On the February long weekend, we celebrated Family Day and Canada’s national Heritage Day with two very special events. On Saturday, February 15 we hosted the The Alberta Quilt Project, and on Monday, February 17 we opened the doors for some fun at the Little White School.
|Diane, Lucie, and the Musée’s very own curator, Joanne.|
The Alberta Quilt Project, a project to document Alberta’s quilting history, is an initiative of the Royal Alberta Museum and is organized by Lucie Heins, Assistant Curator of Western Canadian History. Phase I of the project was to document contemporary quilts and Phase II, now underway, is documenting heritage quilts.
|Lucie Heins and Diane Betton|
As each quilt arrived at the museum, one of our staff interviewed the owner/quilter to find out its history. Who made it? Where? When? Was it for a special purpose? Once the history was recorded the quilt was then examined. Shari and Joanne, the Musée Héritage Museum’s director and curator, were able to help out as Lucie worked with a St. Albert Quilter’s Guild volunteer, Diane Betton, to find out as much as possible about each piece. Quilts were measured and fabrics examined to determine when and how each quilt was made. Patterns were also recorded and the condition noted; we then hung each quilt and photographed it.
The Royal Alberta Museum will be compiling all of the information and photos to be put onto The Quilt Index database which features well over 50 000 quilts from around the world (http://www.quiltindex.org). The Quilt Index is a partnership of the Michigan State University Museum, the Alliance for American Quilt and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online. This valuable resource allows quilt owners, quilters, and researchers to access information about their own quilts and the many thousands of others that have been brought together.
On Friday we were able to document the Alberta quilts in the Museums own collection, and on Saturday we invited members of the public to bring in their own quilts. In all we documented 20 quilts that will be added to the database. For more information about the project visit the Royal Alberta Museum’s website: http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/research/culturalStudies/westernCanadianHistory/research.cfm
|Tori, the Musée’s education programmer, was at the helm at the Little White School.|
Family Day Monday was a lovely mild and sunny day, enticing many a family to spend it outside. People from all over St. Albert and area stopped by the Little White School, divulging in our complimentary hot chocolate and cookie snacks while also enjoying the ambiance of the historic schoolhouse. Kids had fun trying their hand at writing on the chalkboard; learning about just how different school was “back then,” and creating beautiful pastel artwork, courtesy of the Art Gallery of St. Albert. We had numerous visitors come in who reminisced about a time when they attended class at the Little White School; even the Mayor stopped by for a visit! By the end of the day everyone had left with a full tummy, a work of art (or two or three), and a new piece of knowledge about St. Albert’s heritage. We would like to thank those who visited us, and hope to see you all in the summertime!