Category Archives: Past Exhibits

Kaleidoscope: Embroidery through the Generations 1867-2017


Timeless Art of Embroidery Featured in Newest Exhibit  

February 28, 2017 to April 15, 2017

Brandon, MB – From now until April 15, Daly House Museum will be featuring the exhibit, “Kaleidoscope: Embroidery Through the Ages” in their special exhibit room in the Museum.  The exhibit, curated by the Brandon Embroiderers, is a tribute to the art of embroidery in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

In keeping with the theme, the exhibit emphasizes the timeless art of embroidery, while detailing how the art or craft has changed over the last 150 years.  Women of all cultures and times have decorated their homes with embroidered household items, and clothing has been lovingly ornamented.  At one time needlework was taught as much as the three R’s, and a woman was valued if she could master the skill.  In the 1950’s, thread became very affordable and women bought iron-on patterns and kits as projects.  Lately, embroidery has changed, as new threads and materials are available.  What was a decorating practice has become an art on its own.  Embroidery is often personalized and used as mementoes and as gifts.  Sylvia Barr, co-curator of the exhibit proclaims enthusiastically, “when you scan the room from old to new, you can really see how embroidery has changed.  It’s become much freer, more personalized, more artistic.  Much less reliant on rules, kits, and patterns.”

The passion for embroidery is evident when one speaks to Darlene Tufts-Dunlop, current president of the Brandon Embroiderers.  Tufts-Dunlop finds the experience of embroidering “de-stressing” as she often puts on relaxing music as she stitches.  But working in a group situation is also rewarding.  Members meet weekly and have developed strong friendships as they work, socialize, and share techniques.  “Belonging to the club is an opportunity for growth,” says Tufts-Dunlop, who hopes embroidery won’t become a dead art.  She welcomes the opportunity to learn from people with greater expertise.  “Their work is inspiring.”  Members have travelled to conferences to expand their knowledge. Summers generally feature a “stich-in.”  The club always welcomes new members.

The exhibit illustrates the variety of techniques and highlights cultures such as Japanese, Ukrainian, and Chinese.  There is a piece from India which was created by men. Some of the modern wall hangings are more like “media” that one would find in an art gallery.  For example, one group member created a small framed hanging called “Boston Leaves” to commemorate an experience she recently had with her grandchildren collecting leaves in a park.  Another, “Tundra Treasures”, was inspired by a trip to Canada’s far north.

The exhibit runs until April 22 at the Daly house Museum, 128-18th Street.  Regular admission rates apply.  Call the Museum at 204-727-1722 for more information or to book a tour.

Ceramics: Settling the Prairies

Ceramics Settling the Prairies PosterOur brand new exhibit, Ceramics: Settling the Prairies opened Thursday, September 3rd, 2015. This exhibit has been a two year labour of love on behalf of our Exhibition Intern Franchesca Hebert-Spence and the Museum is ecstatic to showcase our expansive Victorian ceramic collection in this fashion. The exhibit seeks to understand the dynamics between the budding city of Brandon, the waves of immigrants coming to Canada and the effects imports had on available tableware.   The exhibit features a variety of collections like Spode, Madalta, Blue Willow, Belleek and Staffordshire, just to name a few.Poster Image copy

For more information on the exhibit, please contact the Museum at 1-204-727-1722 or

Smocks, Frocks and Covers Exhibit Opening Soon!

Daly House Museum’s new exhibit Smocks, Frocks and Covers will be opening to the public on June 20, 2015. The Museum is delighted to showcase eighty-two aprons personally collected by Helen Drysdale, director of the Beautiful Plains Museum in Neepawa, Manitoba.

Portuguese Apron on display in the "Smocks, Frocks and Covers" Exhibiit
Portuguese Apron on display in the “Smocks, Frocks and Covers” Exhibit

“I’ve always loved aprons.” explains Helen Drysdale. “I began collecting aprons when I discovered an unfinished flour sack in my late Mother-in-law’s belongings and it is an honour to share them with the public.”

Through the designs and styles of the aprons on display the exhibit questions society’s view that women’s handiwork is a craft rather than an art form. Each apron on display were made by individuals rather than mass produced on an assembly line. They reflect a moment in the life of their creator as the decorations, colors, and patterns were chosen by the individuals who would wear the aprons.

