Mummies, dinosaurs, Persian textiles, exotic fishes, European bronzes, fossils, early Canadian furniture, artifacts of the Native peoples of Canada, rare Chinese ceramics, and a Ming tomb with its guardian figures - all these and much more are to be found in the galleries of the Royal Ontario Museum. In The Museum Makers, Lovat Dickson gives a vivid account of the origins and growth of this impressive institution, which each year touches the lives of hundreds of thousands, from researchers to school classes thronging the galleries, to senior citizens involved in special programs.
Over the decades the Royal Ontario Museum has gained world renown for its collections and its research. Today it is counted among the three largest museums in North America.
Biography was always Lovat Dickson's chief interest. In The Museum Makers, he used a biographical framework for the story of an exciting institution. First on the scene are the founders, such memorable figures as Sir Edmund Walker and Charles Trick Currelly. Then comes the early directors, curators, and technicians, whose research and discoveries in every branch of the natural sciences, art, and archaeology contributed to the Royal Ontario Museum's growing international reputation. In the aftermath of World War II a new generation of museum men and women took up the challenge of keeping the Royal Ontario Museum one of the last combined science, art, and archaeology museums of first rank in the world. The unfolding story, with accomplishments, stresses, and strains interwoven, is captivating.
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