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Other Name
"1945 RED CROSS QUILT"
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, WOOL
Catalogue Number
P20170035000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"1945 RED CROSS QUILT"
Date
1945
Materials
COTTON, WOOL
No. Pieces
1
Length
214
Width
168.5
Description
BLUE AND PINK QUILT WITH PATTERN OF 56 PINK DIAMONDS INTERLAID WITH BLUE DIAMONDS; PINK FABRIC DIAMONDS HAVE NAMES EMBROIDERED IN BLUE THREAD, LISTED BELOW. BLUE DIAMONDS HAVE AN EMBROIDERED FOUR PETAL DESIGN STITCHED IN FABRIC. QUILT HAS BLUE EMBROIDERED TEXT ON TWO CENTER DIAMONDS, “1945” AND “RED CROSS”. QUILT HAS FINISHED EDGES WITH PINK BORDERS. QUILT HAS FRAYING AND LOSS ON UPPER RIGHT EDGE; FABRIC AND EMBROIDERED TEXT IS FADED; QUILT HAS MINOR BROWN STAIN ON BACK AT LOWER EDGE; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. EMBROIDERED NAMES ON FRONT OF QUILT [ALPHABETICAL]: ANNAND, ASHMAN, BAILEY, BAKER, BARNES, BELL, BURNS, CARLSON, CARNELL, CHAMBERS, CHRISTIANSEN, CYNCH, DAYMON, DELANY, DEVEBER, DICKSON, DILATUSH, FALLON, FOSTER, GAIRNS, GIDDIE, GLADSTONE, GOBLE, GOING, GREGORY, HAGGLUND, HARRISON, HARWOOD, HATFIELD, HAUG, HINTON, HOLROYD, KEMMIS, KLOPPENBORG, MATKIN, MCEWEN, MCKENZIE, O’BRAY, PITTAWAY, PRESLEY, RACKETTE, REEVES, ROPER, SHERMAN, STEWART, STRATE, THOMAS, UDELL, WACHER, ZORN.
Subjects
ART
Historical Association
DECORATIVE ARTS
FURNISHINGS
History
THE WATERTON PARK RED CROSS QUILT WAS CREATED BY WATERTON FAMILIES DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND WAS EMBROIDERED WITH THE SURNAMES OF WATERTON RESIDENTS LIVING IN THE PARK DURING THE HOMEFRONT PERIOD. THE QUILT FEATURES 50 NAMES EMBROIDERED ON THE SURFACE, ALL SURNAMES OF WATERTON FAMILIES IN THE COMMUNITY DURING WORLD WAR 2 ACCORDING TO BERT PITTAWAY IN A LETTER TO THE WATERTON NATURAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION. THE QUILT WAS PART OF A RED CROSS SOCIETY INITIATIVE THAT SAW GLOBAL AND CANADIAN COMMUNITIES CREATE QUITS FOR SENDING OVERSEAS AND FOR RAISING FUNDS FOR THE RED CROSS. ACCORDING TO ONLINE INFORMATION FROM HALIFAX WOMEN’S HISTORY [HTTP://HALIFAXWOMENSHISTORY.CA/CANADIAN-COMFORT-QUILTS] AND ACTIVE HISTORY [HTTP://ACTIVEHISTORY.CA/2017/07/RED-CROSSES-AND-WHITE-COTTON-MEMORY-AND-MEANING-IN-FIRST-WORLD-WAR-QUILTS/], RED CROSS QUILTS WERE COMMONLY CREATED BY CANADIAN COMMUNITIES AS CIVILIAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO WAR EFFORTS DURING BOTH WORLD WARS. THE QUILTS WERE SENT TO THE RED CROSS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO FAMILIES DISPLACED BY THE WAR OVERSEAS AND TO REFUGEES; QUILTS WERE ALSO RAFFLED PUBLICLY IN COMMUNITIES TO RAISE FUNDS FOR QUILTING GROUPS AND THE RED CROSS. THE WATERTON QUILT WAS RAFFLED IN 1945 AND WON BY MARY PITTAWAY OF WATERTON. BERT PITTAWAY DONATED THE QUILT TO THE WATERTON NATURAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION FOR DISPLAY AT THE WATERTON HERITAGE CENTRE IN THE 1980S, IN MEMORY OF BERT’S PARENTS MARY AND JOHN EDWARD PITTAWAY. JOHN EDWARD PITTAWAY, FATHER OF JACK, BERTRAM, AND DENNIS PITTAWAY, BEGAN HIS MILITARY CAREER AS AN ARMY TRUMPETER IN AN IRISH MILITIA UNIT. J.E. PITTAWAY JOINED THE REGULAR ARMY IN NOVEMBER 1893, SERVING IN WORLD WAR 1 AND WORLD WAR 2, IN WORLD WAR 2 ACHIEIVING THE RANK OF BATTERY SERGEANT MAJOR. J.E. PITTAWAY MOVED TO WATERTON IN 1927 FROM IRELAND. J.E. PITTAWAY WORKED FOR THE PARKS DEPARTMENT AS A GARDENER AND THEN AS A CAMPGROUND CARETAKER. J.E. PITTAWAY DIED MARCH 13, 1956, WITH HIS FINAL TRIBUTE IN CALGARY ON MARCH 17, 1956. ACCORDING TO THE PARKS CANADA WEBSITE ON WATERTON NATIONAL PARK, MEMORY OF THE WARS WERE “…INSCRIBED ON LANDFORMS IN PLACE NAMES…AND THE CELEBRATION OF PEACE WAS GIVEN SYMBOLIC FORM IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WORLD’S