“When viewed as a work of art, there is a higher appreciation for the time and craft involved.” commented Franchesca Hebert-Spence, Daly House Museum Exhibition Intern. “And while the artists of these beautiful creations are maybe unknown, the flair and skill required to craft these pieces is evident.”

“The aprons showcased in this exhibit are not just an item that our Grandmothers or Mother’s may have made or worn but a reflection of the changing attitudes of society and the role of feminism towards the role of women.” stated Museum Curator Eileen Trott.

Children will be able to enjoy the exhibit as much as the adults through activities in a discovery kit related to the exhibit. The discovery kit will be available at the front desk for families visiting the Museum over the summer. Smocks, Frocks and Covers runs from June 20, 2015 to August 15, 2015.

Daly House Museum is the original home of Thomas Mayne Daly, the first mayor of Brandon. The house contains four floors of artifacts and archival materials representative of Brandon’s early history and the Victorian era. The Museum’s hours are Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Sundays 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (July to August).

For further information please contact Daly House Museum at (204)-727-1722, or

Daly House/BU’s McKee Archives Partner for Historic Exhibition

Gowen’s Brandon: Then and Now

One of the many historic photographs taken by Frank Gowen of Brandon. This photograph is from the City of Brandon Collection held at the Magnacca Research Center, Daly House Museum.
One of the many historic photographs taken by Frank Gowen of Brandon. This photograph is from the City of Brandon Collection held at the Magnacca Research Center, Daly House Museum.

The Daly House Museum is pleased to partner with the S.J. McKee Archives (Brandon University) for the upcoming exhibit “Gowen’s Brandon: Then and Now.” Using historical photographs taken by Frank Gowen, a professional photographer in Brandon from 1906-1914, the project will compare Brandon during a period of unprecedented development (c. 1911) to the Brandon we see today.

Between 1900 and the beginning of the World War I, the city of Brandon’s population more than doubled going from approximately 5,600 residents to just under 14, 000. As a result, Brandon’s industrial, business and residential districts saw significant development in the first decade of the twentieth century. Frank Gowen, a British trained photographer known for his scenic images, arrived in Brandon at the height of this expansion. Partnering with photographer Alexander C. Davidson in 1911, Gowen produced a number of images that documented Brandon during this period of expansion. Featuring over fifty of these photographs, the exhibit will provide an overview of the city’s people, landscape, architecture and environment before World War I. With the help of local photographer Graham Street, we were able to replicate Gowen’s original images, capturing Brandon as it is in 2014. Gowen and Street’s images will be exhibited side by side to visually express the changing character of Brandon over the last century.

Over the last several months student assistant Morganna Malyon has been researching Brandon’s history and the content of the photographs. She will spend the fall months compiling this information and getting the photographs reproduced and ready for display. The exhibit is set to open early January 2015, and the photos will be hung concurrently between the Daly House Museum and the Tommy McLeod Curve Gallery on the second floor of the library at Brandon University. A documentary about the project, co-produced by Graham Street, Nate Bower and Shaun Cameron is set to be released by MTS Stories from Home at the time of the exhibit’s opening. We would like to take the time to thank the Manitoba Heritage Grant program for the generous grant made available to us. Without it this project would not have been possible. The Daly House Museum and the S.J. McKee Archives are both very excited about this project, and look forward to having it on display for the community.

The Exhibit will be displayed concurrently at the Exhibit Gallery at Daly House Museum and at the Curved Gallery at Brandon University from January 22 to April 30, 2015.  There will be a free to the public opening reception on Wednesday January 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

Prairie Culture Exhibit

 "Halfway Tree" by artist Jessie Fosty.  One of the many featured art works on exhibit at Daly House. December 2nd to January 10th, 2015
“Halfway Tree” by artist Jessie Fosty. One of the many featured art works on exhibit at Daly House.


Brandon University Students and Daly House Museum are proud to present “Prairie Culture”.  This exhibit features the art work of students studying in Brandon University’s Fine Arts Program.  In this display of diverse media the student’s explore and interpret prairie culture.



Prairie Culture is a theme that spans several topics such as the environment, physical geography,  political ideology and demographics.  The Brandon University Fine Arts students explore through their art the development, economy and people of the Prairies.

The opening reception for the exhibit will be held at the Daly House Museum on December 5th at 7:00 pm.  The exhibition will run from December 2, 2014 to January 10, 2015

For more information please contact BUFASA Chair, Franchesca Hebert-Spence at 204-570-2396



Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Twitter