Flower's papers on museum aclministration, museum education, and museum history10 to the museum-related journals" to the many sermons on the uses and value of 9. Doug Owram, The Promise of Eden: The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Idea of the West, 1856-1900 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980); and Suzanne Zeller, Inventing Canada: Early Victorian Science and the Idea of a Transcontinental Nation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987). 10. Goode's is some of the earliest work on the philosophy and practice of a museum Many of his published papers were reprinted after his death in "A Memorial Volume of George Brown Goode, together with a Selection of His Papers on Museums and on the History of Science in America," in Report of the United States National Museum, 1897, part 2 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901). Some of these have been reprinted in The Origins of Natural Science in America: The Essays of George Brown Goode, Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, ed. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991). Flower's essays are collected in Sir William Henry Flower, Essays on Museums and other Subjects connected with Natural History (1898) (rep. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1972). 1'. The (British) Museums Association began publishing the proceedings of its annual conference in 1890, succeeded in 1901 by the Museums Journal. The American Association of Museums' Museum News begun in 1922 was the successor to its Museum Work, and the Canadian Museums Association publishes Muse, formerly the CMA Gazette. Other museum-related organizations, and museums associations also publish newsletters or journals. As well, there are some journals published by museums: perhaps the best-known of these, and one of the few referreed journals in the museum world is Curator, out of the American Museum of Natural History. 5 museums12 to the relatively recent explosion of "how-to" books,1 3 museum people have rarely wanted for published discussion on their work. As well, there has been an active trade in museum directories and surveys of museums and their work, often commissioned by a museums association.14 Many of these various types of works begin with a survey of the history of museums in order to demonstrate the origins of the work being done, or, occasionally, to contrast "today's' museum to the "cabinets of curiosity' and dusty attics of the past.15 With the exception, however, of the memoirs of museum personalities and official histories of individual institutions, which have always been a popular form of publication,16 the history of u . For instance, T.R. Adam, The Civic Value of Museums (New York: American Association for Adult Education, 1937); and Adam, The Museum and Popular Culture (New York: American Association for Adult Education, 1939). 1 3. The Heritage: Care-Preservation-Management series published by Routledge is, perhaps, the best example of this genre. The series includes such titles as Timothy Ambrose and Crispin Paine, Museum Basics (1993); Sheena Mackellar Goulty, Heritage Gardens: Care, conservation and management (1993); and Fondation de France and I C O M , Museums without Barriers: A New Dealfor Disabled People (1991). 1 4. The Carnegie Corporation of New York funded a series of surveys of British and British colonial museums done by the Museums Association. See the bibliography in Geoffrey Lewis, For Instruction and Recreation: A Centenary History of the Museums Association (London: Quiller Press, 1989): 82-92. Also, Henry M A m i , Report on the State of the Principal Museums in Canada and Newfoundland (Toronto: 1897); Frederick J . H Merrill , Natural History Museums of the United States and Canada, New York State Museum, Bulletin 62 (Albany, N . Y . : University of the State of New York, 1903); Paul Marshall Rea, A Directory of American Museums (Buffalo, N . Y . : Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, 1910); Laurence Vai l Coleman, The Museum in America: A Critical Study (Washington: American Association of Museums, 1939); Carl E. and Grace M Guthe, The Canadian Museum Movement ([Ottawa]: Canadian Museums Association, 1958); and Herbert and Marjorie Katz, Museums USA.: A History and Guide (Garden City, N . Y . : Doubleday, 1965). 15. See for instance, Alma Wittlin, The Museum: Its History and its Tasks in Education (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1949); Bernard S. Finn, "The Science Museum Today," Technology and Culture 6, 1 (Winter 1965): 74-82; Wittlin, Museums: In Search of a Usable Future (Cambridge, Mass.: M T Press, 1970); and Edward Alexander, Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums (Nashville, Term.: A A S L H , 1979). 1 6. Among the many examples are Ralph W. Dexter, "Frederic Ward Putnam and the Development of Museums of Natural History and Anthropology in the United States," Curator 9, 2 (1966): 151-155; Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, "Henry A . Ward: the merchant naturalist and American museum development," 6 museums as an end in itself seems to have been largely a post-war phenomenon. Germain Bazin's The Museum Age is, perhaps, the best and the best-known example of the comprehensive survey of the history of the museum as an idea and an institution.17 Some authors, such as Oliver Impey and Arthur MacGregor, have chosen to focus their historical work on a specific time period; others, such as J. Mordaunt Crook, have continued the tradition of the history of a single institution; while still others have considered only the history of certain types of museums.18 Kenneth Hudson's social history of museums attempted to measure the success of exhibits in reaching their visitors.19 Edward Alexander has used the biographies of famous museum personalities to understand some of the history of museums.20 Much of this work, Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History 9, 4 (1980): 647-661; Frederic A. Lucas, Fifty Years of Museum Work: Autobiography, Unpublished Papers and Bibliography of Frederic A. Lucas (New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1933); Franklin Parker, "George Peabody and the Peabody Museum of Salem," Curator 10, 2 (1967): 137-153; and Imogene Robertson, etal, Seventy-Five Years: A History of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, 1861-1936, Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, v. 18, (1938). 17. GermainBazin, TheMuseumAge, trans. Jane vanNuisC^ll (New York: Universe Books, 1967). 18. Oliver Impey and Arthur MacGregor, eds., The Origins of Museums: The Cabinets of Curiosities in Sixteenth-and Seventeenth-Century Europe (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985); J. Mordaunt Crook, The British Museum (New York: Praeger, 1972). Others that fall into the single institution category are John Michael Kennedy, Philanthropy and Science in New York City: The American Museum of Natural History, 1868-1968, Ph.D., Yale University, 1968; andRF. Ovenell, The Ashmolean Museum, 1683-1894 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986). There is a vast literature on Charles Willson Peale's Philadelphia Museum, much of it by his descendant, Charles Coleman Sellers, whose bibliography is the best guide to the literature. Charles Coleman Sellers, Mr. Peale's Museum: Charles Willson Peale and the First Popular Museum of Natural Science and Art (New York: W.W. Norton, 1980). On specific types of museums, see for instance Stella V.F. Butler, Science and Technology Museums (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1992); and Silvio A. Bedini, "The Evolution of the Science Museum," Technology and Culture 6, 1 (Winter 1965): 1-29. 19. Kenneth Hudson, A Social History of Museums: What the Visitors Thought (London: Macmillan, 1975). 20'. Edward Alexander, Museum Masters: Their Museums and Their Influence (Nashville, Term.: AASLH, 1983). 7 however, has tended to be laudatory, uncritical, and often lacking in analysis. The spread of literary and cultural theory in recent years, especially through the works of such scholars as Barthes, Baudrillard, Bourdieu, Derrida, and Foucault, has brought a welcome new critical approach to the study of museums and their history. The work of Douglas Crimp and of Carol Duncan on art and museums, of Susan Pearce on collections and the object, of Tony Bennett on the museum, the international exposition and the fair, and of the many authors showcased in the anthologies of Ivan Karp, Christine Kreamer, and Steven Levine, Brigitte Schroeder-Gudehus, Peter Vergo, Daniel Sherman and hit Rogoff, and the New Research in Museums Studies series edited by Susan Pearce has been particularly useful in expanding our understanding of what it is museums actually do, and how they do it.21 Although many of these authors have focussed on the work of the museum in the late twentieth century, museums and collections of the past have provided a rich source of material. Crimp has used a mixture of historical and contemporary criticism to analyse the decontextualization of objects in the museum and the museum's construction of cultural history, the "consciousness of the present" and its "engagement with the past," which was the subject of 2 1. Douglas Crimp, On the Museum's Ruins (Cambridge, Mass.: M T Press, 1993); Carol Duncan, Civilizing Rituals: inside public art museums (London: Routledge, 1995); Susan M Pearce, Museums, Objects, and Collections: A Cultural Study (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992); Bennett, Birth of the Museum; Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine, eds., Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991); Ivan Karp, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Steven D. Lavine, eds., Museums and Communities: The Politics of Public Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992); Brigitte Schroeder-Gudehus, ed., Industrial Society and its Museums, 1890-1990: Social Aspirations and Cultural Politics (Paris: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1993); Peter Vergo, ed., The New Museology (London: Reaktion Books, 1989); Daniel Sherman and Irit Rogoff, eds., Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994); and New Research in Museum Studies Series, vols. 1-4, Susan M Pearce, ed. (London: Athlone Press, 1990-94). 8 the "museum fictions' of the Belgian artist, Marcel Broodthaers.22 Carol Duncan considers the public art museum as a space of ritual, "a stage setting that prompts visitors to enact a performance of some kind."23 As a place in which "politically organized and socially institutionalized power most avidly seeks to realize its desire to appear as beautiful, natural, and legitimate,"24 the rituals enacted make of the museum an agent to communicate the ideas and values of the dominant class to its visitors and to affirm and reproduce those values. Pearce has looked at the history of collecting and museum collections to understand the nature of the museum and the ways in which the museum creates meaning in and of the objects in the collections. Bennett argues that in the nineteenth century the museum was "enlisted for the governmental task [of] civilizing the population as a whole," and, thus, became part of the "new economy of cultural power." 2 5 Bennett traces the relationship between the nmeteenth-century museum's display of progress and the aggressive modernity of places like Blackpool Pleasure Beach, or the nationalizing narratives of Brisbane's Expo '88. But his primary point is to show how the museum acted as a "reformatory of manners," in such a way that eventually fairs and amusement parks could lose their carnivalesque transgressive attitudes and become, instead, upholders of the dominant symbolic order. Other authors have been less explicit in their use of history to critique the late twentieth-century museum, but have nonetheless considered the importance of understanding the museum's Crimp, "This is Not an Art Museum," in Crimp, On the Museum's Ruins, 200-234. Duncan, Civilizing Rituals, 1-2. Duncan, Civilizing Rituals, 6. Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, 19 & 24. 9 past to explain its present. Daniel Sherman's Worthy Monuments, for instance, is a study of the development of art museums in nineteenth-century France, the role of the French state in the creation of provincial museums, and the relationship of these museums to the local elites. His study ends with the beginning of the First World War, yet he makes it clear that this is, nonetheless, still about museums in the present: Uncertainty about the present often reflects, and in many ways can be regarded as a consequence of, a lack of awareness of the past. If... we have little idea of where the museum is going..., that may be because we have so little sense of where it has come from or of the course it has followed.26 Gaynor Kavanagh's analysis of British museums during the First World War, in which she considers both their use during the war and the effects of the war on museums in the interwar period, is similar in that she has not attempted explicitly to extrapolate from the war and interwar periods to the 1990s. But, as in Sherman's study, there is an implicit message that understanding the museum's past will aid in guiding its present and future. Joel Orosz, whose Curators and Culture is a study of the development of American museums from 1740 to 1870, is the only one of these three authors to explicitly link his argument regarding the museums' past to their present in that he argues for 1870 as the date at which museums reached the understanding of the relationship between research and education by which they operate today.27 Rooted in an empiricism which seems to be lacking from the more theoretical works of Bennett, Pearce, Duncan, and Crimp, Sherman's, Kavanagh's and Orosz's studies are narrower in scope than some 2 6. Daniel Sherman, Worthy Monuments: Art Museums and the Politics of Culture in Nineteenth-Century France (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989): 2. 2 ?. Kavanagh, Museums and the First World War, and Joel J. Orosz, Curators and Culture: The Museum Movement in America, 1740-1870 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1990). Kavanagh's and Orosz's studies are discussed in greater detail in the introductory sections to Parts II and HI of this work. 10 of the broad sweeping generalizations which consider museums as an international phenomenon.28 Yet their very narrowness provides the detailed evidence which lends support to the broader arguments. Most of the work described so far has been done by American and British authors, and has focussed on American and British museums, with the occasional continental European institution included for good measure. Canadian scholars have been more reluctant to study the history of their museums. Archie Key wrote the only comprehensive survey of Canadian museums almost twenty-five years ago29 Lynne Teather of the University of Toronto's Museum Studies Department published, in 1992, a short article on museums in Canada which was meant as the prelude to a larger work but that work has, as yet, not been published.30 There do exist a number of official histories of individual institutions: one of the better examples is Lovat Dickson's history of the Royal Ontario Museums. There are also histories of the New Brunswick Museum, the National Gallery, UBC's Museum of Anthropology, and the Royal British Columbia Museum.31 There are also a few article length unofficial histories.32 Few of these works have 2 8. Each of these three considers only a certain type of museum or specific examples of museums in a single country rather than discussing "the museum" in all of its forms and permutations in every country. 2 9. Archie F. Key, Beyond Four Walls: The Origins and Development of Canadian Museums (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1973). 3 0. Lynne Teather, "Museum-Making in Canada (to 1972)," Muse 10,2/3 (Summer/Fall 1992): 21-29. 3 1. Lovat Dickson, The Museum-Makers: The Story of the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto: ROM, 1986); W. Austin Squires, The History and Development of the New Brunswick Museum (1842-1945) (St. John, N.B.: New Brunswick Museum, 1945); Jean Boggs Sutherland, The National Gallery of Canada (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1971); Audrey Hawthorn, A Labour of Love: The Making of the Museum of Anthropology, UBC, The First Three Decades 1947-1976 (Vancouver: UBC Museum of Anthropology, 1993); Peter (^ rley-Smith, The Ring of Time: The Story of the British Columbia Provincial Museum (Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1985); and Corley-Smith, White Bears and Other Curiosities: The First 100 Years of the Royal British Columbia Museum ([Victoria]: Royal British Columbia Museum, 1989). A brief history of the Nova Scotia Museum is included at the beginning of 11 considered the Canadian museum as a part of a whole culture. One which has placed a Canadian museum into a broad historical context is Susan Sheets-Pyenson's Cathedrals of Science. In a study of the role of colonial museums in the scientific work of empire, Sheets-Pyenson includes the Redpath Museum, McGill University, as one of the five colonial institutions she compares.33 Much of the literature on American and British museums has been written in the context of the history of the academic disciplines which were so often pursued in the realm of museums.34 Here too, however, there exists little Canadian literature. Douglas Cole's study of the appropriation and exportation of northwest coast native artefacts considers the role of the British Scott Robson and Sheila Stevenson, "The Presentation and Interpretation of Human History in the Nova Scotia Museum," in Peter E. Rider, ed., The History of Atlantic Canada: Museum Interpretations, National Museum of Man, Mercury Series, History Division Paper no. 32 (Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1981): 57-90. 3 2 . For instance, Melodie Corrigall, "The Vancouver Civic Museum: The Struggle for Accommodation," Vancouver History 19, 1 (November 1979): 2-12; and Eileen D . Mak, "Ward of the Government, Child of the Institute: The Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia (1868-1951)," in Peter E. Rider, ed., Studies in History and Museums, History Division, Mercury Series Paper 47 (Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1994): 7-32. 3 3 . Susan Sheets-Pyenson, Cathedrals of Science: The Development of Colonial Natural History Museums during the Late Nineteenth Century (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1988). The other museums she considers are the Buenos Aires Museum and the L a Plata Museum in Argentina, the National Museum of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, and the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. 3 4 . For instance, Will iam Chapman, "Arranging Ethnology: A.FLL.F. Pitt Rivers and the Typological Tradition," in George W. Stocking, Jr., ed., Objects and Others: Essays on Museums and Material Culture, History of Anthropology, v.3 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985): 15-48; Ira Jacknis, "Franz Boas and Exhibits: On the Limitations of the Museum Method in Anthropology," in Stocking, Objects and Others, 75-111; Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, "History in a Natural History Museum: George Brown Goode and the Smithsonian Institution," The Public Historian 10,2 (Spring 1988): 7-26; Kohlstedt, "Australian Museums of Natural History: Public Priorities and Scientific Initiatives in the Nineteenth Century," Historical Records of Australian Science 5, 4 (December 1983): 1-29; Donald McVicker, "Parallels and Rivalries: Encounters Between Boas and Starr," Curator 32, 3 (1989): 212-228; David van Keuren, "Museums and Ideology: Augustus Pitt Rivers, Anthropological Museums, and Social Change in Late Victorian Britain," Victorian Studies 2%, 1 (Autumn 1984): \l\A%9\m&W\axyW\nsox, Reeding the Shape of Nature: Comparative Zoology at the Agassiz Museum (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). 12 Columbia Provincial Museum in that process, and Michael Ames1 collection of essays on the anthropology of museums looks at the inter-felationships between museums and anthropology, occasionally in an historical context. The history of the Geological Survey of Canada by Morris Zaslow necessarily touches on the history of the Canadian national museum, which began as the collections of the Survey.35 There are other works on the histories of anthropology and natural history in Canada, and they are both growing fields, but as yet, few of these works consider the role of museums in the development of those disciplines.36 As in each of the other categories, Canadians have been loath to write memoirs and biographies of their museum personalities. Gerald Killan's biography of David Boyle, first Superintendent of the Ontario Provincial Museum, is one of the few full-length studies of a Canadian museum personality. Edward Sapir, the American anthropologist who came to Canada in 1910 to head the new division of anthropology at the Geological Survey of Canada, has been the focus of some work, and Gerald Thomas has discussed the role of John C. Webster in the history of the New Brunswick Museum. While not the only such studies, these are among the very few. As well, Charles Currelly's I Brought the Ages Home is one of the few memoirs by a Canadian museum personality, and his focus is his archaeological work, not his work in the 3 5. Douglas Cole, Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts (Vancouver: Douglas and Mclntyre, 1985); Michael Ames, Cannibal Tours and Glass Boxes: The Anthropology of Museums (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1992); and Morris Zaslow, Reading the Rocks: The Story of the Geological Survey of Canada, 1842-1972 (Ottawa: Information Canada, 1975). 3 6. The exception to this generality is some of the work coming out of Quebec on the nineteenth-century museums. See the notes in Herve Gagnon, "Pierre Chasseur et l'emergence de la museologie scientifique au Quebec, 1824-36," Canadian Historical Review 75, 2 (June 1994): 204-238, for a guide to this literature. 13 Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology. The history of the museum in Canada is, therefore, still a largely unexplored field and this thesis constitutes what I hope will be an important addition to the literature. In bringing the work on Canadian museums together with aspects of the foreign studies mentioned above, and with archival sources, in order to look at Canadian museums as part of a group rather than as isolated institutions, it places Canadian museums, for the first time, within the context of the international "museum movement'—the proliferation of museums which swept most of the European world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries~and demonstrates their relationship not only to each other but to museums throughout the European world. Museum people in Britain, Canada, and the USA were quite conscious of each other and of their roles in an international "movement',38 and attending to that movement from the perspective of Canada reveals the role and place of Canadian museums in it-where and how they conformed to general patterns and where or how they diverged. In placing Canadian museums within this international context, this thesis argues that however unique each institution was, however much the history of Canada or 3 7. Gerald Killan, David Boyle: From Artisan to Archaeologist (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983); Helene Bernier, "Edward Sapir et la Recherche Anthropologique au Musee National du Canada," Historiographica Linguistica 11, 3 (1984): 397-412; Regna Darnell, Edward Sapir: Linguist, Anthropologist, Humanist (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); Stephen O. Murray, "The Canadian "Winter' of Edward Sapir," Historiographica Linguistica 8, 1 (1981): 63-68; Gerald Thomas, "JohnC. Webster: Applying Material History—Developing the New Brunswick Museum," in Rider, Studies in History and Museums, 33-55; and Charles T. Currelly, I Brought the Ages Home: C. T. Currelly of the ROMA. (Toronto: Ryerson, 1956). 3 8. Published comments on annual museums association conferences make this clear. A1921 British comment on the program of the 16th annual meeting in America claimed that the program "gives a clear idea of the vitality of the museum movement across the Atlantic." And, in 1934, when the American Association of Museums held its conference at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the newsletter explained how the site "brought out especially the International aspect of the museum movement." Only 50% of the delegates were from the USA; seven delegates from Britain were in attendance and Canadian delegates came from as far away as British Columbia. "The Activities of Museums in America," Museums Journal 21, 1 (July 1921): 9; "Toronto Meeting Report," Museum News 12, 3 (1 June 1934): 1. 14 of the province affected their development, Canadian museums cannot be understood outside of the broader cultural context which created and shaped both them and the country as whole. As well, this thesis situates the history of Canadian museums in the larger context of the history of museums generally and so contributes to our understanding of that history. Specifically, it looks at the interaction of society and the small group in society charged with mamteining the museums. Rather than considering museums as what Bennett has described as a performance of power, it examines their place in middle-class culture. It is especially concerned with the impact of change on the museum as the middle class matured and, indeed, re-formed and reshaped itself. In using the extended narratives of four specific institutions, it illustrates the diversity of the museum experience, something often missed in the meta-narratives of the museum as an idea. Although a focus on individual institutions can make the patterns more difficult to see, it puts the discussion on a more human level, providing insight into the experiences of individuals and individual institutions. This study also has a purpose beyond the history of museums. Although the work of Hooper-Greenhill has demonstrated that museums are a product of the eighteenth and nineteenth-century rise of the middle class,39 and others have analyzed the museum's role in that rise and in the modern state, no one has made a thematic study of the relationship between museums and the ambitions and fortunes of the middle class. Carol Duncan has noted that "however much they are shaped by particular historical conditions ... museums also belong to the larger international history of bourgeois culture."40 This is as true in Canada as elsewhere and as a cultural 3 9. Hcoper-Cjreerihill, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge. This work is discussed at greater length in the introductory comments to Part I. 4 0. Duncan, Civilizing Rituals, 3. 