FIRST INTERNATIONAL PEACE PARK IN 1932.” WATERTON NATIONAL PARK FEATURES LAKES, RIDGES, AND PEAKS NAMED WITH REFERENCES TO THE WORLD WARS, INCLUDING AVION RIDGE, FESTUBERT MOUNTAIN, AND MOUNT ALDERSON. IN 2017, THE WATERTON NATURAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION DISSOLVED AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM WATERTON LAKES PARK FACILITATED THE TRANSFER OF THE COLLECTIONS TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS. THE 1945 WATERTON QUILT WAS DONATED TO THE GALT MUSEUM & ARCHIVES AS PART OF THE EFFORTS TO RE-HOME THE WATERTON NATURAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION’S COLLECTION. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE LETTER FROM BERT PITTAWAY, DONATION NOTES FROM THE WATERTON NATURAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION, INFORMATION FROM THE PARKS CANADA WEBSITE ON WATERTON LAKES PARK, AND NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS ON THE PITTAWAY FAMILY, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20170035000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170035000
Acquisition Date
2017-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, WOOD, GLASS
Catalogue Number
P20170033001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY
Date
2011
Materials
COTTON, WOOD, GLASS
No. Pieces
1
Length
65
Width
42
Description
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY IN MATTE AND FRAME. EMBROIDERY COMPLETED IN BROWN ON WHITE FABRIC, AND SHOWS THE 1910 GALT HOSPITAL FRONT. EMBROIDERY INSIDE BROWN AND GREY MATTE AND BROWN WOOD FRAME WITH GLASS OVER. FRONT OF FRAME HAS BLACK ENGRAVED PLAQUE ON BOTTOM EDGE READING “GALT HOSPITAL/MUSEUM & ARCHIVES, 1910, DESIGNED AND STITCHED, 2011, BELINDA CROWSON”. BACK OF FRAME COVERED IN BROWN PAPER WITH SILVER WIRE ATTACHED FOR HANGING. BACK OF FRAME HAS WHITE LABEL WITH TEXT “LA GALLERY CUSTOM FRAMING & ART, 421-5TH ST. SOUTH, LETHBRIDGE, AB T1J 2B6, PH. 380.4556, FAX 380.4562, WEBSITE WWW.THELAGALLERY.COM, EMAIL INFO@THELAGALLERY.COM, W/O # H0761, ASSEMBLED BY CM”” WITH CHECK BOXES ON LABEL FOR “MOUNTING METHOD” AND “GLASS”, “NON-GLARE GLASS” CHECKED. FRAME HAS CHIPS ON FRONT EDGES; BACK HAS TEARS IN PAPER BACKING. OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION.
Subjects
ART
Historical Association
DECORATIVE ARTS
History
ON NOVEMBER 16, 2017 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BELINDA CROWSON REGARDING HER DONATION OF A MUNICIPAL CAMPAIGN SIGN AND BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY PIECE. CROWSON WAS EMPLOYED WITH THE GALT MUSEUM AS THE MUSEUM EDUCATOR, WITH A REPUTATION AS A RENOWNED LOCAL HISTORIAN, UNTIL HER ELECTION TO CITY OF LETHBRIDGE COUNCIL IN 2017. ON THE BLACK EMBROIDERY PIECE, CROWSON RECALLED, “SHARING [THIS] WAS HARD, BECAUSE THIS WAS THE FIRST [PIECE] I DESIGNED…AND I VERY MUCH KNOW THE MEANING. IT WAS HANGING IN THE CLASSROOM [AT THE GALT MUSEUM] FOR YEARS, BUT IT WAS VERY HARD [TO GIVE UP], BECAUSE I DESIGNED IT; I STITCHED IT; AND IT’S A PIECE OF MYSELF.” “IT IS SOMETHING THAT I ACTUALLY DESIGNED, AND I HAD NEVER DESIGNED A PIECE BEFORE. I HAD TO LEARN HOW TO DESIGN IT, SO I ACTUALLY HAD A PICTURE AND GRAPH PAPER. I LEARNED HOW TO TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH, AND TURN IT INTO BLACKWORK STITCHES, EVEN THOUGH, OF COURSE, IT’S DONE IN BROWN, AND NOT BLACK. THE NAME DOESN’T ACTUALLY MEAN THE COLOR.” “BLACKWORK COMES FROM THE ELIZABETHAN TIME, AND IT WAS DONE WHEN LACE WAS REALLY EXPENSIVE. THEY WOULD TAKE BLACK THREAD ON WHITE MATERIAL. IF YOU DO BLACKWORK PROPERLY, IT’S ABSOLUTELY REVERSIBLE. IF YOU DID IT ON CUFFS OR COLLARS IT WOULD ALMOST LOOK LIKE LACE, AND BE REVERSIBLE FROM BOTH SIDES. IT’S A TYPE OF EMBROIDERY THAT USES PRIMARILY STRAIGHT LINES. I TAUGHT A CLASS TO PEOPLE AT