The Military Museums

Keepsakes of Conflict and Red Cross Quilts

The Military Museums :: Founders Gallery

June 7, 2019 - Sept 2, 2019 

Opening Event: Friday, June 07, 2019

Curator’s Gallery Tour with Heather Smith, 5:00 pm
Reception 6:00 - 9:00 pm with remarks at 6:30 pm

Founders’ Gallery presents two sister exhibitions of Canadian war-related craft. Both curated by Heather Smith, this will be the first time they have been shown together. Smith writes, “Today, the objects in these exhibitions serve to commemorate the experience of Canadians during wartime, but it is interesting to consider that they were mostly made with a different purpose in mind.

Keepsakes of Conflict, Trench Art and Other Canadian War-related Craft
organized and circulated by the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery

The 100th anniversary of the First World War was an opportunity for the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery to examine the little-studied area of Canadian craft related to war. Guest curator Heather Smith brought together wide range of object, created with an even wider range of materials, by considering the different motivations of the makers. who thoughtfully groups the objects with consideration for the motivations of the makers.

The exhibition is rich with over seventy artefacts from collections across the country including those of The Military Museums of Calgary, and augmented with three remarkable works that are only available for view at Founders’ Gallery: The "Great War" Deeds of Corporal Mike Mountain Horse, a unique story robe (Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre Museum), a sweater knit by one prisoner of war for another (Glenbow Collection), and a large footlocker, beautifully carved by a German prisoner of war (Army Museum of Alberta). The handsome 120-page publication, Keepsakes of Conflict, Trench Art and Other Canadian War-related Craft, with an introduction by Laura Brandon and essay by Heather Smith will be available at The Military Museums of Calgary gift shop.

The Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery acknowledges the generous funding support provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Museums Assistance Program and sponsorship by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 59.

Quilting for a Cause: Red Cross Quilts of the Great War
organized by the Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum

The quilts were made to fundraise for the Canadian Red Cross so that they could support the war effort with hospitals, medical equipment and care packages. The trench art was made or collected to serve as souvenirs and gifts for loved ones, to pass time in POW camps, or to contribute to the rehabilitation of the wounded. These craft objects tell the story of war through an alternate lens – that of the individual making craft objects to serve a purpose during wartime.”

Between 1914 and 1918, entire communities joined together to create remarkable Red Cross signature quilts in support of their soldiers and the war effort. At Founders’ Gallery, we present nine stunning quilts brought together from Ontario communities to highlight an amazing history of devotion, perseverance, and commemoration of the Great War, with the addition of a remarkable example from the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. A glossy 76-page booklet with forward by James Christison and essay by Heather Smith, will be available in The Military Museums of Calgary gift shop.

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