Furniture in Public Collections in Canada / La Collection Nationale de Mobilier - National Museum of Man: - Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies

Furniture in Public Collections in Canada / La Collection Nationale de Mobilier

National Museum of Man:

Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies

Stephen Henry Delroy
Senior Cataloguer with the Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies, National Museum of Man

1 Since its formation just over a decade ago, the Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies has collected some 350 items of furniture and 100 smaller accessories. Included in the furniture are cupboards, chairs, tables, stands, benches, racks, churns, spinning wheels, and trunks. The accessories consist of smaller items such as game boards and shelves. The main groups represented are Hutterites, Mennonites, Ukrainians, Scandinavians, and French-Canadians. Most of the regional pieces were made in the Atlantic provinces or Quebec. The collection is divided almost equally between Canadian-made ethnic pieces and regional furniture. The ethnic furniture tends to be older and less available than the regional since the latter is still being made.

2 Five aspects of the collection deserve to be highlighted in this brief summary:

  • over twenty-five spinning wheels, most of which are handmade;
  • ninety-one trunks and chests — including a few blanket boxes — almost all of which are immigrants' trunks made outside Canada;
  • a handful of rare Polish Wilno pieces comprising a trunk, cupboard, and table, all finely made;
  • more than two dozen pieces of French-Canadian furniture, all handmade;
  • approximately two dozen pieces of Newfoundland outport furniture and other pieces from the Atlantic provinces. The most characteristic of these are brightly painted tables and stands.
Stephen Henry Delroy