THE GALT MUSEUM [ON] HOW TO DO BLACKWORK. I ACTUALLY TAUGHT AN EMBROIDERY CLASS IN THIS DESIGN, WHICH IS A VERY SIMPLE TYPE OF EMBROIDERY TO DO, BUT CAN CREATE INCREDIBLY ELABORATE DESIGNS.” “I COMPLETED [THIS PIECE] IN 2011 AND HAD IT FRAMED THAT SAME YEAR. IT’S SUEDE AROUND THE PICTURE MATTE.” “SOMETHING LIKE THIS SIZE OF PICTURE, IN BLACKWORK, PROBABLY ONLY TOOK ME ABOUT 2 WEEKS TO STITCH. IT’S A VERY QUICK DESIGN, BUT IT FILLS IN – AND, IF I WAS TO REDO IT AGAIN, I’D FILL IN MORE OF THE BLANK SPACES. [BLACKWORK IS] SUPPOSED TO LOOK AS COMPLETE AS POSSIBLE, BUT I WANTED TO MAKE THE COLUMNS STICK OUT, SO IT MAY HAVE WORKED IN THAT REGARD.” CROWSON ELABORATED ON HER BACKGROUND DOING EMBROIDERY, NOTING, “I HAVE BEEN DOING EMBROIDERY SINCE [I WAS] A KID. IT’S SOMETHING MY GRANDMOTHER KNEW; MY MOTHER KNEW; IT’S SOMETHING I WAS TAUGHT, AND, OF MY SIBLINGS, I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES IT. THE OTHERS LIKE TO DO MORE STITCHING WITH MACHINES. I LOVE THE HAND-STITCHING, AND I HAVE LONG BEEN THINKING ABOUT DESIGNING. I ALSO HAVE A PASSION FOR HISTORIC BUILDINGS. I HAD DONE A BLACKWORK PIECE, WHICH WAS A PATTERN THAT I HAD BOUGHT AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. IT’S A REALLY NICE WAY OF DOING EMBROIDERY, SO I THOUGHT “THERE’S A WAY OF CAPTURING HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY.” I MADE MYSELF A CHALLENGE OF FIGURING IT OUT, AND, OF COURSE, THE WAY I DO MANY THINGS, I DIDN’T ACTUALLY RESEARCH HOW TO DESIGN. I JUST TAUGHT MYSELF, AND IT TOOK ME A WEEKEND. I THREW AWAY ABOUT 3 DESIGNS, UNTIL I REALIZED YOU’VE GOT TO START IN THE CENTER AND WORK OUT. THE NICE THING ABOUT THE GALT HOSPITAL—BECAUSE I DID THE FAÇADE OF THE HOSPITAL [IN THIS PIECE]—IS THAT IT IS SO BEAUTIFULLY SYMMETRICAL, IT MADE IT EASIER. I HAD…THE VARIEGATED THREAD, AND THE MATERIAL TO STITCH ON. THEN IT WAS A MATTER OF ACTUALLY CREATING IT. THE PATTERN HAD A LOT OF ERASING DONE ON IT, AS I CHANGED THINGS. I’M VERY PROUD OF THE WINDOWS…MY GOODNESS, THAT BUILDING HAS A LOT OF WINDOWS! IT WAS FUN, AND THIS WAS THE FIRST ONE [I MADE]. SINCE THEN I HAVE DONE GALBRAITH SCHOOL, THE BOWMAN, AND THE POST OFFICE. THE GALBRAITH SCHOOL IS HANGING AT GALBRAITH SCHOOL, THE BOWMAN IS IN MY HOUSE, AND THE POST OFFICE WAS RAFFLED OFF TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR CHINATOWN.” “I REMEMBER, AS A KID, I WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO, BUT I WENT THROUGH ONE OF MY MOM’S JEWELRY BOXES. IN THERE WAS THE WORK SHE HAD DONE AS A KID. SHE HAD BEEN PRACTICING HER STITCHES. THAT STUCK WITH ME, AND I REMEMBER HER TALKING ABOUT HOW SHE HAD BEEN TAUGHT FROM HER MOM. MY GRANDMOTHER KEPT CROSS-STITCHING EMBROIDERY UNTIL HER ARTHRITIS GOT TOO BAD. WHEN I DO IT, I REALLY DO FEEL I AM PART OF THAT CHAIN, BECAUSE I DO HAVE EMBROIDERY THAT BOTH MY MOM AND MY GRANDMOTHER HAVE DONE. IT IS INTERESTING BECAUSE, FROM THE MENNONITE TRADITION ESPECIALLY, A LOT OF THE STITCHES I HAVE COME FROM THAT TRADITION, SO IT’S VERY MUCH A PART OF THAT. I WOULD LIKE TO SIT DOWN, ONE DAY WHEN I GET TIME, WITH MY MOM’S COUSIN, WHO DOES WHAT’S CALLED 3-D EMBROIDERING. IN MY FAMILY, PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAVE THE ORDERED EVERY DAY TEA TOWELS, THEY HAVE THE BED TOWELS. IT’S SUCH A PART OF THE SOUTHERN ART, SO MY [WORKS ARE] A LITTLE MORE MODERN INTERPRETATION OF SOME OF THAT. MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WOULD HAVE SAT IN RUSSIA, DOING THE SAME STITCHES.” “I DON’T KNOW [HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THE REGION ARE DOING BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY]. I TAUGHT THE CLASS IN … EMBROIDERY, BUT I DON’T THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE PICKING UP BLACKWORK. IT’S INTERESTING, WHEN I MENTION THIS, TALKING TO