Monday, November 30, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Friday, November 27, 2009

Lineups continue for the H1N1 shot, the tributes pour in for an esteemed First Nations leader and the Museum receives a high profile donations, some of the items of note for the Friday news cycle.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
MUSEUM OF NORTHERN B.C. RECEIVES PRIVATE DONATION -- A wooden bowl from the Dundas Collection has been donated to the Museum of Northern B. C., provided by a private collection donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

The mad crush of people seeking H1N1 shots continued this week with the local clinic at the Northern Health Public Health Unit finding large crowds once again, as local residents tried to get their shot for the virus. The health unit is using a ticketing method which requires residents to pick up their ticket early in the morning in an attempt to get a spot in the day's line up for shots.

The frustration of a fixed publication schedule finds the Daily News outlining the prospects of a strike by CN Engineers, which we first outlined on Wednesday, an event that did actually come to pass later in the day on Friday (an item which we outlined on this portal on Saturday morning)

The intention of BC Ferries to commence with an investigation into the troubled attempted passage of the Northern Adventure last week was outlined in the Friday paper, it was a decision which we provided details of back on Wednesday, as well the BC Ferries investigation has now been joined one commenced by the Transportation Safety Board as we outlined in the blog on Saturday.

(Daily News Archive Articles links for November 27th )

The Northern View
No new items posted to their site for Friday

CFTK TV 7 News
Tributes Pour in for Leeson -- The passing of Nisga'a Lisims President Nelson Leeson has be observed by many across the province, with tributes arriving testifying to his dedication to his people and the work that he did (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Cannery Upgrades "Project 1" complete -- A restoration project at the North Pacific Cannery has come to an end, leaving the historic site with new pilings, roofs and siding. (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Austin Calls Impending Closure of Terrace Drug Treatment Facility Shortsighted -- the pending closure of a youth oriented drug treatment facility in Terrace is being debated in that city, with many of it supporters offering up the opinion that the move is a shortsighted one, a move which will leave Terrace without a key resource (see article here)

CBC Radio British Columbia, Daybreak North
No items for Friday were updated on the CBC Daybreak website

The Daily News, front page headline story
Museum of Northern B.C. receives private donation
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Friday, November 27, 2009

A private collector from Vancouver, wanting to remain anonymous, has donated a wooden food bowl from the ‘Dundas Collection’ to the Museum of Northern B.C.

It brings the number of pieces from the collection now owned by the museum to four.

The same donor, previously donated funds that enabled the museum to purchase two bowls from the collection that have been in the museum since 2007.

Museum board member and Chilkat weaver William White said the gift is a welcomed acquisition.

“For me and museums in Canada it is great to know that there are ordinary Canadians that have a desire to preserve Tsimshian art and that he, the donor, feels that it should come back home to its origin.”

Up until 2006, the Dundas Collection had belonged to the descendents of Reverend Robert J. Dundas in England.

Reverend Dundas visited lay missionary William Duncan at the village of Metlakatla on B.C.’s North Coast in 1863 and acquired the pieces at that time.

In October 2006 the collection went up for auction and resulted in a record sale totaling $7 million U.S. – with the most items being purchased by Canadian buyers.

White described one group of buyers as, “ordinary people, although it must be said they were from families who had the necessary funds. They genuinely care about First Nations art remaining in its country of origin.”

When it came time to exhibit the collection the new owners indicated they wanted to develop a travelling exhibit and it was decided the first place it would be exhibited was at the Museum of Northern B.C.

Curator Susan Marsden worked with Tsimshian elders and heard from them that they wanted the name of the exhibit to reflect what the objects were.

“In other words, “The Dundas Collection” wasn’t going to satisfy them as the title for the exhibit. It became Nluut’iksa Lagigyedm Ts’msyeen”, meaning Treasures of the Tsimshian, and through discussions with other partners who felt it was important, the addendum “From the Dundas Collection” was added,” stated White in an afterword for the book, Tsimshian Treasures: The Remarkable Journey of the Dundas Collection.

White can still remember how the elders looked when they first saw the exhibit in Prince Rupert.

“Everybody was so reverent when they walked into the Monumental Gallery. I watched artists walk up to the cases. You could feel the energy exchanging with the pieces. The pride that came through - people were proud to be Tsimshian,” he recalled.

Picking up the new wooden bowl in one of the rooms in the museum, White said it is nice to have it home.

He explained that the bowl was adzed out of one solid piece of wood and carved. Running his fingers along the edge he drew attention to the “lovely lip” that prevents splashing.

“The carver allowed the wood to be part of the design,” White explained. “The lip is a totally classic Northwest Coast feature. It’s delicate and there is low-relief carving.”

At each end of the bowl there is an eagle face in a style that is distributive, meaning the artist intentionally filled the whole space with the design.

“There is also cross-hatching that speaks of balance. It’s so simple, yet expressive at the same time,” White added.

Clicking his fingernails on the side of the bowl, the sound that emerged indicated how light the wood actually is.

“I find it fascinating that the carver looked at a log and decided to make a bowl out of it,” White said.

The bowl is 11 and a 1/2 inches long, 4 and a 1/2 inches in depth and 10 inches wide.

No comments: