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Contemptible Collectibles, “Black Canadiana” and Curiosity Cabinets

An Analysis of a Black Male Doll Displayed in 'Into the Wonder Room' at Pointe-à-Callière


Written by Emily Draicchio


Introduction

At first glance, the Black Male Doll on display in the exhibition Into the Wonder Room at Pointe-à-Callière seems like a harmless curio, surrounded by other dolls, toys and antique teddy bears that are installed together in the curiosity cabinet of contemporary Quebec collector Denis Allison [Fig.1].[1] Within the exhibition, the Black Male Doll assumes a meaning related to “rare, often exotic, and sometimes unusual objects”. [2]


When analysed against the colonial context of curiosity cabinets, it is evident that the Black Male Doll is a “contemptible collectible” embedded in a deep history of racial intolerance and anti-black stereotypes that circulated worldwide.[3] The term contemptible collectible was coined by Patricia A. Turner, professor in African-American Studies at UCLA, as an alternative framework for “Black Americana memorabilia,” an umbrella term once used to describe both the production of images by blacks and images of blacks.[4] Instead, contemptible collectibles are artifacts representing black people that are made by white people, which display insidious iconography related to racism and anti-black stereotypes. Although the museum does not record the provenance or date of the Black Male Doll, I argue that this rather anonymous object was created sometime between the late 19th century and early 20th century.[5] Furthermore, it cannot be easily classified as “black Americana memorabilia” for similar dolls were produced and circulated in Canada, which I suggest can be called “black Canadiana memorabilia.” [6]


Through a critical analysis of Into the Wonder Room and the installation of the Black Male Doll within the larger institutional context of Pointe-à-Callière, I argue that the museum fails to narrate the doll’s socio-cultural meaning as a contemptible collectible associated with racism, anti-black stereotypes and Canada’s history of slavery, minstrelsy and segregation. Instead, I suggest that the Black Male Doll should be re-installed in a display that follows the principles of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia to further challenge the myth of Canada as tolerant, inclusive and racism-free.[1] [2] [7] As such, borrowing from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, I would reinstall the Black Male Doll [3] [4] as an item of intolerance, “to teach tolerance and promote social justice”.[8]


Situating Pointe-à-Callière: History, Exhibits and Objectives

Pointe-à-Callière, also known as the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, is both a museum and a national archaeological site inaugurated in 1992 as part of the “350th Anniversary” celebrations of Montreal.[9] As an archaeology museum, Pointe-à-Callière displays artifacts related to the history of Montreal “from the settlements of our Indigenous People to the present day” and is considered to be the “only substantial archaeological museum in Canada”.[10] The museum is also located on several archaeological sites that together have been recognized as “the site where Montréal was born”.[11]


Besides being located on archaeological sites, the museum’s location also attracts a specific audience. Pointe-à-Callière is surrounded by major hotels, museums and historic sites, several souvenir shops, and is just a metro away from several major Montreal universities. On the museum’s website, they describe their mission as “to bring visitors to know and appreciate the Montréal of yesterday and today through outreach, education, conservation and research activities revolving around Montréal’s archaeological and historical heritage, and to build links with regional, national and international networks”.[12] As such, when considering their location and mission, it is evident that Pointe-à-Callière is a hub for students, researchers and tourists. This public includes people of all ages as their educational activities range in accessibility to pre-school, college and adult visitors. Pointe-à-Callière’s objective is thus threefold: protection, integrity and accessibility.[13]


Given their location and mandate, Pointe-à-Callière displays and collects artifacts related to the history of Montreal in their permanent exhibitions. They display in situ architectural ruins as well as artifacts from all periods of occupation.[14] Artifacts range from fragmented earthenware ceramics made by Indigenous communities between 1000-1500 AD to a women’s leather shoe from 1879.[15] Moreover, to build “an historical portrait of Montréal”, Pointe-à-Callière formed an ethnohistorical collection that includes over a thousand objects that share a common theme; “Montréal, at the heart of national and international networks”.[16] Lastly, they display a selection of rare books and archives that relate to the history of Montréal or that are relevant to the themes of a temporary exhibition.


Pointe-à-Callière collects and displays Canadian objects that are traditionally considered “low art” or “craft” since they primarily served a utilitarian purpose; such as Indigenous and settler ceramics, leather shoes, trading beads from the 1600s and tools like iron blades.[17] The history of “low” Canadian art is narrated by the museum’s permanent exhibitions; Where Montreal Began, Building Montreal and Crossroads Montreal.[18] The Canadian art objects from the three exhibitions are grouped together in glass display cases with labels that provide approximate dates, materiality and location of discovery while sometimes further explaining their different technical, social or religious functions.[19] The exhibitions that narrate Canada’s history display such “low art” objects within the context of simultaneously narrating the history of Montreal. They use “low art” objects to highlight Montreal’s progress over the centuries, pertinent historical events in the city, daily life amongst Indigenous communities and settlers, and to forge the city’s identity.[20] I recorded only one object of “high art” in the museum’s temporary exhibition, Into the Wonder Room. This was a reproduction of the painting Officer’s Room in Montreal by Cornelius Krieghoff (1846) [Fig.2].