SOME PEOPLE ONLINE, ONE OF MY FRIENDS WHO HAS A HISTORIC HOUSE IS LIKE, “COULD I PAY YOU TO DESIGN MY HOUSE?” [BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY] IS A FUN WAY FOR ME TO TAKE THOSE TWO IDEAS I LOVE-–OF STITCHING, AND HISTORIC BUILDINGS-–BECAUSE PHOTOGRAPHY, WITH WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TODAY, IS RELATIVELY EASY. YOU CAN TAKE POINT-AND-SHOOT. SOME PEOPLE ARE MUCH BETTER AT IT--THEY’RE ARTISTIC-–BUT THIS IS A WAY OF CAPTURING A BUILDING. YOU HAVE TO, VERY PERSONALLY, SIT THERE, AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO MEASURE EVERYTHING OUT, EVEN TO DESIGN IT, YOUR APPRECIATION OF THE ARCHITECTURE IS VERY DIFFERENT THAN A POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA.” “I’VE DONE FIVE BUILDINGS NOW, AND I HAVE SEEN EACH ONE IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY. I REMEMBER THINKING, WITH THE POST OFFICE, WHEN YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE HEIGHT OF THE CLOCK TOWER COMPARED TO THE BASE OF THE BUILDING, [YOU SEE THE] PHENOMENAL ARCHITECTURE, [BUT] IT’S ONLY WHEN YOU ARE STITCHING IT THAT YOU REALIZE THAT THE BASE OF THAT BUILDING ISN’T STRAIGHT. THE BUILDING GOES WITH THE SLANT OF THE SIDEWALK, AND I HAD TO TAKE AN ARTISTIC EYE, AND MAKE THE BOTTOM OF THE BUILDING STRAIGHT FROM THE FRONT. THE OTHER THING, WITH THE POST OFFICE, THERE’S ALMOST NO HISTORIC [PHOTOGRAPHS] OF IT STRAIGHT-ON; IT’S ALWAYS ON THE CORNER, BECAUSE THAT’S EASIER. I CAN’T CROSS-STITCH MY BUILDING ON THE CORNER, SO I HAD TO ACTUALLY TAKE MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS, INSTEAD OF HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS. THIS HAS REALLY GIVEN ME A NEW APPRECIATION OF THE BUILDINGS, BECAUSE I HAD TO LOOK AT THEM SO CAREFULLY. WITH THE BOWMAN—WITH ALL THESE BUILDINGS--YOU HAD TO THINK WHAT TIME PERIOD YOU WANTED TO DISPLAY. SO THE ONE OF THE BOWMAN, I HAVE THE UNION JACK FLYING [IN] THE PICTURE, BECAUSE I WANTED [TO CAPTURE] IT BACK WHEN IT WAS ORIGINALLY CREATED.” “IT’S AN ADDICTION. YOU SIT IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION, AND SOMETIMES A WEEKEND PASSES AND YOU HAVEN’T DONE MUCH. WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON A PROJECT, FOR MYSELF, IT’S LIKE, “I’M GOING TO GET IT DONE.” THEN YOU TAKE A BREAK BEFORE YOU PICK UP THE NEXT PROJECT, SO YOU CAN DO ALL THE OTHER STUFF. TRYING TO PUT [AN ESTIMATE OF TIME SPENT CREATING] IT, I WOULDN’T HAVE A CLUE.” “I THINK EVERYBODY [HAS] MULTI-FACETS IN THEIR BRAINS, AND I USE DIFFERENT PARTS OF IT. IT’S ALWAYS FUN TO CHALLENGE, TO TRY NEW THINGS. ONE OF THE THINGS I’D LIKE TO DO…I’VE SEEN PEOPLE WHO ARE CROSS-STITCHING ON METAL [PUTTING HOLES IN]. IN THE SPRING, I WILL BE DOING A CROSS-STITCH PATTERN ON ‘PAGE WIRE’, THAT [ATTACHES] TO A FENCE, SO IT WILL BE OUTDOOR CROSS-STITCH. I LOVE WORKING WITH MY SILKS, AND MY REALLY DELICATE STUFF, BUT THE BEAUTIFUL THING ABOUT EMBROIDERY IS YOU CAN TAKE IT DIFFERENT WAYS. WHY SHOULD KNITTERS HAVE ALL THE FUN WHEN THEY GO ‘YARN-BOMBING’? WE CAN DO ‘CROSS-STITCH BOMBING’, TOO. IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE YOU CAN TAKE A VERY OLD FORM, AND MAKE IT VERY MODERN.” “IT WAS A HARD DECISION [TO DONATE IT]. I HAVE THE PATTERN. I CAN ALWAYS RECREATE IT. IT WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME. I DON’T CARE IF YOU RECREATE SOMETHING, IT’S NEVER THE SAME THING. BUT I HAD TO LET THE LOGICAL PART OF MY BRAIN HANDLE THIS DECISION, BECAUSE IT DID HANG IN THE CLASSROOM AND YOU POINTED TO THIS THING A LOT WHEN WE DISCUSSED THE BUILDING. FOR A LOT OF STUDENTS THIS WAS THE PICTURE OF THE BUILDING THAT THEY REMEMBER SEEING, SO THE CONNECTION TO MY JOB JUST MADE IT SUCH A STRONG [POINT]. THE OTHER THING IS, AS AN ARTIST…I GET TO SAY I’M AN ART-PIECE IN A MUSEUM. THAT’S QUITE THE