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Kudos!

Fall 2013

> A Message from the President and CEO
> The E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection
> A Sculpture for the Ages
> Soldiers’ Perspectives on the First World War

 

A Message from the President and CEO

Mark O'Neill - President and CEO
Mark O’Neill, President and CEO

As this edition of Kudos! vividly illustrates, our donors are playing an ever-increasing role in the Museums’ ability to expand our scope and reach.

Donor generosity was behind an exciting acquisition, announced in September, for Canada’s national history museum. The E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection contains archival materials, memorabilia and 97 racing trophies, many won by Northern Dancer, the greatest thoroughbred sire of the 20th century. This rich and historic collection was donated by the Taylor family, heirs of Edward Plunket (E.P.) Taylor, the prominent Canadian magnate who revolutionized thoroughbred breeding and racing in Canada.

A major contribution from John and Bonnie Buhler of Winnipeg, Manitoba made it possible for the Canadian Museum of Civilization to commission an exquisite sculpture also unveiled in September. Created by renowned ‘Namgis First Nation sculptor Mary Anne Barkhouse, it demonstrates the continuing vitality of Kwakwaka’wakw artistic traditions as well as the artist’s ability to use traditional means to speak to contemporary issues.

The First World War Centenary Campaign, with a goal of raising $3 million from the private sector, will greatly contribute to the Canadian War Museum fulfilling its mandate as the national centre for remembrance, education, research and outreach for all Canadians. Donations to the campaign will make possible a remarkable range of exhibitions and activities during the Museum’s multi-year exploration of the First World War.

Our last story is about one of the most personal and intimate of these projects — providing the public with online access to soldier’s diaries and photo albums, postcards, glass magic lantern slides, pilot’s flying log books, even newspapers produced in the trenches. Soldiers or their families donated almost all of these materials to the Museum, and donors are also helping to extend the scope of the project.

Finally a word of thanks to you, our donors, for your ongoing support and encouragement. Every donation, whether large or small, financial or object helps the Museums to preserve and share Canada’s remarkable history for the benefit of all Canadians, today and far into the future.

Mark O’Neill

 

The E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection

The Kentucky Derby Gold Cup 1964, E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection, Photo Sylvain Raymond, IMG2013-0170-0025-Dm, Canadian Museum of Civilization
The Kentucky Derby Gold Cup 1964, won by Northern Dancer
E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection
Photo Sylvain Raymond, IMG2013-0170-0025-Dm © Canadian Museum of Civilization

The Queen’s Plate 1964, E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection, Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0170-0024-Dm, Canadian Museum of Civilization
The Queen’s Plate 1964, won by Northern Dancer
E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection
Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0170-0024-Dm © Canadian Museum of Civilization

Judith Mappin (daughter of E.P. Taylor) with her son Jefferson, Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0170-0014-Dm, Canadian Museum of Civilization
Judith Mappin (daughter of E.P. Taylor) with her son Jefferson
Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0170-0014-Dm © Canadian Museum of Civilization

Edward Plunkett (E.P.) Taylor was one of Canada’s most successful and influential businessmen, transforming and creating entire industries. Yet his most enduring legacy is connected to a horse — Northern Dancer, the first Canadian thoroughbred to win the Kentucky Derby, on May 2, 1964. Canadians celebrated Northern Dancer’s Kentucky Derby win in the streets. The horse was deluged with fan mail and the mayor of Toronto awarded him the key to the city. After retiring from racing, Northern Dancer became the greatest sire of the 20th century.

The descendants of E.P. Taylor recently donated to the Canadian Museum of Civilization the E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection, a unique and historic collection featuring 97 racing trophies, many won by Northern Dancer. The collection richly documents the rise of Windfields Farm, owned by E.P. Taylor and the careers of its thoroughbreds through promotional brochures, photographs, racing programs, press clippings, correspondence, foaling records and many other items.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the Museum of Civilization for honouring my father E.P. Taylor, Northern Dancer and Windfields Farm by including them in their future permanent exhibit and for their commitment to house the Windfields racing trophies and share them and their history with Canadians across the country” said Mrs. Judith Mappin, the daughter of E.P. Taylor.