15 manifestation of middle class values and aspirations, museums reflect and exhibit that class. This work examines that aspect of museums' history. Broadly, it verifies what other works have said concerning what members of the middle class considered important both to their own lives and to society as a whole. It illuminates their aims and goals; it provides evidence for their desires and glimpses into their failures. In a more narrow sense, it provides insight into the nature of the transition from the Victorian natural historian to the Ivventieth-century scientist, and demonstrates the increased pressure on members of the middle class to attain credentials. Under pressure from the growing need to acquire a university degree, the very notion of "learned" changed. The Victorian men of letters and gentlemen of science, who had dominated intellectual life in the nineteenth century, became in the twentieth little more than old men. This study thus helps to further our understanding of that sub-group within the middle class that traded not in goods or services but in knowledge. Although this work is informed by many of the studies considered in the above literature review, it has very much its own focus. It aims to display the middle class-its efforts to invent society in its own image, its attempts to reproduce itself, and its reorganization of society-through its study of the impact of that class on the museum and on the people who worked in it. It therefore engages the theoretical and historical literature in such areas as education and professionalization more than does much of the work on museums per se. In order to make the nature of its approach clear, it is divided into three parts with each part being preceded by a brief review of the literature on the topic under discussion. * * * * * The themes considered in this thesis are collecting, education, and professionalization. All 16 three are relevant to the history of museums for different, if overlapping, reasons. Most importantly, the role and impact of all three of these themes continue to be debated in the museum world today. As well, both collecting and education are integral to the museum as an institution, and education and professionalization tie the museum into the developments of nineteenth- and twentieth-century society. Collecting is of pre-eminent importance to the museum. Although there are some who would argue the point, most people agree that a museum without a collection is not a museum. Yet, collecting and the collection do not of themselves constitute a museum. Scholars have recently argued that, in the long history of collecting, it is only in the modern period, when collections were opened to the public and began to be used for the purpose of educating that public, that they truly become museums.41 Thus, in attempting to place the individual Canadian museum experience into the larger context, it is as important to understand what education means in a museum as it is to appreciate the role of collecting in the museum's history. The idea that the general public required education, and that this could be done through museums, did not arise in isolation. The developments of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries which brought education for the lower classes to the forefront of public concerns also gave rise to the desire for professionalization. Although not a theme of weight equal to that of education in museums of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the role of professionalization in detenriining the dominance of the middle classes in society meant that it could not fail to have an impact on the middle class-led "museum movement'. Thus, a study of 4 1. Krzysztof Pomian, "The Collection: Between the Visible and the Invisible," in K. Pomian, Collectors and Curiosities: Paris and Venice 1500-1800, trans. Elizabeth Wiles-Portier (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1990): 42. 17 professionalization in museums and its impact on them allows us to see the interaction between museums and society at large. The form that this dissertation takes is a comparative study of four institutions in Canada which were, or are, provincial museums.42 The institutions being compared are the Provincial Museum of Nova. Scotia, the Ontario Provincial Museum (OPM), the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and the British Columbia Provincial Museum.43 These were not chosen to stand as a cross-section of museums in Canada, nor are they a statistical or representational sample of provincial museums. They were chosen for a variety of sometimes idiosyncratic reasons. The Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia was run for 40 years by a man who kept voluminous and detailed records, most of which have been preserved by the museum and the Public Archives; it is possibly the best documented museum in Canada. This made it a perfect 4 2. See "Note on Terminology" at the end of the Introduction. 43'. The Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia, founded in 1868, was renamed the Nova Scotia Museum of Science with the passing of the first Museum Act in 1947. The phrase "of Science" was dropped from the name in 1955, when a History Division was added to the museum With the addition to its mandate of historic sites and exhibit centres around the province in 1970, the name was changed again to the Nova Scotia Museum Complex. The Ontario Provincial Museum was the title given to the collections of the Ontario Normal School museum some time after the provincial government began to fund the care of the collections directly. It is unclear whether the title became official in 1896 or 1906. The Museum was closed in 1933 after the death of its second director and its collections were dispersed, most going to the Royal Ontario Museums. The Royal Ontario Museum was established in legislation in 1912 and, over the course of the next few months, five separate museums were incorporated. They opened their doors to the public in 1914. During the late 1940s, the four natural history museums were merged into two museums and, in 1955, the two natural history museums and the archaeological museum became the single Royal Ontario Museum The British Columbia Provincial Museum, founded in 1886, was constituted as the Provincial Museum of Natural History and Anthropology in 1912. Both prior to and after the passing of the legislation, the staff often chose not to use the phrase 'and Anthropology'. The museum was not officially named the British Columbia Provincial Museum until its reorganization, and the addition of human history to its mandate, in 1968. During its centennial year in 1986, it was given official permission by the Crown to use the designation "Royal' and became the Royal British Columbia Museum In the interests of convenience and to differentiate it from the other 'Provincial' museums, I refer to it as the British Columbia, or BC, Provincial Museum. 18 choice for a study of this sort. Of the institutions chosen for comparison with the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia, the Royal Ontario Museum was selected for two reasons. First, it is unique in Canada in that it is the only museum whose collecting and exhibit mandate covers the whole of the world and human history.44 This alone made the ROM a worthwhile contrast to the other institutions, but its relationship to the Ontario Provincial Museum made it doubly intriguing. Although the museum of the Ontario Normal School had earlier been given the title of Ontario Provincial Museum, in 1912 the Ontario legislature created the ROM by passing an act to establish a provincial museum. The ROM was thus in direct competition with the Ontario Provincial Museum for provincial funding and public support until 1933 when the Provincial Museum closed its doors for the last time and the collections were transferred to the R O M As the only example of such obvious competition, the relationship of the ROM and the Ontario Provincial Museum seemed particularly significant for a study of this sort. The British Columbia Provincial Museum was included as an institution that both differed in collecting mandate from the others and stood between them in terms of size. It also provides an example of a museum established in a relatively young part of Canada45 The comparative method has advantages and disadvantages. The primary disadvantage is the unequal evidence available for each of the institutions. Both the quantity and the quality of 4 4. There are museums which collect from around the world but focus on a narrower time period or on specific academic discipline, such as ethnology. Museums which cover the whole of human history, such as the Canadian Museum of Civilization, narrow their focus by geographic region, such as the nation or a single province. The ROM collects archaeological, anthropological, ethnological, historical and scientific specimens, and has artefacts from around the world representing the entire span of both human history and pre-history (eg. dinosaurs). 4 5. British Columbia had only been settled by Europeans for about 50 years when the museum was founded. Nova Scotia, by contrast, had experienced over 250 years of European settlement by the time its museum was opened to the public. 19 the records available differs for the separate time periods within museums, and from museum to museum. Harry Piers of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia not only wrote extensive annual reports, he retained all of the museum's records for the years he was director (1899-1940). These and his personal papers, including thirty years of personal diaries, are all extant. The evidence for the museum prior to Piers' directorship is contained in the three annual reports written by David Honeyman, the first director (1868-1889), and a few scattered references to the museum in journals and newspapers of the time. The few financial records available for the years 1889-1899 leave that decade almost unknown. The British Columbia Archives and Records Service (BCARS) houses reasonably good records of the British Columbia Provincial Museum for the years from 1940 onward, but the records for the years 1886, when the museum was opened, to 1940, when Clifford Carl was appointed Acting Director, are sparse. Much of the pre-1940 story must be pieced together through the records of organizations and individuals who were interested in or related to the museum in some official or semi-official capacity, or through references in the local newspapers. The best documented years of the BC Provincial Museum begin at the end of the best documented years of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia. The Royal Ontario Museum's records are similar. The Museum of Zoology's records for the years that J.R Dymond directed it (1934-49) are voluminous, reasonably well-organized, and accessible through the ROMs Library and Archives. Records for Zoology prior to and after Dymond's directorship and for the other museums under the ROM umbrella are sparse. However minutes from the meetings of the Board of Trustees, the Committee of Directors and the Education Committee are all available and are immensely valuable in detailing the history of the 20 museums. Records for the Ontario Provincial Museum are sparse, scattered, not easily accessible, and/or non-existent. The unevenness of the institutional evidence available makes it difficult to sustain the comparative approach throughout the entire discussion. Thus, for each of the themes, some institutions will be discussed in more detail than others. Nor is the institutional evidence greatly complemented by personal papers of the various directors. Only for Harry Piers were personal papers of any extent located and, despite their obvious value, their focus is his personal and family life, shedding only minimal light on his work with the museum. The comparative method, however, retains its utility because of the potential it offers for drawing general conclusions. Discussions based on a single example lead to suspect generalizations, while broad sweeping discussions can be too general to be of much value. Studies of individual institutions can pinpoint the ways in which particular museums diverged from the patterns outlined by broader studies. The use of four case studies based on institutions in different regions of the country avoids the worst pitfalls of generalizing from a single example and at the same time allows the drawing of general conclusions which have both evidential support and analytic value. 21 A Note on Terminology The Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia during the period under discussion had only one employee at a time. Each person who filled that sole position was officially known as the 'curator'. David Boyle was the 'curator* of the Canadian Institute Museum, and, from 1896, of the archaeological collections of the Ontario Provincial Museum. In 1902, he was made "Superintendent' of the entire museum. The Royal Ontario Museums had five 'directors' who headed the separate institutions as well as support staff who were variously known as 'curators', 'keepers', and "technicians'. The head of the British Columbia Provincial Museum was known as the "curator", until 1915 when he was officially retitled the "director1. His support staff had a range of ever-changing titles. In the interest of convenience, and to avoid the unwieldy term "curator/director', I have chosen not to respect this myriad of titles. Rather, I have used the term "director1 for the men who headed their institutions, regardless of what their "official' title was. Support staff whose jobs entailed scientific or research work with the collections are collectively titled "curatorial staff and individually "curators'. Exceptions to this occur in places where quotations refer to the "directors' as curators, or where it has been important to use the person's official title. In these cases, I have tried to make clear the relationship of the person to others being discussed and the fact that there has not been a change in the person's status wittlin the organization.46 The other term which needs clarification is "provincial' as it is used to modify the study museums. For the purposes of this dissertation, "provincial' refers to the fact that the museum 4 6. On the difference between the director and the curator, see Coleman, Museum in America, 403-409. 22 is/was a public institution funded by the provincial government with a service mandate directed primarily at the people of the province. It is not meant to describe the museum's collecting mandate, although all three of the museums which had the word in their official titles largely restricted their collecting to their province. In the sense used here, the term also refers to the Royal Ontario Museum, an institution whose collection mandate spans the globe, which often considers its service mandate to extend well beyond the province (especially given the many tourists who visit each year), and whose origins in the teaching collections of the University of Toronto gave it a general relevance from the beginning. The ROM was established by the provincial legislature as a provincial museum and, thus, does fit into a study which compares provincial institutions.47 4 7. "An Act to provide for the Establishment of a Provincial Museum," Statutes of the Province of Ontario, 2 Geo. V, 1912, c.80. 23 PART I -MUSEUMS, COLLECTIONS, AND IDENTITY: UNIVERSALITY, EPISTEMOLOGY, SIMILARITY, AND DIFFERENCE 24 Introduction Museums are unavoidably linked with their cultural settings. They are a collective self-reflection culminating in the maintenance, sustenance, and presentation of a cultural identity, as well as the embodiment of cultural values and attitudes believed to be important. (Robert Sullivan, in Gender Perspectives, 101) A consideration of the nature of museum collections is, perhaps, the best place to begin a work aimed at particularizing the Canadian museum experience. Many museologists consider the collection to be the heart of a museum and its raison d'etre, and few would dispute the importance of a collection to a museum. The collection is the reason that a museum is a museum rather than a school or some other institution.1 Thus, understanding the nature and role of collections is paramount to understanding museums. The ways in which museums differ or are the same, and some of the reasons for that, are here explored through an examination of the nature of collections. The collections of each of the four museums considered in this study bore some resemblance to the others: all four museums collected natural history specimens; and all four also collected anthropological or archaeological material. In collecting the same or similar items as other museums, the Canadian museums placed themselves firmly into a centuries-old collecting tradition and into the heart of the "museum movement'. However, the differences between the collections are far greater than the similarities: each collection had a different spatial and/or '. On the purpose of a museum, see Stephen R Weil, "The Proper Business of the Museum: Ideas or Things?," in S. Weil, Rethinking the Museum and Other Meditations (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990): 43-56. Weil argues that we should define museums not by their function--the collection and care of objects~but by their purpose~to serve society. On the importance of the collection, see Duncan F. Cameron, "The Museum, a Temple or the Forum," Curator 14,1 (1971): 14-15; and, Neil Cossons, "Rambling reflections of a museum man," in Patrick Boylan, ed., Museums 2000: Politics, People, Professionals and Profit (London: Routledge, 1992): 123-147. 25 temporal scope; the collections varied in size, in terms of sheer numbers of items; each had a different focal point or primary collecting group; and the individual artefacts in each differed in their financial, scientific, and cultural values. Nor is it likely that the aspects of the collection which set the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia apart from the Ontario Provincial Museum and the Royal Ontario Museums, or the Royal Ontario Museums from the British Columbia Provincial Museum could be replicated in such a way as to make these institutions identical to any other museum in the world. In short, although there are many aspects to a museum which differentiate it from its fellows, it was the nature of their collections which made these truly unique. There are many reasons that the collection of one museum will differ from that of other museums. The availability of funding for acquisition of artefacts, the generosity of donors, and the rarity of objects all impose pragmatic limitations on the size, scope, and value of a collection. As well, every collection is grounded in a specific epistemology which will determine its parameters. Of the many factors determining the nature of a collection, the role the museum plays in creating or maintaining the local self-identity is crucial. The urge to collect may be universal, and collections formed in the same era will bear similarities, but the agendas of local elites2 will bend those collections to their own ends and create them in their own image. Thus, the 2. The term 'elite' is here used to designate the upper strata of the middle class and the very wealthy who, while they might technically be middle class, acted in North America as an upper class. Robert Gray, in "Bourgeois Hegemony in Victorian Britain," in John Bloomfield, ed., Class, Hegemony and Party (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1977): 74-75, differentiates between the 'middle strata' of society (shopkeepers, tradesmen, professionals and white-collar employees) and the ruling class or dominant bourgeoisie (the industrial capitalists who were the very wealthy mentionned here) arguing that these two groups diverged in economic status, power, and attitudes. He suggests that the prevalence of the belief that the middle strata were of the ruling class is "a measure of the success with which such strata were subordinated to bourgeois hegemony." (74) See also Sherman, Worthy Monuments, 93-96, on local or municipal elites. 26 differences between museums, those aspects which separate the parts from the whole, are closely linked to local agendas and self-identity. Chapter one looks at the collections in the four museums under study in terms of provincial identities as constructed or reflected in the museum. Arguing that it was the collection which made these museums unique, and therefore, that which individuated their experiences, the discussion considers the nature of the collections, the conceptual choices made in founding the institutions, and the factors which influenced each of these. In using their museums to create and reflect identities, Canadians conformed to the larger patterns of the "museum movement.' But, because every identity and, therefore, the collection reflecting it is unique the pattern slipped into the background as each institution diverged from it and took its own road. The history of collecting is a small, but growing, field. Psychologists have considered why people collect; educators have looked at children's collecting habits; and academics in the fields of business and commerce have considered collecting in relation to consumption.3 But most of this has been in a contemporary sense. Scholars who have studied collecting in an historical sense have tended not to ask questions about who collects and why, but have simply described the creation of collections, both public and private. Much of this has been in the context of art collecting and has often focussed on the establishment of an "art market'.4 In the past twenty years, this has changed as scholars have begun to try to explain why people collect at all, why they collect certain or specific items, and the relationship in this between culture and individual 3. For a good example of the range of work in the field, see "References," in Russell W. Belk, Collecting in a Consumer Society (London: Routledge, 1995): 159-187. 4. Bazin, The Museum Age, is a good example of this sort of study. 27 psychology. The debate falls into two basic camps. The first contains those who argue that collecting is an innate, timeless, and universal human characteristic. Werner Muensterberger, whose work on collecting has been done from the perspective of psychology, has argued that head-hunting, the trade in mediaeval relics, and the collecting of antiquities and natural curiosities all stem from the same psychological impulse.5 Although his analysis of the psychological impulse to collect seems, at times, naive, his case studies of individual collectors and of separate time periods provides a subtle picture of the interaction between individual psychology and societal influences upon collecting. However, like John Eisner and Roger Cardinal, who claim for the Biblical character, Noah, the status of Ur-collector, and thereby uncritically place the ancient Middle East into a direct line which ends in European society,6 Muensterberger's study focusses on the European world, ignoring collecting in Asian countries and only briefly discussing the role of head-hunting in the societies of the Pacific islands. Only Dillon Ripley has attempted to reach beyond the superficial assertion and actually study the collecting of a non-European people. In the opening essay of his book, The Sacred Grove, Ripley discusses the gathering of cowrie shells by members of a Stone Age tribe in New Guinea.7 On observing that these people valued certain shells over others for reasons of colour, 5. Werner Muensterberger, Collecting, An Unruly Passion: Psychological Perspectives (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994). 6. John Eisner and Roger Cardinal, "Introduction," in Eisner and C^dinal, eds., The Cultures of Collecting (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994): 1-6. The story of Noah is told in Genesis, chapters 6-8. 7. Dillon Ripley, "The Collecting Instinct," in The Sacred Grove: Essays on Museums (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1969): 17-23. 28 size, and texture, Ripley equated the cowrie shell collections with stamp or coin collections in our society. Thus, for Ripley, not only was the "collecting instinct* inherent in all humans, but all collections had, in the end, a similar, cultural function, which was essentially aesthetic. The argument for the universality of the collecting habit is not, however, universally accepted. Indeed, despite Ripley's contention that the cowrie shell collections resembled the Smithsonian, he concluded his essay with the comment that "culture, then, creates collections; collections create culture."8 It is this relationship between culture and collecting on which many scholars are now focussing. As Russell Belk, in his most recent study on collecting, has stated, "instinct theory does not fare well these days."9 Citing Arthur Danto's observation that not all cultures have what we consider to be "serious collectors" and Beaglehole's 1932 dismissal of "animal analogies and the acquisitive or collecting instinct in favor of a more social and learned model," Belk successfully argues against the concept that collecting is an innate human characteristic showing instead that it is a culturally-constructed and learnt behaviour.10 Similarly, Susan Pearce argues that the European collecting tradition is unique and stems from a particular relationship to material culture embedded in our kinship system and societal organization.11 While separating European collecting from similar behaviour in other cultures, both Belk and Pearce also point to differences within the European tradition which suggest culturally-defined and 8. Ripley, "The Collecting Instinct," 23. 