19 August 2016

House Museum

Theaster Gates in his current Art Gallery of Ontario installation How To Build A House Museum, asks who has the right to have a museum created in their honor? Why are some people's houses more worthy as candidates for museums? 
It's a thought provoking, immersive installation that takes the entire upper floor of the AGO. It presents as art, urban history in a socio-economic framework & constantly re-interprets the word "house" in changing contexts. House music. The bricks of the factory that built the neighborhoods (The George Black House) . The House of Muddy Waters.
Go see this exhibit if you can.

I visited a more traditional house museum yesterday - Spadina Museum and gardens. I've posted about the fabulous gardens here before. I visit these gardens often but yesterday, I took the museum guided tour.  Basically the house was owned by a very wealthy family for a very long time and is a museum on that merit. Still, it has been beautifully preserved and restored with most of the furnishings and artwork being original and the textiles and wall coverings being painstakingly reproduced. It's all very lovely and gives one a glimpse of past Toronto as it was known by the very few. Admission to the garden is free so provides an accessible refuge to all from the summer's bustle. It's a peaceful way to spend an hour in the city.

The greenhouse is still in use.

Looking at you from the drawing room.

Fine dining indeed. The painting is the wedding portrait of the matriarch.

The conservatory with it's exotic plants - an incredible luxury.

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