The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, an independent panel of experts, has designated the E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection to be of outstanding significance and national importance.

E.P. Taylor – the visionary

The Windfields Farm Collection is a testament to the energy and vision of E.P. Taylor. In the early 1930s, after a distinguished career at a stock broking firm, Taylor acquired 30 small breweries to form Canadian Breweries, which grew to become the world’s largest brewing company. In the postwar boom, he controlled or held major shares of leading companies in mining, forestry, broadcasting, chemicals and manufacturing.

At Windfields Farm, E.P. Taylor bred and raced thoroughbreds with the same acumen and energy with which he ran his other business interests. During the 1960s, Windfields Farm earned more prize money than any other breeding stable in North America. By 1970, E.P. Taylor was the world’s most successful breeder of racehorses; he established a U.S. branch of the Windfields Farm operation in Maryland, with Northern Dancer and his stud fee which eventually rose to US$1 million as its prime asset.

As E.P. Taylor’s grandson Jefferson Mappin says, “A long-term associate of my grandfather once said to me, ‘To make the right decisions in one business is very good management, but to make them in a number of diverse businesses is genius.’ I’m certain my grandfather would be delighted that Canada’s national history museum will be the steward and guardian of his legacy as the chief architect of the modern evolution of Canadian thoroughbred racing and breeding.”

If you would like to support the National Collection Fund, please contact the Development Department at 1-800-256-6031 or at www.historymuseum.ca/donate.

 

A Sculpture for the Ages

‘namaxsala by Mary Anne Barkhouse, Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0156-0002-Dm, Canadian Museum of Civilization
‘namaxsala by Mary Anne Barkhouse
Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0156-0002-Dm © Canadian Museum of Civilization

Mary Anne Barkhouse, artist, Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0156-0013-Dm, Canadian Museum of Civilization
Mary Anne Barkhouse, artist
Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0156-0013-Dm © Canadian Museum of Civilization

John and Bonnie Buhler, patrons, Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0156-0009-Dm, Canadian Museum of Civilization
John and Bonnie Buhler, patrons
Photo Ryan McCosham, IMG2013-0156-0009-Dm © Canadian Museum of Civilization

It is a powerful image that reaches across the ages — a life-sized bronze female wolf in a gleaming copper canoe seeming to float in the lower pond beside the Museum of Civilization’s Grand Hall.

‘Namgis First Nation sculptor Mary Anne Barkhouse was inspired by her grandfather’s story of giving a pregnant wolf a ride in his skiff through treacherous waters. The sculpture is called ’namaxsala, which in the Kwakwala language means “to travel in a boat together”.

“What does it take to let a wolf, a predator, get in your boat?” asks Mary Anne Barkhouse. “’namaxsala reminds us of the value of independent thought and of compassion for all living things. One of my grandfathers was a farmer and the other was a fisherman. I grew up with a sense of stewardship of the land, stewardship of the water. This has infiltrated my art.”

The Museum was able to commission ’namaxsala thanks to the generosity of Manitoba philanthropists John and Bonnie Buhler. “When I saw the model of a wolf in a canoe, I thought: How unique, I’d love to learn more about it,” says John Buhler. “Its originality had an immediate appeal. It seemed unbelievable, but now it’s a reality, and I love it.”

Now retired, John Buhler was founder and owner of the highly successful Buhler Industries Ltd., Canada’s only tractor manufacturer. He and Bonnie have long been passionate philanthropists, making charitable donations to healthcare and education and to many other organizations such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Manitoba Children’s Museum. ’namaxsala is the first major project outside of Manitoba that they have supported.

Connecting Past and Present

Born in Vancouver, Mary Anne Barkhouse is a descendant of a long line of internationally recognized Kwakwaka’wakw artists, including Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and the artist’s great-great grandfather Charlie James, whose model totem pole is in the Grand Hall at the Museum of Civilization.

Mary Anne Barkhouse’s choice of copper, long used by Kwakwaka’wakw artists, connects her with ancestral traditions, while casting the wolf in bronze reflects contemporary artistic practice.

“All of us who saw the installation go in said that it looked as if it was meant to be there and is original to the design of the building,” says Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “With this sculpture, Mary Anne Barkhouse’s work joins an important collection of contemporary aboriginal art commissioned by the Museum, including powerful work by Bill Reid, Daphne Odjig, Alex Janvier and Shelley Niro.”

