Current Exhibitions

Out with the Old? Creating a 'Throw-Away' Society

September 17th, 2016 to January 1st, 2017

Interior Gallery

Since the Industrial Revolution manufacturers have asked “How can I be sure of a permanent and growing market for my product?” In response, they developed a three part answer: technological, psychological, and planned obsolescence. In the first, manufacturers introduced technological changes to their products. This new technology found an eager market in consumers who sought a different way to accomplish daily tasks. In the case of psychological obsolescence, manufacturers adjusted the look of products. Careful and targeted advertising then led consumers to desire goods that changed in style rather than function. With planned obsolescence manufacturers built their products with a limited lifespan so that consumers would need to purchase replacements. The result is what we see today as a 'throw-away' society.

Drawing from Museum London’s extensive material culture collection, this exhibition explores how technological, psychological, and planned obsolescence impacted the household goods that Londoners bought from the late nineteenth through to the late twentieth centuries. For example, how did changes in the technology of doing laundry impact this activity? How did manufacturers of products, such as sewing machines and vacuum cleaners, convince consumers to buy their product over a similar product by another manufacturer? And, looking at home electronics, how have material and design choices caused products to fail or to no longer be operable?

The exhibition will feature objects both strange and familiar, opening a window to the distant and not-so-distant past.

Opening Reception: Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm

TransAMERICAS: a sign, a situation, a concept

September 10th, 2016 to December 11th, 2016

Volunteer and Moore Galleries

Laura Barron, from the series Absentia, Cali, C-Type chromogenic print, 2013, Courtesy of the artist Clarissa Tossin, When Two Places Look Alike, 2013, digital chromogenic print, 68.6 x 101.6 cm Dianna Frid, Genealogy, 2002, unique book: cloth, thread, paper, colored pencil, 20.3 x 27.9 cm closed; 20.3 x 53.3 cm open, Courtesy of the artist, Photo Credit: Tom Van Eynde

In TransAMERICAS: a sign, a situation, a concept, artists examine relationships formed between people and places, including resonant and often overlapping themes of community, travel, bridges and language. The contemporary practices featured in the exhibition go beyond Eurocentric conceptions of Latin American culture, transcending stereotypical and reductive views of the fantastic or exotic. The artists live and work in Canada, the United States, and Southwestern Ontario, which have diverse communities of people of Latin American heritage. This presence is increasing, contributing narratives to the national and continental experience.

TransAMERICAS features collage, graphics, textile, photographs, video, sculpture and installation works by Laura Barrón, Dianna Frid, Alexandra Gelis, Pablo Helguera, Manolo Lugo, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Eugenio Salas, José Seoane, José Luis Torres, and Clarissa Tossin. Certain endeavours function as catalysts for community building, including performances, a mural work by the Z’otz Collective (Nahúm Flores, Erik Jerezano and Ilyana Martínez), and an ongoing, interactive project coordinated by London filmmaker Juan Andrés Bello entitled Click! Panoramic Americas.

Click! aims to expand dialogue between artists and the public by assembling photographs -- both online and in the gallery -- that are submitted by the public throughout the run of the exhibition. As a community art project, it references participatory events in Latin America beginning in the middle of the twentieth century. Using the art of connecting people, such performances encouraged dialogue or, as Argentinian sociologist Roberto Jacoby has described, instigated a “technology of friendship.”

Los quince artistas en TransAMERICAS viven y trabajan en Canadá y en los Estados Unidos, países que tienen numerosas comunidades de personas con legado latinoamericano, incluyendo el suroeste de Ontario. Esta presencia está aumentando y aporta narrativas a la experiencia continental. Sus contribuciones a TransAMERICAS van más allá de concepciones estereotipadas de la cultura de América Latina, al evitar referencias estrechas de lo fantástico o lo exótico. Ellas, por el contrario, se alinean con predominio en temas de lengua, viajes, puentes y comunidad.

TransAMERICAS ofrece collage, gráfica, tejido, fotografías, vídeo, escultura y trabajos de instalación de Laura Barrón, Dianna Frid, Alexandra Gelis, Pablo Helguera, Manolo Lugo, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Eugenio Salas, José Seoane, José Luis Torres y Clarissa Tossin. Algunas obras funcionan como catalizadores para la construcción de comunidad, estas incluyen performances, un trabajo de pintura mural del Colectivo Z’otz* (Nahúm Flores, Erik Jerezano e Ilyana Martínez), y un proyecto interactivo en curso, coordinado por el cineasta de Londres (Ontario) Juan Andrés Bello chasquido titulado: ¡Click! Panoramic Americas (Américas panorámicas).

