Stories

A New Wing

A New Wing

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1930s

Argyle House is demolished. Construction begins. The new wing had been in the original plan, and it was hoped that a later phase would fill in the additional spaces between old and new buildings. This hope remains unfulfilled for a further 50 years.

An Important Benefactor

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1990s

Louise Hawley Stone donates $2 million to endow a permanent curatorial position, a chair in Far Eastern Art named for her. (In 2013 there are 8 endowed curatorships)

"A Special Place in My Heart"

"A Special Place in My Heart"

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2000s

I volunteered for the Summer Club at the ROM in 2008. I had previously travelled there on numerous school field trips, and the Museum has always held a special place in my heart. Sheltering countless artifacts of our past, the ROM truly offers something for everyone. As it approaches this landmark...

Fact? or Fiction?

Fact? or Fiction?

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1990s

The launch of what has become a popular annual fundraising event. Curators enjoy lying and attendees are fascinated by the challenges they are given.  The proceeds from the first one go to support the web site.which has been launched without extra funding.

Winnifred Needler

Winnifred Needler

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1950s

Winifred (Friedl) Needler joined the staff of the Royal Ontario Museum in 1935 as a draughtsman-cataloguer.  She took a year's leave to study Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology, along with Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphics) at Yale, which study she continued upon return to the ROM under the...

Walter Tovell, Director, 1973-1975

Walter Tovell, Director, 1973-1975

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1970s

Walter Tovell is appointed Director. He had been a curator in the Department of Geology who developed new galleries and was an enthusiastic leader of fieldtrips for kids and grownups. He published books and guides on the geology of Niagara Falls, the Niagara escarpment, and the Great Lakes. He...

Lindsay Sharp, President and CEO, 1997- 2000

Lindsay Sharp, President and CEO, 1997- 2000

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1990s

Lindsay Sharp is appointed. He comes to the ROM from museum experiences in England and in Australia. His title (a first) is President and CEO. Here he talks about how he was hired.

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

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1940s

J. H. Fleming dies. He has had office space at the ROM since the 20s, when he willed his ornithological collection to the Museum. It was then the largest and most comprehensive private collection of skins, mounts, eggs in North America, with a special focus on birds of paradise. With it came his...

ROM Murals Created

ROM Murals Created

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1940s

Sylvia Hahn, an artist on staff, completed four murals in what was then the Armour Court. Displays of armour were a popular museum feature. Charles Currelly, Director of the ROM of Archaeology,  thought that armour was an important resource for teaching about history and craftsmanship. Keeping...

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

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1970s

James Cruise is appointed Director.  A botanist, he has been recruited from the University of Toronto. For the next decade, he oversees physical expansion and a new mission that is captioned “Meaningful Survival”. Almost immediately, the dream must be revised, as the provincial government...