Walking through Into the Wonder Room

Pointe-à-Callière also presents three to four temporary exhibits every year. I will be focusing on Into the Wonder Room with an emphasis on the installation of Allison’s “contemporary” curiosity cabinet of antique toys. Located on the first floor and physically separated from the six permanent collections that are underground, Into the Wonder Room is described as an exhibition that “invites you into the mysterious and unique world of cabinets of curiosities”.[21] The exhibition features over 1,000 objects from the collections of the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, several museums in Québec and Canada, and from private collectors.[22] The exhibition showcases “mysterious objects, fantastic creatures, mounted animals, and scientific instruments”.[23] For example, in the same room as an albino moose taxidermy, visitors will also see samurai armour, a mummified cat, African currency, a two headed cow, arrowheads and an Inuit kayak. To display the history of curiosity cabinets “from the homes of European aristocrats, great explorers, and scholars in past centuries to Québec “curiosity rooms” and the homes of certain contemporary collectors,” the objects are installed to mimic a “wonder room”. [24]


The exhibition layout begins in a dark green room with objects displayed on fine wooden furniture and pedestals.[25] One of the first objects visitors see is Krieghoff’s painting Officer’s Room in Montreal. The painting shows Andrew Aylmer Staunton, an assistant surgeon assigned to the Royal Artillery in Montreal, in his quarters surrounded by “Indian souvenirs” and “Canadiana”.[26] The painting serves to document the “trophies” he acquired during his posting in Montreal.[27] Although considered “low” or “primitive” art, the Indigenous objects in the painting and in Into the Wonder Room are used to elevate the status of elite collectors who displayed their wealth and presumed worldliness through colonial practices of interest, confiscation, theft and exoticization.[28]

Afterwards, visitors move into a room with the large words “exotica” and “antiqua” painted on the walls where objects from different time periods, places and cultures are grouped together in glass cases against dark walls.[29] The following section displayed hybrid animals, 18th century scientific instruments, marine life and African currencies in the same room, but now in separate displays.[30] The curiosity cabinet display method returns as visitors are encouraged to “Enter the Wonder Room”, which recreates the effects of a cabinet of curiosities in a monumental installation.[31] Objects include multicoloured butterflies and birds, giant lobsters, African bracelets, shells, Indigenous clothing and “a profusion of unusual objects from around the world”.[32] There were no labels inside the room besides one large panel that thanked private collectors and institutions for their donations. The objects donated were further listed without providing their specific provenance, date, function, and materiality. The proliferation of incomplete labels were apparent in all the sections of Into the Wonder Room.[33] More frustrating was the lack of labels in the final zone of the exhibition that was dedicated to seven contemporary Québec-based collectors, featuring interviews and several objects from their collections. Specifically, the collection by Allison is described as “just some fun things in his collection”.[34] As such, there is no information of the Black Male Doll provided in the installation nor in the museum’s archives.[35]


Observations: What is Into the Wonder Room Saying/Missing?

It is clear that the role of this exhibition is to elevate the status of Pointe-à-Callière since Into the Wonder Room both begins and ends with a display of Quebec curiosity cabinets via Krieghoff’s painting and Allison’s display, without providing any context of how curiosity cabinets are implicated in a long history of colonialism nor the provenance of the objects they display.[36] The purpose of Allison’s installation of antique toys is thus utilized by the museum to perpetuate a narrative of owning “exotic” art to highlight Montreal’s progress and to forge a Eurocentric collective identity.[37] As such, Allison’s installation and the exhibition display anti-black and colonial artifacts (i.e. Black Male Doll) in recreated curiosity cabinets without providing any socio-cultural context to present themselves as an elite institution with wealthy collections. The exhibition and museum situate Montreal outside the history of colonialism and instead as a city that identifies with cultural capital, inclusion and tolerance.[38] As such, through the installation of “low” art objects belonging to different cultures in curiosity cabinets, in addition to the lack of pertinent information by having didactic panels that only (if at all) list the credit information of objects, Into the Wonder Room and the installation of the Black Male Doll perpetuate the “Benevolent Mountie Myth” of Canada.[39]


Situating Dolls that Appalls in Canadian History

To challenge the myth of Canada as inclusive, tolerant and multicultural, as manifested by Pointe-à-Callière, I will analyse the Black Male Doll in relation to its materiality, aesthetic properties, cultural and economic value, circulation, provenance and meanings. This analysis will prove that the Black Male Doll should be re-installed because Pointe-à-Callière fails to narrate the doll’s socio-cultural meanings that is intimately connected to Canada’s participation in Transatlantic Slavery, minstrelsy and segregation. The current display ignores Canada’s brutal history of conquest and cultural genocide and instead celebrates the nation as racism-free.[40]


To begin, since the museum holds no information pertaining to the Black Male Doll, I suggested above that it is likely from the late 19th century – early 20th century since it is made of papier-mâché and wood or composition and wood with various fabric and textile clothing and possibly cotton or human hair.[41] The torso and limbs of the doll resemble wood while the head of the Black Male Doll displays evidence of craving that resembles papier-mâché or composition. Regardless if papier-mâché or composition, both materials were used to manufacture dolls that date to the late 19th century – early 20th century.[42] Specifically, this aligns with the period of localized minstrelsy in Canada.[43]


Canadian minstrelsy was popularized in the 1860s and the 1910s and its history can be both linked to the Black Male Doll through its physical characteristics that exhibits derogatory racial features.[44] Specifically, the Black Male Doll exhibits “inky” and extremely dark skin, especially when juxtaposed with his light clothing, wide almost googly-eyes and exaggerated red lips, all of which are distasteful characterises used to caricature black people in minstrel shows.[45]As such, the Black Male Doll is “more evocative of blackface minstrel makeup than a natural colour of African skin”, which may have been done deliberately by the maker to distort and degrade black people.[46] The Black Male Doll thus exposes the legacy of the exoticization of the black body as racial “other” which can be traced beyond Canadian minstrelsy to Canada’s participation in segregation and slavery.[47]

Canada is often celebrated as being a country without a colonial history that merely helped slaves escape America though the Underground Railroad.[48] However, Canada participated in the Transatlantic Slave trade.[49] In fact, Canada had a slave minority population that functioned under the laws of chattel slavery. Enslaved black men and women were considered movable property; they were commodities to be purchased, sold and inherited. Considering that the age of the Black Male Doll is ambiguous since he cannot be easily classified as a man or boy, I suggest that the doll may be a caricature of an infantilized man. This relates back to the period of slavery when there was a drive to strategically infantilize men to render them powerless.[50] It is also imperative to note that during the same period of this doll’s manufacturing, that segregation was widely practiced in Canada. For example, the last Canadian segregated school was only closed in 1965 and in Montreal the Loew’s Windsor Theatre publicly announced in 1919 that black customers would be segregated in a seating section called “Monkey cages”.[51]


The maker, provenance, circulation and use of the Black Male Doll can also only be speculated. It is possible that the Black Male Doll was hand-made, though dolls made of papier-mâché and composition gained popularity in the late 19th century and were being manufactured on a large scale.[52] If manufactured, the Black Male Doll would likely be sold for $1.00 to $4.50 and today wooden, papier-mâché and composition dolls of similar appearance are sold for $250 to $500.[53] Moreover, the Black Male Doll was likely used by a white child, which serves to perpetuate “the racist ideology of white ownership” that emerged from the period of slavery to which Canada participated in.[54] The Black Male Doll could have circulated between white Canadian family homes, assuming different meanings in its life-time, before ending up on display at Pointe-à-Callière as an “exotic” object.

When considering the above analysis of the Black Male Doll, it becomes evident that Pointe-à-Callière does not appropriately narrate the socio-culture context of this contemptible collectible as related to Canada’s participate in Transatlantic Slavery, minstrelsy and segregation. As such, I propose that the Black Male Doll be taken out of its current installation, where it is (un)ironically displayed next to an antique stuffed monkey, [55] and reinstalled in a new travelling exhibition of Canadian racist memorabilia.


Curatorial Dreaming: What to do with Contemptible Collectibles and “Black Canadiana”?

In my improved re-installation, I would display the Black Male Doll with the black dolls from the McCord Museum and other contemptible collectibles of Canadian origin that use anti-black stereotypes such as mammy cookie jars, lawn posts, salt and pepper shakers, cereal advertisements, tablecloths, etc.[56] Each object would be given its own label that details its materiality, aesthetic properties, cultural and economic value, circulation, provenance and meanings. Next to the display of these objects, I would include a large video installation explaining how “black Canadiana memorabilia” is inextricably linked to and emerged from the practice of blackface, segregation and slavery in Canada.[57] I would also include personal testimonies of contemporary instances of racism experienced by African-Canadians to show that this is an issue of the past and present.[58] Lastly, I would also explain within a didactic panel why it is important to display contemptible collectibles of Canadian origin; which relates to the question as to why I would re-install the Black Male Doll in such a way.


