Behind the Scenes

Monthly Archive: December Behi

The Woman Behind the Biggest Heart in the World

Posted: August 2, 2017 - 19:12 , by Stacey Kerr
ROM Mammalogy technician Jacqueline Miller with sword in hand in a fencing match - always up for a challenge. Photo credit Jacqueline Miller

Guest Blog written by 2017 Environmental Visual Communication student Fenella Hood

Knife in hand and knee-deep in rotting blubber, Jacqueline Miller is about to do something that has never been done before: carve out a blue whale's heart for preservation. Enveloped in its stench and racing against decay, she cuts deep into the tissue beneath, sure in her knowledge of anatomy but ever wondering: Will this even work? Read on to learn more about one of the team members behind the world's biggest heart in this blog by EVC student Fennella Hood.

An Interview with Deborah Samuel on "The Extraordinary Beauty of Birds"

Posted: December 6, 2016 - 15:01 , by Stacey Kerr
A Crimson Topaz, one of the thousands of bird skins found at the ROM and feature of photographer Deborah Samuel’s new book. Photo by: Deborah Samuel

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication graduate David Coulson

Deborah Samuel's latest book, “The Extraordinary Beauty of Birds” is a stunning exposé of the ROM ornithology collection; an attempt, in her words, to bring these birds and feathers back to life. Here, EVC graduate David Coulson interviews Deborah about her photography and experiences working in collaboration with the ROM's Natural History collections.

Storytelling: Art, Culture, Nature

Posted: November 29, 2016 - 13:35 , by Stacey Kerr
This year’s overall winner of Wildlife Photographer of Year is Tim Laman and his photo story, “While the forest still stands.” This image from the story is titled “Entwined lives.” It shows an orangutan high in a tree with the rest of the canopy below

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication graduate Samantha Stephens

Art, Culture, Nature. They may be separate words, but if we consider them separate disciplines, we are doing a disservice to the potential of human wisdom. Without nature, there is no culture. Without culture, there is no art. EVC grad Samantha Stephens gives us some examples of how these themes intertwine in recent ROM research and exhibits, including the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, open now!

ROM Collections Contribute to Checklist of Indian Birds

Posted: August 25, 2016 - 11:42 , by Brad Millen
Brad Millen examines one of countless drawers full of bird specimens from across the world. Photo by Filip Szafirowski

Museum collections are often undervalued and misunderstood. Regular visitors to the ROM don’t get to see what lies behind the public galleries, and yet less than 1% of the ROM’s collections are on display. These collections do far more than gather dust: they are a reference point in time, and, from a natural history perspective, provide a baseline for our understanding of life. I have received a lot of data requests from inside and outside the ROM. Some I can answer, and some I automatically forward along to collections. A group of recent emails stood out in particular...

New to ROM: Frances Ferdinands

Posted: May 2, 2016 - 11:35 , by Deepali Dewan

For over a decade, the ROM has steadily acquired the work of contemporary Canadian artists who are part of the South Asian diaspora. Such collecting is important not only to provide points of context and contrast with ROM’s historical South Asian collections, but also to preserve the complexities and fullness of contemporary artistic production.

Out of the Vaults for March Break: Ancient sculpture from Cyprus

Posted: March 15, 2016 - 16:56 , by Kay Sunahara
Archival photo c.1885 of artifacts from Cyprus, Tamassos- Frangissa excavation

Ancient votive sculptures from Cyprus - get the story behind the artifacts you will see in our March Break 2016 galleries this week.

Our Darling Dermestids - A Visit to the ROM's Bug Room

Posted: July 29, 2015 - 22:22 , by Stacey Kerr
A photo of the sign posted outside the door of the ROM's dermestid beetle colony quotes Dante's Inferno, "Abandon all hope ye who enter here"

Guest blog written by 2015 Environmental Visual Communication student Robert Elliot

How does the Royal Ontario Museum get their Skeletons so clean without compromising their integrity? A well-kept colony of hide beetles cleans every crevice of the various cadavers in the ROM’s bug room with incredible efficiency. A steel walled, dark humid room filled with corpses; a veritable beetle heaven is home to these hard working bugs. Follow EVC student ROM into their domain to get a unique perspective on the ROM.

Installing Pompeii

Posted: June 8, 2015 - 17:16 , by Kay Sunahara
Exhibit cases waiting for artifact install - Pompeii at the ROM

A view of behind-the-scenes preparations for a major museum exhibit on the ancient Roman city buried by a volcano in 79 AD

A Spotlight on Illegal Pelt Trading, and What the ROM Has to Do With It

Posted: December 25, 2014 - 17:03 , by Stacey Kerr
Tags on confiscated furs within the ROM Collections. Photo by Matt Jenkins

Guest blog post by Environmental Visual Communication alumnus Matt Jenkins. 

Celebrating its centennial birthday this year, the ROM has always stood as a place of education, family enjoyment and research. That is why I found it surprising that the ROM identifies nearly one quarter of its roughly one thousand pelts as ‘seized’ or illegal. Fear not though, as I learned, they are at the museum with the proper permits and have actually played integral roles in assisting the prevention of illegal pelt trading.

Pacifist Males & Warrior Females

Posted: November 21, 2014 - 16:36 , by Deepali Dewan

During the recent Hero-themed Friday Night Live at the ROM, I brought out examples of popular prints from the collection that explored different hero tropes in South Asian culture. Here are some of them. About a hundred year ago, mass produced colour lithographs proliferated across the South Asian subcontinent creating new imaginary communities through a shared visual imagery. In this new kind of visual culture, hero images seemed to flip traditional gender roles by being dominated by warrior females and pacifist males.