The story of the settlement and historical development of Lennox & Addington County is highlighted in a number of themed exhibits displayed within the old County Gaol.

Artifacts from the textile, furniture, domestic arts, tools and equipment collections of the Museum & Archives are showcased on a changing basis.  Occasional guest exhibitions are also presented.

Now on Exhibit

Beyond Words: Dictionaries and Indigenous Languages

Run length:  June 17 - June 24, 2019


From the earliest meetings between Indigenous nations and Europeans, wordlists, phrasebooks and dictionaries have been more than neutral bridges between their languages. This exhibit traces the complex relationship between Indigenous languages and dictionaries over several centuries: from instruments of colonization, conversion and assimilation to contemporary grass roots tools developed for Indigenous language revitalization and cultural continuity.

About the Canadian Language Museum

The Canadian Language Museum  was established in 2011 to promote an appreciation of all of the languages spoken in Canada and of their role in the development of this nation. Few countries can match Canada’s rich and varied language heritage, which includes Indigenous languages from coast to coast, the official languages of French and English and their regional dialects, and the many languages brought to this country by more recent immigrants. The Canadian Language Museum encourages dialogue on language issues that are central to the future of Canadian society, such as bilingualism, multilingualism, and language endangerment, preservation and revitalization.  The museum has created travelling exhibits about Canadian English, the Inuit language, French in Canada, the Cree language, the Tapestry of languages in Canada, and 150 years of language use on signs in Toronto. 


The Seaway Of YesterdayThe Seaway of Yesterday: O.C. Madden, Artist

The Seaway collection can be enjoyed until August 30th, 2019.   The remaining Madden paintings and vignette will be displayed until Spring 2020.


2019 commemorates 60 years of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  In 1956, Madden took his easel and paints up and down the St. Lawrence River, sketching and painting places of historic interest that were slated to disappear in the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway (also known as the lost villages). Madden used some artistic license to paint the scenes intermingled with a historical perspective of what life was like long before the flooding. 

The Seaway of Yesterday as depicted through oil paintings is a vivid portrayal of early days in Ontario’s small towns including Bath, Morrisburg, Iroquois, Aultsville, Dickinson’s Landing, and Cardinal. Sadly much of their main streets, surrounding farms, and harbours were lost with the flooding.  This summer we are fortunate to have a portion of Madden’s Seaway collection on display.  

This art exhibit hangs in conjunction with A Day On The River, an exhibit that features a life size sculpture of Madden, nestled on a riverbank with his paint box, an apparent favourite past-time.  Other Madden paintings from the Lennox and Addington Archives collection will also be displayed throughout gallery spaces at the museum this summer. 

The Seaway collection can be enjoyed until August 30th, 2019.   The remaining Madden paintings and vignette will be displayed until Spring 2020.

About The Artist

Orval C. Madden was born in 1892 at Napanee.  In his early 20’s, he moved to Toronto to study art at the Ontario College of Art. Madden’s strength was in landscape painting where he used a style reminiscent of and much influenced by the Group of Seven.  O.C. was very interested by views from the historic past, particularly in Lennox and Addington County. He worked from old photographs and his paintings often reflected vanished aspects of life in the country.  

A Special Note

The Madden life-form and shoreline were designed by artist Clelia Scala. Scala is often found in Toronto theatres designing sets and props.  She is currently teaching Theatre Arts at Queen’s University. The “Seaway” collection along with Madden’s paint palette and easel are on loan to the museum for the summer, courtesy of Madden’s nephew. 


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Museum at Play

A museum is defined as "a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited". In the strictist terms this is what a museum is, however a museum in today's world is so much more than static objects behind glass. Museums can capture a sense of wonder, imagination, creativity, and fun all the while educating about the past.

Our newest exhibit "Museum @ Play" introduces the sense of fun and learning that happens at the museum. Museums are building a reputation of becoming hubs for the community and giving people a better sense of place and connection.

Museums are about hands on learning - touching, smelling, hearing, and tasting. Exhibits and events lean on these senses to make experiences memorable. Inspired by the museum collection and communal traditions, "Museum @ Play" will showcase that sense of place and play created by our museum visitors and local collectors.

 

Series 3: Ships Ahoy!

