This Sunday, we’re launching a series of inside vaults and storage rooms at some of the city’s smaller museums to understand what they collect and how they portray – and represent – Winnipeggers and Manitobans.
If you need the exact shade of brown to represent a bison, it makes sense to look for materials that are close to the source.
Using bison hair collected from fences at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, weaver and craftsman Kitty Churchill created the outline of a bison in a woven adaptation of the original Manitoba coat of arms.
Measuring 49 x 72 centimeters, Campbell’s wall hanging is one of many openly Manitoba-themed pieces in the collection of the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library, located in the C2 Center for Craft at 329 Cumberland Avenue.
Mandated to collect and preserve the works of artisans and craftsmen in the province, the museum’s collection also evokes stories like that of Churchill plucking buffalo hair in the zoo’s bison enclosure in 1942, says curator Andrea Reichert.
“The collections of the museum as a whole are the memory of a material culture,” she says of the 10,000 artefacts, collected over the past century.