HONOR. IT WASN’T CHOSEN AS AN ART-PIECE, BUT STILL I CAN MAKE THAT WORK. [I SPENT] PROBABLY A WEEK TALKING TO FAMILY MEMBERS AS WELL, BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF CROSS-STITCH IN MY HOUSE, FROM PATTERNS AND DIFFERENT THINGS. I REMIND THEM I’M NOT GOING TO DIE SOON, BUT SOME OF MY NIECES HAVE TOLD ME WHICH ONES THEY WANT WHEN I’M DEAD. SO I ALSO NEEDED TO TALK TO FAMILY, AND MAKE SURE THAT NOBODY WAS GOING TO BE CRINGING TO FIND IT WAS GONE. IT IS INTERESTING HOW THINGS THAT YOU CREATE [HAVE] A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP FOR OTHER PEOPLE TOO, SO I HAD TO DOUBLE CHECK WITH OTHER PEOPLE TOO.” “IT WAS JULY OR AUGUST OF 2000, WHEN I WAS INTERVIEWED BY WILMA WOODS, AND I WAS BETWEEN TEACHING [JOBS]…AND GETTING CLOSE TO THE START OF SCHOOL. I DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO SUB, AND IT WAS A TEMPORARY SIX MONTH POSITION. I APPLIED, AND WILMA INTERVIEWED ME ON THE MAIN FLOOR, IN THE HALF OF WHAT’S NOW THE FRIEND’S BOARDROOM. THAT IS WHERE HER OFFICE WAS, AND WHERE SHE DID THE INTERVIEW. I PREPPED. I WENT TO B. MACCABEE’S BOOKSTORE AND BOUGHT THE CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF LETHBRIDGE, AND READ THE ENTIRE BOOK…BEFORE THE INTERVIEW. I WASN’T REALLY THINK ABOUT WHETHER I’D GET THE JOB, SO I GAVE REFERENCES TO HER AND REALIZED I HADN’T ACTUALLY LET THE REFERENCES KNOW. I CALLED THEM AFTER I GOT HOME, WHICH WAS GOOD, BECAUSE I GUESS SHE CALLED FIVE MINUTES AFTERWARDS BECAUSE SHE WAS PRETTY QUICK. I STARTED [AT THE GALT MUSEUM] SEPTEMBER 1, 2000, WITH THE EXHIBIT ON THE IRRIGATION DISTRICT AND ITS CENTENNIAL. IT WAS A SIX MONTH GRANT POSITION. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A TEMPORARY POSITION, BECAUSE AT THAT POINT THE E. TEAM HAD GEARED DOWN ON STAFF AT THE MUSEUM. SO I STARTED THERE, AND…JANUARY AND FEBRUARY OF THE YEAR, THEY WENT TO CITY COUNCIL AND ASKED FOR IT TO BE MADE A FULL-TIME PERMANENT POSITION. IT HAD TO BE POSTED, BUT I APPLIED AND GOT THE FULL-TIME PERMANENT POSITION IN MARCH 2001. I MADE THE DECISION, BUT WITHOUT REALLY THINKING ABOUT IT, THAT TEMPORARY POSITION TURNED INTO A SEVENTEEN YEAR JOB.” “[OF THE WORKS I’VE DONE] IT’S DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BIG ONES. THERE [WERE] A FEW OTHER THINGS I TOOK OUT OF MY OFFICE THAT HAVE BEEN WITH ME FROM THE BEGINNING…THE REASON I STITCHED THIS BUILDING WAS MY CONNECTION TO THE BUILDING. IT’S NOT ONLY A PHENOMENAL BUILDING, BUT THIS WAS ‘HOME’ FOR 17 YEARS.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20170033001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170033001
Acquisition Date
2017-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOL, DYE
Catalogue Number
P20160003006
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date
1929
Materials
WOOL, DYE
No. Pieces
1
Length
182.5
Width
117.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN RUG MADE FROM HAND-DYED, HANDSPUN WOOL. THERE IS A 3-4 CM WIDE BLACK BORDER AROUND ALL LENGTHS OF THE RUG, WITH FRINGE ON THE SHORT ENDS. INSIDE THE BLACK BORDER IS A SINGLE WOVEN BORDER OF LIGHT BLUE WOOL. INSIDE OF THIS BORDER IS A PATTERN SET ON A DARK BURGUNDY-COLOURED BACKGROUND. THERE IS A BLUE FLOWER IN THE CENTER OF THE RUG. ON ONE END THE DATE “1924” IS WOVEN IN RAW-COLOURED WOOL. THE “9” HAS BEEN WOVEN UPSIDE DOWN. ON THE OPPOSITE END OF THE RUG, THE INITIALS “ ” FOR THE NAME LISAVETA PETROVNA WISHLOW, ARE WOVEN IN LIGHT BLUE. THERE ARE 20 HARPS COLOURED EITHER BLUE, ORANGE, PINK, OR YELLOW AROUND ALL LENGTHS OF THE RUG. UNDER THE HARPS IS A GREEN VINE PATTERN AND A RED DECORATIVE BORDER. THE DESIGN ELEMENTS ARE LAID OUT SYMMETRICALLY OVER THE RUG AND CONSIST OF FLOWERS, DUCKS, AND BUTTERFLIES. VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. SLIGHT WEAR TO THE WOOL FROM USE.