9. Belk, Collecting in a Consumer Society, 79. 10. Ernest Beaglehole, Property: A Study in Social Psychology (New York: Macmillan, 1932): 281; and Arthur Danto, "FromMatchbooks to Masterpieces: Toward a Philosophy of Collecting," Aperture, 124 (Summer 1991): 2-3. Both quoted in Belk, Collecting in a Consumer Society, 79. u . Pearce, On Collecting, esp. 57-87. 29 cuiliirally-corotnicted behaviours based on class and, especially, gender.12 The work on collecting in twentieth-century European society, exemplified by Belk and Pearce, is mirrored by recent historical studies. Scholars, such as Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, Stephen Bann, and Krzysztof Pomian, have also begun to elucidate the relationship to culture which collecting has always had through analyzing past collections and collectors.13 Largely ignoring the question of whether the urge to collect is universal or not and simply accepting as a given that Europeans collect and have been collecting for centuries, they are investigating, instead, the influence of culture and society on how, and what, people collect, and on how those collections are used. The most prominent analytical tool for understanding the interaction between culture and collecting has been Foucault's episteme. Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, in Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge, has used Foucault to argue that earlier attempts to trace the history of museums from Ptolemy's library at Alexandria through to today's institutions are flawed.14 Using as case studies the collections of the Medici in the fifteenth century, cabinets of curiosities in the sixteenth, the collections of the Royal Society in the seventeenth, and the 'disciplinary' museum of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, she argues that the discontinuities between each of these are greater than their similarities. As she follows Foucault's changing epistemes, Hooper-Greenhill notes how new ways of knowing altered the nature of collections: different 12. Belk, Collecting in a Consumer Society, 97-100; and Pearce, On Collecting, 197-223. 13. Although John Eisner and Roger Cardinal argue for the universality of collecting in the introduction to The Cultures of Collecting, the better articles in the book are by scholars investigating cultural influences on collecting similar to Hooper-Greenhill, Bann, and Pomian. , 4. Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge. 30 types of object were included; different organizational and display schemes were employed; and the ends to which the collections were created differed. Each collection, formed and informed by the current knowledge, and defined as rational only within its own cultural matrix, was irrelevant to earlier and future epistemes. Thus, although we may consider the cabinets of curiosities as quaint gatherings of curious or exotic objects, to the people who created them, they formed a basis for understanding the world around them. It was in the nineteenth century, when public museums "emerged as one of the campaigns of the state to direct the population into activities which would... transform the population into a useful resource for the state"15 that these diverse collections became museums as we understand them today, in terms of the nature of their collections, the ways in which they gather, organize, and use knowledge, and the ways in which this knowledge is imparted to the visitor. Like Hooper-GreenhiU's argument that each episteme required a different type of collection and/or a different organizational structure, Bann has argued that the wunderkammern, or cabinets of curiosity, of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were grounded in a specific epistemological field which separated them from previous and subsequent collections.16 Thus, the collection of John Bargrave, which is the subject of Bann's Under the Sign, can be studied to understand both Bargrave himself, and the world in which he lived and collected. As useful as Foucault's episteme has been in corning to understand the changing nature 15. Hcioper-Greenhill, Shaping of Knowledge, 168. 16. Stephen Bann, Under the Sign: John Bargrave as Collector, Traveller, and Witness (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994): especially 8. Other scholars have pointed out that the wunderkammern, given the objects they held and the system of classification used, could not have been a forerunner to the modem museum but were an institution specific to the Renaissance. See Crimp, "This is Not a Museum of Art," 225; and Steven Mullaney, "Strange Things, Gross Terms, Curious Customs: The Rehearsal of Cultures in the Late Renaissance," Representations 3 (Summer 1983): 43. 31 of European collections throughout the ages, it has not been the only analytical tool. Krzysztof Pomian has traced the history of collections through the concept of the boundary between the Visible' and the "invisible1.17 Arguing that the nature of collections changes when society redraws that boundary or redefines its attitude toward the "invisible', Pomian has devised a periodization which focusses not on the discontinuities between ages but on an almost evolutionary process. Begun in the fourteenth century, the process of redrawing that boundary brought us, in the late eighteenth or nineteenth century, to a point at which collections became museums, and museums took on the function of churches with "the nation' as both subject and object of the cult.18 A more flexible theory than Foucault's episteme, Pomian's theory of the "visible' and the "invisible' notes the differences in collections over time, while at the same time illuminating the links between them. It allows for both continuity and discontinuity in the history of collections, and accepts the existence of collections outside of their "time' more graciously.19 17'. Pomian, "The Collection," 7-44 & 276-78. The invisible is anything which is not part of the visible, physical realm Examples of the invisible would be the past, the dead, a god or saint, or an idea. 18. Pomian, "The Collection," 43-44. Bennett points out that collections can only function as a mediator between the visible and the invisible for those who "possess the appropriate socially-coded ways of seeing." Bennett, Birth of the Museum, 35. 19. Interestingly enough, Pomian's periodization coincides largely with Foucault's epistemes, as interpreted by Hooper-Greenhill. Pomian's interpretation of the final result is also similar to Hooper-GreenhiU's. The idea that the 'museum as church' is engaged in forming a "consensus of opinion" differs from Hooper-Greenhill's "disciplinary1 museum mainly in the degree of voluntarism it allows members of the lower classes in participating in the work of these institutions; its actual function is remarkably similar. The concept of the "disciplinary' museum stems from the Foucauldian idea that each of these new institutions—the school, the clinic, the prison and the museum—were created in order to classify, catalogue, and control people in the same way that knowledge was being classified and controlled. Thus, the museum was a part of a system of discipline for people and knowledge. Bennett, Birth of the Museum, 60-69, Hooper-Greenhill, Shaping of Knowledge, esp. 167-190; and Pomian, "The Collection," 44. 32 What Pomian's analysis of a continually, if slowly, moving boundary20 adds to our understanding of collections is the idea that the function of a collection is to communicate, or act as an intermediary, between the visible and the invisible. Not simply shaped by and shaping the ways in which we know the world, collections are determined by a particular aspect of that knowing. This idea, that the objects in a collection are signs, or semiophores, for the invisible, coupled with Pomian's final comments on the nation as the subject and object of the worship for which museums are erected, brings this discussion back to the museums under study and their use in defining identities. If the nation, or the region or province, is the "invisible' object of collection, then in making that "invisible' visible to the viewer, the collection, in effect, defines a national identity: the semiophores signify what the nation is, what it stands for, who is a part of it, and what being a part of it means. sH H« * * * Chapter one discusses the collections of each of the four museums under study as semiophores for the provincial identities. Where the museums of Nova Scotia and British Columbia gathered collections of the natural history of their areas to create provincial identities based on abundance and the future potential of the provinces, especially an industrial future, the archaeological museums of Ontario used the artefacts of the past to define an ancient and civilized Ontario, worthy of her own place in the world. The Royal Ontario Museum which consisted of both natural history and archaeological museums exhibited both aspects, but the spectacular nature of the archaeological museum's collections overshadowed both the collections 2 0. Although Pomian never actually says so, the suggestion is that the boundary, once it began moving in the fourteenth century, kept moving in the same direction, essentially bringing more and more of the invisible realm into the visible. 33 of the natural history museums and the potential future they signified. In each case, the differing identities ensured that each of the museums would have a unique collection. 34 Chapter One — Creating Regional Identity: The Museum Collections in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia If nation-states are widely conceded to be "new1 and "historical', the nations to which they give political expression always loom out of an immemorial past, and, still more important, glide into a limitless future. (Anderson, Imagined Communities, 11-12) Museums have long played a role in creating or mamtaining identities,1 and Canadian museums are no exception. Indeed, as the institutional manifestations of a new society, this has been a particularly urgent role for Canadian museums. As Benedict Anderson argued in his discussion of the relationship between colonialism and the rise of nationalism, museums are one of the "institutions of power" which "profoundly shaped the way in which the colonial state imagined its dominion--the nature of the human beings it ruled, the geography of its domain, and the legitimacy of its ancestry."2 The collections gathered, housed, and exhibited in Canadian museums have created identities which bound regions, provinces, and the nation together,3 while at the same time differentiating one province from the next, and each province from the nation. They have been used to differentiate the new Canadian people from the ethnic groups from which it was formed and also to relate Canadians to those ethnic groups. Whether situated in Nova Scotia, which was first settled by Europeans in 1604, or British Columbia, which did not experience European settlement until well into the nineteenth century, museums have been among '. Annie E. Coombes, "Museums and the Formation of National and Cultural Identities," Oxford Art Journal 11, 2 (1988): 57-68; and Flora E.S. Kaplan, ed., Museums and the Making of ^Ourselves': The Role of Objects in National Identity (London: Leicester University Press, 1994). 2. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, rev.ed. (London: Verso, 1991): 164. 3. Zeller, Inventing Canada. 35 the tools used by European immigrants as they have created for themselves a separate Canadian identity. This chapter considers the ways in which four Canadian museums created and reflected provincial identities. Because it is in the nature of collections to define the collectors and for most collectors this is an unconscious effect, it is difficult to argue that Canadian museums were conforming to a pattern. Yet, there was an element of conformity and of deliberation. The simple fact of establishing a museum was, in and of itself, an act of conforming to an international pattern. Museums were being established at a phenomenal rate throughout the European world, especially in the latter half of the nineteenth century. As well, even when Canadian museum people were not deliberate in their collecting to signify the 'invisible' nation, they were making conscious choices about the artefacts and specimens they considered significant. And, in thus exhibiting their priorities, they were, in many ways, conforming to the aims and ambitions of the middle class which were shaping museum collections throughout the European world. Nonetheless, the differences between the various identities created unique collections in each museum which blurred close-up views of the pattern. The Permanent Exhibition: Rocks, Industry, and the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia The Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia has its origins in the nmeteenth-century celebration of progress, science, and industry. Designed as a "permanent exhibition of the industrial resources of the province,"4 the collection celebrated the rich mineral wealth of the 4. Nova Scotia, Provincial Museum "Report on the Provincial Museum [1871]," in Commission of Public Works and Mines, Report of the Department of Mrtes for the Year 1871, 44. (Annual reports of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia are hereafter referred to by name of director responsible and year.) On the history of the museum, see Robson, "Presentation and Interpretation of Human History in the Nova Scotia Museum;" and Mak, "Ward of the Government." 36 province and was exhibited in such a manner as to convince capitalists of the wisdom of investing in Nova Scotia. Local elites believed that the province was, and attempted to portray it as, a potentially wealthy industrial nation, and the future industrial heartland of Canada. The dream was not unfounded. Nova Scotia had "the only commercially viable coal and iron deposits in the Dominion," and the growing importance of the steel industry in Canada supported the assumption that Nova Scotia would become central to the country's industrial development.5 The museum reflected this dream and helped to create for the province an identity based on the mineral wealth of the province and on its growing mining industry. Various attempts were made in the first half of the nineteenth century to establish a provincial museum in Nova Scotia, but none was successful. It was the success of Nova Scotia's exhibit at the 1862 international exhibition in London that finally provided the necessary catalyst by generating wide-spread interest in Nova Scotia's scientific and industrial potential. The province's scientifically-minded men united to form the Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science in 1863,6 and together they began to lobby me government to maintain the high level of interest 5. T.W. Acheson, "The National Policy and the Industrialization of the Maritimes, 1880-1910," Acadiensis 1, 2 (Spring 1972): 6. For most of the pre-Confederation period, the Nova Scotian economy was dominated by fishing and shipbuilding. But coal mining, which had begun as early as 1800, expanded with the 1827 granting of mineral rights to the British-based General Mining Association. When in 1858, the GMA lost its monopoly, the number of mines increased dramatically, and the 1860s saw great development in the coal mining industry. By 1906, Harry Piers estimated, Nova Scotian mines produced 60% of the total Canadian coal output. D.A. Muise, "The 1860s: Forging the Bonds of Union," in Muise and E.R. Forbes, eds., The Atlantic Provinces in Confederation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993): 18-26; John G. Reid, Six Crucial Decades: Times of Change in the History of the Maritimes (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 1987): 93-124; and Piers, Report 1906, 3. 6. On the history of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science, see Harry Piers, "A Brief Historical Account of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science...," Proceedings and Transactions of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science (hereafter referred to as Transactions) 13, 3 (1912-13): liii-cxii; and Charles Bruce Fergusson, Nova Scotian Institute of Science, Bulletin no. 18 (Halifax: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1963). 37 through the formation of a public museum. They argued that, much as the international exhibitions had done in England and Europe, a museum would be a boost to the economy, as a permanent display of the economic minerals of the province would provide capitalists with the necessary information on which to base investments and miners with a better understanding of the nature and importance of their work. It took Nova Scotia's successful participation in the 1865 Dublin Exposition to fully convince the government that a permanent exhibition was a worthwhile recipient of public funds, and in 1866, the Lieutenant-Governor declared that the top floor of the New Provincial Building would be set aside to house a museum. Exhibits destined for the 1867 Paris exposition universelle were marked for inclusion in the museum's collections upon their return to the province, and the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia opened its doors to the public in October 1868. The core collections of the new museum consisted of a collection of Nova Scotia minerals, a Nova Scotia herbarium, a collection of Nova Scotia birds, a collection of Nova Scotia fossils (all three of which had been gathered for display in Paris), and the remains of the Halifax Mechanics' Institute collections.7 As the herbarium and the collection of birds suggest, the Nova Scotian displays at the international expositions included a wide range of natural history and raw materials, and a small number of manufactured products were also displayed. But the focus was on the economic minerals, such as coal, with which the province was so well supplied. Certainly, this focus was due in part to the scientific interests of the museum's first director, David Honeyman. As Nova Scotia's Commissioner to the international expositions of the 1860s, Honeyman was the ideal choice for director of the museum. A minister-turned-geologist, he had 7. Honeyman, "Report 1871." 38 published a number of works on Nova Scotian geology and had urged the provincial government to establish a geological survey, of which he would presumably be head.8 That he imposed his interest in geology on the museum is not surprising. Nor was he the only geologist among the scientific community. The growing number of coal mines in the area naturally gave rise to an interest in that aspect of natural history and a number of the mine owners were also members of the Institute of Science. But the focus on geology and economic minerals also reflected the impetus behind the exhibitions in which the collections had their origins: the international expositions were celebrations of capitalism and industry.9 Nova Scotia had little industry as yet, so that manufactured products could not provide the focus of exhibitions as they did in Britain. Nor were birds and plants considered economically important, although they did help to portray the province as an agriculturally rich country. Ores and minerals, however, were the fuel of industrial strength and a conspicuous display of such materials would present Nova Scotia as an industrial heartland waiting to be exploited. The retention of this focus in the establishment of the Provincial Museum made clear that this was the image of Nova Scotia which the museum's 8. Wil l iam D. Naftel, "Honeyman, David," Dictionary of Canadian Biography 11:420-421. For a list of Honeyman's geological publications, see Nova Scotia, Department of Mines, Bibliography of the Geology of Nova Scotia, comp. Diane J. Gregory, (1971): 134-139. On the role of economic minerals and geology in the British Empire, see Robert A. Stafford, "Annexing the landscapes of the past: British imperial geology in the nineteenth century," in John M MacKenzie, ed., Imperialism and the natural world (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990): 67-89. 9. The literature on international expositions and world's fairs is extensive. For some general considerations of their functions, see John Allwood, The Great Exhibitions (Toronto: Studio Vista, 1977); Patrick Beaver, The Crystal Palace 1851-1936: A Portrait of Victorian Enterprise (London: Hugh Evelyn, 1970); John E. Findling and Kimberley D. Pelle, eds., Historical Dictionary of World's Fairs and Expositions, 1851-1988 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990); and Greenhalgh, Ephemeral vistas. 39 founders wished to pursue. When David Honeyman first described his museum to the provincial government in his annual report for the year 1871, he qualified the statement of the museum as permanent exhibition with the clause "combined with a museum of science and art."11 This secondary aspect of the museum was confirmed in Honeyman's first annual report in which he listed objects and specimens in ten separate departments: mineralogy; geology and palaeontology; botany; zoology; ethnology; antiquities; numismatology; fine arts; naval architecture; and mechanics. Thus, economic minerals were not the only items to which visitors to the museum would be treated. Descriptions of visits to the museum described the array of "birds, coins, animals, reptiles, shells, Indian relics, curiosities from Japan and China, skulls of pirates, [and] ship models"12 which were available for viewing. Like most nineteenth-century museums, Honeyman's museum was meant to be a well-rounded institution in which visitors could see a wide-range of objects. Nonetheless, despite its range of objects, the collection was focussed on economic minerals and Nova Scotia's image of industrial potential. Honeyman argued that "our provincial prosperity largely depends on the development of our mineral resources,"13 and he collected and displayed appropriately. In the 1871 description of the museum's departments, the last six-named 10. See David R Brigham, Public Culture in the Early Republic: Peale's Museum and Its Audience (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995): 5, 63-64, and 107-113, on Peale's use of his museum to reflect and stimulate a nascent industrial culture. u . Honeyman, "Report 1871," 44. 12. Phyllis Blakeley, Glimpses of Halifax 1867-1900, Publication No.9 (Halifax, N.S.: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1949): 65. See also, "The Provincial Museum," Halifax Evening Mail, Carnival Number, (Summer 1889): 27. 13. Honeyman, "Report 1871," 52. 40 departments together took only one page to detail, while the description of the first two, mineralogy and geology/palaeontology, ran for nine pages. Honeyman himself admitted their preponderance: The mineralogical and geological departments...form the larger part of our museum, so that our institution may be regarded as to a large extent a museum of practical geology.14 Building stones, granite, sandstones, limestones, gypsum, iron ore, quartz, fossils, and coal, coal, coal, were the main exhibits in the museum. Other authors described the museum's pride and joy, the artefact which is listed in every description of the collections and which Honeyman and his successors took to most international expositions: The 8 foot pyramid opposite the entrance which represented the 433,754 ounces of gold produced in Nova Scotia until 1889 reminded everyone of the importance of gold mining in the province.15 Regardless of the other attributes of the province of Nova Scotia, the economic minerals and their industrial potential were the foundation for the identity being created and displayed during the years that Honeyman curated the province's museum. Honeyman died in 1889, however, and without his guidance the museum stagnated. This was exacerbated by the economic depression of the 1890s: during these lean years, Nova Scotia's government had little extra to spend on a museum about which it had always been ambivalent.16 The late 1890s, however, brought renewed prosperity and the provincial government found the 14. Honeyman, "Report 1871," 52. 15. Blakeley, Glimpses of Halifax, 65. 16. Acheson, "National Policy,"; James Bickerton, Nova Scotia, Ottawa and the Politics of Regional Development (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990) 35-63; and Kris E. Inwood, "Maritime Industrialization from 1870 to 1910: A Review of the Evidence and Its Interpretation," Acadiensis 21, 1 (Autumn 1991): 132-155. 41 resources to embark on an expanded museum and a new library. The museum was relocated, a provincial science library was established at the urging of the Institute of Science and the Mining Society, and Harry Piers, who was appointed as the new director of the museum in 1899, was given the post of Science Librarian. Under the directorship of Harry Piers, the museum both reached its apogee as the semiophore for Nova Scotia's industrial potential and became a very different institution. The nature and reasons for the changes in the museum during the later years of Piers' tenure are discussed in chapter five in conjunction with the discussion on the impact of the professionalization of science on museums and museum workers. But Piers did make two small changes in his first year, both of which, in the end, strengthened the image of Nova Scotia as an industrial paradise. Piers' first act as director of the museum was to pack up the collection and move it to its new home. In the process of doing this, he took the opportunity to turn the museum into a "real Provincial Museum"17 by removing and placing in storage all of the non-Nova Scotia, or foreign specimens, that David Honeyman had gathered. Honeyman's contacts with scientists from throughout the British Isles and Europe had brought to his collections donations and exchanges from around the world. Collections usually contain various threads, subsidiary meanings or even conflicting images,18 and for Honeyman, science, and therefore his museum collection, was much more than an aid to industry and the economy. As the embodiment of the stereotypical rmeteenm-century natural historian, ie. a Christian cleric whose pursuit of science was directly 17. Dr. A.H. MacKay, "President's Address," Transactions 10, 3 (1900-01): lvi. Emphasis mine. 18. See Brigham, Public Culture, 57-64. 