Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Final Views

In 2013 on this date, my first post here at Ottawa Daily Photo was published, so five years are done, and today kicks off year six of the blog.

I bring to a close this visit from the Canadian Museum of History picking up where I left off in the Grand Hall. The Spirit Of Haida Gwaii is the original plaster casting of a sculpture by the Haida artist Bill Reid. Two bronze castings of the work are on display at the Canadian embassy in Washington and at the international airport in Vancouver.

Here at the south end of the Grand Hall is the magnificent Morning Star mural by Alex Janvier, up on the ceiling, viewed from the ground floor. If I had to pick a favourite work of art in the National Capital Region, it would be this one.

I took the escalator up to the second level to depart, photographing out the windows towards the river and the Alexandra Bridge.

Outside, I like to take a shot when I come here of the fountain outside the main entrance, with Parliament Hill in the background. 

On a terrace just a few steps up is a Japanese zen garden, carefully planted with specific trees, shrubs, and other plants, with raked gravel between the islands of green.

Here we have a view from the upper terrace looking across to Ottawa. Note the reflecting pool down at the right.

The water feature from above spills over a series of terraces and down ramps, forming artificial waterfalls as it goes. It comes down into this reflecting pool, and ends up making its way down towards the Ottawa River itself, while pumps bring some of the river water back up to the top. 

Keeping close to the building's edge, one can get behind the waterfall for this view.

I finish off today with two views of a sculpture in the reflecting pool- you can see it in the shot from the upper terrace. This first take is from within the Grand Hall. The Kwakwaka'wakw artist Mary Anne Barkhouse descends from a line of fellow artists along the Pacific coast, and this sculpture, titled 'namaxsala, means 'To Travel in a Boat Together' in English. She's also the artist who did the Locavore sculpture that I showed you in my theme day post at the start of the month.

Here we see it from the outside. Done in 2013 in copper, bronze, stainless steel, and stone, it reflects First Nations culture, and is inspired by a story told by Barkhouse's grandfather- of helping a wolf "cross a treacherous piece of water on a boat, on the West coast of Canada." The accompanying plaques, inside and outside, note in the artist's statement that "my grandfather's stories always offered an alternative view for considering the world around me. And so, I relate one of them here, to help negotiate cooperation with the 'other' and inclusion of the wild."


  1. Interesting sculptures. I started blogging in 2006 ! Time flies by !

  2. ...I need to visit on my next trip to Ottawa,

  3. I came to this museum many years ago but I think it was called something different then. I remember the Bill Reid sculpture very well, so impressive. Alex Janvier had an exhibition of his work earlier this year at the National Gallery.

  4. Bravo!
    A beautiful constancy
    Long live your blog

  5. @Gattina: time flies!

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Tom: it's well worth visiting.

    @Shammickite: yes, it was called the Museum of Civilization until 2014 when the name change happened. I tagged it as such early on, which is why it still appears that way in my tags at the bottom of the post- I'm not going back and changing every single tag to Museum of History. The Janvier exhibit was a good one; I covered it a couple of times here at the blog.

    @Bergson: thank you!

  6. I love that bit of art that you like, too. Many wonderful pictures here today, William. Congratulations on five years as a blogger! :-)

  7. A fabulous post William. I love the bear in your last shot, the outside areas and those exhibits inside. I have actually seen the bronze statue of the Spirit Of Haida Gwaii in Vancouver in May. Magnificent! I enjoyed seeing it again in your photos. Thank you!

  8. Hello, I love all the sculptures and the beautiful museum. The last canoe sculpture is my favorite. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

  9. I have never been there of course, but from what I have seen here in the last five years, the 'Morning Star' mural by Alex Janvier is literally and figuratively the highlight of this beautiful museum, I think.

  10. Wow! Happy 6th.
    I love this place!!!!

  11. Interesting how the art was set in the landscape. Congratulations on your milestone. Time goes by in a hurry.

  12. Love that last shot' The Coastal--Haidi, Salish etc have beautiful artwork. The sculptures are wonderful

  13. Congratulations on the anniversary! Here's to five more.

  14. @DJan: Morning Star is a delight to see.

    @Denise: you're welcome.

    @Eileen: it's a grand museum.

    @Jan: it's a masterpiece work.

    @Jennifer: so do I.

    @Red: I find that quite creative.

    @MB: I agree!

    @Sharon: and more after that!

  15. A wonderful sculpture in the first few photos.

  16. Gosh so much fabulousness to see here! I think the plaster mouldings look amazing, almost as nice as the bronze castings, but I agree with you on the Morning Star mural, it is outstanding! Huge congratulations on the five year anniversary of Ottowa Daily Photo, I remember when you decided to start the photo blog! Here's to many more years 🎊🎉🎈✨🎉🎈

  17. You have some splendid photos in this post, William. It's a wonderful way to both end your series on this museum AND to celebrate six years in blog world! Many happy congratulations - I know how hard it is to blog frequently over time but you do it every day and I don't think I could ever pull that off! Three cheers!

  18. Happy 5th blog anniversary William!
    The plaster sculptures are fabulous and so it the Morning Star mural on the ceiling!
    Nice gardens and waterfalls too.

  19. Happy 5th anniversary William. I really enjoy these photos, the last shot with the bear is my favorite.

  20. Happy blogversary, William! This is a wonderful post - love Bill Reid's plaster cast and i'm always happy when you show it!!

  21. @Marleen: Spirit seems to have quite a life of its own, I think.

    @Grace: thank you!

    @Jeanie: it seemed quite appropriate, particularly that with this post I could showcase both sides of the river and both cities at once.

    @Sami: thanks!

    @Bill: thank you!

    @RedPat: I'm pleased to show it.

  22. Love the colours in the Morning Star mural.

  23. Excellent set of photos! Congratulations on 5 years of blogging.

  24. That sculpture is a marvel to me. I cannot imagine creating it. Congrats on your blogging anniversary!

  25. What a place and awesome choices of photos ~ Great sculpture ~ and Morning star mural is awesome too!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

  26. Happy blogaversary. (I hit 7 years last month and completely forgot about it until a follower mentioned it.) Nice views. I like that Japanese garden and the water feature. This museum is as wonderful outside as it is in.

  27. Love the ceiling mural and the view from that tall window. Also the wolf in the boat sculpture:)

  28. Happy Blogiversary! Haida Gwaii is on the bucket list for sure.

  29. cool. boat or kayaking views. a blogiversary ... Congrats!! ( ;

  30. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary.
    Last picture is my favourite. Sculpture looks beautiful with the reflection in the background.

  31. Happy blogversary, William.
    And another interesting post, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  32. @Rosemary: thank you.

    @Linda: thanks!

    @Michelle: it is wonderful.

    @Carol: thank you!

    @Norma: thanks!

    @Kay: I agree.

    @Rosie: I do too.

    @Jenn: thanks!

    @Beth: thank you.

    @Klara: I agree.

    @Jan: you're welcome.