Early Cameras from the Wilhelm E. Nassau Camera Collection
February 21 – April 2, 2012
From the camera obscura to the box brownie, the artifacts on display showcase the history of camera design in the 19th century. Recently acquired from Wilfrid Laurier University, this is merely a fraction of the nearly 500 cameras donated.
A Model Practice : Photographs from the Canadian Architect magazine archive
January 4th – February 13th, 2012
Photographs of models taken for Canadian Architect magazine are on display in Special Collections on the Library’s 4th floor. These images were originally captured for project announcements, and today they give us as much to discuss as the finished buildings themselves. See the process that the architect goes through when bringing his or her idea to the public, and consider some of the challenges the architect faces in communicating with that audience. Here the idea of architecture is on display – judge for yourselves whether the real lives up to the imagined.
Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada
The library is fortunate to host a traveling display of award-winning Canadian publications recognized by the Alcuin Society, a non-profit organization devoted to all aspects of books and reading. In order to promote an appreciation of fine books, the Society offers prestigious awards to Canadian book designers in several categories, all of which can be found in the display cases on the 2nd and 4th floors of the library.
Among the titles on display are: Children’s book winner The Little Hummingbird by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, designed by Jessica Sullivan and Naomi MacDougall and published by Greystone books; 1st prize Prose category winner I am a Japanese Writer by Dany Laferrière, designed by Peter Cocking and published by Douglas & McIntyre, and 1st prize Reference category winner The Conservation, Restoration, and Repair of Stringed Instruments and their Bows edited by Tom Wilder, designed by Emmelyne Pronillos and Laurie Castilloux-Bouchard, published by IPCI-Canada.
For a complete list of the award winners, please visit the Alcuin Society website.
Canadian Fashion from the 60s, 70s and 80s
June 28 – August 15, 2011
The dresses from the Fashion Research Collection each use an unexpected fabric to achieve a distinct look for each decade, whether it is the plasticized cloth of a shiny-copper 60s mini-dress, a silver lurex suit with multicolored threads from the disco-influenced 70s, or the 100% silk power suit from the 80s. Visit Special Collections today to see these fashionable fabrics produced by Canadian designers.
Cameras from the Kodak Canada Collection
June 28 – August 15, 2011
Taking a vacation this summer or just dreaming of one? Either way you can fantasize about the lovely pictures you’d take with one of the cameras on display in Special Collections. Visit us on the 4th floor of the Ryerson Library this summer to see a rotating display of still and motion picture cameras from the past.
Flora & Flutterbyes: Nature as inspiration and decoration
April 21 – June 27, 2011
The butterfly specimens on display were borrowed from the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, where at least 2000 free-flying tropical butterflies and moths are on exhibit throughout the year. Bred in Costa Rica or the Philippines, these vibrantly-coloured species metamorphose on arrival in Canada inside equally colourful chrysalides (also know as pupae), and flit about their business in an indoor rainforest as part of an effort to preserve butterfly populations through a sustainable form of agriculture. Here they offer us a fascinating look at the incredible variety of species in the wild.
Raw Materials: Inuit sculpture from the Sylvia A. Morley Collection
March 10 – April 17, 2011
Special Collections received a donation of Inuit sculpture from a former Ryerson student who actively collected, both through galleries in the Toronto area and in person at northern co-ops. The small display on the Library’s 4th floor offers us an opportunity to discuss the use of materials from different regions, as she collected examples from across the Arctic (perhaps favouring Baffin Island and Labrador), and the growing art production within the Inuit communities over the latter half of the 20th century. The display also precedes the opening of a much larger exhibition of contemporary Inuit art scheduled to open at the Art Gallery of Ontario on April 2nd: Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Ester Sarick Collection. To learn more about these items and their creators, visit Special Collections and the AGO this spring.
What’s On the Table: The Designer’s Response
February 22 – March 7, 2011
The School of Interior Design is pleased to present an exhibit of student work that explores civic engagement, food security, design activism and experiential learning. Students partnered with The Stop Community Food Centre to design a fund-raising item for their annual gala, which helps raise money for The Stop’s critical anti-hunger programs and services.
February 2 – 22, 2011 (Shortened exhibit to make space for faculty-produced exhibition of student work, “What’s on the Table: The Designer’s Response.”)
Words we use to express relationships change over time. Take the word “family”. Its meaning in the 21st century is very broad, referring just as often to single parent arrangements, step-parents and divorced parents, same-sex parents, cohabitating couples or independent children. Sometimes we think of our colleagues as forming our ‘work family’ or we call treasured family friends “aunt” or “uncle” when no blood relation exists. This is different from the early 20th century idea of a “nuclear family”, which referred only to two generations of the family living under one roof – two parents and child(ren). Around the 15th century, when the word first appeared in its Latin form familia, it referred only to the servants of a household (literally your “work family”!) This gradually broadened to mean the whole household, and eventually we see the emergence in the 17th century of the word “family” used to describe a group of related people, living inside or outside of the family home. How will “family” be defined in the future? Only time will tell, but it will probably be different..
“FACES” took the place of our annual Holiday Photo Contest this year from December 1, 2010 – January 31, 2011. Participants were asked to play a guessing game with the famous faces on display, with a bonus prize awarded for guessing which Librarian posed for our poster (the answer is in our blog, if you’re curious). Names and faces were revealed on January 23rd with prizes awarded. Thanks to all those who played the game with us this holiday season!
This exhibition focused on fashions from the 1910s and ran from October 20 – December 1, 2010. It celebrated the rich resource of historical costume in the Ryerson University Fashion Research Collection, which holds a wide variety of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing from the 19th and 20th centuries. “Edwardian Fashion” focused on a period in fashion where elegant, floor-length gowns with corsets were still de rigueur for women’s day-wear, but the silhouette had slimmed down considerably from the puffed sleeves and bustles of 1905. We had to shorten the mannequin considerably to fit the collection’s black lace evening gown into the 4′ high display cases, but the photographs borrowed from the Special Collections Historical Photograph collection helped to illustrate how this type of gown was worn by women of the time.
From September 1 – October 19, 2010, Special Collections invited you over to the dark side …(of photography). We took you on a chemical tour of the darkroom, from the earliest days of photography, when image-making was a messy and sometimes dangerous business involving compounds of cyanide, mercury, lead, potassium and other toxic or flammable elements, to the Kodak years, when amateurs dropped their neat little rolls of film in the mail and let a professional do their dirty work. Not all photographers were content to let someone else develop their prints, but thankfully by the 20th century darkroom chemistry had standardized to the point where pre-mixed chemicals were readily available – along with health and safety manuals. On display were the artifacts of photography’s dangerous years in the darkroom.
A History of Chemical Photography YouTube Video (4:55 minutes)