42 related to his religious beliefs, Honeyman believed that a better understanding of the world God created would bring humankind closer to God. Geology was the most popular of sciences in the first half of the century because it was seen to be the most able to show God's work. Geology, Honeyman and many of his contemporaries believed, could prove the truth of the Christian Scriptures and the geological collection was the semiophore, for that truth.19 Thus, Honeyman's acquisition of specimens from around the world did not detract from the display of Nova Scotia's economic minerals but added another layer of meaning to the exhibits. Piers, however, whose scientific interests and reputation were much more local, and whose religious beliefs were less elemental than Honeyman's, considered the foreign specimens to be simply extraneous to a display of Nova Scotia's industrial potential. In changing the museum to focus solely on Nova Scotia, Piers' effectively tightened the link between the collection and the cultivation of a purely industrial identity for Nova Scotia. The second change that Piers made early in his administration was to add four new departments to the museum's collecting and display areas: agriculture, horticulture, silviculture and industrial products. Despite Piers' contention that the museum was now a "commercial' museum, thereby giving it a "wider sphere of usefulness," only the scope of the collections had been altered;20 the essence of the museum and its primary message remained the same. The 19. Carl Berger, Science, God and Nature in Victorian Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983); and Frank M Turner, Between Science and Religion: The Reaction to Scientific Naturalism in Late Victorian England(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974). On the juxtaposition of religion and science in the museum see Brigham, Public Culture, 44-45. See also Susan Pearce, On Collecting, 102-107, on pre-modern, Christian theological roots of collecting the material world. 2 0. Piers, Report 1900, 4. On the commercial museum see, George Brown Goode, "Principles of Museum Administration" in Report of Proceedings Sixth Annual General Meeting, Museums Association (1895): 99-100; and Robert W. Rydell, World of Fairs: The Century-of-Progress Expositions (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1993): 31-35, on the Philadelphia Commercial Museum. 43 addition of agriculture, horticulture and silviculture highlighted Nova Scotia's potential in areas other than economic minerals, while the addition of industrial products suggested that the province's potential was being realized through the establishment of local industry. Thus, the collections remained the semiophore for the industrial identity which Nova Scotians wished to project. That the cultivation of this identity was not simply the dream of one or two men, or even of the small group of scientists known as the Nova Scotian Institute of Science, is demonstrated by the relationship of the museum to the rest of the government bureaucracy. When it was founded in 1868, the museum was placed under the jurisdiction of the Commission of Public Works and Mines, and both Honeyman and Piers were technically civil servants. The first three annual reports, submitted by David Honeyman between 1871 and 1873, were appended to the Mines Report in the Journals of the House of Assembly. Harry Piers' annual reports were addressed to the Commissioner, and later the Minister, of Public Works and Mines, or his deputies. Thus, the shape which the museum took, its collecting mandate, and its service mandate, must be seen as having been accomplished with the assent of the government, even if that assent was, at times, indicated through a lack of dissent. The industrial identity must also have been part of the government's consideration in hiring directors. Honeyman had been appointed because of his scientific reputation, his knowledge of Nova Scotian geology, and his proven ability at the international exhibitions. Piers, although lacking an international scientific reputation, was hired for his knowledge of museum practices and of geology acquired during his years as Honeyman's volunteer assistant. Proof that their geological knowledge was important to the government comes from the fact that both, in 44 their capacity as employees of the department of mines, were utilised for tasks beyond the museum. Piers' annual reports always include comments on his capacity as identifier of mineral specimens for mine owners and the public alike. They also often include reports of trips he made throughout the province in order to identify rocks or minerals in situ, to consider the potential of the site, or to ascertain possible problems.21 Arranged for him by the department of mines as a government service provided for the rnining companies, these visits were an integral part of his job as director of the museum and keeper of the province's industrial identity. Piers also continued Honeyman's tradition of exhibiting Nova Scotia outside of the confines of the museum's walls. Once the museum had been established, Honeyman had used the permanent collections to build displays for use at international exhibitions, eliminating the need to gather material separately for each exhibition. Piers was never as keen a traveller as Honeyman had been but he did take an exhibit of economic minerals to the 1907 Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition in Norfolk, Virginia, and to the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in 1908.22 Even after these duties ceased, he retained his fourth official position as caretaker of the Mining Building at the Provincial Exhibition. Prior to the erection of a separate building for rnining on the exhibition grounds, Piers had merely to put up a small display in one of the other buildings. After 1906, he was forced to put his wife or one of his sisters in charge of the museum for six to eight weeks from August to October every year in order to clean up, arrange and oversee the 2 1. See, for instance, Piers, Report 1906,6-8, for a report on his visit to a tin mine in Lunenburg Co. 2 2. Piers reported of his exhibit in Toronto that "it did much to advertise the resources of our province in the central section of Canada and to draw attention to our mineral deposits as a field for the investment of capital." Piers, Report 1908,3. See, Piers, Report 1907,1-5, on his trip to Jamestown; and Harry Piers, Diaries, 6 July-21 December 1907, and 10 August-30 September 1908, MG 1, Piers Papers, v. 1046, PANS. 45 exhibits in the Mining Building, most of which were commercial exhibits.23 Piers was also required to provide information on how to apply for mineral rights in the province, for which purpose he prepared a pamphlet to hand-out or send to any requestors. Not only was the provmcially-iunded museum an advertisement for investment possibilities in the province, it was a clearinghouse for government information on how to take advantage of those possibilities. That the government acquiesced in and encouraged the cultivation of an industrial, and particularly rnining, identity for the province of Nova Scotia is difficult to dispute. The Nova Scotian government did all that it could to encourage industry and economic growth in the province. But even the establishment of a Technical College in 1910 did nothing to hide the fact that by 1911 the industrial dream was dead24 Not only had it become clear that Nova Scotia would never be the industrial heartland of Canada, the province was already in the throes of what economic historians have called 'deindustrialization'.25 The 1880s were seen as the "golden age' as prosperity became a tiling of the past. Although Harry Piers continued to employ the Victorian rhetoric of industrialism and progress when speaking of his museum, the museum's collection of economic minerals had become semiophores for a lost dream. In the next few years, it slowly metamorphosed into a different collection and a new institution. 2 3; Piers complained that the new Mines Building on the exhibition grounds was too small and that a "building the size of that devoted to fisheries, would have been more suited to our requirements, and more in keeping with the importance of rnining in Nova Scotia, it being the principal industry of the province." Piers, Report 1906, 2. 2 4. The Provincial Museum was rehoused in 1910 on the ground floor of the new Technical College. 2 5. Acheson, "National Policy;" Bickerton, Politics of Regional Development; Janet Guildford, "Coping with De-lhdustrialization: The Nova Scotia Department of Technical Education, 1907-1930," Acadiensis 16, 2 (Spring 1987): 69-84; and Inwood, "Maritime Industrialization." 46 Art, Archaeology, and the New World: Province-Building at the Ontario Provincial Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum The stories of the Ontario Provincial Museum and the Royal Ontario Museums, and their roles in defining a provincial identity, are much more complex than that of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia. Products of the same middle-class improving urge, the OPM and the ROM both exhibited the same nmeteenm-century belief in the economic, educational, and social utility of viewing objects. However, unlike Nova Scotia's museum, which was created as a single institution backed by a single constituency (the Institute of Science) and run by a single director, both the Ontario Provincial Museum and the ROM were created out of diverse collections which had been built up over time by different people; indeed, the ROM was, for the first 43 years of its existence, a grouping of five separately-directed museums. The subsidiary meanings within the various collections, plus the tensions and contradictions created by the diversity of their origins, made the relationship of these collections to the 'invisible' less clearcut than that of Nova Scotia's collections of rocks and minerals. The identities defined by them wavered, changed shape, and, particularly in the case of the ROM, were never monolithic. Nonetheless, at each point one identity dominated and it was the identity cultivated by Charles T. Currelly's Old World art and archaeology collections which brought the ROM into being despite the province already having a public museum. In fact, despite the middle-class origins of the desire to establish museums, it was the collections which appealed to the cultural aspirations of Toronto's very wealthy, the collections which allowed them to perceive of Toronto as an international metropolitan centre comparable to London, Paris or New York, which ensured the ROM victory in the struggle for the financial and moral support of the province. The Ontario Provincial Museum had its roots in the Normal School approved by the 47 Canadian legislature in 1849 and built in 1851.26 The architectural plans for the new school included rooms for a school of art and design to be supported by a museum. In 1853, the legislature voted Egerton Ryerson, the colony's Superintendent of Education, £500 per annum in order to purchase books and objects for the library and museum. Ryerson promptly acquired a book collection and a number of natural history specimens. The real collecting effort, however, began in 1855, when Ryerson travelled to Europe to study educational methods and to gather "copies of noted paintings and plaster casts of the great works of sculpture."27 Over the next two years, during two trips to Europe, Ryerson collected over 2,000 objets dart, most of them in reproduction. In 1857, Ryerson had the honour of opening the Normal School Museum as a public museum of fine arts. As the first public museum in the new colony of Canada,28 the Normal School Museum's role in defining that place and its people was of great importance. The identity which Ryerson sought for Canada, the invisible of which his collections were a semiophore, placed the colony firmly within the British Empire. Unlike the Nova Scotia museum which used its collection to 2 6 . On the history of the OPM, see J.R Dymond, History of the Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology (Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1940), especially, J.H. Fleming, "The Normal and Model Schools of Toronto and Their Relationship to the Provincial Museum," 42-44; F. Henry Johnson," Colonial Canadian in Search of a Museum," Queen's Quarterly 11, 2 (Summer 1970): 217-230; Johnson, "The Fate of Canada's First Art Museum," Queen's Quarterly 78,2 (Summer 1971): 241-249; and Killan, David Boyle. John C. Carter, "Ryerson, Hodgins, and Boyle: Early Innovators in Ontario School Museums," Ontario History 86,2 (June 1994): 119-123, provides some background on the museum, although his focus is the educational theory on which these three men attempted to base a system of school museums. Fern Bayer, The Ontario Collection (Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1984), discusses the gathering and fate of Ryerson's fine art collections. 2 1 . Johnson, "Colonial Canadian", 219. Bayer, The Ontario Collection, 13, argues that the collection of fine art in reproduction collected in 1855 was an abrupt change to Ryerson's original plan of a natural history museum She describes his European collecting trips on pages 13-25. 2 8 . Johnson, "Colonial Canadian," 216. 48 identify the province's present and thereby give the province a future, Ryerson's collection was about defining place by laying claim to a past. But that past was not the past of that place. Rather, as Bennett has argued of early attempts to historicize Australia, the colonial past lacked autonomy and instead "refer[red] itself to, and [sought] anchorage and support in, the deeper pasts of Europe."29 The reproductions of great art formed a collection which supported an imperial nationalism30 and linked the new place called Canada to a long history of great civilizations through her ties to Britain. Except for the purchase of some works from the newly-formed Ontario Society of Artists,31 prior to the turn of the century, little effort was made to encourage a local art scene, which might have identified the province as a place apart from Britain. Nor does there seem to have been much work put into the natural history side of the collection, which could have presented both the differences and the similarities between Ontario and Britain. But Ryerson's museum was not destined to be the final word on the Canadian or Ontario identity. The Canadian Institute, a Toronto-based scientific and literary society formed in 1849, included the formation of a museum in its constitution. A few archaeological specimens had been gathered but they languished, uncatalogued and uncared for, until 1884 when David Boyle, autodidact, ex-school teacher and amateur archaeologist, donated his archaeological collection of over 900 specimens to the Institute and thereby ensured his election to the post of curator. 2 9. Bennett, Birth of the Museum, 140. 3 0. Carl Berger, The Sense of Power (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970). 3 1. See Bayer, The Ontario Collection, 40-65, for the story of the Ontario government's purchases from and relationship with the Ontario Society of Artists. 49 Despite an infusion of natural history specimens into the collection in 1885,32 David Boyle focussed his own work and the collection on the archaeology and ethnology of Ontario. Not only did he attract donors of specimens and funds for fieldwork, he established the foundation of archaeology in the province. Arguing that a provincially-fiinded program of archaeology should be set up and run through the Canadian Institute, he described the work that needed to be done, how it should be done, and what the necessary funding should be. In 1887, the provincial government agreed to provide a grant of one thousand dollars per year for this project and to publish an archaeological report.33 Although the collections remained in the Canadian Institute's museum for nine more years, from 1887, they belonged to the provincial government. Boyle, nominally an employee of the Institute, became answerable ultimately to the Minister of Education. The archaeological report, which was continued until 1928, described the fieldwork carried out on the grant, and also included lists of new donations to the Institute's museum, articles by amateur archaeologists in the province and the occasional article by archaeologists from elsewhere interested in Ontario. The merger in 1896 of the remains of the Normal School Museum and Boyle's archaeological collections brought together all of the Ontario government's archaeological, scientific, and art collections in the new mird floor of the School as the Ontario Provincial 3 2. The Natural History Society of Toronto merged with the Canadian Institute in 1885 to form the biological section of the Institute. Not only did the new members add their natural history collections to the Institute's museum, they guaranteed the loan needed to put a third floor on the Institute's building in order to house that museum. Killan, David Boyle, 90-91. 3 3. Killan, David Boyle, 88-100. 50 Museum.34 Boyle, who from 1894 had been directly responsible to the Minister of Education, was, in November 1896, appointed curator of the archaeological section of the new museum. This was by no means the ideal situation that Boyle had hoped it would be. He had to put up with the constant interference of George Ross, the Minister of Education,35 and, without a director to administer the funding or to preside over the allocation of space, the curators of the different departments were left to fight amongst themselves. The varying levels of competency between the curators compounded the situation and the museum soon became a disorganized embarassment. In 1901, the new Minister of Education, Richard Harcourt, attempted to rectify the situation by appointing Boyle as the Superintendent of the museum. Although this stabilized the institution, it did so at the expense of the art and natural science sections which quickly took second place to Boyle's own interest in archaeology, and set the tone for the remainder of the museum's existence as a museum of Ontario archaeology.36 34'. Killan, David Boyle, 146. Dymond follows Fleming in claiming that the museum was not officially given the status of 'Provincial' until 1906. Dymond, ROM of Zoology, 6; Fleming, "Normal and Model Schools of Toronto," 44. Boyle himself seems to have variously used the names frovincial Museum and Ontario Archaeological Museum I have chosen to follow Killan. Boyle to Mr. Hathaway, Warwick Bros. andRutter, Printers, 20 May 1908, SC 1, b.3, ROMLA; and Ontario, Annual Archaeological Report, Being Part of the Appendix to the Report of the Minister of Education, Ontario, (hereafter referred to as Archaeological Report), (1900): 2. 3 5. Killan, David Boyle, 174. 3 6. Bayer, The Ontario Collection, 48-50, claims that a Dr. S. Passmore May succeeded John George Hodgins as Superintendent of Ryerson's Education Museum and did not retire until 1905, at which point Boyle was appointed his successor. Killan makes no mention of May or his retirement as the catalyst for Boyle's aprx>intment, but his evidence makes it clear that Boyle was appointed in 1901 and took up his position in early 1902. Killan, David Boyle, 209-211. Ryerson's art collection and the natural science, or biological, collections were both still a part of the museum William Brodie, who Boyle hired to care for the biological collections was appointed the Provincial Biologist in 1903. Yet these were overshadowed by the archaeological side of the museum, especially because of the publication of the Archaeological Report, which was the only published information on the work of the museum. At the same time, the Ontario Historical Society was pressuring the government to establish an historical museum. Gerald Killan, Preserving Ontario's Heritage: A History of the Ontario Historical Society (Ottawa: Ontario Historical 51 Like Ryerson's collection of great art, Boyle's archaeological collection was about defining Ontario's past. But, rather than imposing a European past on the province, Boyle used a European model to create a unique Ontario past. Essentially, Boyle appropriated the native past, turning it into Ontario's, or Canada's, stone age, and the natives into the equivalent of Britain's Celts and Picts. Boyle's wish for a provincial museum stemmed from a desire to halt the expropriation of Ontario's native artefacts to the US and Britain.37 Publicity for the museum would, he hoped, "prevent mercenary transactions in Indian relics for disposal beyond the province."38 In arguing that those artefacts belonged in Ontario rather than elsewhere, Boyle was both staking out a territory and claiming all that was found in that territory, including the past of other cultures, as Ontario's own. Sainte Marie, the Jesuit stronghold in Huronia, became for Boyle Ontario's ancient edifice, the equivalent of Europe's ancient castles, keeps, or feudal mansions, and therefore as worthy of being "kept in repair and jealously guarded from tourist vandals as well as from the ravages of time" as anything on the British islands of Lindisfarne or Iona. Sainte Marie was particularly important to Boyle's chronology because, he argued, it "forms a closely connecting link through the French, between ourselves and the Hurons."39 It was the visible and tangible connector between the "invisible' native past and the European present. The collection which Boyle gathered bore out this view of his use of the native past. The focus of the collection was the material remains of the natives of the province: pipe heads and Society, 1976): 106-113. 3 7. Killan, David Boyle, 87; and Archaeological Report, (1886-87): 14-15. 38. Archaeological Report, (1886-87): 15. 39. Archaeological Report, (1890-91): 19. 52 stems, pottery, clay cups, war clubs, strings of beads, carved bone, carved stone, bone needles, arrow heads, stone axes, gouges and chisels, iron knives and tomahawks were among the many types of artefacts Boyle gathered from other collectors and from the various archaeological digs for which his provincial funding paid. However, in order to put these artefacts, and thus the people who made them, into a broader context, he collected objects from around the world. The collection contained artefacts from natives groups elsewhere in Canada such as the Blood of the North West Territories, as well as those from those who inhabited, or had inhabited, the land now comprising much of the United States of America. Nor did Boyle stop at the edges of the continent: Lieutenant Frederick Hamilton who was a correspondent for the Toronto Globe during the Boer War collected ethnological artefacts in Africa for the Ontario Provincial Museum.40 But perhaps the most telling artefacts collected were those of European origin. Not only did Boyle include artefacts of the pioneer days of Ontario; he also accepted for the collection "some fragments of Samian ware and two specimens of Roman stylus (all dug up in the city of London...)." The value of these illustrations of Europe's ancient past were the opportunity they "afforded us to compare equivalents of the two continents."41 Comparison with objects from Europe would show that Ontario had a similar past, but one which was all her own. Boyle, like the other men discussed here, did not consciously set out to create an identity for Ontario. He set out to establish an educational and scientific museum. As a serious student of Ontarian archaeology himself, he hoped to interest others in the subject, and comparative material would give greater value to their studies of Ontarian objects. He was also quite honestly 40. Archaeological Report (1900): 1; and Jean Cannizzo, Into the Heart of Africa (Toronto: ROM, 1989): 26. 41. Archaeological Report (1887-88): 12. 53 concerned that the native material be saved, both from foreign exportation and from wilful destruction or negligence. He involved himself in native affairs and was a frequent, and by his account welcome, visitor to the Grand River Reserve near Brantford, Ontario.42 But his concern for the welfare of the natives' material culture stemmed primarily from his subscription to the common belief that, as an inferior race, the Indian' must necessarily disappear or be "civilized'43 He was not anxious that the objects be saved in order to maintain a foundation for native culture, but in order to allow European Ontarians to maintain a link with "their1 past. The past that Boyle's collection gave Ontario, as ancient and venerable as Europe's, might well have served to create an identity for Ontario separate from the Empire by making it a place unto itself. However, like Egerton Ryerson, Boyle was an imperial nationalist. Killan writes of him: Canada's future as a nation, he believed, lay within the matrix of the Empire, and he generally sympathized with most of the schemes-whether commercial, political, cultural, or military in nature-that promised to bring about closer imperial ties.44 In his work with the Ontario Historical Society, Boyle emphasized the use of facts to instruct children in their British-Canadian identity and indoctrinate them in imperial patriotism. Defining a past for Ontario which was different from Europe was not meant to sever the province's ties to the Empire. Rather, it was meant to show the lightness of Ontario's place in the Empire 4 2. See accounts of the various festivals he was permitted to observe on the reserve, in Archaeological Report (1898): 82-135. 4 3. See, for instance, David Boyle, "Mixed Blood," and "Disease," in Archaeological Report (1898): 167-68 & 189-96; and Boyle, "On the Paganism of the Civilized Iroquois of Ontario," in Archaeological Report (1901): 115-125. See also Berger, Science, God and Nature, 41. 4 4. Killan, David Boyle, 163. Piers was also an imperial nationalist but that side of his character does not seem to have manifested itself in his museum. 