400 Years of History: Three Unique Perspectives

May 9, 2008

400 Years of History: Three Unique Perspectives

Gatineau, Quebec, May 8, 2008 — The first years of Europe’s encounter with North America — and the centuries of competition between Britain, France and Spain — are explored in a unique international exhibition opening tomorrow at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Jamestown, Québec, Santa Fe: Three North American Beginnings is a partnership between Canadian and American institutions,presented as part of the Museum of Civilization’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City.

The exhibit charts the development of all three early North American settlements — Jamestown in 1607, by the English; Québec in 1608, by the French; and Santa Fe in 1609, by the Spanish — and the ways these developments forever changed the North American landscape.

“This exhibition is a collection of rare artifacts that represent the origins of European colonies in North America,” said Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “It’s a history that is rich with stories of triumph and tragedy, conflict and allegiance. This process of settlement and conquest profoundly changed the world, and shaped modern culture.”

“Museum visitors will have the rare opportunity to learn more about this vital period in North American history, from all three perspectives,” said Dr. Jean-Pierre Hardy, Quebec Historian at the Museum of Civilization. “As Québec celebrates 400 years on this continent, this timely exhibition explores the foundation of our existence in this corner of the world.”

Jamestown, Québec, Santa Fe features more than 130 Native and European artifacts, paintings, maps, documents, and ceremonial objects from royal collections and museums on both sides of the Atlantic. The exhibition explores the development of trade, agriculture, society and religion in the three settlements, as well as the relationships with indigenous peoples like the Powhatan, Algonquin, Huron and Pueblo.

The Museum of Civilization is presenting this exhibition from May 9 to September 7, to honour Québec’s 400th anniversary. It marks the foundation of the first Canadian capital and the birth of the first permanent French settlement in North America.

The exhibition is jointly organized by the Virginia Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, with support from the Robins Foundation, LandAmerica, Jamestown 2007, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Media Information:

Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7167

Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7169

Fax: 819 776-7187

2008-05-09 00:00:00.000