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Welcome to a New Gallery!

Botany

When the Museum opens to the public again, our visitors will be in for a pleasant surprise. The very first of our nine galleries, now called the Welcome Gallery, has been completely renovated. The much-loved Bison diorama is still there, but the exhibits surrounding it are all different. Originally built in the 1970’s, this gallery definitely had a dated vibe to it that needed to change. Further, it was no...
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To celebrate Black History Month, I wanted to share an important collection that helps to illuminate Black history in mid-20th century Manitoba and Western Canada. From the 1980s until 2010, the Manitoba Museum was the recipient of donations related to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a Black union of railway workers (for more information see the History blog from November 13, 2020: https://manitobamuseum.ca/black-railway-workers-and-the-winnipeg-general-strike/)     A former curator described...
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Football in Winnipeg

History

By Dr. Leah Morton, Curatorial Assistant in History Whether professional or amateur, Winnipeggers love their sports. Winnipeg’s relationship with sports is part of the Manitoba Museum’s Winnipeg Gallery, where over 100 ‘new to the public’ artifacts are on display. Among the artifacts are a Winnipeg Blue Bombers pin and a game programme from 1952. Further information about the team and the artifacts can be found in the digital kiosks in...
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Anchoring the Earth

Botany

One of the most impressive plant specimens at the Manitoba Museum is a huge, preserved grass that shows the entire root system. I think the reason everybody likes this specimen is that it provides a perspective that no one ever has: what a plant actually looks like under the ground. There was just one problem with that grass: it’s not actually a native species. It’s a Eurasian species called Crested...
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As you may have heard, on December 21st the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be very close together in the sky, an event called a conjunction. Because this coincidentally is happening on the same day as the winter solstice, and only a few days before Christmas, a lot of media have dubbed this the Christmas Star. There’s been some confusion about what exactly that means and how you can see...
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I recently read that, thanks to Covid-19, there’s been a run on Christmas trees because so many people are staying home for the holidays this year. In a world that suffers from plant blindness (i.e. an inability to see the trees for the forest), “Christmas trees”, are among the most well-known “species” of plant. Except that “Christmas tree” is not actually A species; it is ANY kind of coniferous (i.e....
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By Dr. Leah Morton, Curatorial Assistant in History, Manitoba Museum The Winnipeg General Strike is central to Winnipeg’s collective consciousness; however, Black workers and union members are often overlooked in narratives of the strike. This blog post looks at John Arthur Robinson, a Black railwayman who is featured on the Winnipeg Personalities wall in the new Winnipeg Gallery.    Like many other Black men, Robinson worked as a porter on...
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The Dirt on Soil

Botany

Soil is sometimes called “dirt”, as if it is something completely devoid of value. But without healthy soil, there would be no food, and without food, humans are doomed. We owe this thin layer of life, a respect far exceeding what we typically show it. Soil consists, not just of sand, silt and clay, but organic matter from plants, fungi and animals, as well as a diverse community of soil...
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Closed for Business

Botany

Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) was always a puzzle to me. When I first saw a picture of it in a field guide, I assumed that the photographer had simply taken the picture before the petals fully opened up. It was many years before I finally figured out what this plant’s deal was. Back in 2004, while doing field work out at the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve, I had to walk...
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In 1895 William and Isabel Brockinton had a charming Gothic cottage built on their homestead south of Melita, Manitoba. In our new Prairies Gallery we will be featuring a small touchable model and a full scale stone replica wall section of this now abandoned home. First, what’s a Gothic cottage? “Gothic” conjures all kinds of associations – darkness, brooding, mysticism, fashionable black clothing, and so on. But in architecture after...
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