Current Exhibitions

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.

Opening Reception: Friday, February 5, 8:00 pm
Discover programs related to this exhibition

Let's Eat!

September 19th, 2015 to January 17th, 2016

Forum Gallery

Photograph, Grocery Shopper, n.d., Collection of Museum London, Gift of Mr. Alan Gleason, Sarnia, Ontario, 2004.

We eat to live, but food and its preparation is more than a biological necessity. Our choices say something about who we are. Our preferred ingredients, recipes, utensils and cooking techniques reflect our histories while shaping the food we eat.

We come from or have adopted diverse food traditions. We have different values about the food we eat and varying levels of skill in the kitchen. Our budgets play a role, too. Let’s Eat! explores where we, as Londoners, have acquired our ingredients, how we prepared them and why we did it that way, and what our food has meant to us.

To tell these stories, the exhibition will feature artifacts ranging from cookbooks and handwritten recipe cards to butter churns and gardening implements, a 1950s kitchen complete with steel cabinets, appliances, gadgets, and furniture, to more modern kitchen equipment reflecting our current foodways. Paintings, advertisements, and photographs will bring the exhibition to life, allowing glimpses into the lives and kitchens of Londoners past and present.

Benefiting from a generous grant from the London Community Foundation, Let’s Eat! will also introduce viewers to a range of Londoners who participated in interviews about their food and cooking today. From them, visitors will come to appreciate that we all share experiences of working in the kitchen to produce food but even with very similar ingredients we produce vastly different tastes and experiences. The food we make also has very individual meanings. Ultimately, this history exhibition will introduce you to your neighbours and make you hungry!

Generously sponsored by McCormick’s and supported by the London Community Foundation’s Endowment for Heritage Fund.


In Digestion

September 12th, 2015 to January 31st, 2016

Interior Gallery

Ron Benner, In Digestion, 1992-95, detail, Collection of Museum London, Purchased with matching funds from the Canada Council Art Bank and the Volunteer Committee, 1996 Ron Benner, In Digestion, 1992-95, detail, Collection of Museum London, Purchased with matching funds from the Canada Council Art Bank and the Volunteer Committee, 1996 Ron Benner, In Digestion, 1992-95, detail, Collection of Museum London, Purchased with matching funds from the Canada Council Art Bank and the Volunteer Committee, 1996

London artist Ron Benner has long challenged assumptions about culture, power and politics in our increasingly globalized world. In the process, his work calls contemporary food production into question, and more specifically the repercussions of industrial agriculture, including the loss of local supply and genetic diversity. A voracious reader, he consults and collects a broad range of texts and books on themes such as agriculture, bio-engineering, capitalism, colonialism, history and politics, all of which seem to inform his practice in equal parts; and many of these private concerns come together in his public artworks.

Benner’s monumental installation, In Digestion, began with a series of simple questions about the food we consume: who grows it, where is it grown, how is it processed and shipped. In answering these questions Benner recounts the journey of two boxes of bell peppers sold at London, Ontario’s Covent Garden Market, tracing the origin of the peppers to their source. Entering the installation, viewers move past a seventeenth-century map representing Florida and Mexico, and stacks of brightly coloured produce boxes, through a vertically spliced photographic curtain into the simulated shell of transport truck. Inside, viewers find tire shards, galvanized sheet metal, and more than two hundred photographs that contrast contemporary transportation systems with the ancient trade routes of the Americas. The result, argues curator Peter White “charts an often unacknowledged social and economic geography that underlines the complexities of the essential but problematic interdependency of communities within a hemispheric and, indeed, global economy.”

For Benner, finding answers involves a critique of the dominant structures of economic production and consumption, those that seem to impede the development of more integral relationships between animals, people, plants, and the land within our globalized economy. In doing so, Benner asserts the importance of the often unacknowledged natural and cultural heritage of the Americas, leaving viewers with food for thought.

Acquired Tastes

September 5th, 2015 to January 24th, 2016

Volunteer, Moore and Sculpture Galleries

Mary Catherine Newcomb, Product of Eden, 2007, vegetables, leaves and buds, saline solution, brass, glass jars, wax, Courtesy of the Artist Marc Antoine K. Phaneuf, Vieux buffet (premier service), 2011, 109 cookbooks, Courtesy of the Artist Marc Antoine K. Phaneuf, Vieux buffet (premier service), 2011, 109 cookbooks, Courtesy of the Artist Kelly Wood, Chinatown, from the series Toronto Street Works, 2002-03, photographs, archival paper mounted on archival board, Collection of Museum London; Gift of the Artist, 2012 Tonia Di Risio, Excerpts from FEED, 2006, video installation, Courtesy of the Artist

From photography to bronze casting, and video to vegetables, Acquired Tastes explores the complex human relationships surrounding food, which not only keeps us alive but structures all aspects of our experience: politics, the economy, ecology, and social diversity.

Selections from Museum London’s permanent collection come together with loans of contemporary Canadian art from across Ontario and Quebec. Artists include Sarah Cwynar, Tonia Di Risio, Aganetha Dyck, Arturo Herrera, Catherine Mary Newcomb, Marc Antoine Phaneuf, Kelly Wood, and many more.

Acquired Tastes features rituals of the nightly family dinner, cultural celebration and hospitality, alongside rigid institutional routines such as those found in prisons. It references the value of food, including varieties labelled as “junk” and “fast,” alongside overconsumption and waste. With frequent humour, the works express the importance of edibles on an individual level and as larger symbols of class, power, and beauty. The latter theme encompasses traditional art forms such as still life, and contemporary expressions that involve the bounty of the natural and agricultural worlds, sometimes literally as a subject.

Food-Water-Life: Lucy+Jorge Orta

August 29th, 2015 to December 6th, 2015

Ivey Galleries

The work of Lucy and Jorge Orta explores major concerns that define the twenty-first century: biodiversity, the environment, climate change and communication. This exhibition examines how the artists’ unique visual language confronts global issues, communicating widely to audiences beyond the field of contemporary art and demonstrating the importance of art as a creative agent for awareness and change.

Working in partnership since 2005, this husband and wife team create, produce and assemble their artworks and large installations together with a team of artists, architects, craftsmen and designers. Together they stage workshops, interventions, residencies and master classes that explore issues of community, migration, sustainable development and recycling among other themes. As heirs to the practice of social sculpture formulated by Joseph Beuys in the 1960s, their works are beguiling assemblages that are the platform for the preparation of food, mechanisms that actually purify water, and elements created for a 2007 expedition to Antarctica, which are part of an effort to amend the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Lucy and Jorge Orta’s work has been the focus of survey exhibitions in major museums around the world including: the Barbican Art Gallery (London, UK); Modern Art Museum (Paris, FR); Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney, AU); Boijmans Museum Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, NL); and Hangar Bicocca (Milan, IT). FoodWaterLife is the first comprehensive exhibition of their work available to North American museums.

The exhibition is organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA and curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox (c2-curatorsquared).

Visible Storage Project

March 2nd, 2014 to February 9th, 2016

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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