54 through drawing out the similarities between Britain's past and Ontario's past.45 The extent to which a museum collection shapes an identity, rather than simply reflecting it, is certainly debatable. The power of a group of objects, seen only by a small fraction of the population, to define a whole people must be limited. Thus, the role that the fate of the Ontario Provincial Museum played in the history of Ontario is impossible to measure. Nonetheless, the identity of Ontarians through much of the twentieth century has less in common with Boyle's paternalistic, imperial nationalism than with the identity represented in the Ontario Provincial Museum's successor, the Royal Ontario Museum. Although Ontarians have shared with Boyle a deep-seated need to differentiate themselves from their neighbour to the south, and have often done so through emphasizing their continued ties to Britain and the Commonwealth, they have also tended to equate the province of Ontario with the whole country of Canada,46 and have claimed status for Canada, and thereby for Ontario, as a major power in the world in her own right.47 This was the Ontario for which the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum were a semiophore, and, indeed, it was the creation of a collection which signified Canada's status as a country "equal' to Britain or the USA which brought the ROM into existence and determined the end of the Ontario Provincial Museum. It comes as no surprise that a new Ontarian identity would have been created, and 4 5. Implicit in imperial ideology and evolutionary theory in museum arrangements was the notion of social order. See Brigham, Public Culture, 122-144; and Coombes, "Museums and the Formation of Identities," 61. 46'. Allan Smith, "Old Ontario and the Emergence of a National Frame of Mind," in F.H. Armstrong, HA. Stevenson and J.D. Wilson, eds., Aspects of Nineteenth-Century Ontario: Essays presented to JJ. Talman (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974): 194-217. 4 7 This has been particularly true since the Second World War, but already prior to the war Ontarians and Canadians were asserting their independence and separateness from Britain. 55 supported, at this point in the province's history. The tensions and contradictions between Ryerson's vision and Boyle's, and between the OPM and the ROM, are part of a larger, ongoing debate over Ontario's identity. But, the establishment of the ROM came at a time when the province was being remade. During the late 19th and early twentieth century Ontario was province-building, expanding its borders to include more territory and creating the "New Ontario'. The cultivation of a more sophisticated provincial identity was commensurate with the larger vision of the province's destiny alive at the time. Officially constituted in 1912, the ROM, like the OPM, had its origins in a number of disparate collections.48 The natural history collections were begun in 1853 when William Hincks defeated T.H. Huxley in the race for the newly-created Chair of Natural History at the University of Toronto. He immediately began to purchase specimens of birds, mammals, shells and insects. In 1856, the University Senate voted to assume control of Hincks' collections and they officially became part of the University. Over the years, the collections grew, as professors and students gathered specimens during their research. Individual, and sometimes quite valuable, collections of shells, dried plants, Canadian minerals and fossils were either donated to the university or purchased by it. A fire in University College in 1890 destroyed portions of what had become known as the Biological Museum, but the dedication of a number of interested individuals ensured their speedy renewal. As the university itself grew, and the Chair of Natural History endured to become departments of biology, mineralogy and petrography, and geology, the 4 8. On the history of the ROM, see Currelly, / Brought the Ages Home; Dickson, Museum-Makers; Dymond, ROM of Zoology; Madeleine Fritz, Outline ofthe History and Development ofthe Royal Ontario Museum of Palaeontology ([Toronto: ROM], 1939); E.S. Moore, History of the Royal Ontario Museum of Geology ([Toronto: University of Toronto Press], 1939); and A.L. Parsons, The Royal Ontario Museum of Palaeontology, University of Toronto Studies, Geology series, no. 42 ([Toronto: University of Toronto Press], 1939). 56 different aspects of the collections became museums in their own right, housed and cared for by their corresponding university departments. However, although there is evidence that the public was admitted to the Biological Museum, at least, the collections were maintained primarily for teaching purposes. It was Byron Edmund (later Sir Edmund) Walker who saw a greater potential for these collections.49 An avid collector himself, Walker was a keen advocate of art, education, science and museums. His work with the Toronto Guild of Civic Art and the Toronto Art Gallery, in the 1890s and early 1900s, lead to his appointment, in 1906, to the federal Arts Advisory Council, a body which advised on the National Gallery.50 He was involved with the Canadian Institute and stood as its president for the year 1899-1900. But his fondest dream, like that of David Boyle, was the establishment of a first-rate provincial museum in Ontario. His visits to the great museums in New York had fueled a dream for Toronto and, despite his reliance on the rhetoric of education in calling for public expenditure on museums, it is clear that his desire for a museum in Ontario stemmed, at least in part, from his cultural nationalism. Toronto, he believed, was capable of providing a museum comparable to anything in New York.51 Walker's dream was 4 9. On Walker, see G.P. de T. Glazebrook, Sir Edmund Walker (London: Oxford University Press, 1933); and Dickson, Museum Makers, 8-12. . 5 0. Ellen Louise Ramsay, The Promotion of the Fine Arts in Canada, 1880-1924: The Development of Art Patronage and the Formation of Public Policy, Ph.D., University College, London, 1987: 193-203, 220-230, & 252-253. Walker chaired the Advisory Arts Council from 1910-1924. 5 1. Walker never made the comparison between Toronto and New York directly, but he did make it clear that he felt museums were essential to modem society, that Canada was wealthy enough to bear the cost of establishing museums, and that the Dominion and provincial governments were not doing enough in the way of museums. I accept Dickson's contention that Walker's ideal of a museum was formed during his time in New York and that in establishing a museum in Ontario he was ''aiming at a museum that would be comparable with those he had haunted in New York." Dickson, Museum Makers, 12. See also, B.E. Walker, Canadian Surveys and Museums and the Need of Increased Expenditure Thereon, reprinted 57 to combine the best of the collections already in existence, both Boyle's archaeological collections and the natural history collections of the University of Toronto, to create that museum. Walker had made clear his stance on the existing Provincial Museum, in 1901. When Boyle was appointed Superintendent of the Museum, Walker and a number of other prominent citizens were asked to corroborate Boyle's negative assessment of the state of the Museum. All of the men agreed with Boyle that the museum was in a pitiful state, but Walker's assessment was the most radical: My advice is ... advance and develop as far as possible the one good thing you have, the Archaeological and Ethnological Department, and get rid of the rest. In this Department you can do something which will bring credit to all concerned.52 "Getting rid of the rest of the Provincial Museum was not a practical solution in 1901. The government had just spent money on it, and, as Killan points out, it did have a place in the cultural life of the province.53 Nor was there any alternative to it at that point. Walker, however, was attempting to provide an alternative. When, in 1904, plans were begun to add a new wing to the University's Mining Building in order to house the Museum of Mineralogy and Geology, Walker managed to convince the interested parties to instead throw their lot in with him and a new provincial museum. He also, as the probable author of the 1906 report of the Royal Commission on the University of Toronto, recommended the speedy establishment of a museum at the university, both the costs and privileges of which would be shared with the general public from the Proceedings of the Canadian Institute, 1899 (Toronto: Murray Rinting, 1900). 5 2. Quoted in Killan, David Boyle, 210. The other reviewers were Charles Caniff James, Dr. William Brodie, a prominent naturalist, and John Ross Robertson of the Toronto Telegram. 5 3. Killan, David Boyle, 211. 58 of the province.54 This museum would be the provincial museum and could incorporate both the existing university collections and the archaeological collections of the OPM. The events related to museum building in Ontario in the years 1905-1912 are confusing and often seem contradictory. For instance, having agreed to enact legislation to put into effect all of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the University of Toronto, a promise which ostensibly included the recommmendation for a new public museum55, the government simultaneously raised the annual appropriation of the existing Provincial Museum, allowing Boyle to hire new staff, upgrade exhibits and generally make the institution "more vital and thoroughly professional."56 The recommendations for the university were implemented without, apparently, establishing another museum; Walker probably despaired of ever seeing his dream come true. It probably would not have come true had it not been for the introduction of a new player into the game at that time. Charles Trick Currelly and his Old World art and archaeological collections garnered support for a new museum where Walker and the Ontario collections could not: among Toronto's wealthy.57 Currelly was a graduate of Victoria College who had travelled to England in 1902 to meet Prince Kropotkin for introductions to the Anarchist party of Europe in hopes of writing his doctorate on the subject. While there, he was introduced to Sir Flinders Petrie who invited him 5 4. Dickson, Museum Makers, 11-12. See also Ontario, Royal Cornrnission on the University of Toronto, Report of the Royal Commission on the University of Toronto (Toronto: King's Printer, 1906). 5 5. Dickson, Museum Makers, 12. The legislation was passed in May 1906 and went into effect 15 June 1906. 5 6. Killan, David Boyle, 217. 5 1. In his broader vision for a museum, Walker was an atypical member of Toronto's wealthy. 59 to join the Egyptian Exploration Fund's archaeological digs. He quickly abandonned the anarchist project and began his life's work as an archaeologist. On his brief visit home in 1905, Currelly met Walker and they discussed plans for a museum. This meeting was to be particularly significant for, the following year, friends of Walker visited Currelly on a dig in Egypt. Excited by Currelly's work, Edmund Osier and H.D. Warren58 agreed, on the spot, to provide the fifteen hundred dollars Currelly needed to add colour to a duplicate cast of a portion of wall-reliefs he was making for the Toronto museum'. This was only the first of many donations Osier and Warren were to make to the ROM over the years. An exhibition of his collections in Toronto in 1906 and his growing reputation convinced the university's Board of Governors to give Currelly the title of Curator of Oriental Archaeology and provide him with a salary and an acquisition fund to begin collecting for the university.59 He resigned from the Egyptian Exploration Fund and began to collect full-time. Walker, sensing that things might finally be underway, began consulting with an architect on museum plans. Walker's speeches to scientific organizations, his public and private lobbying of influential people in the city, and the lobbying by the curators of the university's natural history collections kept the issue of a museum alive. But it was the exhibition in 1909 of the artefacts collected so far that sealed the fate of Currelly's collections, and hence, of Walker's proposed museum. Osier, a prominent member of the Conservative party, encouraged members of the government to attend, and the exhibition convinced many of Toronto's monied class that here was a collection worth 5 8. Osier and Warren were more typical members of their class, not having entered the museum debate until the question of funding spectacular Old World art and archaeological collections arose. 5 9. Maurice Dutton, President pro tempore, University of Toronto, to Charles Currelly, 19 July 1906, SC3, b.l, f.4, ROMLA. 60 supporting, here was the makings of a museum of which they could be proud. Walker prodded the university's Board of Governors into sending a committee to discuss with the Premier the possibility of jointly funding a museum with the university. Osier, who as a member of the Board of Governors was one of the three committee members, told Whitney to agree to the proposal, assuring him that whatever monies the legislature refused would be paid for out of his own pocket. Faced with that sort of encouragement, Whitney had no choice but to agree to the establishment of a new museum for the province. Currelly was given a ten thousand dollar grant from the province and university to collect, to which Osier added another ten thousand per year for five years and Z.A. Lash, another member of the Board of Governors, added five thousand per year for three years. Sigmund Samuel and Mrs. H.D. Warren also began, at this point, their long histories of donating funds to the R O M 6 0 The events of 1909 ensured the establishment of the R O M Huge amounts of money were handed to Currelly and from that point on he was refused almost nothing. Work on the building began in 1910, and the Museum Act was given royal assent on 16 April 1912. The new museums were opened by Canada's Governor General, the Duke of Connaught, on 19 March 1914.61 But the events of 1909 also make clear why this museum was established. No amount of lobbying on the part of Walker, Boyle, or the professors in charge of the university's natural history 6 0. The previous two paragraphs are summarised from Dickson, Museum Mothers, 12-28; and Currelly, I Brought the Ages Home, 29-42 & 125-135. 6 1. Ontario, "An Act to provide for the Establishment of a Provincial Museum" The five component museums were established through by-laws of the new umbrella institution: the ROM of Archaeology on 12 November 1912; the ROMs of Geology, Mineralogy and Palaeontology on 3 April 1913; and the ROM of Natural History, later renamed the ROM of Zoology, in October 1913. See Minutes, Board of Trustees, Royal Ontario Museums (hereafter Board-ROM), 26 November 1912,3 April 1913, and 16 October 1913, RG1A, b.l, v.l,ROMLA. 61 collections had swayed the government or the province's wealthy in the way that a viewing of the collection of Old World art and archaeology did.62 Currelly's collection, which was quite literally comparable to anything available in New York, Paris, or London, promised to put Toronto on the cultural map in ways that Boyle's, A.P. Coleman's, Arthur Parks', T.L. Walker's, and Ramsay Wright's collections of local archaeological and natural history specimens never would, regardless of their excellence.63 Currelly's collection was a return to Ryerson's imposition of a European past on Ontario, but where Ryerson had focussed on relatively modern European art, Currelly was collecting the material remains of the ancient cultures. What now went on display in Toronto was a tangible, visible link to the 'cradle of civilization'.64 The financial value of the artefacts and their spectacular nature gave Ontario a sophistication which Ryerson's copies and casts could not. Ontario was now not simply another place in the Empire, but a place unto itself, and equal to Britain. This would suggest that the collection was not simply about defining 6 2. See Curtis M Hinsley, "From Shell-Heaps to Stelae: Early Anthropology at the Peabody Museum," in Stocking, Objects and Others, 49-74, for a similar experience. Levine also notes the tensions between British archaeology and eastern archaeology, pointing out that "the activities of barrow diggers and Roman numismatists tended to attract less attention than the exotic and sensational finds unearthed in Mesopotamia." Philipa Levine, The Amateur and the Professional: Antiquarians, Historians, and Archaeologists in Victorian England, 1838-1886 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986): 5, 93, & 122. 6 3. Coleman, Parks, T.L. Walker and Wright were the respective curators of the University of Toronto's Geology, Palaeontology, Mineralogy and Biological museums. Coleman, Parks, and T.L. Walker become the directors of their respective museums within the ROM Wright died just after the ROM was established and his successor in the Biology l>partment, B.A. Bensley, became the Director of the Museum of Natural History. T.L. Walker was no relation to Sir Edmund. On the elite preference for art and archaeology, over natural history, see David Elliston Allen, The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History (London: Allen Lane, 1976): 163-64; and Levine, Amateur and Professional, 64. 6 4. See also Bennett, Birth of the Museum, 76-77, on the extension of historical time~"deeper past"--and the use of history to "nation" the population especially through the annexation of universal history to national history in order to represent the nation as the "outcome and culmination of the universal story of civilization's development." 62 Ontario's past or present; it was about defining her destiny. The science museums, which, in their collections of natural history, geology and mineralogy, defined a present and a future not unlike that of Nova Scotia's industrial dream, were completely overshadowed by both the spectacular nature of Currelly's collections (and his promises of more and better should the money come available) and by the glorious past which they provided Ontario. B.E. Walker had played on the excitement generated by Qirrelly's collections to push the government into establishing a new, first-rate, provincial museum. The result, however, was not exactly as he had planned. Walker had envisioned merging the collections of the University of Toronto with the archaeological and ethnological collections of Boyle's OPM. Indeed, the Museum Act of 1912 provided for the transfer of the OPMs objects under the direction of, and according to the terms and conditions prescribed by, the Lieutenant-Governor.65 But, when the dust had settled and the ROM was open for business, not only did the OPM still exist as a separate entity, it also had a new director: Dr. Rowland B. Orr had been appointed to the position in 1911, after the death of David Boyle. Not until 1933, when Dr. Orr died, did the Ontario government finally close down the OPM and transfer its collections to the R O M 6 6 The ROM had come into being because of the cultural aspirations of Toronto's monied. The provincial government had given no indication that it shared the dream of Boyle and Walker for a first-rate museum for the province and had Currelly not appeared with his spectacle it is unlikely that the government would have been convinced. However, Toronto had reached a stage 6 5. Ontario, "Act to provide for the Establishment of a Museum," #13. 6 6. The picture galleries in the Education Museum, or OPM, were closed in 1912 and the collections, which included Ryerson's collections of copies and casts plus the purchases of the Ontario government from the Ontario Society of Artists, were dispersed to the five Normal Schools in the province. Bayer, The Ontario Collection, 2 & 64-65. 63 in its development at which it could afford a cultural spectacle in its museum and also one at which that was desired. Security and prosperity allowed Toronto's wealthy to consider the same aspects of their nature which had given rise to the great art museums of the USA in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and in the same manner. Given this, the real question remains, not "why did the government establish the ROM when a provincial museum already existed?" but "why did the OPM continue to exist after the ROM was established?" To some extent the answer is simply that Toronto, and Ontario, had, by 1912, grown large enough to require a range of institutions in order to serve the many and varied interests of a maturing community. Yet, the OPM also represented a continued disagreement among the province's middle and upper classes over what was important. The ROMs supporters may have been dominant, but they did not hold the only viewpoint on what Ontario's provincial museum should display or on what Ontario was and should be. When the closure of the Provincial Museum and the transfer of its collections to the ROM was imrninent in 1933, supporters of the OPM complained vigourously of the ROMs collections and display methods. 'Angus' noted that the ROM was expensive: If we desire to curtail expenditiire--then in Heaven's name let us cease to send highly paid curators to all the corners of the earth, and for what? To secure at fabulous cost the foreign gods of people to whom we send our missionaries ... to repudiate these same gods! After all their efforts ... we send a collector to buy them ... unscientific67: ... [the collections of the Provincial Museum] are to be taken to [the ROM], there to be chose according attractiveness for the cases... 67'. This is an interesting charge given Charles Currelly's comments on the scientific basis for his collections. See chapter two. 64 and foreign: ... let us found our progress on the studies of the ingenuity of our own past races; the simple arts of their economic existence have a greater fascination in the flashing of one humble arrowhead, than may be found in the silent gaze of any foreign god, regardless of its sponsor.68 Ontario's 'own' past, as David Boyle had defined it at the OPM, continued to have its supporters despite the prominence of the identity shaped by the Old World archaeological collections at the R O M Natural History and Natives: Imperialism, Wilderness, and the British Columbia Provincial Museum If the diversity of their collections make the Ontario museums complex and difficult to read, the British Columbia Provincial Museum is so for other reasons. Although it was, like the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia, a single institution, its collections lacked the long-term coherence or consistency which the converging interests of Honeyman and Piers gave to the Nova Scotia collections. The personal interests of the first director, Jack Fannin (1886-1904), were narrower in scope than those of the group men who had successfully petitioned for the establishment of a museum. Therefore, the museum as created differed from the museum as envisioned. The second director, Francis Kermode (1905-1940), was trained by Fannin and basically retained Fannin's style. But a changing society forced the de-emphasis of Fannin's focus, and the intervention of people interested in, but not officially connected to, the museum re-introduced one of the aspects of the original vision for the museum. Analysis of the collections 6 8. 'Angus' to Editor, Toronto Mail and Empire, 25 March 1933. A number of supporters of his point of view wrote to corroborate in the following weeks. See, for instance, E.J.C. to Editor, 5 April 1933; and E. Kelly to Editor, 29 April 1933. 65 and, therefore, of the identity being cultivated through them, is farther hampered by the lack of extant records for the period. Much of what is stated in this section is, therefore, highly speculative. But notwithstanding the lack of coherence over time, and the lack of evidence, there is much that can be gleaned from the collections of the British Columbia Provincial Museum.69 The museum, as envisioned by the elite of Victoria who originally called for its creation, resembled a combination of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia and David Boyle's Ontario Provincial Museum. In a petition addressed to the Lieutenant-Governor of the province and dated January 1886, thirty gentleman from Victoria called for the establishment of a provincial museum with a mandate to preserve specimens of the natural products and Indian Antiquities and Manufactures of the Province and to classify and exhibit the same for the information of the public.70 The petitioners agreed that "a museum where classified specimens of ores, etc., may be examined, will prove of practical benefit to the Province at large." Here again was the argument which the Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science had used to convince the Nova Scotian government to support a museum of economic minerals. The practical and economic benefits of a museum displaying minerals and ores, in a province where the exploitation of the natural resources was the pre-eminent industry, would far outweigh the costs to the government.71 The second aspect of the proposed museum, the preservation of the material culture of 6 9 . On the history of the B C Provincial Museum, see Corley-Smith, White Bears; and Corley-Smith, Ring of Time. 7 0. Quoted in Corley-Smith, White Bears, 142. 7 1 . On a less practical note, the petition argued that "a centre for investigation" of natural history would advance the "interests of that science" and gain "the attention and cooperation of naturalists of other countries." Corley-Smith, White Bears, 142. 