Results 1-10of 11 Reviews
by two cruisers
March 18, 2012
From journal One Day in Victoria
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
January 23, 2009
From journal Shop Til you Drop - B.C. 2003
Riverview, New Brunswick
June 8, 2007
The journey through the exhibit space takes us through design to the launch. We see a reproduction of a first class cabin ($4500 ticket in 1912!) and a third class cabin (only $35... $630 today). An actress in costume plays the part of a first class passenger and she tells her story of the fateful night’s events. She introduced me to Lawrence Beasely, another survivor, who would later write a book about the voyage and sinking. And then there are the artefacts, a surprising number of artefacts.
We will see ship’s fittings: a couple of sinks, tiles, a cherub that once held a light and a spittoon, for instance. There are bottles, dishware, a steward’s jacket and the side armrest from a bench. And then there are the personal possessions, many of which have provenance. It is poignant to see an object and learn about its owner. Oddly, there are papers and paper money. Packed into leather suitcases, they survive.
Arriving in a room containing the names of the saved and the lost, we see the toll: in first class, 201 saved, 123 dead; second class, 118 saved, 166 perished; third class, 183 saved, 527 perished; crew, 212 saved, 698 perished. My conclusion? Rich is good. In the final room, we see the stories of passengers with links to British Columbia and that just about does it. I have heard it said that museums bid on artefacts and that each Titanic exhibit might be different from other Titanic exhibits. The Royal B.C. Museum has put together a particularly fine exhibition but it will close during the fall of 2007.
Oh yes, Masabumi Hosono? I survived.
From journal Adventures in Lotusland: Victoria
The natural history section starts with a little intensity, a lot of information, first on pre-history and then on climate change. (Sorry, when I’m in tourist mode, it’s hard to turn on my let’s-learn-about-science mode.) From hard-to-learn, we pass through a series of life-size dioramas of wildlife in various areas of British Columbia. Finally, they are wonderful, really well done. Then it’s on to Ocean Station to board Captain Nemo’s Nautilus to take a look at the undersea world. (It’s not an aquarium, but more of a species identification site.)
Up the escalator, on the third floor, we pass through a display of Tsimshian objects. Well, once they may have been objects, today they present as art. Then the collection passes through the ages of native work…Stone Age technology, a pit house, stoneware, fishing and hunting instruments and techniques. There is a mass of material, but the best part of this collection is that with many of the artefacts there are explanations of how they were created or how they were used. There is an impressive gallery of totems and your journey takes you through the clan house behind them.
Eventually, you will pass through the maze of the aboriginal gallery into the maze of the 20th-century gallery…I kept getting lost. I’m sure that small children and 90-somethings can pass through these exhibits without wandering about, doubling back or consulting the map, but I found it all confusing. Think of that as a challenge…me to you. The 20th-century gallery is social history, not so much dates and documents. Walk through a late-19th century town; look in the shop windows, go upstairs at the Grand Hotel to see a room, step into the captain’s cabin of H.M.S. Discovery, see Chinatown; it’s history for the whole family. From there, we passed through a series of dioramas celebrating British Columbia’s industries: farming, mining, forestry, and fishing. It’s all really well done. You can finish your visit in the gift shop which is much better than average.
Rodeo, New Mexico
April 20, 2006
Multi-leveled Old Town is just that, reminiscent of old Victoria at the turn of the century, appearing authentic to the smallest detail. From richly carpeted and elegantly furnished living quarters to offices of commission merchants to an apothecary store and Chinatown, it’s interesting to imagine what life was like then.
Past cannery and water wheel, I find myself boarding the HMS Discovery, a mini-reproduction of Captain George Vancouver’s ship. This sturdy oak and hardwood sloop carried 100 sailors and ten 4-pound cannons. Vancouver’s voyage from 1792-1794 accomplished scientific and military goals – surveying the coast and making efforts to befriend (or intimidate?) Spaniards and indigenous peoples.
First Peoples Gallery does not allow photography, so I stash my camera. Beyond the entry, lies a reproduction of a 50-foot kekuli, or pit house. These type of dwellings were reportedly used by interior Salish people for at least 3000 years. These winter houses were covered by roofs of grass, pine needles, cedar bark and earth, but the display kekuli’s partially open framework reveals a cozy interior with mats, baskets and hides for bedding.
Pre-contact/post-contact are the predominating themes of this gallery. Coastal First Nations people lived a fishing culture, also hunting sea mammals and gathering inter-tidal shellfish, seaweed and plants. Salish people were known for their weaving of mountain goat wool. Cedar was extremely useful and sacred to many of the tribes. Cedar bark and roots were used to make baskets, robes, skirts, and blankets. Wooden tools used to shred, crease, strip, sew and weave cedar bark are displayed.
Some larger items exhibited are a canoe and many totem poles, standing in front of a Kwakwaka’wakw big house, reminding me of Thunderbird Park, outside the museum.
