Recollecting Home Opens at the Galt

Lethbridge—What do a 1930s guitar, a mid-century silk wedding gown, and a hundred year old soccer ball have in common? Aside from sharing space in the Galt Museum’s collections vaults, these objects were all chosen for this exhibit by members of the community because they reminded them of home. Recollecting Home explores the idea of “home” through individuals’ connections to objects.

“We wanted to include a range of different voices and experiences,” says Galt Curator Aimee Benoit. “We worked with close to 60 community participants, including an ESL class from Lethbridge College. We also collaborated with students at Kainai High School, who created works of art about what home means to them.”

Contributor Heng Ng selected a rotary telephone from the Galt’s collections. Ng explains that he chose the rotary phone because when he grew up in Malaysia in the 1960s “Wall phones like this were a luxury for people who could afford it. Out of town calls were always made through an operator, plus the phone numbers were often only three digits.”

Neil Jorgensen, who selected a Rogers Golden Syrup tin from the 1930s or 1940s, explains that “Rogers’ syrup pails appeared in many places around my home. [An emptied syrup tin] would be used as a lunch pail, to catch the cream from the milk separator, to hold the eggs gathered from the hen house or to hold nails or bolts in the garage.”

Cindy Baker chose a handmade cigarette silk quilt from the 1920s or 1930s. Baker says that “Quilting is known traditionally as not only a very domestic pursuit, but a very feminine one. Collectible cigarette silks, designed to be collected and sewn into quilts, were produced by tobacco companies as a gendered way of promoting their products to a new market... I see these quilts as a surprisingly humorous and beautiful symbol of the ways that people have asserted their freedom from expected societal roles.”

“The rich selection of artifacts and participants’ responses really illustrate how unique the concept of home is to each of us, despite also being something we all share,” says Benoit.

This exhibit invites visitors to immerse themselves in the nostalgia of familiar household sounds, smells and objects, while considering the more complex connections we have with people and places. Discover a range of voices that reflect the diversity of southwestern Alberta, and consider what home means to you.

The grand opening of the exhibit will be held on Thursday, January 31 starting at 7 pm. Recollecting Home will be open until May 5, 2019.