Subjects
FLOOR COVERING
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. THIS RUG WAS HAND-WOVEN BY ELIZABETH KONKIN IN 1924. THE RUG WAS USED AS A WALL COVER IN THE WINTER AND ACTED AS AN INSULATOR. LATER IT WAS USED ON THE FLOOR AT CHRISTMASTIME. IT WAS INHERITED BY MORRIS PRIOR TO THE PASSING OF HER MOTHER: “I CAME INTO POSSESSION [OF IT] FROM MY MOTHER. SHE DIED IN 2003 AND I GOT THE RUG SLIGHTLY BEFORE THEN AND YES THAT WOULD BE ABOUT THE TIME… I HAVE NO OTHER SIBLINGS AND SO OBVIOUSLY EVERYTHING SHE MADE WOULD GO TO ME. MY SON SAID HE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE RUG, BUT CHANGED HIS MIND. HIS WIFE WAS NOT KEEN ON HAVING IT, SO I HAD TO DO SOMETHING WITH IT. TO ME IT IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL RUG AND I WANTED IT SOME PLACE WHERE IT WON’T GET TRASHED BY DOGS OR ANIMALS.” AFTER ACQUIRING THE RUG, MORRIS PLACED IT ON THE FLOOR OF HER HOME IN LETHBRIDGE: “THE LINO [ON THE FLOOR] STARTED TO WEAR OUT AND I THOUGHT YOU CAN’T PUT A RUG LIKE THAT ON ANOTHER LINO. IT JUST DOESN’T GO. BUT I DO LIKE HARDWOOD SO WE HAD HARDWOOD PUT THROUGHOUT THE BEDROOMS. THE LAST ROOM IS MY OFFICE, FIRST OF ALL, I HAD THE RUG IN THIS BEDROOM AND THEN IT WASN’T VERY CONVENIENT TO CLEAN BECAUSE THERE WASN’T THAT MUCH SPACE SO I PUT IT IN MY OFFICE WHERE I LOVED IT, BUT I KEPT STUMBLING OVER IT. I THOUGHT I MIGHT BREAK A LEG IF I DO THIS SO I BETTER GET RID OF IT… THE HARDWOOD WAS PUT IN BEFORE THE GST WENT IN. I DIDN’T HAVE THE RUG THEN BUT I THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE GETTING THE RUG AND SO I WOULD HAVE IT HARDWOOD… WAS IT 1995? ANYWAY BEFORE GST WENT IN.” THE RUG HAD BEEN PRESENT THROUGHOUT MORRIS’ LIFE – FROM TIME SPENT ON THE DOUKHOBOR COLONY IN SHOULDICE, ALBERTA TO LIFE ON A FARM OUTSIDE OF VAUXHALL, ALBERTA: “I CAN REMEMBER WHEN I WAS BORN. THE RUG WAS IN MY PARENT’S HOME. WE LIVED ON A DOUKHOBOR COLONY, WE HAD MUD PLASTERED WALLS AND OUR HOUSE WAS WELL BUILT. MY DAD BUILT IT. SOME OF THE HOUSES ONLY HAD ONE LAYER OF WOOD AND THEY WERE VERY COLD, HOWEVER OUR BEDROOMS HAD WALLS ON THE NORTH SIDE. IN WINTER THEY GOT CHILLY, SO EVERY WINTER THEY WOULD NAIL UP THIS RUG UP AGAINST THE WALL. IT STAYED THERE FOR THE WINTER. FOR SUMMER IT CAME DOWN, I DON’T [KNOW] WHERE SHE STORED IT, I THINK POSSIBLY IN ONE OF THE BIGGER TRUNKS AND THEN TOOK IT OUT… THIS HOME [WHERE THE RUG WAS PLACED], IT’S OUTSIDE OF VAUXHALL. WE LEFT THE COLONY, MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND MOVED THE HOUSE. THE HOUSE WAS EXPANDED AND THEN WE LIVED IN THAT HOUSE. I LEFT HOME AND MY PARENTS HAD A HOUSE IN LETHBRIDGE WHICH DAD BUILT ALSO AND HE SOLD THE FARM. THEY ASKED IF WE WANTED TO GO AND WE DIDN’T. SO THEY SOLD THE FARM AND THERE WAS A BEAUTIFUL POND WHERE WE SWAM AND BOATED AND WE HAD LOTS OF TREES AROUND THE HOUSE. IT WAS ABOUT AN ACREAGE IF NOT MORE AND WHEN HE SOLD IT THE NEW OWNERS, VERY FRUGAL PEOPLE, [THEY] BURNT DOWN THE HOUSE, THE STEAM BATHROOM, THE GARAGE, THE WORKS. NOW MIND THEY WERE OLD STATE BY NOW AND THEY PLOWED [IT ALL INTO] IN THE POND BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO MAKE MONEY FROM THE GRAIN [FIELDS], SO WHEN I WENT THERE A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER, [I WAS] SURPRISED EVERYTHING WAS GONE, SO THAT WAS THAT." THE RUG MAY HAVE BEEN WOVEN BY MORRIS’ MOTHER ON THE DOUKHOBOR COLONY IN SHOULDICE OR DURING THE WINTER SPENT IN COWLEY: “… IT COULD HAVE BEEN WOVEN IN COWLEY BECAUSE THEY STAYED IN COWLEY FOR THE WINTER BUT I CAN’T BE TOO SURE. IT ALSO COULD HAVE BEEN MADE ON THE COLONY… TWENTY MILES EAST OF MOSSLEIGH.” ELIZABETH KONKIN WAS MARRIED IN 1927, SO THE INITIALS WOVEN ON THE RUG ARE OF HER MAIDEN NAME: “THAT’S AN “L” [ ] THAT’S LISAVETA (SIC.) BUT HER NAME IS YALALISAVETA (SIC.) BUT SHE PUT DOWN LISAVETA. PETROVNA THAT’S A “P” [ ] THAT’S DAUGHTER OF PETRO AND WISHLOW [ ] THAT WAS HER MAIDEN NAME. ... [AFTER MAKING THE RUG] THERE WAS SOME WARP LEFT OVER. … WARP IS THE STUFF THAT RUNS DOWN AND WEFT IS WHAT YOU PUT IN BETWEEN WITH A SHUTTLE BUT THIS WASN’T PUT IN WITH A SHUTTLE. EACH INDIVIDUAL THREAD WAS KNOTTED. IT’S LIKE DIFFAGHAN (SIC.) - A SWEDISH METHOD - AND THAT’S HOW IT WAS DONE. IF THERE WAS SOME LEFT OVER AND HER MOM INSISTED