Fragile Witness

From March 21, 2002 to August 4, 2002

This exhibition has ended.

March 21, 2002 marked the inauguration of the McCord Museum's new Third Floor Gallery, with exceptional works from the Museum's collection, many on display for the first time since their acquisition. Dedicated to paintings, prints, drawings, archival documents and photographs as well as small objects, this welcoming 1,400 square-foot space provides an intimate setting in which to view some of the McCord's treasures.

The gallery's inaugural exhibition offered a rare glimpse at the public and private events that have shaped our contemporary perspectives. McCord executive director Dr. Victoria Dickenson dug deep into the Museum's reserves to find the delicate specimens presented in Fragile Witness. Treasures of national significance, such as James Wolfe's journal from 1759 and Louis Riel's last will and testament were displayed alongside more personal souvenirs, like the needlework designs of Anne Ross McCord. Slips of crumbling paper, these historical fragments are often the only surviving witnesses to significant past events. Fragile Witness provided an intimate encounter with history, and a poignant reminder of the wealth of personal and historical information that is preserved in paper, ink and paint.