Photo by Martin Tessler
"The Wing Sang building"
The Wing Sang building at 51 East Pender in Vancouver, built in 1889.
Curious this summer? Royal BC Museum in Chinatown, Vancouver
Victoria, BC – Curious, the first museum exhibition at the satellite gallery, Royal BC Museum at Wing Sang, will run from June 14 to September 3, 2012 in Vancouver’s historic core.
Curious is the overall theme of four new and concurrent summer installations created by the Royal BC Museum: Intimate Glimpses, Artifact|Artifiction, Magic Lantern and Bottled Beauty. Each is built around unique items and stories from the 125-year-old provincial museum and archives, based in Victoria.
“The new satellite museum in Vancouver adds another dimension to the outreach we offer. We’ll be reaching people directly in BC’s largest city to share just a few of the many fabulous stories held in the provincial collections,” says Pauline Rafferty, CEO of the Royal BC Museum.
The satellite museum gallery, Royal BC Museum at Wing Sang, is possible due to the generous philanthropy of the museum’s Sustaining Patron, Rennie Marketing Systems. The restored Wing Sang building at 51 East Pender, well known as a place to experience the art collection of Vancouver businessman Bob Rennie, will host a quartet of exhibitions created by the Royal BC Museum from June to September each year. This year’s exhibitions include:
Emily Carr – the evolution of an artist
One of Canada’s most beloved artists, Emily Carr (1871-1945) was famous for her depictions of First Nations villages and monumental art, the forests and landscapes of British Columbia. This exhibition draws on the extensive collections of the Royal BC Museum and BC Archives to explore Carr’s youth and the early period before she became recognized. It includes more than 30 of Carr’s paintings, early sketches, and illustrated ‘funny books.’ A timeline places Carr’s art alongside national and international events with many photographs of the young artist and her family as well as displays of clothing, objects and artifacts from the same period. Letters, diaries and sketches reveal intimate glimpses of her private life, friendships and activities as a young woman. New research and findings are presented and some of the material in this exhibition will have never before been on public view.
Test wits with our curators
Just for fun, visitors are invited to pick up a game card and play a mini-version of the Royal BC Museum’s annual gala game. Each of 14 items on display in this room will come with a curator’s statement – but is it Artifact? or Artifiction? All items are from the museum’s collection, but the tale told about each may be true or false. Visitors can practice as warm-up for the entertaining fundraising evening held each October at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. At that event, gala-goers can quiz curators and archivists before answers are revealed and prizes awarded. Those playing the game over the summer will get the satisfaction of their score and of learning a few new things about BC’s history.
British Columbia seen through glass
In a time before colour photography, black images on glass were hand-tinted and projected by a “magic lantern.” The 1850s to 1930s was the era of lantern slides and most were made to instruct or entertain audiences. A row of enlarged backlit slide images of people and places in BC, selected from thousands in the Royal BC Museum collection, will fill a hallway gallery near an original lantern slide projector. Images include strawberry pickers in Saanich, a hiker on Grouse Mountain and a giant Nuu-Chah-Nulth canoe on Nitinat Lake.
Creatures from the collection
One hundred creatures the colour of pale peanut butter, pickled in jars then artfully uplit in a darkened room, have a strangely beautiful effect. A Western Fox Snake, Bell-headed Tailed Jelly and Great Basin Pocket Mouse are just three specimens from the Royal BC Museum’s “wet collection,” thousands of animals preserved in alcohol, some of them dating back to the 1800s. Specimens like these provide the museum’s natural history experts and researchers worldwide with information on climate change, species diversity, and wildlife and habitat conservation.
Tim Willis, Director of Exhibitions and the Visitor Experience says, “What an extraordinary opportunity to share the Royal BC Museum experience with Vancouver. Our goal is to intrigue and fascinate and we look forward to doing this every summer in the Wing Sang building.”
Royal BC Museum at Wing Sang
51 East Pender Street, Vancouver
Open every day, 10 am to 6 pm from June 14 to September 3, 2012
Admission included with Royal BC Museum membership.
Non-member Admission (includes HST):
Individual $11; Family (2 adults, 2 youth age 6-18) $33; Child (5 and under) free.
Tickets for Curious, Royal BC Museum at Wing Sang will be available online at RBCMvancouver.com as of April 16, 2012, or in-person at the Royal BC Museum at Wing Sang when it opens on June 14, 2012. Annual museum memberships are also available online, at any time.
About the Royal BC Museum
As the provincial museum and archives, the Royal BC Museum preserves and shares the stories of British Columbia – on-site, off-site and online – through its research, collections, exhibitions, publications and educational programs. Its two-hectare cultural precinct in Victoria also includes a number of historically significant buildings and First Nations sites; and its seasonal satellite museum gallery in Vancouver showcases BC’s history in one of the oldest buildings in Chinatown – Wing Sang.