66 the province's natives, paralleled both Boyle's objections to the expropriation of native artefacts from Ontario, and his appropriation of native culture for a provincial identity. On the need for a provincial museum to preserve these artefacts, the petition stated: It is a source of general regret that objects connected with the ethnology of the country are being yearly taken away in great numbers to the enrichment of other museums and private collections while no adequate means are provided for their retention in the province. Limited as such articles are in quantity their loss is frequently irreparable, and, when once removed from the locality of their production, their scientific value and utility to the country are greatly lessened.72 Concern over the loss of these artefacts was genuine, but, as in Boyle's case, there is no indication that it stemmed from a desire to protect or preserve the culture of the native inhabitants. Nor does it seem that the claiming of native artefacts was meant to provide links between the native past and the European present, as Boyle's collection was doing in Ontario. Many scholars have noted the importance of anthropological collections in defining the collectors or viewers through their emphasis on difference. The 'primitive' nature of native peoples as evidenced in their material culture has provided a sense of superiority, of the "lightness' of European imperialism and domination, and of European civilization as the culmination of 7 2. Corley-Smith, White Bears, 142. David Boyle wrote to the Premier of BC, James Dunsmuir, to voice his objections to the lack of anthropological collecting being done by the BC government: I feel confident that the time is not far distant when the British Columbia student will deplore the lack of specimens of this kind in his own country, and this the more especially, when he bears in mind that every important museum in the world is supplied to a greater or lesser extent with specimens of British Columbian native worlananship... . Having made this statement I may consider my duty as a mentor concluded, but I sincerely trust you will pardon me if in the name of many thousands living, as well as yet to live, I humbly but strongly express the hope that British Columbia will, before it is too late, secure for preservation in the interests of science representative specimens in considerable quantity, of its archaeological and ethnological wealth. David Boyle to Hon. James Dunsmuir, Premier, 13 November 1902 (copy), AddMSS. 1077, v. 19, f.06, BCARS. 67 evolution.73 The anthropological collections of the B.C. museum must be seen in this context as well. However, as specimens within a natural history museum, they also served a function similar to that of the flora and fauna of the area in that their collection represented a laying claim to territory in which the natives lived on the part of European settlers. The petition for a museum was wholeheartedly endorsed by the Lieutenant-Governor, and the new museum opened on 25 October 1886 in a small room in the provincial legislative building. The director was Jack Fannin, a shoemaker, amateur taxidermist, and sometime guide to hunters. "[A] man of action, a competent writer and a gifted speaker and raconteur who could relate to people from all levels of society," Fannin seemed to be, in Corley-Smith's words, an "inspired" choice.74 Two separate trips in the 1870s surveying for the provincial government, in the lower Fraser valley and on the Stikeen River, had excited Fannin's interest in natural history and greatly enhanced his knowledge of the area. His taxidermy work and his personal collection of mounted specimens would also have recommended him as a reasonable choice for director. Yet, there is a level at which he may not have been as inspired a choice as Corley-Smith claims. Corley-Smith has noted that in the early years the museum and its director were "virtually synonymous,"75 and Fanriin's interests and abilities, as broad-ranging as they were, did not reach as far as did those of the original petitioners. Under Fannin, the anthropological aspects of the original vision were subordinated to his own focus on the natural history of the province. This is born out by the artefact list included with the only report for the museum that Fannin wrote. 7 3. For instance, Bennett, Birth of the Museum, 79; Brigham, Public Culture, 122-144; Coombes, "Museums and the Formation of National and Cultural Identities;" and Pearce, On Collecting, 308-326. 7 4. Corley-Smith, White Bears, 24-25. 1 5. Corley-Smith, White Bears, 21. 68 Of the 16,577 objects in the collection, only 1,663 fell into the anthropological and ethnological category.76 And, even with the practical display of minerals consisting of roughly five thousand specimens, over two-tiiirds of the collections fell directly into the natural history categories. Although the simple number of artefacts cannot be equated with their value to a collection, it seems nonetheless clear that Fannin's museum placed a heavy emphasis on natural history and thus, as good as it may have been, it remained something less than had been envisioned. The identity cultivated in this natural history museum is less explicit than either Honeyman's and Piers' industrial Nova Scotia, Boyle's ancient Ontario, or Currelly's European Ontario. The small collection of economic minerals connoted a dependence on resource extraction and a potential industrial future but it was never emphasized, and soon after the 1896 report the collection was removed to the Department of Mineralogy.77 Nor is there evidence that Fannin made any attempt to use the museum's collections to create a past for the British in the province. This does not mean that the museum did not play a role in creating an identity for British Columbians. A natural history collection is useful in defining an area as a unique land, the home of new and/or unusual flora and fauna. But a natural history collection has another function: it gives shape to the ideology supporting its accumulation. The collection, classification, 7 6. British Columbia, Provincial Museum, Report of the Curator of the Provincial Museum [1896] (Victoria: 1897): 826-827. (Annual reports of the BC museum are hereafter referred to by name of the director responsible and year.) 7 7. Corley-Smith wrote that this happened in 1890, but the inclusion of the specimens in the 1896 list, plus Fannin's comment that it would be advisable for the Department of Mineralogy to take them makes it clear that the removal happened after 1896. As the 1898 published catalogue contains no mention of the mineralogical collection, it must be assumed that the government took Fannin's advice and transferred the collection in 1896 or '97. Corley-Smith, White Bears, 19-20; Fannin, "Report 1896," 826-27; and British Columbia, Provincial Museum, A Preliminary Catalogue ofthe Collections of Natural History and Ethnology in the Provincial Museum, Victoria, British Columbia (Victoria: Queen's Printer, 1898). 69 cataloguing, preservation, and exhibition of natural history specimens is as much a part of the imperialist drive as are the collections of anthropological and archaeological artefacts. Indeed, in focussing on specimens from the area called British Columbia, Fannin was helping to stake out a territory and lay claim to it in no less important a way than the early explorers. He was contributing to the act of Empire and, simultaneously, that of nation-building in the same way that, according to Owram and Zeller, natural history and science were used to justify the expansion of Ontario and to create a trans-continental nation.78 There is, however, another layer of meaning in the British Columbia Provincial Museum as created by Jack Farinin. The collection can also be seen as the beginning of an identification of British Columbia with wilderness, an identity which would later manifest itself in propaganda slogans such as 'Beautiful B C or "Supernatural BC, in B.C.'s participation in the 'Evergreen Playground' tourist promotion, and in the promotion of B.C. as "a NEW travel sensation ... cool evergreen forests ... a vast and limitless list of recreational opportunities ... snow capped peaks, canyons, fjords, myriad secluded lakes and streams..."79 One of the particular attractions of B.C.'s wilderness was the opportunities it afforded for hunting. Part of the "new travel sensation" still available in B.C. was the "fighting steelhead and rainbow trout" and "big game hunting in a thrilling unspoiled hinterland." As late as 1939, the provincial government ran advertisements in 7 8. Brigham comments on the collection of natural history specimens on the Lewis and Clark expedition, and other US government-sponsored expeditions, as an act of nation-building, of staking out territory. Brigham, Public Culture, 113, and 122-44. See also Owram, Promise of Eden; and Zeller, Inventing Canada. 75'. "A NEW travel sensation," advertisement, Time Magazine, (16 May 1938): 32. 70 large American magazines promoting B.C. as "The Last Frontier of BIG Game!"80 While the conclusion is speculative at best, there is some evidence to suggest that Fannin was an eager participant in the early creation of this identity for B.C. and used the museum in his efforts to win it publicity. Fannin's activities as a guide to wealthy, big game hunters were well-known, and, as Corley-Smith notes: the choice of Jack Fannin as museum curator almost certainly resulted from contacts he made with the wealthy and influential people he guided on hunting trips.81 Thus, it is not unlikely that he courted those influential patrons through his work in the museum by using the displays to cater to their interests, thereby justifying the expense of the institution. Of the almost ten thousand natural history specimens in the museum's collection in 1897, only 91 were mammals large enough to be mounted to stand on their own, while another 17 were mammal heads displayed in the nature of hunting trophies. Yet the promotional photographs of the museum, dating from the years of Fannin's directorship and the early Kermode years, focus on these few objects almost to the exclusion of everything else in the displays. Unlike the few photographs of Boyle's museum, in which the viewer is meant to see the neatness and orderliness of the rows of cases to get a Teel' for the general layout and arrangement (Figures 1 and 2), photographs of Fannin's museum depict Fannin "measuring the size of a handsome elk" (Figure 3) or display the variety of wildlife native to the province (Figure 4) or demonstrate the taxidermist's art in a series on stuffing a moose (Figure 5). "The Last Frontier of BIG Game!," advertisement, National Geographic Magazine 75, 5 (May Cbrley-Srnith, White Bears, 24. 71 Although the photograph in Figure 4 retains some of the meaning of the Boyle photos in showing much of the room and giving a sense of the layout, it nonetheless joins the others in being primarily an illustration of the artefacts themselves, of the wildlife, rather than a representation of the museum or of museum methods. A number of pictures from Kermode's early years make this even more clear: the stuffed game has obviously been moved from its usual resting place in order to be grouped together in a "good" location (Figures 6 and 7). Had this been the normal arrangement of these objects, the doorway, the hall behind it, and the stairway would have been rendered permanently useless. Instead, the objects have been brought to this location and deliberately grouped in such a manner as to display them, and by doing that, to advertise what was available to the hunter in the wilderness of British Columbia.82 The impression left by the photographs is strengthened by the written material on the museum. An 1896 newspaper article, which was quoted both in a 1908 news article, and by Kermode in his 1909 catalogue of the museum, described Fannin as an "intrepid hunter ... competent to guide the lover of rare sport to where he was certain of meeting the game for which he was in search." And, in describing the museum, the first comment on why it should be visited concerned its relationship to hunting: Do you care for the glories of the chase? Go into the great hallway devoted to British Columbia's big game and learn from the curator the history of the giant walrus, the cariboo and the bear.83 8 2. These are by no means the only photographs of the museum during these years and some of the others, especially those of the anthropological collections, are similar in form and content to the photographs of the OPM 83. "Natural History of British Columbia," Victoria Daily Colonist, 1 January 1896. See also, "British Columbia's Provincial Museum," Victoria Colonist, 13 December 1908; and Francis Kermode, Provincial Museum of Natural History and Ethnology, Victoria, B.C. (Victoria: King's Printer, 1909): 6. 72 The Times, in its 1900 description of the museum, also felt the importance of Fannin's role as hunter. It noted that "Mr. Fannin at the time of his appointment was one of the leading hunters and students of natural history in the province."84 Kermode, for his part, noted in the annual report for 1914, that the collection of big game trophies loaned to the Ministry of Agriculture for the B.C. exhibit at the Panama Exposition "will make a very creditable showing of the big game of this province."85 In 1915, he was able to report that work was finally being done on the collections of small mammals: This latter branch has not been very well represented until recently; it is difficult with a small staff to pay particular attention to all branches of museum-work, and the public does not take as keen an interest in small mammals as in the display of big game.86 The activity of hunting and the display of British Columbia's big game were important aspects of the work the museum did, and of the identity which it helped to shape.87 The emphasis on hunting by no means contradicted either the imperialist urge or the impulse behind the museum movement. John M MacKenzie argues that, in Africa and Asia, hunting, which reached the status of a cult in the nineteenth century, represented the first wave M . "Some of the Departments: The Museum," Victoria Times (Special Parliamentary Edition), 19 January 1900. 85. Kermode, Report 1914, 6. * Kermode, Report 1915, 11-12. 8 ?. There are hints that some of the people involved with the ROM of Zoology were considering a similar focus on hunting for their institution. Dymond wrote to Robert Fennell, chair of the Board of Trustees, that the museum "should be of interest to tourists in view of the fact that it contains excellently mounted examples of all the larger mammals of Canada including moose, caribou, elk,... [etc.]." However, in a later letter he responded directly to the encouragement to interest wealthy sportsmen in the museum by pointing out that "we should decide how far we are prepared to depart from what we believe to be the Museum's place in research and education, in order to obtain the support of men of wealth and influence." J.R Dymond to Robert Fennell, Chair, Board of Trustees, ROM, 26 January 1946 and 24 October 1946, RG 59, b.3, f.2.4 "Board of Trustees, 1945-49", ROMLA. 73 of imperialism and prepared the way for settlers and colonial administration.88 As well, hunters often justified their slaughtering with the claim that they were collecting for scientific and museum purposes.89 Thus, the original petitioners in British Columbia would have seen no reason to complain about the museum Fannin was creating. Not only would some of them have been among the influential hunters who Fannin was courting, but the museum itself was consistent with imperial practice. Nor, as the 1897 list of specimens demonstrates, was Fannin ignoring the other aspects of BC's natural history. The only unusual aspect of this promotional role for the museum is that, while, as MacKenzie indicates, big game hunters usually aided museums through donating skins, skeletons, and other animal parts, B.C.'s museum not only acted as repository but also reversed the relationship, making the museum an aid to hunters. The continuation, well into the twentieth century, of government-sponsored promotions focussed on hunting demonstrates the strength of the wilderness identity created for B.C.. But, as MacKenzie points out, by the turn of the century, sensitivities were changing, the hunting cult began to lose its attraction, and, by the interwar years, conservation of fauna for tourist viewing--"hunting with a camera"-was becoming the preferred mode of exploiting natural history.90 These 8 8. John M. MacKenzie, The Empire of Nature: Hunting, Conservation and British Imperialism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988): especially, "The nineteenth-century hunting cult," 25-53. On the relationship between hunting and natural history in the BC context, see Richard Mackie, Hamilton Mack Laing: Hunter-Naturalist (Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1985): 129-140. On the more general relationship between science and imperialism, see the essays in MacKenzie, ed., Imperialism and the natural world, especially MacKenzie, "Introduction," 1-14. 8 9. MacKenzie, Empire of Nature, 162. 90'. MacKenzie, Empire of Nature, 261-294. Mackie places this move later in Canada, noting that in the 1930s, while Mack Laing and his colleagues were killing their natural history specimens in order to study them, a new ecological awareness among some BC naturalists was raising complaints against the hunter-naturalist, especially those who collected for profit. Mackie, Hamilton Mack Laing, 137. 74 sorts of changes in the broader culture were bound to affect cultural institutions and the British Columbia Provincial Museum was no exception. Indeed, under Fannin's successor, Francis Kermode, the museum's focus on hunting opportunities lessened, although it did not cease,91 and the role of a more general natural history museum grew. But the museum continued, nonetheless, both to support the imperial ideology and nation-building aspirations of the white, European population, and to identify B.C. with nature and wilderness. This is not to suggest that the museum remained stagnant during Kermode's directorship. As befitted the increasingly populated and industrialized province, Kermode re-iterated the economic argument originally articulated in the 1886 petition: The economic importance of the knowledge concerning all forms of life is especially valuable in this Province, where the great bulk of our wealth is drawn directly from the hands of Nature...92 This suggested a potential move from presenting B.C. as wilderness to depicting it as a place of economic utility, but, in terms of the identity cultivated at the museum, it was an unfulfilled potential, remaining simply a justification for calls for increased expenditure on the museum. The only real change which affected the collections in such a way as actually to alter the nature of the identity which they signified, was the re-introduction of anthropology as a major collecting area. In 1909, Charles Frederick Newcombe was contracted by the B.C. government to re-9 1. See Charles Guiguet to Editor, Victoria Daily Colonist, 18 September 1952; Guiguet to Mr. Morris Jackson, Fanny Bay, B.C., 26 September 1950 and 5 November 1952; Guiguet to Ian McTaggart Cowan, Professor of Zoology, UBC, 15 November 1950; and Guiguet to McTaggart Cowan, 22 November 1955 and 2 November 1956, GR 111, b.30, f.4; b.7, f l ; b.2, f . l l ; and b.2, f.10, BCARS. 9 2. "Letter of introduction," Francis Kermode to RE. Young, Provincial Secretary, 21 January 1909, in Kermode, Provincial Museum of Natural History and Ethnology, unpaginated. 75 arrange the existing anthropological and ethnographic collections at the museum and to prepare a catalogue of them which would complement Kermode's catalogue of the natural history collections.93 The initiative for this project likely originated with Newcombe himself. Newcombe had a good reputation in the field of anthropology and was a well-known member of the intellectual circles of the province. However, its effect was to bring the plight of anthropology in the province and in the government's museum to the attention of people who were not directly involved with the museum, but did take an interest in its work. Among these was E.O.S. Scholefield who had been appointed Provincial Archivist in 1910. Scholefield possessed an uncanny ability to separate the government from its money.94 Not only did he regularly and drastically overspend his budget, but he also managed to talk the government into providing a budget for the archives which was three times the size of the museum's. In 1911, Scholefield used this ability to convince H.E. Young, Acting Premier, to provide funding for Charles F. Newcombe to take to the field in order to begin serious anthropological collecting for the province's museum.95 9 3. Kermode, Provincial Museum of Natural History and Ethnology, and Charles F. Newcombe, A Guide to the Anthropological Collection in the Provincial Museum (Victoria, B.C.: King's Printer, 1909). Newcombe was a Victoria physician who made his living, after 1897, collecting native B.C. artefacts for the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago, the Geological Survey of Canada and the American Museum of Natural History, among others. He seems an ironic choice for the person who would now save B.C.'s native heritage. Jean Low, "Dr. Charles Frederick Newcombe," The Beaver 312, 4 (Spring 1982): 32-39. 9 4. Terry Eastwood, "RE. Gosnell, E.O.S. Scholefield and the Founding of the Provincial Archives of British Columbia, 1894-1919," BC Studies 54 (Summer 1982): 55. 9 5. E.O.S. Scholefield, Provincial Archivist, to CF. Newcombe, 10 May 1911, AddMSS. 1077, v.5, f. 128, BCARS. Kermode's role in this episode is unclear but existing correspondence suggests that he was only involved at the end in terms of accepting the artefacts into the museum. Certainly, the money with which Newcombe was paid and with which he purchased the artefacts never went through the museum's accounts. See, AddMSS. 1077, v.4, f.90; v.5, f.143; and v.7, f.2, BCARS; and, "Public Accounts-Expenditure, V, Public Institutions", Province of BC, Sessional Papers, for the years 1911, 1912, 1913. 76 The artefacts gathered between 1911 and 1914 under the auspices of Scholefield and the Provincial Archives were meant to be a part of the museum's collections but initially were stored in the home of C F . Newcombe. Not until 1914, when the Department of Works vacated the building behind the Museum, was the anthropological collection put on display and made accessible. The collection was "installed, catalogued, numbered, labelled and arranged according to tribes." Newcombe and his colleague, James Teit, were hired to continue their anthropological work, this time both by and for the museum.96 Despite the efforts of Scholefield, C F . Newcombe and his son, Billy, and other interested parties, anthropology remained a minor aspect of the work of the museum under Francis Kermode. Nonetheless, Newcombe's anthropological collections added another layer to the imperialist ideology presented in the museum. They aided in the staking out of British Columbia's territory, justifying the claim not just to the natural resources of the area but to the people as well. And, by depicting natives in the context of a natural history museum, they presented them as a part of the "natural' as opposed to the "civilized' world, thereby reinforcing the cultural superiority of the Europeans and justifying imperial claims97 As Hannah Arendt noted of black Africans at the turn of the century: What made them different from other human beings was not at all the color of their skin but the fact that they behaved like a part of nature, that they treated nature as their undisputed master, that they had not created a human world, a human reality, and that therefore nature had remained, in all its majesty, the only overwhelming reality .... They were, as it were, "natural' human beings...98 9 6. Kermode, Report 1914, 5. 97'. MacKenzie notes the frequency with which the collecting of natural history specimens and African material culture were linked. MacKenzie, Empire of Nature, 31. 9 8. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Meridian Books, 1958): 192. 77 To people gripped by the belief that they could control the natural world and harness its strength to their purposes, and that this was a right and proper ambition, the native failure to do so-the acceptance of nature as "their undisputed master"-was a sign of waste and a proof that Europeans had been given these lands by God to do with them what the natives had not done. Gathering and displaying the material culture of the natives, especially in a natural history museum, sustained and diffused this idea that natives were wild, primitive, and inferior. Only later in the twentieth century, when a growing belief in cultural relativism brought native artefacts under the rubric of "high' art did these ideas begin to lose their hold on the European imagination.99 Conclusion During the nineteenth century, Europeans' relationship to the 'invisible' continued to change, as it had been doing since the fourteenth century.100 Based on scientific discoveries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, people began to feel that the natural world was not as mysterious as had previously been thought. Even those who continued to believe that this was God's world turned to in-depth studies of nature that would have been unthinkable in the mediaeval era. Rather than assuming that only God could understand the workings of nature, they began to consider that knowledge of nature would bring better understanding of God. The line between the 'visible' and the 'invisible' was moved and the nature of the collections which signified the 'invisible' altered to reflect that move. " . On cultural relativism in the museum and the eventual acceptance of non-European ideals of beauty in art, see Ian Jenkins, Archaeologists & Aesthetes in the Sculpture Galleries of the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1992): 10, 68, 202, and 211-230. 10°. Pomian, "The Collection," 34-35. 