Archive for the ‘exhibits’ Category

A Star Among Us!

December 10th, 2013

Barbara Rielly is a heritage researcher and volunteer at Goulbourn Museum. While recording the materials and makers of our artefacts she has discovered a host of hidden treasures in our collection. This is her account of one such find.
By Barbara Rielly

It isn’t often that we museum types get to meet genuine, bona fide stars. But those of us lucky enough to have spent much time with this fine lady know that we have indeed had our brush with fame. Star of stage and screen, the inspiration and subject of more than 40 books our fair lady has thrilled generations. At its height, her fame and power was such that companies went into legal battle over her, she was the spokesperson for activists and provided the pattern which many a mother followed. Her beauty is such that she needs no further introduction, ladies and gentleman I present to you RAGGEDY ANN! 

Raggedy Ann has been the beloved friend to little girls since her creation in 1915.  A series of books featuring Ann and her brother Raggedy Andy soon followed and continued to be produced right up until 1977. With over 40 titles in print, these books are still available today. Raggedy Ann dolls are still in production though the manufacturers have changed over the years. There were a number of patterns out there that mothers and their daughters could use to make Ann themselves and it is one of these dolls that we have here at Goulbourn Museum.  Our Raggedy Ann has outrageously long carrot coloured hair and her matching orange outfit has a floral decorative band that is hand drawn as are her features.   It is likely that our Ann was made in the 1970s or 1980s when Raggedy Ann had her triumphant comeback tour complete with her own comic book, a Broadway musical, and two television specials. Raggedy Ann had her own museum for many years and was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002. Click HERE to learn more about Raggedy Ann and her exploits.

I have to admit it has been fun checking out the doll collection at Goulbourn Museum in no small part because it brings back memories. Play is one of the great things about being a kid and dolls were something with which most children would have played. It’s only in recent years that kids have multiple dolls to play with so we can be sure that Ann would for most of her life have been the beloved ‘only doll’ in a child’s life. It is not hard to picture our Ann propped in a chair waiting for her little girl to get home from school.
I remember Raggedy Ann’s massive popularity in the 1970s and had several friends with Anns similar to she who waits at Goulbourn Museum. Given Raggedy Ann has been around for almost a century now, and that there is a new line of plush Raggedy Ann and Andys coming out, we can expect to see her around for a while yet.

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Busy Bee Blankets: Fashionable Flannelette for the Little People in your Lives

November 29th, 2013

An established wall and window mural artist, Carol Macpherson has recently switched her canvass to flannel fabric and her brushes for a sewing machine.  “I love the creative process that goes into making rag blankets, “says Carol.

Busy Bee Blankets makes baby sized rag blankets for boys and girls featuring flannelette and cotton fabrics in different styles and patterns. Each blanket is soft, warm and cuddly ensuring baby is comfy and content.

Carol will be selling her bright, beautiful blankets at our Old-Fashioned Christmas – Art & Craft Sale this Sunday. Come find her in the vendor tent from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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Wooly Warmth: Handmade Knitted & Crocheted Scarves, Cowls & Hats

November 29th, 2013

Munster resident Julie Kavanagh makes beautiful handmade knitted and crocheted scarves, cowls and hats.

She learned the skill from her mother years ago and enjoys making styles for both adults and wee people – especially hats her sweet little girls can model.

The Goulbourn Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Art & Craft Sale will be Julie’s first show. Come out on Sunday and show Wooly Warmth some love!

Find out more by looking up Wooly Warmth on Facebook.

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Babies + Hobby = Poppylane Headbands

November 28th, 2013

Chelsea Bloomfield started making headbands after her first daughter, Poppy, was born in 2010. When her second daughter, Pennylane came on the scene in April 2013 she decided to turn her hobby into a business.

“Poppylane Headbands allows me to be creative and do something I enjoy that both my girls can benefit from,” says Chelsea.

It helps that her girls make the perfect (and cutest!) headband testers.

Poppylane makes accessories for babies, children and adults using comfortable soft elastic in many unique and stylish colours.

Chelsea will be selling her line of headbands and hair clips at the Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas this Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4  p.m.

For more information about Poppylane Headbands, check them out on Etsy and Instagram (poppylaneheadbands).

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Meet Pencil Artist Sheila Cain-Sample

November 28th, 2013

Sheila Cain-Sample has been drawing for as long as she can remember.

“It’s happy time for me, a place to run free and relax.  I’m a pencil artist who loves detail.  It’s all about the contrast between dark and light, shapes and lines,” she says.  “Photorealism or hyperrealism is the challenge – to look at an object and see it then have it flow through my hand to paper.”

Sheila works primarily with graphite but loves to change to coloured pencil if the piece dictates it.

You’ll find Sheila in the vendor tent at our Old-Fashioned Christmas this Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. peddling her beautiful hand-drawn art. To learn more about Sheila visit her blog and etsy page or look her up on Facebook.

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Dragonfly Dreamers – Jewelry that is Absolutely Riveting!

November 12th, 2013

Wendy Southin of Dragonfly Dreamers isn’t afraid to experiment when it comes to creating her jewelry. Although she enjoys taking workshops, most of her masterpieces are the result of her own exploration and experimentation.

Dragonfly Dreamers’ jewelry is created using a combination of metal smithing techniques – sawing, stamping, hammering, riveting and patinas may be used on a single creation.  Copper is the central material used along with other metals, upcycled objects, resin and beads.

