An Editorial Adventure from Rotunda Magazine


An Editorial Adventure from Rotunda Magazine


  • 1982 - 2000
  • 3 boys pose wearing armour and sports gear

In the late 1980s the ROM embarked on co-promotional partnerships with several Canadian sports teams. This rather unusual direction for the museum came from Eddie Goodman, our dynamic Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and provided the inspiration for an article in Rotunda written by Curator K. Corey Keeble entitled "Dressing Defensively" (Rotunda Magazine Volume 20:3(1987) pages 22-28). The theme of the story was that specialized equipment created for war and sport, be it Medieval armour or modern sportswear, was designed with the common objective of offering maximum protection while affording the wearer the greatest possible freedom of movement.

There were two reasons to publish this particular story. The first was to soft sell to our membership a fundraising co-promotion with Team Canada to build the ROM's new Future Fund Today--Endowment at the ROM, as well as support for our national hockey team. The slogan was ROM/Team Canada: Partners in International Excellence. The ROM even developed a line of sportswear called ROMWEAR, which was promoted for its " casual distinction". The second reason was to take the opportunity to present some of the ROM's outstanding armour collection in an unconventional way.

As editor of the magazine, I wanted an opening photo for the article that was as offbeat as our approach to the subject. Putting our heads together, Corey and I came up with the idea of involving two of his students from the National Ballet School and a young hockey player from York University. The outcome is the photo on page 23 of the magazine, shot in the former East Asian gallery that faced Bloor Street. A stone warrior from the Ming Tomb gazes down on one ballet student who was a moto-cross racer in his spare time dressed in his protective racing gear and balanced on his motorcycle, the other who is dressed in Italian jousting armour from the collection, and the York student fully outfitted with hockey gear.

At the time I was much more absorbed by the tenets of correct museum than sports behaviour. I voiced my concern that if the motorcycle fell over onto the hard museum stone floor while the student was posed on it, the floor could be damaged, or even worse the statue. In the next instant, to prove there was nothing to worry about, the student in his racing gear ran down to the end of the gallery, turned and ran back towards the motorcycle, then took a leap and landed on the seat, posing perfectly balanced on one foot. Having made his point, the photo shoot began.