Thursday, June 13, 2013

Museum Exhibit: Louisbourg is The Most Suitable Place

AMLJ and a gallery curator with part of their exhibit

[This one's for you, Charlevoix.]

The best museum exhibition I have seen lately, up there with Champlain's baptismal certificate at the Museum of Civilization, is "The Most Suitable Place," an exhibition now open at Cape Breton University in Sydney, NS.  Curated by historian Anne Marie Lane Jonah, it is on the foundation of Louisbourg 300 years ago. Many of its exhibits left Louisbourg for France in the summer of 1758 (in a hurry, let us say) and have not been back since
The centrepiece of the exhibit is documents on loan from the archives in La Rochelle.
“They thought that the 300th anniversary of Louisbourg was really a time to express the links between La Rochelle and Louisbourg,” explained Lane Jonah. “They’re planning an exhibit over there, they’re making a film and they wanted to bring some of the documents that left Louisbourg in 1758 and have been in their care ever since, they wanted to bring some back to sort of share with us the story that they’ve been safeguarding in document form.”
I did primary research for years at and on Louisbourg without ever seeing a document that was not on microfilm, and came to accept that as normal. The document as thing itself... it has power, even beyond the information in it, and an art gallery setting brings that out.

Image and quotation from the Cape Breton Post. Good to see a local newspaper that still covers local cultural events.

Update, June 15: Thought I had mentioned this earlier.  Lane Jonah's 2012 book  French Taste in Atlantic Canada/ Le gout francais au Canada atlantique 1604-1758 was a prize winner at the Atlantic Book Awards a couple of weeks ago.

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