In September, 1971, the ROM opened the landmark exhibition Keep Me Warm One Night, a kaleidoscopic display of over 500 pieces of Canadian handweaving. It was the culmination of decades of pioneering research and collecting by the ROM curatorial powerhouse duo 'Burnham and Burnham’, aka Dorothy K. Burnham and Harold B. Burnham.
To kick off the one-year count down to the ROM’s conference, Cloth Cultures (November 10-12, 2017), which will commemorate Dorothy Burnham’s many legacies, and to mark Canada’s approaching 2017 Sesquicentennial, we will be posting bi-weekly excerpts from Dorothy’s journal of Keep Me Warm One Night. We hope you will enjoy this unofficial glimpse into the bygone days of the ROM, and into the pioneering days of textile studies.
Monday - November 22nd
I spent three-quarters of the day in storage - finished the linens & got the blankets done.
Tuesday - November 23rd
More of the same -
and the next day
More of the same -
And the next day -
There is no grand finale to this story because the tidying up & putting away & wrapping of equipment and making new finding lists etc etc ust trickled along with all sorts of other work until finally "Keep Me Warm One Night" was just a nice warm memory of glowing colours and a group of wonderful people to work with -
Freddie carrying a tied bundle of blankets down the back stairs of exhibition hall and out to a truck at the door -
A loaded truck is put on the elevator.
And the piles are carried up the stairs & into the storage area over the costume gallery. Spinning wheels need to be wrapped before storage over the Royal Robes.
This department did the most enormous amount of work on the research project before the show - hundreds of items were photographed for the records. For the exhibition itself there was photography for the blow-ups used & all the diagrams.
People who worked on the Exhibition
Additional help taking exhibition down
Veronica Gervers - Textile Department
Mark Burnham - Conservation
Eva Burnham - Volunteer.
The Education department made considerable use of the exhibition but reported that because of the short duration of the show there were many classes that wanted to come that could not make transportation arrangements in time.
Only the following were booked into the show:
but Mary Fitz-Gibbon took all her classes in Pioneer Life & Home Economics & some others through it - about 450 students.
Some of the other teachers did the same but figures are not available.