“It’s the perfect location for ’namaxsala,” says Mary Anne Barkhouse. “In the Grand Hall there’s the work of my family from previous generations. It couldn’t go anywhere else.”

Interested in taking an active role in shaping and preserving Canada’s history for generations to come? Contact Jean-Charles D’Amours, Director, Major Gifts and Sponsorships at 819-776-8272 or jdamours@civilization.ca

 

Soldiers’ Perspectives on the First World War

From the photograph album of Major Horace Hubert Dibblee, George Metcalf Archival Collection, CWM 20050172-002, Canadian War Museum
From the photograph album of Major Horace Hubert Dibblee who served as a Gunner with the 5th and 9th Siege Batteries of the Canadian Garrison Artillery, George Metcalf Archival Collection, CWM 20050172-002 © Canadian War Museum

Glass magic lantern slide of the 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, George Metcalf Archival Collection, CWM 19630095-002, Canadian War Museum
Glass magic lantern slide of the 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, George Metcalf Archival Collection, CWM 19630095-002 © Canadian War Museum

Newspapers published in the trenches by soldiers for soldiers, containing jokes, amusing anecdotes, cartoons and occasionally poetry. Soldiers’ diaries and photo albums. Pilot log books — including one belonging to Canada’s most famous First World War pilot, Billy Bishop. These are just a few of the personal records of soldiers’ daily life that will soon be accessible to all Canadians through a multi-phase project to digitize thousands of images and objects as part of the Canadian War Museum’s four-year long commemoration of the centenary of the war.

The Museum has already scanned 1,812 magic lantern slides, over one hundred photo albums, selected pages from 66 personal diaries, and 24 pilot log books ― all of which are now accessible to the public through the Museum’s Military History Research Centre’s online catalogue.

The work was made possible by our annual Giving Campaign donors, to all of whom the Museum is deeply grateful.

A unique resource for all Canadians

By the end of the program, the public, researchers, teachers and students will have access to well over 15,000 images online. As Carol Reid, Collections Specialist for the document archives remarks, “All of these archival documents are so important because they help you see the war through the eyes of the young men and women who experienced it. You get a real sense of how they felt, what they saw, and how they passed their time, and you ask yourself could I do what they did?”

Billy Bishop’s log book not only documents his flight paths, types of aircraft flown, and total flying times; it also includes cryptic and sometimes alarming notes: “Engine failed… Crashed… Caught tree… Bad landing…”

The second and third phases of the project will include scanning more than 340 panoramic photographs of Canadian battalions, as well as views of training camps such as Valcartier. Documents and photographs relating to significant or interesting military individuals from the archives’ collections will be scanned, and three-dimensional models of Vimy Ridge will be photographed. Finally, collections of First World War sheet music, sound recordings, silk embroidered postcards, autograph albums, Rolls of Honour and trench newspapers will also be digitized and linked to the online catalogue.

The panoramic photographs of Canadian battalions and training camps measure up to 2 metres in length. They are a compelling visual testament to the number of Canadians who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. “When I look at all of those brave young faces, I can’t help but wonder how many of them returned home,” says Maggie Arbour-Doucette, Collections Specialist for the photo archives.

The trench newspapers — 200 issues from 35 different news-sheets and magazines — were intended to provide information and boost troops’ morale. Few of these newspapers survived the harsh conditions of the trenches but fortunately some were saved by the soldiers or sent home to loved ones. One particular example held in the Museum’s library is titled the Dead Horse Corner Gazette, described as “a monthly journal of breezy comment,” and produced for the 4th Battalion, 1st Canadian Contingent.

The digitization of the George Metcalf Archival Collection, and many other important projects at the Canadian War Museum and Canadian Museum of Civilization, would not be possible without philanthropic support. We would like to thank our donors who have contributed to this work that benefits all Canadians.

By making a donation to this project, you will make more First World War soldiers’ materials accessible to all Canadians online. Please contact Bronwen Dearlove, Major Gifts Officer at 819-776-8687 or bronwen.dearlove@warmuseum.ca or www.warmuseum.ca/donate.

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