On exhibit from April 2nd – September 6th


The Metro Marine Modelers will delight you with an array of handcrafted model ships for you to enjoy. Gaze and wonder at the detail and patience to build these beautiful boats.  Over 20 boats will displayed in different sizes from ships in a bottle to large scale table top boats.  Throughout history ships have provided a means of transporting goods while others formed naval forces which protected a nation’s sovereignty.  Models of these ships provide an excellent means of depicting the features and architecture of these vessels long after the original ceased to exist.  This exhibit displays models of ships from as early as 1790 to currently active vessels all of which depict the original vessel in exquisite detail.  It includes naval, fishing and commercial ships as well as luxury passenger liners.  The models here vary in scale from large ones over 4 feet long to smaller models in bottles.

About Metro Marine Modellers (MMM) Club: 

Metro Marine Modellers has provided a place for enthusiasts to share their model boat hobby since 1958  whether they like to build detailed static replicas of ships, operate scale models on the water or participate in a racing program for model sailboats.  MMM is the oldest model boat club in Ontario, considered by many to be one of the finest in the country. It is devoted to promoting, designing, building, racing and preserving all types and sizes of model ships, boats and craft.  Should you be interested in any aspect of the model boat hobby, we invite you to visit www.metromarine.org.
 

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Coming Soon

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Our Feathered Friends: Canadian Museum of Nature Travelling Exhibition 

Run Length:  June 29 -  September 6, 2019


Watch The Museum Take Flight This Summer! Birds are found almost everywhere: from the Arctic to the Antarctic, in jungles and cities, from oceans to deserts. They range in size from the Ostrich to the tiny Bee Hummingbird. Many are brightly coloured, but others are muted or dull. Most can fly, but some cannot. Some travel thousands of kilometres as they migrate north and south. Others remain close to home year-round. As diverse a group as they are, they all have one unique feature in common - feathers.

The best way to learn about birds is to watch them. The Canadian Museum of Nature’s travelling exhibition “Our Feathered Friends” help people do just that.  The exhibit introduces visitors to the basics of birdwatching including how to identify birds and how to attract them into backyards. This participatory exhibition includes 23 mounted specimens in interactive modules that include: bird identification, habitats, and birdsong audio playbacks.

The museum has indeed gone to the birds with an exciting line up of programs and workshops that reveal the exciting world of birds, so be sure to come visit with Our Feathered Friends this summer.

 

Coming Fall 2019

Related Spaces: A Mother and Daughter Art Retrospective
Artists: Bonnie and Ruth Brooks.
September 17th, 2019 – January 18th, 2020

Anne Frank- A History For Today
An exhibit travelling from Anne Frank House Museum, Amsterdam
October 14th – November 21st, 2019

 

Standing Exhibits


Confederation Era Entrepreneurs"Confederation Era Entrepreneurs"

By the 1860’s, the population of the County had grown to allow Lennox and Addington to become independent and a new Court House and jail were built in the mill reserve. Napanee, at the head of the falls, became the County Town. John Stevenson, Napanee’s Reeve, was also the first County Warden.  Confederation, the forging together of the provinces of British North America, passed almost unnoticed in the local press. The County’s First Warden became the first Speaker of the new Ontario Legislature. In the post Confederation era, Italianate styled houses began to dominate Napanee architecture. William Miller, an East Ward merchant, built a new Italianate styled house near the Court House.  Proximity to the Court House and the railway station made East Street a desirable area.

Inside the houses were well furnished.  In 1868 when young William T. Gibbard joined his father, John, in the business, elaborate carved sideboards became a defining product of Gibbard and Sons. 

William Miller’s carved game sideboard and Renaissance Revival Gibbard bedroom suite are on display in the Gibbard gallery.

 


Museum Horse and Buggy Age"The Horse and Buggy Age"

The years after Confederation to the Great War which erupted in 1914, were the decades when the “Horse and Buggy Age” was at its height. Each farm family possessed one or two light carriages of which the buggy was the most important, and the democrat, a rig with two or three benches, was almost as important. Although the blacksmith remained essential in rural communities, the small foundries and factories strung along the County’s rivers began to build versions of the most popular new inventions.

It was also a great wheat period and a time of hearty work in the fields.  The pace of farming quickened with improvements in farm machinery. New foundries, mills and manufacturing plants were built taking advantage of water power sites along the Napanee River.  D.B. Stickney’s Newburgh foundry built reapers and Joseph Connolly in Yarker produced a variety of ploughs. The Benjamin Wheel Manufacturing Company in Yarker produced rims and spokes for wagon and buggy wheels.

A Connolly democrat, a C.H. Finkle cutter and a Stickney reaper are featured in the Horse and Buggy Age.