A small gallery is entirely devoted to Haida argillite carvings. This dark, dense glossy rock, transitional between slate and shale, has been carved on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) since traditional times, into representations of animals and mythical beings, and ceremonial pipes. With the coming of the Europeans, the carvings began to reflect their influence. Tableware and musical "pipes" (recorders) appeared. The First People’s Gallery ends with an exhibit of the Nisga'a, people of the Nass River of Northwest British Columbia.
Open daily 9AM to 5 PM, closed Christmas and New Years Day. Rates: Adults - $12.50CD, Seniors, Youth, Students - $8.70CD, Combined museum + IMAX - $21CD/ $16.95CD.
From journal Victoria Heritage
Two tall, massive wooden figures, Huu-ay-aht first man Nutchkoa, and first woman Ho-miniki, stand on either side of the ticket counter, arms outstretched in welcome. They were purchased for the museum in 1911, from Kiix’in village on southwest Vancouver Island. We find that the best rates are combined tickets for museum and IMAX film. (A National Geographic IMAX theater adjoins the museum.) But we opted out of that, wishing to devote our whole day to the museum.
From museum map and brochure, we see that there is one temporary exhibit gallery and four permanent galleries: First Peoples, Modern History, Natural History, and the new Living Land, Living Sea Gallery, spread out on the second and third floors.
Tibet: Mountains, Valleys, Castles and Tents, on loan from Newark Museum from March to October, is our first stop. Photography is not allowed inside the exhibit. We view a fascinating documentary film about early Anglo travelers to Tibet, home of the mysterious Dalai Lama. Objects displayed range from decorations and household items used by nobility, made of precious metals and encrusted with gems, to exquisite textiles, to elaborate tents used by nomads. Tibet remains occupied by China, the Dalai Lama in exile since 1959.
Living Land, Living Sea is simply spectacular and draws the interest of all ages. A lifelike wooly mammoth welcomes us from the past, but before we know it we’re immersed in the disturbing present. It’s all about greenhouse gasses, fossil fuels, and climate change. A happy future for the mountain pine beetle, whose range is continuing to extend, thanks to warming winters. At least until all the pine trees are gone… The if ewe only knew room offers wiser choices for eco-friendly living and a more sustainable future. Wonderful, lifelike forest and coastal dioramas round out the exhibit, with additional detailed wall descriptions of the myriads of life forms living in all the coastal zones.
British Columbia is British are headlines on an enlarged 1900 New Decade wall hanging at the entrance of the Modern History gallery. We learn that the 1846 Oregon Treaty made this so, and that Vancouver Island was declared a colony in 1849, territory of British North America, governed by Hudson Bay Company. Mainland and island gold rushes of the 1860’s saw rapid expansion and competition between those who would have the territory annexed by Canada, versus the U.S. Though the gold rush fizzled, Canada made the better offer. British Columbia became a province in 1871. Queen Victoria named the new province, not after Christopher Columbus, but for American sea captain Robert Gray’s ship, Columbia Rediviva.
Yerevan, District of Columbia, Belgium
April 17, 2005
From journal Canada: British Columbia - Vancouver and Victoria
March 25, 2004
You then work your way through the first settlers of the region. You can see totem poles and assorted carvings and jewelry. Moving through the years, you discover an entire town built into the museum, circa late 1800s. You can look in the windows of the surgical supply store, sit in the train station, take a walk through an old hotel, see old Chinatown. You work through a mining operation, people homesteading, and see hardships people endured, living on the coast of Canada.
There was a travelling exhibit there at the time too, Bugs in Action. More for kids, but we sure liked it too. This is a great place to spend an afternoon. Leave a lot of time for it because there is so much to see.
From journal Victoria is for Lovers!
April 4, 2003
From journal Victoria - Sparkling Gem
Brooklyn, New York
November 30, 2001
While the building has only two exhibition floors, every display has detailed documentation. In addition to excellent descriptive signs there are also short videos, interactive computer programs, and live tours, classes, and workshops as well as arts presentations. The museum is seriously dedicated to its mandate as an education institution.
The second floor is split between the Natural History exhibit and the Feature Gallery for temporary shows. The Natural History exhibit is in chronological order. It traces the development of northwestern costal fauna and flora including undersea creatures from the ice age to today.
The third floor has two permanent displays. The one devoted to First Nations artifacts includes a cerimonial Big House and totem poles. The other, which is called the Modern History Gallery, contains a realist re-creation of a Victorian Era cobblestoned street with shops and a hotel. I would have liked to buy the jet jewelry and lace shawl displayed in one of the store displays.
Of course there is a real museum store. It is on the first floor and features spectatular First Nation handicrafts. Each piece comes with a card identifying the artist who created it. There is also a large selection of books and an excellent assortment of inexpensive things for kids.
Do not miss the breathtaking view of the harbor from the hallway near the escalator landing!
The Royal British Columbia Museum is a half block inland from the corner of the harbor opposit to the on e with the information center. It is open daily 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. BE SURE TO GIVE YOURSELF AT LEAST TWO HOURS!
If you need more information, the museum has a website: http://rbcm1.rbcm.gov.bc.ca
From journal Victoria City of Simple Pleasures