A cap, a chair, some figurines... a sickle and teletype machine... 33s, old currency, a player piano too? Uniforms, dresses, and more, just for you will be on display in “Treasures & Curiosities: The Sequel” — a new special exhibition opening at the Galt Museum & Archives on Friday, September 26 and running through January 11, 2015.
“It is not just movies that prove so popular a sequel must follow,” muses Wendy Aitkens, Curator at the Galt Museum & Archives. “In 2010, people from the community were invited into the collections vault to choose an artifact or two with some significance to them. They found exploring the collections intriguing, and the exhibit was so well liked that we decided to repeat the fun in recognition of the museum's 50th Anniversary year.”
“Fifty years ago, the community felt the need to preserve its objects, stories and memories,” recounts Aitkens, who has been at the Galt since 2006. “The vision, support and work of City staff and the Lethbridge Historical Society [LHS] built a foundation for the Galt and its artifact and archival collections. With enthusiasm and dedication LHS volunteers catalogued thousands of artifacts, documents, maps and photographs which reflected the history of the city and the surrounding areas. Galt staff and volunteers continue this work today as new generations offer their treasures and curiosities for donation.”
In 2014, more people had fun exploring the vaults and storage shelves housing these donations. Treasures & Curiosities: The Sequel includes the selected artifacts, alongside the surprising and touching stories of why participants chose them.
One of the participants shared that “This entire process of artifact selection was phenomenal! The initial interview was almost therapeutic as we discussed my background, in order to find items that would trigger “something of meaning” to me.”
“When people visit the Collections areas they often find the experience overwhelming,” Aitkens says, “there are so many artifacts to see! The area is secured with a swipe card and key, the air is cool and everything is well organized on shelves, in drawers or on racks. I enjoy watching people to see what catches their eye—something familiar, something colourful, something large or tiny, something that surprises them. The experience is unique and visitors feel the need to explore down the aisles. The curatorial staff at the Galt take real pleasure in showing visitors through the Collections which we care for and work with each day.”