Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rocket And Morning Star

Today I am finishing my tour of the Canadian Museum of History, done on the Canada Day weekend. I am starting with this hockey jersey- #9 of the Montreal Canadiens. Maurice "Rocket" Richard wore this sweater during the 1959 playoffs. The Rocket was a secular saint to all of Quebec, and a fierce thorn in the side to other teams. When I look at this, or the statue of him outside Jacques Cartier Park, I am reminded of the late Birdman, a perennial Boston Bruins fan who came with the institutional dislike of the Habs and the Rocket that a Bruins fan would have.

This t-shirt, done in 2014, is displayed. Translated, it reads, Remain calm, yes, there are francophones outside Quebec.

Another look at Morning Star, the totem poles, and Spirit Of Haida Gwaii.

Within a nearby passage leading into the First Nations exhibits, I came across a set of four familiar paintings. The museum has this set of four, painted between 1978-81, by Alex Janvier. Commissioned by the museum at the time, these are collectively called The Seasons, and start from the top with Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

Two items occupy this space close by. The first is a boat, the Nishga Girl, which previously occupied a place in the permanent galleries before the makeover. Giving it this space is quite fitting, I think. Its roots go back thirty years before it was constructed in 1967, starting with the friendship of a Japanese-Canadian man and a First Nations man in British Columbia, one that grew out of shared interests in fishing and boat building. The boat was donated to the museum by the families in 1998, and it now resides here. In the background is the large abstract mural I showed you from the upper levels some posts back. It is an untitled work by a designer, Thor Hansen, and a painter,  Umberto Bruni, finished in 1957 for the offices of the British American Oil Company. It has since been given over to the Museum. 


  1. An excellent overview of the museum. All posts, this and previous ones.

  2. This has been a very enjoyable cyber tour for me, with many remarkable artworks & exhibits. Thank you!

  3. Loved this post William, so much colour! The shot of the totems is excellent, I like that you've got two people in it to the left bottom to give a sense of their size! The huge abstract is fabulous!

  4. I think this is one of my favorite posts yet. I could spend all day in this museum. That T-shirt is especially clever!


  5. A very interesting museum. The totem poles are beautiful!

  6. ...it always pays to look up!

  7. @Orvokki: thanks!

    @Christine: you're welcome.

    @Grace: I love being in that hall.

    @Janis: it gave me a smile!

    @Marleen: it is quite a place.

    @Tom: it does!

  8. Hello, I love the ceiling and the totem poles. Wonderful exhibit. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

  9. I'm glad you included the photos of the ceiling painting again. I love that!

  10. If you had the time I think you could set up a full time blog on things in the museum. You show one thing after another that is interesting about our history

  11. The totem poles are great !
    I love the ceiling too.

  12. It's nice that they have the Rocket's jersey there! It is part of our history!

  13. I see the lines of the Hawaii Fishing Sampans that went out of Kaka`ako for decades, built by Japanese carpenters, and local helpers one presumes.

  14. @Eileen: I can never get enough of that mural.

    @Sharon: Morning Star is a delight.

    @Red: it has quite a collection.

    @Karl: thank you!

    @Linda: me too.

    @RedPat: it is!

    @Cloudia: I'll check that out!

  15. I could easily spend days in there, there is so much to see. I love those totem poles, great representatives of Native culture. Wonderful series and thanks for being our tour guide, William.

  16. Yes, I've often thought I needed a totem in my front yard. :-)

  17. A fine series here, William. Like Birdman, I grew up a Boston Bruins fan and remember nights spent next to the radio listening to Bruins-Canadiens games. Even though the Rocket was on the "wrong" team, I admired his skating and scoring ability.

    BTW, have you seen the home page of the CDP portal, where you are featured?

  18. I probably watched the Rocket play in that shirt! And those Janvier paintings are spectacular.

  19. This is definitely a museum I would happily get lost in. Thanks William, great series :)

  20. This is my kind of museum. . . so many visual treasures!

  21. There's that spectacular mural again! Is there by chance a place to purchase a print of it?

  22. @Bill: you're welcome.

    @Revrunner: it would be quite something to have.

    @Jack: he was a legend of the game. Yes, I've seen it- I'll add a link to it for my post tomorrow.

    @Furry Gnome: there'll never be another one like the Rocket. I think those four paintings might well have been part of the Janvier retrospective.

    @Denise: it's a museum I thoroughly enjoy visiting.

    @Kate: it has a whole lot of that.

    @Norma: I'm not sure. I would imagine it's in a book of his collected works that was on sale in the National Gallery when they had the show on his career some months ago.

  23. What a museum!
    The ceiling and the totem poles so good to see.

    All the best Jan

  24. i am always a fan of totem poles ... need to get up close. i will enlarge it to get a bit closer now. ( ;

  25. (Ahhh. I still miss Birdman!)
    Morning Star is so beautiful and ornate. It's really gorgeous. And those totem poles dwarf the people around them.

  26. I love 'All Seasons' paintings.

  27. @Jan: it's a wonderful museum.

    @Beth: they're beautiful objects.

    @Kay: I feel the same way when I look at old posts and see EastGwillimburyGirl's comments. Gone too soon, both of them.

    @Klara: Janvier's style is incredible.