Yesterday the AGO revealed its latest summer exhibition, Treasures of the Tsimshian from the Dundas Collection—a first for the public eye in more than a century.
Featuring 39 First Nations artifacts deriving from the 18th and 19th centuries—comprised of daily objects varying from ladles, combs and feast bowls to more exquisite pieces such as ceremonial masks, clan helmets and clubs carved from antlers—the Dundas collection is certainly worth a peek (even if there are some minor distractions).
This is an extremely rare opportunity to view all of these items as an ensemble, since the collection itself derives from a total of ten private Canadian collectors, organizations, museums, and one American lender.
Originally accumulated by Rev. Robert James Dundas, a Scottish clergyman who was working in British Columbia in 1863, what he thought of as “Indian curiosities” are now acknowledged as precious artifacts to the Tsimshian culture.
Although it may seem relatively small for a collection, this highlights the ordinary aspects of some everyday objects (such as the bowls and spoons), while some other pieces are simply riddled with mysticism, such as the Shaman’s rattle and several clan helmets.
While you’re there, Torontoist also suggests you find a couple of ways of doing something.
Treasures of the Tsimshian from the Dundas Collection runs from July 18 to October 7.
Photographs courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario.