Current Exhibitions

Remember When: an exhibition of souvenirs and mementos

May 21st, 2016 to August 14th, 2016

Interior Gallery

World's Fair Paperweight, 1893, Collection of Museum London, Gift of James A. Elliot, 2001 World's Fair Paperweight, 1893, Collection of Museum London, Gift of James A. Elliot, 2001

Do you like to collect objects that remind you of your travels and other life experiences? If you do, you are like legions of Londoners from the past. These aide-memoire make our past experiences part of our everyday lives.

Souvenirs and mementos take many different forms. Some travellers among us have collected postcards and spoons and paperweights, while others have amassed souvenir crockery in the form of plates, cups and vases. Londoners loyal to the British Crown preserved objects commemorating the death and coronation of monarchs. Marking individual accomplishments, school pennants, ribbons, medals and other awards are often saved. Sometimes, unlikely objects become mementos because of their deep personal associations: a lock of hair, a letter or a shell.

Another side to this story is told through the souvenirs produced for visitors to London, celebrating the city’s sites and significant achievements. This exhibition explores a wide variety of common and rare, keepsakes and cherished, objects that have been collected over the years.

Akram Zaatari: All is Well

May 14th, 2016 to August 14th, 2016

Moore and Volunteer Galleries

Akram Zaatari, Book of letters from family and friends, 2007, c-print, Collection of the Artist, Image Courtesy of the Artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.

This exhibition, organized by curator Vicky Moufawad-Paul, is the first Canadian solo exhibition of celebrated Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari.

Zaatari’s practice involves unearthing, collecting and re-contextualizing documents that represent his country’s complex history. Through his investigations, viewers become witness to powerful accounts of a period marked by the violence and disorientation of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). The works in this exhibition allow us to glimpse what has been concealed from view: letters written in code passed through censors, instantaneous chats between lovers presented as a letter, and reassuring letters enclosed within mortar casings.

As the co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, Zaatari has intimate experience with the precarious status of archives in times of war as well as the limits of any archive’s ability to fully capture historical events. The most recent project in this exhibition, Time Capsule Kassel, sends documents into the earth for their safety and also to propose that we delay answering until a future moment.

This exhibition is organized and circulated by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the Ontario Arts Council’s program for Culturally Diverse Curatorial Projects; the Kingston Arts Council; the City of Kingston; and the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund, Queen’s University.


May 7th, 2016 to August 14th, 2016

Ivey Galleries

Colin Carney Checked Out, 2013 archival digital print (if you do dims, 76.2 x 114.3 cm) Image courtesy of the artist Colin Carney Out the back Way, 2013 archival digital print (if you do dims, 76.2 x 114.3 cm) Image courtesy of the artist

This group exhibition of contemporary art examines issues of memory and time, through personal narratives and larger, shared histories. Works in diverse media re-visualize specific experiences or invite viewers to construct their own associations. Each selection is intriguing in its consideration of the inventive ways in which aspects of the past are literally and figuratively archived, mediated, and expressed.

The exhibition includes works by Barbara Astman, Michael Bidner, Parker Branch, Colin Carney, Stan Denniston, Amy Friend, Wyn Geleynse, Maggie Groat, Natalie Hunter, Cyndra MacDowall, Myfanwy MacLeod, Charlotte Moth, Allison Rossiter, and Susan Schüppli. Ephemera is often emphasized in their practices through personal photographs, correspondence, postcards, advertisements, and a range of found objects. The familiarity of such items allows for multiple readings. From Stan Denniston’s shattered views of Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas, site of the Kennedy assassination, to the almost otherworldly recasting of mirrors or vintage photographs by Maggie Groat and Amy Friend, the works in this exhibition explore what we remember, how we remember, and the motives behind this universal activity.

A Ripple Effect: Canadians and Fresh Water

January 23rd, 2016 to August 7th, 2016

Forum Gallery

Canada contains 7% of the world’s renewable fresh water. Like many Canadians, we Londoners have some of this fresh water on our doorstep. It was and is a fundamental part of our lives. Many of us consider it to be one of Canada’s most precious resources and a key component of our national identity.

A Ripple Effect examines the larger story of Canadians’ relationship with fresh water by focusing on the Thames, Speed, and Eramosa rivers. Organized under the themes of work and play, the exhibition will explore the ways in which we have used fresh water for domestic and industrial pursuits. It will consider the sometimes negative consequences of that use as well as how we have attempted to address them. A Ripple Effect will also highlight the wide variety of ways we have enjoyed water for recreational purposes. From boating and swimming to skating and curling to picnicking and nature study, we are drawn to fresh water to refresh both body and spirit.

The exhibition will include a wide range of artifacts and images including a hand-operated water pump, mussel shells used in the button-making industry, paintings of early industrial sites such as saw and grist mills, swimsuits, skates, and curling equipment. Highly interactive, the exhibition will feature a variety of activities geared to families with young children as well as to older children and adults.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Museums Assistance Program.

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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