Museum Week Fun

Samantha Pender and Jessica Moffitt are second year Public Relations students at Durham College and the RMG’s communications interns for the winter.


It’s that time of year again! Museums and art galleries around the world will be coming together on the Internet to celebrate one of the most exciting calendar weeks. That’s right, it’s time for #MuseumWeek!

exterior of gallery

Photo by Michael Cullen

Museum week is a social media gathering of museums and galleries across the world to share cool things with their audience. There are seven days with seven hashtags, each a different theme that dictates the tweet/fact about the museum. Here is this year’s lineup:
Monday – #SecretsMW

Tuesday – #PeopleMW

Wednesday – #ArchitectureMW

Thursday – #HeritageMW

Friday – #FutureMW

Saturday – #ZoomMW

Sunday – #LoveMW
Our communications interns, Jessica and Sam have been preparing for this exciting week, learning all the in’s and out’s of the RMG to share with you on Twitter. With about three to five tweets a day, fans of the RMG can expect to learn plenty of new and exciting things about their favourite Oshawa art gallery!

Monday through Wednesday was researched and planned by Sam, who had a great time digging into rich, Oshawa history and learning about architecture. The gallery is deeply rooted in the McLaughlin family history, so you can expect to learn a bit about one of Oshawa’s most famous families and their affiliation with the RMG on Tuesday’s #people.

Queens Hotel, Oshawa

Queens Hotel, Oshawa

The building itself is also touched by fame, designed and built by a famous Canadian architect – don’t worry, you’ll find out who during Museum Week on Wednesday’s #architecture! Sam was able to really learn about the bare bones of the building, exploring not only the physical architecture, but also the culture of the building and architect as well.

Sam also searched up some little known facts about the RMG that we will be sharing to kick off the week on the first day of #secrets!

Unidentified Portrait

Unidentified Portrait from the Thomas Bouckley Collection. Collection of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

Jess, who planned out Thursday through Sunday, had fun diving into her hometown #heritage and learning all about Oshawa! Seeing old black and white photos from The Thomas Bouckley Collection was a highlight for her, getting a glimpse of what the city looked like long before we were here.

After going back in history, Jess looked forward to the #future of the RMG – we don’t want to ruin anything, but it the future looks bright. She also digs deep into a few key pieces in the gallery for #zoom, sharing interesting stories while she takes a closer look. Sunday is all about #love, and Jess had plenty of that to share. What’s not to love about the RMG?

RMG Friday

Museum Hack. Photo by Mat Calverley.

Jess and Sam can’t wait to share everything they learned about the RMG with you during #MuseumWeek! Make sure you check out our Twitter feed @theRMG so you can learn it all too!

Closeups: Margaret Rodgers

Selections from the Thomas Bouckley Collection

23 January – 7 May, 2015
Opening: RMG Fridays, 6 February, 7-10pm
Artist talk with Margaret Rodgers: Sunday 22 February, 1-3pm

Local artist Margaret Rodgers has created a new body of work as an extension of her ongoing interest in Oshawa’s heritage.  Using photographs from the Thomas Bouckley Collection as a jumping off point, Rodgers has created a series of mixed media works that ask the viewer to take a closer look at scenes from Oshawa’s history. 

Rodgers places a spotlight on captured moments of figures that are otherwise easily overlooked in these photographs. The act of featuring these people in her work is a subversion of the original intent of the photographer, but allows the viewer to look at the image in a new way.  Rodgers deals with incidental images, often grainy or blurry, but those that are suggestive of daily life at the time. Most of the mixed media work centers on bystanders from various historical Oshawa events, calling up the manner in which we all become background strangers captured in other people’s photographs at one time or another. The works featured in Closeups are displayed using recovered jewelry trays from the basement at 20 Simcoe Street North, a building formerly owned by Burns Jewellers and further referencing Oshawa’s past. 

Margaret Rodgers is an Oshawa-based artist who has exhibited internationally and locally for many years. She founded the IRIS Group, a women artists’ collective, in 1996, taught art subjects at Centennial and Durham Colleges, and spearheaded many projects as Director/Curator at VAC Clarington.

Curated by Megan White.

For more information, please visit

Image – Margaret Rodgers, Fireman and Fan, Prospect Park 1900, 2014

The Curator’s View: Thomas Bouckley Collection, World War One

This post comes from the desk of Megan White, Assistant Curator. 

New to the RMG and to Oshawa, for the past couple of months I have been learning more and more about the history of the city as Curator of the Thomas Bouckley Collection. With more than 4000 photographs in the collection, the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” certainly rings true, with each image acting as a storyteller of Oshawa’s past.

Doing research for upcoming exhibitions can, at times, take me to some pretty unusual places. One lesson that I’ve learned from my most recent research project is that when someone asks you “Would you like to go for a ride in this tank?” the answer should always be yes. Working at an art gallery, it’s not every day that I get to climb inside a large Sherman tank from WW2 or go for a ride in an M113 A1 APC tank, but when the opportunity presented itself on a recent trip to the Ontario Regiment Museum, I couldn’t say no.

This spring, I have been delving into the history of Oshawa during World War One–the topic of the upcoming Thomas Bouckley exhibition, opening in early September. We have a large collection of photographs taken between 1914-1919, demonstrating what Oshawa was like during the War. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, this exhibition is part of a partnership between the RMG, the Oshawa Community Museum, the City of Oshawa, the Ontario Regiment Museum, the Oshawa Public Libraries, Trent University, Heritage Oshawa and Rogers TV. This partnership provides educational programming throughout the year, to build awareness of the significance of the First World War in Oshawa.

Soldiers at Grand Trunk Railway Station, 1915  The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

Soldiers at Grand Trunk Railway Station, 1915
The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa


Commanding Officer Addressing Battalion, 1916  The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

Commanding Officer Addressing Battalion, 1916
The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

The best way to gather as much information about this piece of Oshawa’s history was to utilize resources outside of the Bouckley Collection and turn to other institutions in Oshawa as a way of enhancing my research. That took me to the Oshawa Community Museum where I sifted through archival documents about Oshawa’s 116th Battalion, read newspapers from 1916, as well as to the Ontario Regiment Museum for a tour of their newly renovated building filled with interesting artifacts and photographs.

This is perhaps one of the best perks of working in the arts/culture/heritage sector–having access to such fascinating pieces of history and learning from other museums (not to mention always getting the best behind-the-scenes tours). It just doesn’t get much better than the wind whipping through your hair as you roll over a muddy field in a tank.

If you would like to see a tank in action, the Ontario Regiment Museum holds demonstrations once a month at their location at 1000 Stevenson Road North, Oshawa. Click here to read more.

For more information about upcoming WWI events and lectures through 2014, visit