Behind the Scenes
Monthly Archive: December Behi
Kalighat Paintings: Murder in the Collection
A notorious murder case is one of the subjects of the ROM’s collection of mid-nineteenth century Kalighat paintings, an urban folk art style that developed around a popular Kali temple in Kolkata, India. Written by Piali Roy.
The Woman Behind the Biggest Heart in the World
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"
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
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
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
Combining aesthetic beauty and history, this work cleverly and poetically combine references from historical Sri Lankan decorative art alongside meanings that resonate with issues of inequality, injustice, and the exploitation of natural resources during Sri Lanka’s colonial past. Written by Deepali Dewan.
Our Darling Dermestids - A Visit to the ROM's Bug Room
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.
A Spotlight on Illegal Pelt Trading, and What the ROM Has to Do With It
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
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. Written by Deepali Dewan
Blue Whale Update: Where is it Now?
Guest Blog Posting by Environmental Visual Communication (EVC) student, Nila Sivatheesan