¡Click! pretende ampliar el diálogo entre artistas y el público con el montaje de fotografías, tanto en línea como en la sala de exposición, que son enviadas por el público durante el tiempo de la exposición. Como proyecto de arte comunitario, ¡Click! hace referencia a eventos participativos en América Latina que han tenido lugar desde mediados del siglo XX. Al usar el arte de conectar a las personas, dichas performances alentaron el diálogo o, como lo ha descrito el sociólogo argentino Roberto Jacoby, instigaron a una “tecnología de la amistad.”

La exhibición ha sido generosamente patrocinada por la campaña del 2016, Luz en Londres.

The Desire to Acquire: London Collects

September 3rd, 2016 to January 8th, 2017

Ivey Galleries

Ron Martin (Canadian, b. 1943), Sky, 1966, oil enamel on wood, Collection of Museum London, Gift of the Western Art League, 1966 Paul-Emile Borduas (Canadian, 1905-1960), Au Gré des crêtes, 1957, oil on canvas, Collection of Museum London, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Moore, London, Ontario, through the Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1978

This exhibition highlights rare, distinctive, and intriguing artworks acquired by collectors in the city of London, Ontario. Paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and more, attest to the cultural and historical significance of artwork embraced and maintained by our community’s art aficionados. These include longstanding, intergenerational compilations, the inspired efforts of those newer to the practice, and institutional collections. All are motivated by the ingenuity of art, and its changing roles, content, and character.

The Desire to Acquire includes almost two hundred pieces that represent landmarks in both historical and contemporary Canadian culture. Selections range from works by nineteenth-century London artists to the Group of Seven, Painters Eleven, and Quebec abstractionists, to the London Regionalists and nationally regarded contemporary painters. Taken together, the works reflect the tastes, concerns, and talent of our citizens, the national importance of private and corporate collections in our area, and, more generally, the central role collectors play in the art world. Public collections, including that of Museum London, were built on the generosity of donors. The history of investing in art speaks much about our society and the economy.

The exhibition is co-curated by Museum London’s Curator of Art, Cassandra Getty, and, former Art Registrar, Barry Fair, and will be accompanied by an illustrated publication.

Opening Reception: Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Cursive! Reading and Writing the Old School Way

August 13th, 2016 to August 20th, 2017

Forum Gallery

In any style, cursive text--also known as handwriting, script, longhand, or running text--is the joining of the character symbols of language in a flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing faster and more efficient. The technique has been in existence for thousands of years, and Romans were among the first to develop written script for business transactions and correspondence.

In the West, cursive writing has been taught in schools for hundreds of years. Until the widespread use of the telegraph, telephone and typewriter, it was primary way in which people communicated over distance. As typewriters, and later word processors, personal computers and text messaging came into common use, schools began to eliminate penmanship classes. This trend first began as early as the 1930s, and by the 1980s many children in North America received little training in the discipline. While penmanship studies haven’t completely disappeared, schoolchildren today spend more time mastering typing and computer skills than the neat, standardized cursive of their parents or grandparents.

Featuring a wide array of objects from the Museum London collection, this exhibition explores the history cursive writing, the tools required for the job, how children were taught to write, and why this dying skill continues to be important.

Opening Reception: Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Around the Clock: London at Work and Play

November 21st, 2015 to November 6th, 2016

Community Gallery

Londoners have always worked and they’ve always played. The photographs in this exhibition illustrate that the work they have done has sometimes changed with changing times. Today, you won’t find anyone shoveling snow off streetcar tracks or delivering milk in a horse drawn cart. Other occupations still exist although the details of the work are different. You will still find people working in retail, in offices, and in healthcare. Leisure pursuits experienced fewer changes. We still enjoy boating on the Thames, playing team sports, and visiting the Western Fair. This exhibition of photographs will give you a glimpse into a London of different eras and a snapshot of the lived experiences of Londoners of the past.

Visible Storage Project

March 2nd, 2014 to February 9th, 2017

Lawson Family Gallery

Greg Curnoe, Car, 1967, oil, metal, masonite, wood, 168 x 173 cm, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Moore, London, Ontario, through the Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1978 Jack Chambers, Daffodils, 1976, oil on canvas, 76 x 76 cm, Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Moore, London, 2011 Bertram Brooker, Abstraction, Music, c. 1927, oil on canvas, 43 x 61 cm, F. B. Housser Memorial Collection, 1945 Arthur Lismer, Pine Tree And Rocks, 1921, oil on canvas, 83 x 102 cm, F. B. Housser Memorial Collection, 1945

This installation permanently displays more than 100 works of art primarily focussed on London artists but featuring many of the great works of Canadian art from our vaults. With walls devoted to the works by Paul Peel, the Group of Seven, and artists such as Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, and Paterson Ewen, Visible Storage allows you to always see old favourites from the collection as well as discover new ones.

This exhibition has been digitally enhanced. Browse images, videos and text online at

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