THAT SHE DO ANOTHER RUG. WELL SHE DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT. SHE SAYS “YOU MAKE IT FOR YOUR BROTHER.” SHE FELT HIS WIFE SHOULD DO HER OWN HOPE CHEST BUT SHE DID AND THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT HIS RUG THEY USED IT ON THE FLOOR. MY MOTHER DIDN’T USE THIS ONE ON THE FLOOR EXCEPT AT CHRISTMAS TIME SO THE WISHLOW FAMILY WHO HAD THE OTHER RUG, THE MOTHER WASN’T TOO KEENLY INTERESTED IN IT. THEY HAD IT IN THE LIVING ROOM AND THEN IT WENT UP FOR SALE TO A PLACE THAT WAS OWNED BY A MAN NAMED, HIS LAST NAME WAS EWASHEN (SIC.) …THAT’S [THE RUG’S] TWIN, YES.” MORRIS THEN GOES ON TO DESCRIBE SOME OF THE OTHER PATTERNING FOUND ON THE RUG: “OKAY THOSE ARE HARPS. SHE HAD PATTERNS TO GET THEM FROM OTHER WEAVERS AND THEN SHE’D TRACE THEM OUT. I DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE USED TO TRACE THEM ON THE WARP [WITH] AND THEN SHE’D WEAVE AWAY WITH THE THREAD THAT WERE THE WEFT. SHE PUT THE DESIGNS HERSELF ONTO THE RUG” THE RUG WAS BROUGHT TO LETHBRIDGE WHEN ELIZABETH AND WILLIAM KONKIN RETIRED THERE: “I WAS TEACHING SCHOOL IN COALDALE WHEN THEY MOVED AND DAD MADE THE HOUSE IN NORTH LETHBRIDGE… THE HOUSE IS NICELY BUILT AND IT’S WARM, IT’S COMFORTABLE SO THERE’S NO USE PUTTING IT UP ON THE WALL. EVERY CHRISTMAS SHE’D TAKE IT OUT AND WE’D ROLL AROUND ON THIS RUG AND SHE WOULD HANG IT UP AFTER THE NEW YEAR SO I SAID TO HER ‘WHY DON’T YOU PUT IT ON THE FLOOR?’ AND SHE SAID, 'WELL I DON’T WANT TO MESS IT UP.' HOWEVER, I SAID, 'WELL I’M GOING TO PUT IT ON THE FLOOR,' SO THAT’S WHERE IT WAS UNTIL I STARTED STUMBLING OVER IT.” AMONG THE OTHER ARTIFACTS DONATED BY MORRIS THAT WERE OWNED BY HER MOTHER, THE RUG WAS A SIGNIFIER OF THE HARD WORK REQUIRED WITHIN THE DOUKHOBOR LIFESTYLE: “[THE BLANKET AND THE SPINNING WHEEL] MEANT A LOT WELL AFTER THE WAR AND THINGS WERE CHEAP. THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO WEAVE THEIR OWN STUFF. PRIOR TO THAT, NOT IN MY MOTHER’S TIME EVEN BEFORE THAT MY GRANDMOTHER’S TIME, EVERY GIRL HAD TO WEAVE A TROUSSEAU FOR HERSELF TO LAST A LIFETIME BECAUSE SHE STARTED HAVING CHILDREN AND SHE WOULDN’T HAVE THE TIME TO DO IT. THERE WERE THINGS THAT WERE ANCIENT THAT WERE USED AND USED UNTIL THEY DIED HOWEVER, IN MY MOTHER’S DAY THEY KNITTED THEIR OWN SOCKS, THEY MADE THEIR OWN QUILTS. THE MEN DID THE BUILDING AND THEY LIVED OFF THE GARDENS BECAUSE THEY WERE VEGETARIANS SO THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MEAT. THEY BOUGHT EGGS FROM THE NEIGHBOURS WHO WERE FARMERS. THE INTERESTING THING THERE WAS THAT THEY WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO EAT MEAT AND I ATE MEAT WHEN I WAS CLOSE TO TWENTY. WHEN I TELL MY VEGETARIAN RELATIVES WHAT ABOUT YOUR SHOES AND YOU’VE GOT LEATHER, COWHIDE WHATEVER AND THEY COULDN’T COME UP WITH AN ANSWER SO… THEY REPRESENTED HARD WORK THAT’S, THIS TAKES A LONG TIME WHEN YOU THINK OF EVERY KNOT THAT HAD TO BE TIED AND IT WAS PART OF HER TROUSSEAU. THE SPINNING WHEEL MEANT A LOT BECAUSE YOU HAD TO SPIN THE WOOL SO.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003006
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
WINDSHIELD COVER
Date Range From
1955
Date Range To
1965
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20180021005
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
WINDSHIELD COVER
Date Range From
1955
Date Range To
1965
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
174
Width
82
Description
YELLOW COTTON-BLEND COVER WITH MACHINE-STITCHED EDGES; FRONT OF COVER HAS LOGO IN UPPER LEFT CORNER OF WHITE SHIELD WITH RED BORDER, A WHITE ROSE WITH GREEN LEAVES ON YELOW CIRCLE ON SHIELD, AND RED TEXT “WHITE ROSE”. FRONT OF COVER HAS STENCILED GREEN TEXT AT TOP “DRIVE IN-“ AND RED STENCILED TEXT BELOW “LET US CLEAN YOUR WINDSHIELD!” BACK OF COVER IS WHITE COTTON-NYLON FABRIC. FRONT IS STAINED WITH TWO LARGE HOLES ON LEFT AND RIGHT WITH RIPS EXTENDING FROM HOLES; BACK IS STAINED; RIGHT EDGE FRAYED; COVER IS SEVERELY CREASED AND FOLDED. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
LAND TRANSPORTATION-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
TRANSPORTATION
History