78 The conjunction of economic, political, and social trends which supported these changes carried with it a firm belief that, not only could the natural world be understood, it could be controlled. Whether this lead to the dominance of classificatory science during the nineteenth century or was a product of that science remains a question. However, the impulse to inventory, classify, catalogue, and archive all aspects of the human and natural world resulted in vast collections of natural history specimens, and art, archaeological and ethnological objects. These objects were scientifically arranged to demonstrate their classification and to show each item's place in the "great chain of being'.101 The political and social agenda of the upper and middle classes turned these collections into museums, institutions where all could learn about the way the world was, and thereby come to understand their own place in it. The museums of Nova Scotia, Ontario, and B.C. were a part of these trends. Grounded in nmeteenth-century science, their collections were gathered to aid the researches of the scientific community and placed on display to educate the local people in the results of those researches. David Honeyman and Harry Piers collected local rocks and minerals, arranged according to the mineralogical system of the Yale professor J.D. Dana, and used those collections to educate locals and visitors in the potential mineral wealth of the province of Nova Scotia. David Boyle, a confirmed Darwinist, collected the material remains of native cultures and arranged them to demonstrate the evolution of humankind in the province from stone age to British civilization. The science directors at the ROM collected to demonstrate "the record of nature through countless ages," while Charles Currelly gathered evidence of "the arts of man 1 0 1. On the domination of classificatory science in the nineteenth century, see Mchel Foucault, The Order of Things (New York: Random House, 1970): 125-165. On the move towards a scientific arrangement of art during the period, see Jenkins, Archaeologists and Aesthetes, 9 & 56-74. 79 through all the years."102 Jack Fannin and Francis Kermode demonstrated that B.C. was the last great hunting frontier in North America, while the scientific staff under Kermode gathered and displayed proof that British Columbia belonged to the Europeans. The museums conformed, in their collecting habits, their scientific arrangements, and their exhibition agenda, to the patterns of the international museum movement. Yet, museum collections are complex entities and the similarities between them hide vast differences. No single analytical tool can hope to explain their many and diverse meanings. This is particularly so in the case of institutions such as the Ontario Provincial Museum or the Royal Ontario Museums, where the various collections which made up the whole were never entirely integrated. It also holds true for collections such as those of the Nova Scotia and B.C. museums which were by no means monolithic. Understanding those collections as semiophores for the invisible nonetheless provides a way to distinguish between them. If collecting is a universal activity,103 and the epistemology of a people or a time detennines the type of artefacts that will be collected and how they will be displayed or arranged, the "invisible' which the collection signifies will govern the specific artefacts chosen and the exact nature of the exhibits. Thus, the relationship between the "visible' and the "invisible' becomes a useful way in which to differentiate between museum collections. Museum collections grounded in the same epistemology can be distinguished one from the other on the basis of local variances in the relationship to the "invisible'. Nor need there be only one "invisible' to which the collection relates. A collection is a :. The phrases are carved on either side of the main doors of the ROMs building. A concept that has not yet been demonstrated conclusively, in my opinion. 80 text which has multiple layers, each of which may signify a different 'invisible', or the same "invisible' in a different way. Identity is, therefore, only one of the "invisibles' a collection can signify, though for museums in a new world it is a particularly cogent one. The local identities cultivated in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and B.C., and reflected in the provincial museums made the individual collections more than simply variations on a general, museum-movement wide theme: they turned those museums into distinct institutions. Although all four of the museums collected in the typical nmeteenth-century categories of natural history and anthropology, or archaeology, and all arranged those collections according to accepted scientific standards, each collection, and therefore each museum, was unique. 81 Figures 1 and 2: Ontario Archaeological Museum. Main Archaeological Room, West and East View. (Archaeological Report, 1911) 82 Figure 4: B.C. wildlife in the Provincial Museum. (BCARS, 65742) 83 Figure 5: The evolution of a stuffed moose. (BCARS, 96354-96358) 84 PART II -THE MUSEUM AS EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION: FROM CIVILIZING ADULTS TO TEACHING CHILDREN 8 6 Introduction The School necessarily puts the emphasis upon instruction; the Public Library and [Museums and Art Galleries] put the emphasis upon education. (George H. Locke, "Co-operation Between Libraries and Museums," 261) That the museum is an educational institution is, perhaps, the most widely asserted truism among museum people. And, indeed, the museum has long been associated with education: the museum and state-supported schooling "grew up' together. As the middle class grew into the dominant class over the nineteenth century, it made education, education of its own children as well as education of the lower classes, a significant part of its reform platform, and the museum was only one of the many institutions created or appropriated by the middle class to fulfil its vision of society. However, over a century of close ties among the museum, public schooling, and the educational mission of the middle class seems not to have convinced politicians or the general public of the educational status of museums. Ideas of the cabinet of curiosities, of dusty attics full of mouldy objects, and of dreary, dark spaces have remained strong among people who have accepted the state-supported school and library as useful, educational institutions. In the face of this opposition, museum people have continued to assert the educational value of their institutions, each claiming that theirs is the generation which has finally made museums truly educational. Even today, the same opinion is voiced: Although museums have traditionally stated education as their primary mission, education has only recently become a major force in deteirnining museum policies and programs.1 For each group this claim reflects an ahistorical perspective and a failure to understand the '. Roger Mandle, "The Impact of Gender Perspectives: Museums as Educational Institutions: Introduction," in Jane R Glaser and Artemis A. Zenetou, eds., Gender Perspectives: Essays on Women in Museums (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994): 90. 87 changing nature of education or of the primary audiences of museums. In particular, museum people and museum historians have misunderstood the changes in museums' educational function in the early twentieth century. A new emphasis on educating children and the growth of active educational programming to supplement the passive displays was taken to represent the beginning of an educational role for museums rather than simply a change in primary audience and method. The new generation of curators and directors who began their careers in the late 1930s and the 1940s at the same time as the new educational focus on children took root, and who often specifically initiated that focus, once again articulated the 'myth' that this was a re-creation of the museum, now an educational institution where before there had been only dusty attics and mouldy objects. Trying to carve out their own niche in the museum world, and to convince their respective funding bodies of the importance of mamtaining budget levels in years of financial difficulties, their assertions have been accepted blindly as the "truth' by those historians of museums and by those few museum people who do not consider themselves to be the first. The three chapters in Part II look at how these ideas played out, and how education developed, in Canadian museums. The international museum movement was not monolithic in its response to changing educational theory. In particular, American museums accepted the new child-centred education of the early twentieth century much sooner than did museums in other countries, which continued to resist until the interwar period. However, during the course of the twentieth century, all museums faced the need to establish a new educational focus in order to continue their existence. In discussing how the Canadian museums have perceived their own educational functions, how they have presented those functions to others, and how those functions have changed over time, these three chapters illustrate the ways in which Canadian museums 88 conformed to the broader pattern and where they diverged from it. One of the earliest manifestations of the educational museum was the Philadelphia Museum of the American painter, Charles Willson Peale, opened on 18 July 1786.2 Similar collections created at the time, such as that of the New-York Historical Society, also had pedagogic functions, although in many, like P.T. Barnum's American Museum or the Western Museum of Cincinnati, that pedagogy was veiled and they were seen by the upper classes as simply places of entertainment. Peale, however, was the first to emphatically claim his institution as a place of popular education.3 Nonetheless, other educators, scholars and collectors were reaching similar conclusions on the value of public collections and the educational uses to which they could be put. Indeed, Joel Orosz argues that there is a definite link between the spread of the idea of museums for popular education and the emergence of the middle class in America, 2. Sellers, M. Peale's Museum. Peale's Museum is also generally considered the first public museum in the USA although there is some debate on that point. See Martin Levy, "The First American Museum of Natural History," Isis 42 (1951): 10-12; and Orosz, Curators and Culture. Thomas D. Kaufman argues that the Hapsburg painting collection was opened to the public in 1776 in Prince Eugene's Vienna residence, Belvedere, in order to educate the public. This would make it an earlier manifestation of the public educational museum than even Peale's museum Thomas DaCosta Kaufman, "From Treasury to Museum: The Collections of the Austrian Hapsburgs," in John Eisner and Roger Cardinal, eds., The Cultures of Collecting (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994): 150-151. 3. See Orosz, Curators and Culture. On P.T. Barnum and the American Museum, see Neil Harris, Humbug: The Art of P.T. Barnum (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1973). John Betts Rickards, "P.T. Barnum and the Popularization of Natural History," Journal of the History of Ideas 20 (1959): 353-368, argues that despite the spectacular aspects of Barnum's collections and marketing, he also played a major role in popular natural history education, not unlike Peale. On the Western Museum of Cincinnati, see Lewis Leonard Tucker, ""Ohio Show-Shop': The Western Museum of Cincinnati, 1820-1867," in Whitfield J. Bell et al, A Cabinet of Curiosities: Five Episodes in the Evolution of American Museums (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1967): 73-105. 89 the appearance of which he equates with an egalitarian trend.4 Orosz' view of museum's role in the egalitarian trend in America is a benign interpretation of what Elaine Stokes argues happened in Britain in the first half of the nineteenth century.5 In a era of reform and increasing democratization, Stokes argues, museums were but one of the many middle-class solutions to the "working-class problem', their function being to educate, and thereby civilise, the working classes. In discussing the evidence presented to the Select Committee on Arts and Manufacture of 1835 and 1836, and the debates over the 1850 "Act to Enable Town Councils to establish Public Libraries and Museums," Stokes paints a picture of a dominant middle class fearing the potential power of an "uncivilised' lower, or working, class.6 Museums, their champions argued, would civilize the working classes through the improvement of taste and morals.7 In essence, Stokes points out, middle-class morality and moral classifications would be filtered through to the working classes and control would be affected through their internalization of the appropriate modes of behaviour.8 Education became a euphemism for 4 Orosz, Curators and Culture, especially chapter 3, "The Didactic Enlightenment, 1800-1820", 68-107, and chapter 4, "The Age of Egalitarianism, 1820-1840," 108-139. 5. Elaine Stokes, "Class and the Civilising Process: Social Factors in the Organisation of Museums in the Nineteenth Century," PhD. diss., University of Keele, 1987. See also, Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England. 6. Stokes, "Class and the Civilising Process," 292-306 and 314-327. The calling of the Select Committee was indirectly linked to the 1832 Reform Bill and the erection of a new building for the National Gallery through the growing political power of the middle class and the extension of the 'nation' to include more than only the aristocracy. Duncan, Civilizing Rituals, 43-45. 7 Sherman notes that, in France, the museum as the developer of public taste was a product of the mid-nineteenth century. 13uring the Revolution, and for a generation after, the museum had a "primarily pedagogical purpose" as an adjunct to the art school. Sherman, Worthy Monuments, 109-110. 8. Stokes, "Class and the Civilising Process," 288. Champions of museums also pointed to the money to be saved on courts and prisons when the working classes controlled themselves. Stokes, 322. 90 inculcation in middle-class attitudes, behaviours, ideals and values. Eilean Hooper-Greenhill takes a broader look at the history of museum education than does Stokes. She points out: Several disparate forces contributed to the emergence of museums as educational institutions... . These were a belief in educational self-help among both the working and middle classes; a concern on the part of radical reformers to provide leisure opportunities for the working classes in the form of "rational recreation'; a conviction in the power of art to humanize and civilize; and a desire to provide neutral spaces where all sections of society could meet.9 While not denying the middle class role in the various trends and movements which combined to create public, educational museums, Hooper-Greenhill also acknowledges that the working classes played an active part in developing those institutions designed to civilise them and that some of the institutions designed by the middle classes were meant solely for the middle classes. Essentially, Hooper-Greenhill argues for a more complex relationship between the various players in the early years of the educational museum than does Stokes. Stokes' argument is useful, however, in understanding the links between Mechanics' Institutes, Working Men's Clubs, museums and state-supported schooling, and the increasing regulation of leisure, entertainment, and work, which, she argues, was all part of the "civilizing process'.10 Fostering better taste among the working classes was not simply about morals. Better 9. Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, Museum and Gallery Education (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1991), 10. 10. Stokes, "Class and the Civilizing Process," 38-41. The creation of the public police force in the same time period was the negative part of the process, for constraining those members of the working class who could never be civilized. See also, Bennett, Birth of the Museum, 59-69, on the parallel histories of the "carceral archipelago" (the growth of prisons and the development of punishment as a private act worked on the body of the crirninal in an effort to rehabilitate, rather than as a public act to display power) and the "exhibitionary complex" (the growth of institutions whose purpose was to broadcast the messages of power through the public exhibition of things and of the people who viewed them). 91 taste, it was assumed, would to lead to better workmanship, and hence to higher profits. Thus, the museums which were under discussion in the 1830s, although not always identified as such, were specifically museums of industrial art. The use of plaster casts or copies of great art would teach the qualities of good design but would not interfere with the division of labour in the way that the use of high art and the teaching of higher principles might. The idea was, after all, to make better artisans, not to make artists.11 That the museum of industrial art had its apogee in the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition and the South Kensington Museum helps to make clear the links between industrial capitalism and the concept of museum as educator.12 The museum as popular educator, as civilizing institution, or as provider of design examples were the original models of the educational museum. Museum collections attached to Mechanics' Institutes, industrial exhibits (whether in a museum setting or in the form of a world's fair) and collections of industrial art were gathered to provide reference collections for study and research, to help workers improve their productivity by teaching them something about the processes on which they worked or to improve the quality of their work by teaching them good taste, and to civilize the lower classes by inculcating in them bourgeois values. In all of these instances, the focus of education was on adults-adults as students, adults as workers, or adults as manufacturers. Although children were rarely, if ever, directly excluded from the educational 11. Stokes, "Class and the Civilising Process," 298. 12. The South Kensington Museum, which was established with the profit from the 1851 Exhibition and retained some of its exhibits, was later renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum Its first director, Sir Henry Cole, was one of the most vocal proponents of the museum of industrial art and design. See Mark Goodwin, "Objects, belief and power in mid-Victorian England: the origins of the Victoria and Albert Museum," in Susan M Pearce, ed., Objects of Knowledge (London: Athlone Press, 1990): 9-49. On the early introduction of an 'antimuseum discourse' based, in part, on a critique of museums' connections to hegemonic capitalism, see Daniel Sherman, "(^ fremere/Benjamin/Marx: Art Museums, Aura and Commodity Fetishism," in Sherman and Rogoff, Museum Culture, 123-143. 92 aims of the nineteenth century museum, they were not seen as a specific or separate audience requiring special attention or arrangements. This focus on adults became problematic for museums as the nineteenth century came to a close and a new interest in children and childhood took hold in society. The new interest in childhood took both a popular and an academic form. As Jackson Lears describes it in his study of American antimodernism, the new attitudes towards children in the late nineteenth century formed a "cult of the child," as adults attempted to escape the pressures of bourgeois capitalism by reinventing childhood innocence. Nathan G. Hale, Jr., writes that the child was "worshipped with Wordsworthian enthusiasm."13 Concomitant with the popular idealisation of children, the child study movement arose in the 1880s as anthropologists and pyschologists came to see childhood as a separate developmental stage and a legitimate subject for academic study.14 Educator and psychologist G. Stanley Hall established graduate programs at Clark University for the study of children, while John Dewey propagandized new educational theory and methods at the University of Chicago.15 Based in, and building on, the 13. T.J. Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920 (New York: Pantheon, 1981): 147; Hale quoted in Bernard Mergen, "The Discovery of Children's Play," American Quarterly 27, 4 (October 1975): 405. 14. In his periodization for the invention of adolescence, Joseph Kett notes the sentimentalization of childhood beginning as early as the 1840s, seeing it both as a byproduct of the growing cult of domesticity as propounded by Catharine Beecher and Horace Bushnell, and as an assumption underlying the common school reform of the period, much of which was based on Prussian and Swiss educational models. Joseph F. Kett, Rites of Passage: Adolescence in America 1790 to the Present (New York: Basic Books, 1977): 111-143. 15. On G. Stanley Hall, see Dorothy Ross, G. Stanley Hall: The Psychologist as Prophet (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972). On Dewey, see Irwin Edman, John Dewey: His Contribution to the American Tradition (rep. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968); John J. McDermott, ed., The Philosophy of John Dewey, vol II: The Lived Experience (New York, G.P. Putnam and Sons, 1973): xv-xxxiv; and J.E. Tiles, Dewey (London: Routledge, 1988). Dewey's design for the ideal school included a room set aside for a museum John Dewey, The School and Society, rev. ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1915): 59-84. Mergen, "Children's Play," summarizes the child study movement, describing in particular the major contributions to the play vs. recreation vs. leisure debate. Technically, the child study movement 93 educational theory of Johann Pestalozzi, the new education of the late nineteenth century focussed on children, on educating the "whole child," and on providing that education through the "object method."16 Some British museums and museum people responded to the cult of the child and the new educational theory. In 1897, Sir Jonathan Hutchinson established the Haslemere Museum under the curatorship of E.W. Swanton. Based on Hutchinson's conviction that "the objective of an educational museum should be to educate rather than to collect,"17 the Haslemere ran instruction classes for children in natural history in a purpose-built classroom, using specimens from the collection. However, because the cult of the child was largely an American phenomenon, it was primarily American museums which responded to it. In 1899, the Brooklyn Museum in New York opened the world's first children's museum.18 Already existing museums initiated innovative refers only to Hall, his colleagues, and his students at Clark University; Dewey, and his colleague at Chicago, James Mark Baldwin, who shared many of Hall's ideas and goals but were wary of his romanticism and his scientific claims, propounded alternative methods to reach those same goals. Ross, G Stanley Hall, 279-340. 16. The Swiss educator, Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827), introduced the Enlightenment ideals of equality, liberty, and respect for the individual personality into the classroom As Gerald Killan sirmmarizes his theories: "education was to be shaped for the child, not the child for education." This was to be accomplished in part by the abolition of rote learning and its replacement with object-centred lessons which would teach children how to learn, an educational method admirably suited to the museum Discussion centring on the presentation of everyday objects was a central tenet of Pestalozzian educational theory. Although widespread use of Pestalozzian ideas was a product of the 1870s and 80s in Canada, Killan notes that some teachers, like David Boyle, were influenced by Egerton Ryerson's propagation of these theories and began to put them into practice in the schools as early as the 1850s. Killan, David Boyle, 24-6. Ross notes that the educational reform of Hall and his colleagues was based on the introduction of romanticism and Pestalozzian theory to American educators during the 1870s. Hall's pirnary contribution to this educational theory was the authority of modem science. Ross, G Stanley Hall, 115-119. 1?. Hooper-Greenhill, Museum and Gallery Education, 20-24. 18. On the Brooklyn Children's Museum and its American imitators, see Katz, Museums U.S.A., 209-221. On children's museums, see Coleman, Museum in America, 126-128. 94 programs directed at schoolchildren. The St. Louis Board of Education used surplus exhibits from the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition to create the St. Louis Educational Museum, probably the first traveling museum, to serve its schoolchildren.19 Where new institutions could not be established and the resources to create collections for the schools did not exist, children's rooms and/or child-centred educational programming often were added to the list of services the museums provided the community. Elsewhere vdthin the museum movement, however, the shift to child-centred education was slow and most museums continued to concern themselves primarily with adults until well into the twentieth century.20 Undisturbed by the cult of the child which had galvanized American museums into refocussing their educational emphases, the strong tradition of adult education in Britain, which had given rise during the riineteenth century to organizations such as the Mechanics' Institutes, continued to dominate museum education. The British were not unaware of the changes taking place in the USA. The Museums Journal often carried news from American museums describing educational schemes, and there was usually someone to express admiration at the educational work being done: Directors of museums in the United States have indeed much wider views as to the place of museums in education than are possessed by some authorities in England21 , 9. Barbara F. Zucker, "A Traveling Museum and Where it Went," Curator 3, 32 (1989): 199-211. 2 0. As the examples of educational theorists suggests, the cult of the child seems to have initiated in the USA and been strongest there. That the continued focus on adult education in museums seems to have been stronger in Britain and in museums influenced by British trends than in American or American-influenced museums may be an indication of the length of time the new ideas took to move outside of the USA 2 1. "Museums and Teaching," Museums Journal 1,9 (March 1902): 249. See also, Hooper-Greenhill, Museum and Gallery Education, 39. 