BRANDON, MB October 12, 2018 –Eileen Trott, Curator, Daly House Museum announced today that the Museum has launched an exciting new exhibit in its Community Gallery to celebrate Women’s History Month. It’s a 100-year retrospective that focuses on the unprecedented changes in women’s fashions from the 1880s to the 1980s and the underlying seismic shifts in women’s roles in Canadian Society. Artifacts from the Museum’s own collections examine the emergence of the “New Woman” as she was dubbed in popular culture from the 1890s. During this time period women started to move away from their traditional domestic roles and began pursuing higher education, office jobs, active sports, and social reforms. The active lives of the new woman required more practical streamlined clothing than the many-layered, heavily draped outfits of the late Victorian lady.
A fashion timeline of costumed mannequins shows the progression of women’s dresses, most noticeably in their size and shape, the fabrics and layers used, and the varying necklines, waistlines and skirt lengths deployed. A sampling of women’s undergarments and accessories illuminate how women achieved the desired/required shape. An array of hats, shoes, and jewelry which complemented a woman’s look is also on display.
Scattered throughout the exhibit photographs depict the styles of local women and store front displays from local businesses. A section of these photographs highlight the clothing that represents the active outdoor life of the New Woman. This active woman defied societal rules to create clothing that allowed women to participate energetically in tennis or to wheel her bicycle down a country lane, but societal ideas of “proper” feminine attire slowed the progress of more practical sportswear including swimwear.
“The New Woman’s Fashion Revolution: 1880-1980” is a stunning visual experience bound to appeal to costume lovers and historians alike. By tracing the evolution of fashion that took place in reaction to the numerous changes in women’s roles, visitors are reminded of how intertwined decorative arts are with the culture of the times.
This exhibit was made possible through the support of Manitoba Heritage Grants. Daly House Museum is grateful for this support.
For many of us, taking a photograph is a fairly common occurrence. In fact, in all likelihood we may snap a photo every day or at least every week. With easy-to-use, accessible technology we have the ability to capture special moments with the gentle touch of a screen. This certainly hasn’t always been the case, however. It almost seems surreal to know that it was just 190 years ago that the first photograph was ever taken. But, it wasn’t until the beginning of the twentieth century when the art of photography evolved because of smaller cameras and film formats.Photographers were able to make images quickly under difficult lighting conditions, but when you compare to photography in today’s world, it definitely wasn’t just a click of a button.
That’s precisely why it’s so fascinating to explore the images currently on display at the Daly House Museum in their latest exhibit – Spectacles Then and Now: A Century of Recreational Activities in Brandon and Western Manitoba.The exhibit consists of a collection images that were believed to have been taken by J.B. Whitehead around 1909 or 1910. Whitehead was the owner and editor of the Brandon Sun from 1903-1937.
“These one of a kind, historic photographs provide a unique opportunity to explore the social lives of our citizens when Brandon was transforming into a modern city,” said Eileen Trott, Daly House Museum Curator. “What makes these images so remarkable is that J.B. Whitehead was just an amateur photographer. To go out and get such clear pictures at that time is pretty unique,” said Eileen.
In addition to the twentieth century prints, the exhibit also features photographs taken by local community members and professional photographer, Rob Lovatt, of the same activities that we’re still doing in 2017. The intent is to allow the viewer to trace the similarities and the changes in the recreational activities that have remained popular over the past 100 years by showcasing the then and now images side-by-side.
This new exhibit, which opens this November and runs until the end of February, was made possible with funding from the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, an initiative of the Community Foundations of Canada and the Brandon Area Community Foundation (BACF). Grants totaling $33,000 for community projects in Brandon were allocated through BACF. The exhibit was also made possible by a grant from the Manitoba Heritage Grants Program.
“We still play tennis, we still harvest, and attend community fairs. It’s only our beliefs and values in relation to these activities that has changed and that’s why this was the perfect Canada 150 anniversary project. It shows how our country and community has changed over the last 100 years,” said Eileen.
“We support a variety of projects that help to shape our community today and into the future, but as a Community Foundation it’s also important to look back every now and then to remind ourselves of where we’ve come from,” said Laura Kempthorne, BACF General Manager.
The entire collection consists of over 1200 photographs, but the majority have never been seen before. While the task of narrowing down the images was difficult, only twenty-five black and white, historical photographs were chosen to be part of the exhibit along with the modern images.The images are also distinctive because they are mostly action shots that were taken in a day when most images were staged or posed due to the limitation of the technology.
“This exhibit would not have been possible without the support of the Brandon Area Community Foundation. We wouldn’t have been able to produce high quality images to share with the public.We’re so very grateful to have them (BACF) in our community to help support exhibits and projects like this one” said Eileen.
The exhibit opening event will be held on November 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm. The event is free to the public.
If you like the images that are hanging at the sponsor locations and would like to see mare archived images in the collection, please visit the online gallery link below where you can order prints and wall decor for your home or office.
Daly House Museum is excited to announce our upcoming summer project and fall exhibit Spectacles Then and Now: A Century of Recreational Activities in Brandon and Western Manitoba.
The project is a special Canada 150th exhibit that will explore the recreational and community activities of Brandon and Western Manitoba citizens around 1910. It will compare how those activities and the community has changed over the past one hundred years.
Daly House Museum holds a significant collection of photographs from c. 1910 depicting Brandon and rural area activities including Dominion Day sporting events, First Nations demonstrations at the Brandon Summer Fair, the Brandon Lawn Tennis Club and trips to the Pelican Lake resort at Ninette, Manitoba. These historic and one of a kind photographs provide a unique opportunity to develop an exhibit that explores the social lives of Brandon and Western Manitoba citizens during when Brandon and the province was changing into the modern age. The exhibit is also an opportunity to explore the importance of these activities in today’s society and how social norms related to these activities has changed.
Our goals for this exhibit is to display the historic images with supporting archival documents and artifacts beside modern images, stories and loaned artifacts to create an exhibit that highlights the following themes Sports Events, Country Excursions and Activities, Clubs, and Community Fairs.
As a fun add-on to this exhibit, we are extending a fun contest through social media to the public. More information can be found on our Facebook page
As a part of our community’s celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary, Daly House will hold a special opening for the public when the exhibit opens in October 2017. The exhibit will be displayed from October 10, 2017 to February 3, 2018.
This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Brandon Area Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast.