Adrian has been our First Nations Educator for the past year but his history with Glenbow goes all the way back to his time as a volunteer docent in 1989. His background as a History Major as well as service with the military and a strong link to arts organizations means he is the perfect fit for sharing stories in almost every area of Glenbow! His work as an educator in the Niitsitapiisini Gallery is layered with family connections. His mother, grandmother, and aunts are all pictured in the gallery as well as objects and plants that he has used throughout his life. For Adrian, this makes the space more like “home” than a gallery in a museum.
- Adrian’s mother and grandmother,Rose and Alice Weaselchild, Siksika c.1948 During the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Parade
Adrian’s favourite part of the job of Museum Educator is sharing his interests and making the stories relevant and fun for students. As a volunteer he learned sign language so that he could share stories with hearing impaired visitors. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies and popular culture and he weaves this into his programs, using video game rules and rewards for learning about how different cultures meet their needs.
One of Adrian’s favourite objects is a shirt with the tadpole symbol on it. The tadpole design speaks to overcoming adversity and accepting change.
- Shirt Kainai, early 1900′s elk hide, porcupine quills, natural dyes, weasel pelts Owned by Owns Different Horses
What would Adrian add to the Glenbow if he curated an exhibit? The answer to this shows the overlap between Adrian’s many interests. He would include, as an extension of the Warriors exhibit on 4th floor, a gallery exhibition of photographs depicting Cemeteries from wars Canadians participated in and where thousands of Canadians remain. This would be an ideal exhibition for Glenbow, honouring Military, History, First Nations and Art.
Meet Marcia Slater.
Marcia is our Collections Technician in Cultural History. She accepts, processes and looks after our Western Canadian History collection which has approximately 120,000 objects. That is a very big job! She loves history and the variety of this vast collection which continually allows for new discoveries, new stories and new things to learn. An object that recently captured her interest is this ladies’ cigarette case with matching cigarette holder.“It’s a beautiful set, in its own case, beautifully made, with just enough wear to show the owner used it. It’s enamelled in peacock blue and very stylish, which reflects its era (1920′s) and belonged to a very interesting Alberta woman (Canada’s first female meteorologist). It’s also interesting to consider it in the current context, in which smoking is becoming increasingly unacceptable.”
Marcia often takes Museum School students “Behind the Scenes” – maybe she will show you more of her favourites!
- Glenbow’s Pest Control Technician, Katie Fisher with the large deepfreeze.
Katie Fisher is Glenbow’s in house pest expert. A lifelong museum visitor, Katie wanted a job that involved objects and history, ideally something that was ‘hands-on’! Museum Conservation fit the bill and a project in the migration habits of the carpet beetle brought Katie to the study of pests. Preventing damage in a a museum is not just about insects. Light and moisture can also destroy objects and the floods of 2013 were particularly horrible for some Alberta museums. Katie was part of the Glenbow team of experts that helped the Museum of the Highwood recover from the flood.
Every object, whether it is on loan from another museum, a new or possible aquisition, or part of the collection returning to the museum must be checked for possible hazards. If an object is suspected of carrying any stage of insects – it gets a stay in the deep freeze! This specialized freezer can handle large objects and can be cooled to -30 degrees celcius. Right now, in our small freezer, is a few tins of supplies from the McClintock Arctic Expedition of 1857. Canned Ox Cheek Soup, anyone?
- Frozen objects from the McClintock Arctic expedition cache of 1857
Though it is hard to choose a favourite from over one million artifacts, Katie has a soft spot for the wedding rings that belonged to John and Mildred Ware. Like most of the objects in our collection, it is their story that makes them special. John Ware was a cowboy and rancher that was born a slave and gained his freedom after the American Civil War. He travelled to Alberta on a cattle drive to the Bar U ranch and stayed. He married Mildred in 1892, shortly after starting his own ranch, and they had five children before Mildred tragically died in 1905. John, never the same without her, died soon after. Mildred’s wedding ring was lost until their original house was moved to its present site in Dinosaur Provincial Park and the ring reappeared in the foundation. The rings are now together again at Glenbow.
- Mildred Ware and the Wedding Rings from the Ranching Gallery at Glenbow