95 Indeed, Laurence Coleman noted that working with children was recognized as America's main contribution to museum practice: Every student of museums from abroad comments on this development, and carries away the influence of our educational pioneering in the last century and out efforts in recent decades to get at workable methods.22 Nor did British museums entirely exclude children or consider them as inappropriate objects for educational programmes. The Museums Journal noted in November of 1902 that children were visiting the Hull Museum which was arranging lectures for them.23 However, it was not until the 1930s and 40s that museums in Britain began to establish education divisions and hire staff whose primary, and sometimes sole, function was to work with schoolchildren. Both Hooper-Greenhill and Gaynor Kavanagh argue that the First World War was the catalyst for the finalization of this shift from adult to child in British museums. As school buildings and teachers were requisitioned for war purposes, many museums stepped in to help fill the gap. With the end of the war, museum curators returned to pre-war concerns, but teachers and educational authorities, who saw potential in the role museums had played during the war, pushed for closer ties between museums and the schools. Many museums were slow to fill this role and some curators actively resisted, but by the end of the 1940s, the lobbyists had been 2 2. Cbleman, Museum in America, 341. 23'. The Journal considered the lecture scheme praiseworthy, but felt that the subjects chosen for the lectures were better suited to an extensive university course than to schoolchildreris visits. "Hull Museum Lectures," Museums Journal 2,5 (November 1902): 155. Seealso, "Lectures to Children: Leeds Museum," Museums Journal 2, 6 (December 1902): 186; or William Hoyle's article in which he argued that time spent in the museum by school classes should be counted as time spent in school. William Hoyle, "The Use of the Museum in Teaching," Museums Journal 2,8 (February 1903): 229-239. These were exceptions to the general trend in British museums. 96 rewarded. This model may be correct as far as it goes. However, as the conjunction of the child study movement and the creation of children's museums in late nmeteenth-century USA demonstrates, a failure to consider contemporary educational theories leaves the explanation only half complete. What neither Hooper-Greenhill nor Kavanagh mention is that the inter-war period was the height of the progressive education movement. Based on the child study movement and on John Dewey's ideas, in particular, the progressive education movement had been growing since the early years of the rentury. By the interwar period, its tenets were more or less accepted wisdom. It is safe to assume that there was a relationship between the acceptance of progressive education and museums' establishment of child-centred education divisions in the 1930s, however indirect that relationship may have been.25 By the end of the Second World War, the metamorphosis was complete and "museum education' was understood "to mean the organization and delivery of specific provision for educational groups." More specifically, Hooper-Greenhill comments that "by the 1960s, museum and gallery education was understood to mean work with schools."26 The final issue of import in the discussion of the educational role of museums is raised 2 4. Hooper-Greenhill, Museum and Gallery Education, 33-45 & 50-53. 2 5. On progressive education in Canada, see for instance, R.S. Patterson, "HC. Newland: Theorist of Progressive Education," and "Progressive Education: Impetus to Educational Change in Alberta and Saskatchewan," in E. Brian Titley and Peter J. Miller, eds., Education in Canada: An Interpretation (Calgary: Detselig Enterprises, 1982): 151-167, and 169-192; and Jean Mann, "G.M Weir and HB. King: Progressive Education or Education for the Progressive State?" in J. Donald Wilson and David C. Jones, eds., Schooling and Society in Twentieth Century British Columbia (Calgary: Detselig Enterprises, 1980): 91-118. See also Coleman, Museum in America, 342-43. 2 6. Hooper-Greenhill, Museum and Gallery Education, 44, and 2. 97 by Gaynor Kavanagh's chapter on the educational uses to which museums were put during the First World War. Orosz and Stokes, among others, have shown that from the late eighteenth century the museum has been justified in terms of its educational potential. Yet Kavanagh, following her sources, discusses the closer ties to schools and boards of education during the war as if they constituted the first move to make museums educational, in much the same way that museum people today continue to proclaim that their museums are now educational. Given the above discussion, what seems to have been in train were changes in the meaning of the term 'educational' rather than shifts in the museums' function from "uneducational' to "educational'. In emphasizing the war-time curators' use of the word 'education', Kavanagh misses the new focus on "the rising generation," "the youthful minds," or "the children in school hours," and on the "potential of an integrated relationship between the museum and the school" in the discussion.27 In the first half of the twentieth century, the issue was not that museums had suddenly become educational, but that education had moved from being a matter of passively displaying objects and labels to adults to become a matter of actively providing programmes for children. Laurence Coleman seems to be one of the few museum people who noticed this shift from passive to active. In his three volume study of American museums, he argued that the idea of active education dated from at least the 1860s and had taken root in America by about 1906, but that it was not until the economic depression of the 1930s forced museum directors to "conjure up means of holding their ground" that they began to exploit these ideas and methods to their fullest potential. However, Coleman noted that in establishing clubs and hobby and study groups, 2 7. EE. Lowe, Elijah Howarth, and Lawrence Haward, quoted in Kavanagh, Museums and the First World War, 83, 85. The "potential of an integrated relationship" is Kavanagh's paraphrase of Haward. 98 adding more programmes and expanding into the areas of broadcasting and motion pictures, museums of the interwar period left great gaps in their audience coverage, neglecting the very young, high school students, and adults. Essentially, Coleman pointed to educational programming in the museum as an activity focussed on schoolchildren, just as Kavanagh and Hooper-Greenhill have argued.28 In reaching the point at which children were the primary focus of active educational programming, museums had recreated themselves for the new century. The above discussion of the changing nature of the educational role of museums has focussed on American and British thought and practice. The next three chapters will shift that focus to the Canadian museum. Chapter two is an analysis of the rhetoric of education at Canadian museums, using the writings and radio scripts of Charles Currelly, first director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, as the study example. A close look at Currelly's rhetoric demonstrates that Canadian museum people followed trends in both British and American museums, although the British seem to have been the stronger influence. Currelly used both the traditional rhetoric of the museum of industrial art, claiming the museum as educator of workers and consumers, and the newer, child-centred education rhetoric, but he did not begin to espouse 2 8. Coleman, Museum in America, 304-6. He describes the clubs and other methods on 343-353. The unusual clarity with which Coleman saw the focus on children and the shift from passive to active is undermined by his problematic understanding of adult education in the museum. Arguing that lifelong learning and adult education were recent ideas stemming from increased leisure time, he called upon museums to fulfill a larger role in this area, to offer programmes for adults in the same manner that they were offering children's programming, and to extend adult education outside of the museum library. Coleman, 317-40. Given the early introduction of a focus on children in American museums, it is possible that from Coleman's perspective in 1939 adult education could be seen as never having been a concern of American museums. As the height of the museum movement is said to have been the twenty years prior to the First World War, many American museums would have been established within the child-centred milieu and thus have not been part of the earlier adult-focussed idea of a museum. However, it is clear that adult education was not a new idea in British museums. 99 the latter until the interwar period, when almost all British and Canadian museums were beginning to move in that direction. The influence of the broader museum movement on Canadian museums can also be seen in chapter three's description and analysis of the process of creating an education division in the Royal Ontario Museums. The ROM was influenced by the educational trends discussed by Hooper-Greenhill and Kavanagh, and all of the signs of a twentieth-century educational museum were instituted eventually. However, the conceptual choices made in the establishment of the museum in 1912 meant that reaching the educational consensus was a difficult process which took many years and claimed a number of "casualties'. Chapter four, finally, considers education at the other three museums and compares their experiences to that of the ROM as well as to the whole museum movement. The similarity of the results in each museum-active educational programming largely for children-demonstrates the strength of the general imperatives at work and the influence of developments in Western society on the institutions. The differing paths by which these ends were reached reflects the specific situation of each museum. 100 Chapter Two — "Ugliness is [Not] All Right": CT. Currelly and the Rhetoric of Education As institutions appropriated to fulfill middle class ambitions in the area of education, museums were early surrounded by the rhetoric of education which the middle class was creating in order to justify public expenditure on its institutions. The introductory comments to this section point out that advocates for museums were declaiming the educational utility of museums as early as the 1780s and specifying their ability to civilise and improve the working classes from the 1830s. Not only could museums teach middle-class morality to the working classes, they could also diffuse middle-class tastes through demonstrating high quality and excellent design, which would, in turn, improve the skill of workers. This would be good for the nation's business. Walter Smith, Inspector of Schools for the State of Massachusettes and an advocate of industrial art, wrote in 1872 regarding the new encouragement of art education in Massachusetts that the failure to promote art had been shown to have "materially affected the commercial prosperity of the nation."1 Smith's was a sentiment wholly supported by William Ewart, a prominent witness to the British Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures of 1835 and 1836, by the Select Committee itself, and by Prince Albert, Henry Cole and the other producers and promoters of the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition. A properly educated nation would be a prosperous nation, and museums could help to provide the proper education. These arguments were primarily linked to museums of industrial art, institutions such as Walter Smith, Art Education, Scholastic and Industrial (Boston: James R Osgood and Co., 1872): v. On Smith, see Neil Harris, "The Gilded Age Revisited: Boston and the Museum Movement," American Quarterly 14,4 (Winter 1962): 545-566. On American museums' failure to exploit the idea of the museum of industrial art, except for the popularity of courses "for the purpose of training consumers to buy," see Coleman, Museum in America, 85-87. 101 the South Kensington Museum which were established expressly to exhibit examples of high quality and excellent design, both for the benefit of students at art and design schools and for the general public. However, they and similar arguments were also used more broadly, in order to justify any and all institutions that displayed collected natural and cultural specimens. In the 1840s, William Ewart was promoting Parliamentary legislation to enable town councils to establish local museums for the same reasons and with the same rhetoric he had used to advocate museums before the Select Committee ten years earlier.2 Displays of art, ancient or modern, and ethnography at the National Gallery and the British Museum were also justified with similar arguments.3 Even natural history museums, although less likely to be considered to have potential in design and production, were advocated for their presumed moral influence.4 Indeed, this rhetoric of education rarely differentiated among the growing multitudes of types of museums available to the interested public.5 The purpose of all of these institutions was presumed to be some form of education and improvement. Canadian museums, as the institutional manifestations of the colonial middle class and a part of the international museum movement, were incorporated in the same rhetoric of education which Ewart, Cole, Smith and others were using for American and British museums. 2. Stokes, "Class and the Civilising Process," 316. 3. Stokes, "Class and the Civilising Process," 408-417. See also, Jenkins, Archaeologists & Aesthetes, 68. 4. Berger, Science, God and Nature, 36 & 46-50; and Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, "Curiosities and Cabinets: Natural History Museums and Education on the Antebellum Campus," Isis 79, 3, #298 (September 1988): 412. 5. See Goode, "The Principles of Museum A<iministration," especially IV. Classification of Museums, 90-104; and "The Museums Association and Its Journal," Museums Journal 1, 1 (July 1901): 3-6. 102 There does not seem to have been a Canadian equivalent to Sir Henry Cole of the Victoria and Albeit Museum, Sir William Flower of the British Museum, or George Brown Goode of the Smithsonian Institution, all of whom spoke and wrote frequently on the topic of museum work and museum methods, including the educational utility of museums.6 However, some idea of how Canadian museum people saw education in their institutions can be gleaned from the published work and extant radio scripts of Charles T. Currelly, director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology from 1912 to 1946. Although his works on museums are not extensive and certainly do not represent a formal system of educational theory, Currelly's writings and radio scripts do demonstrate a coherent philosophy concerning the value of his museum's collections to its users, the role of the museum in its community, and the educational utility of museums. In particular, they demonstrate that the strength and staying power of the arguments articulated in the 1830s were such that in interwar Canada, thousands of miles and an hundred years away from William Ewart and the Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures, Charles Currelly could still use the same educational rhetoric to justify the existence of his museum and to explain its utility. However, by the 1930s, Currelly was also espousing the new child-centred education originally introduced into American museums in the late nineteenth century. A blend, in Currelly's philosophy, of Matthew Arnold, John Dewey, and the nmeteenm-c^ntury reform tradition, only slightly modified to suit twentieth-century Canada, these ideas represent as much a critique of modern Canadian society as they do a philosophy for museum education. But they also show that 6. Canadian museum people published their scientific research but seem not to have felt the need to discuss their museum work per se. Harlan I. Smith of the Victoria Memorial Museum in Ottawa is, perhaps, the sole exception, but he came to Canada from an earlier career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and was, therefore, influenced by the American tradition of men like G.B. Goode. 103 Canadian museums and museum people conformed to the patterns established by the international museum movement: rooted in the earlier discourse of industrial design, they also showed the signs of new child-centred museum education. Teaching Taste and Beauty: The Nineteenth-century Museum of Industrial Art A full year before the passing of the act which established the Royal Ontario Museums, and three years before the R O M officially opened to the public, the University of Toronto Monthly published an article entitled "The New Museum," in which Currelly discussed the collections of the archaeology museum as they already existed.7 The article, which was largely an enumeration of the finer pieces in the various collections Currelly was developing for the museum, had two points to make: first, that the R O M of Archaeology was going to be an unique institution, starting out as "a museum of considerable importance," because gradual accumulation of artefacts over the years meant that the new building would already be overcrowded when it opened; and secondly, that this accumulation had not been ^discriminate but had had "a definite scientific aim." The museum would be "a text book of the development of civilisation on its mechanical side." Currelly was determined to make clear that this was not "a dilettante collection of pretty things or an accumulation of "curios'": There is not a curiosity in the collection, and practically not an object that is isolated, but each thing fits into a place in a series that has been carefully thought out. Gaps in the collection would be filled in the future, and students and visitors would have a "continuous picture of the world's civilisation from the rude palaeolithic implement..., right down 7. C T . Currelly, "The New Museum," University of Toronto Monthly 11, 7 (March 1911): 159-165. 104 to modern times."8 This concept of a scientific collection of material culture depicting the evolution of civilization owed much to the theory of the British anthropologist Augustus Pitt-Rivers. Based on observations of instruments of warfare, those of both the modern British army and the so-called primitive peoples he came into contact with during his years guarding the Empire, and heavily influenced by the displays of manufactured items at the 1851 Crystal Palace exposition, Pitt-Rivers argued for a classificatory scheme which placed all material culture in an evolutionary chain.9 Pitt-Rivers' theories were quite influential in Victorian anthropological circles and, as William Chapman argues, the stranglehold they acquired on anthropology identified object-oriented, or museum, anthropology with cultural evolution theory long after it was considered outmoded by other academic disciplines.10 Currelly was, therefore, following the precepts of his discipline with the well-thought-out series of artefacts depicting the history of civilization which he collected. However, for Currelly these series had a greater end than simply illuminating the history of civilization. The artefacts, Currelly wrote, were gathered with the "workers both male and female" who could "draw or photograph" those items of relevance to their work, and use them as "models and inspiration" 8. Currelly, "New Museum," 159. 9. Augustus Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers, "Principles of Classification," and "On the Evolution of Culture," in Pitt-Rivers, The Evolution of Culture and Other Essays, J.L. Myers, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1906): 1-19 and 20-44, plus Plates I-V, XXI. van Keuren argues that the ideological basis for Pitt-Rivers' theories was anti-revolutionary and that the museums he created were designed to direct social and political evolution, and to stress change as a gradual process, van Keuren, "Museums and Ideology." See also Jenkins, Archaeologists & Aesthetes, on scientific archaeology. 10. William Chapman, "Tike a game of dominoes': Augustus Pitt-Rivers and the typological museum idea," in Susan M Pearce, ed., Museum Economics and the Community, New Research in Museum Studies, v.2 (London: Athlone Press, 1991): 135-176. 105 very much in the mind.11 The new museum, by providing models of good design and showing people the evolution of the particular object they manufactured would turn people into first class workers, and by extension, turn Canada into a first class workshop. Museums have always had difficulty convincing the general public of their usefulness and of the importance of spending public money on them. They have been forced to expend much effort in rhetoric and propaganda on both their utility and their relevance. Natural history museums and science centres, as the previous chapter's discussion of the Nova Scotian and British Columbian identity shows, have argued for their own utility as partners in the shaping of a bright economic future for the province or the nation. Displaying the artefacts of the natural world and of the scientific culture which was increasingly dominant in the public mind, they could demonstrate their relevance to the nature study and science courses which were being introduced into schools and universities, as well as to the richness of the natural resources only waiting to be exploited. Museums, like Currelly's, which displayed the material remains of ancient cultures and civilizations, or of so-called "primitive' cultures, could not so easily identify themselves as relevant to a rapidly changing world. Arguments for the 'scientific' use of these collections in order to display the development of material culture or to illustrate the design process and the elements of 'good' design, were, therefore, a way in which to make these collections useful and relevant to the industrial world. The collections of artefacts from the Old World which Currelly gathered for the ROM provided the link to an ancient and 'civilized' past which the elite of Ontario desired. But this was an identity based on the past, at a time when n . Currelly, "New Museum," 164-65. 106 many were arguing the need to look to the future.12 Arguing that the museum was one of industrial art allowed Currelly to extrapolate an industrial future from his artefacts of the past. Thus, archaeology could become a way not only to define a past but also to shape a future, just as were Honeyman's and Piers' economic minerals, and Fannin and Kermode's large mammals. Currelly, then, was not being disingenuous: he was using an educational rhetoric which, as Ewart's, Cole's and Smith's use of it shows, had a long history in the museum, the economic, and the political communities. Regardless of whether or not museums really could do what the rhetoric claimed, it was an accepted and acceptable argument for the relevancy of museums. Nor was Currelly the only Canadian proponent of museums to argue that museums could improve taste and production. When Edmund Walker approached the Ontario government, in 1909, with his renewed appeal for a museum, he considered the argument so well-known and so accepted as truth that he felt no need to do more than mention it as a justification for the museum: The value of the education of the people through seeing objects which are interesting archaeologjcally, artistically, scientifically, for individual or economic reasons, is recognized throughout the whole civilized world and it is not necessary to enlarge upon this.13 Currelly, however, did elaborate, for the benefit of those who might not have understood how decidedly the importance of museums to the economy had been proved. In a 1927 article, he noted that it was "the French who first realized the commercial gain that might accrue from regular instruction and study of such collections [of the interesting work of the past]" and who took advantage of this by opening museums of industrial art. The English, shocked at finding in 12. Many, of course, were also turning to the past. Anti-modernism was a prominent theme running through late rimeteenm-century European society. See, for instance, Lears, No Place of Grace. 13. Robert Falconer, "The History and Growth of the Royal Ontario Museum," draft introduction, 1938, RG 59, H Correspondence, b.5, f. "Fa-Fh 33". 107 1851 that their goods "displayed excellent materials and workmanship" but "lacked the attractiveness that causes ready sale" established the Victoria and Albert Museum, the influence of which "has revolutionised English design." The Americans soon entered the race: Pierpont Morgan and others "used the power of their immense wealth to found museums, so that they might keep in America the enormous sums that were going annually to Europe for the finer grade of manufactures." "The influence of institutions like the Metropolitan Museum in New York," Currelly stated, "has retained in the country millions of money [sic] per annum."14 It was toward this same end that the ROM of Archaeology was working. It was thought, Currelly continued, that when the ROM opened in 1914, Canada had entered the field too late: [There was] little chance for a museum of industrial art large enough to make Ontario a centre for the study of design and methods of work of the great periods of the various industries.15 But he and others involved in the museum had been pleasantly surprised when the people of the province gave so generously and so enthusiastically~of both artefacts and money-that, at the time of his writing, the ROM of Archaeology could be ranked third in America; the Chinese collection, in particular, was remarkable in its rapid growth and high quality. The crux of Currelly's 1927 article, however, lay in its final point that the museum's objects and cases were so tightly packed that the resulting congestion hindered the usefulness of 14. Currelly, "The Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology," University of Toronto Monthly 27,8 (May 1927): 347-348. For a very different analysis of J.P. Morgan's influence in America than that provided by Currelly, see Neil Harris, "Collective Possession: J. Pierpont Morgan and the American hmgination," in Linda H Roth, ed., J. Pierpont Morgan, Collector: European Decorative Arts from the Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford: Wadsworth Atheneum, 1987): 43-57. 15. Currelly, "Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology," 348. 108 the material: Till the exhibits can be properly seen, there is withheld from the workers in many of the crafts that we are most anxious to develop in Ontario