ON AUGUST 22, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED MARG OBERG REGARDING HER DONATION OF AN AUTOMOBILE WINDSHIELD COVER. THE COVER WAS USED BY HER FATHER IN LETHBRIDGE. ON HER FATHER’S USE OF THE COVER, OBERG ELABORATED, “[I REMEMBER] HOW EMBARRASSING IT WAS THAT ALL THE OTHER DADS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WOULD JUST GET OUT IN THE MORNING, AND SCRAPE THEIR WINDSHIELD OFF, BUT OUR DAD [JACK GRANT KEYS] HAD THIS BRIGHT YELLOW THING STRAPPED ONTO HIS WINDSHIELD TO KEEP THE SNOW OFF. AS CHILDREN, THE PEER PRESSURE WAS PRETTY INTENSE, AND WE WERE THE ONLY ONES ON THE STREET THAT HAD THIS GREAT BIG CANVAS THING ON THE FRONT OF OUR DAD’S CAR. WHEN WE MOVED TO EDMONTON, WE DIDN’T HAVE A GARAGE AT THAT POINT. AGAIN, THERE GOES THIS (EVEN THOUGH WHITE ROSE GASOLINE HAD BECOME OBSOLETE). MY DAD DIDN’T THROW TOO MANY THINGS OUT IF THEY STILL HAD A USEFUL PURPOSE, AND SO, THERE IT WAS, FRONT AND CENTER AGAIN–-THE ONLY GUY ON THE BLOCK. I DON’T KNOW WHY SOMEBODY DIDN’T COME UP WITH SOMETHING NOT QUITE SO OBVIOUS. IT WAS JUST AN EMBARRASSMENT THAT MY FATHER ALWAYS HAD TO COVER UP HIS WINDSHIELD.” “HE WAS THE MANAGER OF THE [WHITE ROSE OIL COMPANY] PLANT. WELL, HE CALLED IT ‘THE PLANT’, BUT THEY DIDN’T MANUFACTURE ANY PRODUCTS THERE. THERE WERE BIG TANKS. I BELIEVE THEY WERE UP ON THIRD AVENUE SOUTH–-I WANT TO SAY IN THE AREA OF HARLEY-DAVIDSON. WE LIVED ON 18TH STREET, AND I KNOW THAT IT WAS STRAIGHT NORTH ON 18TH STREET, AND EITHER LEFT OR RIGHT. IT WAS IN THAT GENERAL AREA. IT WAS WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE, [AND] HE WAS THE MANAGER OF THE PLANT. I THINK HE WAS EVEN THE ONLY EMPLOYEE, BUT HE USED TO GO AROUND IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA TO ALL OF THE GAS STATIONS THAT WERE DEALING IN WHITE ROSE OIL, AND GET THEIR ORDERS…THEN, THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A DRIVER THAT WOULD COME AND FILL UP THEIR TANKER TRUCKS FROM WHERE HE WAS–-THE BULK STATION–-AND GO AND DELIVER IT. I KNOW THAT [DAD] WAS ON THE ROAD AN AWFUL LOT, BUT I DON’T RECALL, AS A CHILD, THAT THERE WERE OTHER EMPLOYEES, OTHER THAN THE TRUCK DRIVER.” “I DON’T RECALL THAT HE WAS THAT FOND OF HIS JOB. IN THE WINTER-TIME, IT WAS REALLY TOUGH. HE USED TO FREEZE HIS FINGERS, ON OCCASION, BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONE THAT HAD TO CLIMB UP THE STAIRCASE THAT WENT AROUND THESE BIG TANKS IN THE COLD OF WINTER, AND DO A DIP STICK TO MEASURE HOW MUCH FUEL WAS IN THE TANKS. WE DIDN’T HAVE SNOW BLOWERS…IT WAS TOUGH BECAUSE HE DID SPEND SOME TIME OUTSIDE, WITH HIS JOB, AND THEN [HAD] AN AWFUL LOT OF TIME ON THE ROADS. THERE WERE MANY TIMES THAT HE WOULD…BE STRANDED IN SMALL COMMUNITIES, BECAUSE OF BAD ROADS. OF COURSE HE WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO BE HOME WITH HIS FAMILY. I DON’T RECALL THAT HE WAS REALLY ‘GUNG-HO’. I KNOW THAT SHELL TRIED TO GET HIM TO MOVE TO EDMONTON ON A FEW OCCASIONS, AND HE FLATLY REFUSED…WE MOVED IN ’63, SO IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MY GRANDMOTHER WAS ILL, AND DEALING WITH CANCER, AND IT WAS JUST A VERY INAPPROPRIATE TIME FOR US TO LEAVE. MY MOTHER WAS AN ONLY CHILD, SO THERE WERE NO OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS TO STAY AND LOOK AFTER HER. THEN, FINALLY SHELL SAID, “THIS IS YOUR FINAL CHOICE, AND THERE IS NO OPTION.” I GUESS IT WASN’T A CHOICE–-IT WAS EITHER MOVE, OR LOSE YOUR JOB. IT WAS A MATTER OF PUTTING IN TIME UNTIL HE RETIRED.” “MY DAD PASSED AWAY, AND WE ACQUIRED IT FROM HIS WIDOW…IT’S A SMALL PART OF MY DAD. I DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF THINGS [FROM HIM]. THIS WAS MY DAD’S THIRD MARRIAGE, WHEN HE PASSED, AND HIS FAMILY/HIS WIFE DISPOSED OF A LOT OF THINGS THAT WE [THE CHILDREN] POSSIBLY WOULD HAVE KEPT. THEY MEANT NOTHING TO HER, BUT THEY WERE LIVING OUT ON SALT SPRING ISLAND AT THE TIME. I WAS LIVING IN REGINA. MY BROTHER LIVED IN CHICAGO, AND MY SISTER LIVED IN CALIFORNIA. NONE OF US REALLY WANTED ‘THINGS’, LIKE FURNITURE, SO IT WAS JUST A LITTLE TRINKET THAT BROUGHT BACK SO MANY MEMORIES, AND IT WENT BACK AS FAR AS LETHBRIDGE.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180021001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180021005
Acquisition Date
2018-08
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail