Date: Opening April 27, 2017
Partner: Ontario Heritage Trust
Venue: Fulford Place – map
Project Members: Jasmine Proteau and Victoria Byers
The objects we choose to keep, and those we leave behind, says something of who we are. These pieces are the threads that weave our lives together into a complete fabric of human experience. Pieces of Me examines how identities are expressed and shaped through the objects people use, create, and collect. Choosing just five objects per person, we unravel six identities, each selected for their contribution to understanding early 20th-century life in Canada.
This exhibition is intended to appeal to a wide audience and was written according to Ontario Heritage Trust accessibility procedures. The exhibition was designed to extend the museum’s audience from older adults to appeal to younger adults and even children. Pieces of Me is located on the second floor of the Fulford Place Museum in Brockville, Ontario. The exhibit has also incorporated panels into the lower floors, which hold the permanent collection display, to build interest in the exhibit on the upper floor.
Pieces of Me was funded primarily by the Ontario Heritage Trust as they had received government funding from Canada’s 150th celebration grants to provide funds for the exhibit. They also provided the assistance of the Curator, Pamela Peacock, and the designer, Anne Hoover as in-kind costs. We also received money from the iSchool exhibition class budget to allow us to travel to Brockville from Toronto in order to work with the collection and install the exhibit.
The project began mid-October, 2016 with a planning and research process that took two months. At the beginning of November, we researched people and objects we thought would help tell the story of their identities and by the end of December, we had drafted all panels and labels. Between January and February, objects were finalized, text editing and revisions took place and all written materials were sent for translation in early March. The design aspects were created in March with the process and approvals taking a few weeks. Installation took place on one full day on April 21st and the exhibition opened on April 27th, 2017.
In the upper floor exhibition space, Pieces of Me consisted of didactic panels which were focused on each individual person and their identity, which was placed next to the case or area that their objects were located. We also included smaller didactic panels in the lower level of the house that discussed the room’s significance or interpretation from the perspective of different people depending on their gender or class. To tie in these two elements, and to encourage visitor engagement and interest, we included ‘identity cards’ which were given to each person as they entered the museum. Each visitor was given a different card so that they could share information between each other while also forming a particular attachment to their person throughout the house.
Our exhibition was featured on the Fulford Place and Ontario Heritage Trust website for the duration of its time on display and was promoted by the OHT as a part of their larger sesquicentennial celebration plans through a variety of government-run media channels. We promoted our exhibition to the local newspaper, the Brockville Recorder, and we featured the opening on our social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We would like to thank the Ontario Heritage Trust for their support and resources to make this project a success. We would also like to thank the University of Toronto’s School of Information for their contributions to our project which allowed us to travel to Brockville in order to facilitate the exhibition’s design and implementation. Thanks to all the professionals who gave us their time and expertise for the exhibition, particularly the Fulford Place staff members, Pamela and Carmen, who guided our project to its successful completion.