L.M. Montgomery (1874-1942), one of Canada's most famous
authors, is the subject of a virtual exhibit entitled "Picturing a
Canadian Life: L.M. Montgomery's Personal Scrapbooks and Book Covers"
that will be online from August 30, 2002, through August 2007 at
http://lmm.confederationcentre.com and http://www.virtualmuseum.ca.
This virtual exhibit, created in partnership with the Virtual Museum of
Canada (VMC), is the first online exhibit hosted by the Confederation
Centre Art Gallery. Everyone is invited to go to
http://lmm.confederationcentre.com on August 30, at noon (Atlantic
daylight time) to view the exhibit and a live webcast of the launch.
Internationally-renowned Montgomery scholar Dr. Elizabeth Rollins
Epperly, curator of the exhibition, wrote a 40,000-word script that
accompanies almost 800 images from Montgomery's personal scrapbooks and
book covers, many of which have never before been seen by the public.
Video and interactive components on the site help viewers to explore how
Montgomery used her imagination to collect, create, and inspire images
of Canadian life. By drawing on five archival and museum collections,
the exhibit is significant in terms of size and content.
As director of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Jon Tupper is
delighted that the Gallery's involvement in this virtual exhibit is an
important step forward in bringing Canadian art and artists to the huge
numbers of people who use the Internet.
"Virtual exhibits provide the Gallery with opportunities to expand our
audiences," says Tupper. "They give our online visitors the opportunity
of experiencing significant elements of our collections. The curatorial
interpretation of the text and the site design provide significant
enhancement to those familiar with L.M. Montgomery's work by looking
into her life and times. For those unfamiliar with the work of this
important Canadian writer, the virtual exhibit provides a wonderful
opportunity to engage with her writing and the period in which she
In planning the site, Epperly kept students, parents, teachers,
Montgomery fans, scholars, and enthusiasts in mind. "Virtual Art Inc.
has helped us create a site we think is fun and informative," she says.
"People who get to know Montgomery in the classroom, or through The
Charlottetown Festival musical, or through her books - and even people
who want to know 'Why read Montgomery?' - should find something
worthwhile to explore. Researchers should find threads to follow too,
since these materials have never before been displayed together."
Epperly is pleased that the Montgomery materials will be available to
the public for the first time. "The scrapbooks are too fragile for
people to handle, and the covers are too numerous to display easily, so
the Web offers a perfect way to bring these things together for viewing.
Besides, Montgomery is an acknowledged Canadian hero, and so it is
important for Canadians and others to understand something special about
Two of the Island author's personal scrapbooks are at the Confederation
Centre Art Gallery and, during the summer months, at the L.M. Montgomery
Birthplace; four are housed in the University of Guelph's extensive
holdings, which also include Montgomery's journals and photographs.
Covers from over 160 selected first and special editions of Montgomery's
novels are from the "Ronald I. Cohen Lucy Maud Montgomery Collection" at
the National Library of Canada in Ottawa. In addition, some footage from
the L.M. Montgomery Institute's award-winning CD, "The Bend in the
Road," is also included in the exhibit.
Online through to August 2007, the website will be hosted by, and
maintained under the direction of, the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Contracted by the VMC, the exhibit was created with assistance from the
National Library of Canada, The University of Guelph Library, The L.M.
Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, and the
Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace. In addition, elements of this project
were supported by Smart Communities initiatives.