“As an artist I enjoy the process of learning and creating with various mediums,” says Wendy.  “Jewelry designing fulfills this desire with its wide range of techniques and materials to explore.”

While her main focus is jewelry, Wendy also designs altered art pieces on canvas, mirrors and other unique objects with a vintage, grungy look-and-feel.

Dragonfly Dreamers will be among the roster of talented artisans peddling their wares in the vendor tent at Goulbourn Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas – Art & Craft Sale. Join us on December 1st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and be sure to set aside some time for ogling the funky finds you’ll come across at Wendy’s table.

Delve deeper into Dragonfly Dreamers by discovering their blog, etsy, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Lest We Forget – Wartime Exhibit at Stittsville Public Library

November 6th, 2013

Throughout the month of November, the Goulbourn Museum will have wartime artefacts on display at the Stittsville branch of the Ottawa Public Library. The exhibit contains items from both the First and Second World Wars such as military hats and a civilian gas mask. Visitors will also be able to read a collection of wartime correspondence written by Pte. Sefton Stewart. Although the young soldier’s letters made it home to his family in Richmond, he did not.

The exhibit will be on display at the Stittsville Library until November 30th.

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From the Depth of our Collection

August 23rd, 2013

Stephanie Miles has spent the past two months working as a Collections Assistant at Goulbourn Museum. Today marks her last day with us.  During her time here she has spent hours meticulously going through our collection cataloging and photographing artefacts. This is one of her favourite finds:


By Stephanie Miles

While going through a few artefacts I was surprised to uncover a book on the legendary ocean liner the R.M.S Titanic. The book, The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters: Thrilling Stories of Survivors, was donated to the Goulbourn Museum in 2011 by Donna Foster.

Having been published in the year of the historic event, 1912, it is in surprisingly good condition for its age with the exception of its missing spine and the delicate nature of the pages.

This artefact led to many questions in my mind. Why was the artefact donated here to the Goulbourn Museum? Is it possible that a citizen of the former Goulbourn Township was a survivor or a relative of a passenger on the Titanic? If so then what stories might they be able to share about this ill-fated ship?

The Titanic sank approximately 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. Interestingly, 100 years earlier during the War of 1812, many ships carrying Irish soldiers enroute to Canada also sank off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland when their vessels hit rough seas.

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Child’s Christmas present from 1925 safely stored in Goulbourn Museum’s collection

July 30th, 2013

By Jennifer Adams

This doll was given to a little girl as a Christmas present in 1925. Just over six decades later, in 1991, it was donated to the Goulbourn Museum and has resided in our collection ever since.

Many of you may recognize this doll from our Museum banner at City Hall. It was chosen, along with two other artefacts, to represent our family-friendly site. Even though her paint is peeling and her face is cracked and chipped, this doll’s ability to represent a much loved pastime of many little girls cannot be overlooked.

The mid-1920s in Canada was a time of great prosperity for some, but for others it was a time of poverty. Many families did not have the money to buy their children toys and some children worked so hard in the home and fields that there was not much time for playing. More often than not, if a girl did receive a doll it was on a special occasion like Christmas.  Because a child would usually only receive one doll during her childhood, (if they received one at all), she would take extra special care of it. It not only had to last the rest of her childhood but there was also the hope of passing it down to her future daughter too.

This toy, known as a composition doll, reached the height of its popularity in the 1920s -1940s. The heads, and sometimes the limbs, of composition dolls were molded out of sawdust mixed with glue. Their heads were easier to manufacture and less likely to break when played with compared to porcelain dolls. Naturally, these American-made dolls gained popularity and German porcelain doll making companies lost favour.
The decades have taken their toll on this doll but like many women who can recall having a favourite doll, this one would have been loved and cherished by a little girl beginning on Christmas morning, 1925.

Question: At the height of the composition doll’s popularity, what famous person’s look-a-like doll was the most sought after? 

Answer:  Shirley Temple.

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Early to mid-19th century style cloth dolls on display until the end of August

July 23rd, 2013

Two of the cloth dolls on display at the Goulbourn Museum.
By Jennifer Adams

Now on display at Goulbourn Museum until the end of August is a wonderful collection of modern made early to mid-19th century style cloth dolls. These dolls were all handmade by members of the Ottawa-based cloth doll club All Dolled Up.

Each doll takes a lot of work to make, as well as time and patience to get it just right. The fine detailing on the faces requires trial and error until the final product matches the doll maker’s vision for the doll. 

This style of cloth doll is reminiscent of the toys that girls would have had in the early days of Goulbourn Township when the War of 1812 was still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Among the 12 dolls on display at the Museum there is also a horse, two dogs and a duck.  Sitting atop the horse is General Brock wearing his uniform and looking very dignified. Near him are a boy and young man, wearing pioneer clothing accompanied by their dogs and the firewood they have been collecting.  The display case would not be complete without the women that also played a valuable role in our nation’s history. They range from a young girl to older women, some wearing pioneer clothing, others wearing gentry clothing. These dolls are shown knitting, collecting food from the fields and doing laundry.

In addition to the Goulbourn Museum, All Dolled Up has also had their dolls on display at art galleries and local functions.  

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Goulbourn Museum

Goulbourn Museum