I suggest that it is important to display the Black Male Doll with other anti-black objects to teach the impacts and evolution of racism in Canadian history.[59] Borrowing from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, my goal would be to “use items of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice”.[60] Specifically, the recontextualization of the Black Male Doll problematized the notion that Canada is a victim of racism that originated elsewhere.[61] Therefore, the new exhibit would encourage visitors to engage in dialogues about Canada’s strategically forgotten racial history and how it is currently maintained in institutions and daily life.[62]


Conclusion

In conclusion, my analysis of the Black Male Doll displayed in Into the Wonder Room exposes the legacy of the exoticization of the black body as racial “other” that is still perpetuated in Canadian museums. By contextualizing the Black Male Doll with further research ignored by Pointe-à-Callière, I was able to establish connections between caricatured anti-black dolls and Canada’s colonial past and racist present, which in turn destabilize Canada’s collective identity as tolerant and inclusive. My proposed curatorial dream would work with Canada’s black community to contest the marginalization of black people and educate visitors that Canada’s identity as without a colonial history is but a myth since, just as slavery, minstrelsy and segregation existed in Canada, so does “black Canadiana memorabilia” that speaks to the nation’s racial past and present.[63]


Plate List



Fig 1. Anonymous, Black Male Doll (c. Late 19th century – early 20th century), papier-mâché, composition or wood with various fabric and textile clothing and possibly cotton or human hair, approximately 10 x 4 cm, Into the Wonder Room exhibition, Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal, Canada.



Fig. 2: Cornelius Krieghoff, Officer’s Room in Montreal [formerly Officer’s Trophy Room] (1846), Reproduction with the permission of the Royal Ontario Museum, oil on canvas, 44.5 x 63.5 cm, Into the Wonder Room exhibition, Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal, Canada.

[1] Denis Allison is described as a plangonologist, arctophile, and a ludophile. Anonymous, Didactic Panel: Denis Allison’s Collection, Into the Wonder Room exhibit, Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal, Canada. And Patricia A. Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies: Black Images and Their Influence on Culture, (New York: Anchor Books, 1994), p. 4. [2] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” Pointe-à-Callière Musée, (date of last access 5 November 2019) https://pacmusee.qc.ca/en/ [3] Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies, p.11. [4] Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies, p.5. [5] This was completed by comparing the Black Male Doll to the black dolls in the McCord Museum, in online auctions and in Debbie Behan Garrett, Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, (Dallas, TX: Debbie Behan Garrett, 2008), pp. 22-77. And “M974.81.17 | Doll,” McCord Collections and Research, (date of last access 5 November 2019) http://collections.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/M974.81.17?msg=1. And “19thC Black Americana Papier Mache & Wood Mammy Doll,” Stonegate Antiques, (date of last access 5 November 2019) https://www.trocadero.com/stores/stonegate/items/837206/19thC-Americana-Papier-Mache-Wood-Mammy-Doll [6] See examples of black female dolls in the McCord Collections and Archives. Alexandra Kelebay “ ‘History Could be Taught by Means of Dolls…,’:Race, Doll-Play, and the History of Black Female Slavery in Canada,” Towards an African Canadian Art History: Art, Memory, and Resistance, eds. Charmain Nelson (Concord, Ontario: Captus Press, October 2018), pp.82-96. [7] Camille A. Nelson, and Charmaine A. Nelson eds., “Introduction,” Racism Eh?: A Critical Inter-Disciplinary Anthology of Race and Racism in Canada (Concord, Ontario: Captus Press/Captus University Publications, 2004), pp. 2-3. [8] David Pilgrim, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice, (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2015), p.16. [9] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [10] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [11] These sites include; Fort Ville-Marie (1642), Callière’s Residence (1695), St. Ann’s Market (1832)... “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [12] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [13] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [14] Specifically, their collection includes over 850,000 artifacts and biofacts found on site from the Prehistoric Aboriginal period (4,000 years ago up to the arrival of the first Europeans), the Aboriginal/European period of the 16th Century, the New France period from the 17th Century to the mid 18th Century, the British period from the mid 18th Century to the mid 19th Century and the contemporary period from the 19th Century through the 20th Century. [15] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [16] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [17] Charmaine A. Nelson, ed., “Introduction,” Towards an African Canadian Art History: Art, Memory, and Resistance, eds. Charmaine Nelson (Concord, Ontario: Captus Press, 2018), p. 5. [18] The other three permanent exhibitions, Memory Collector, Archaeo-Adventure and Pirates or Privateers?, feature multimedia shows, stimulations and miniature city models that also narrate the history of Montreal. [19] For example, in Building Montreal an Iroquoian ceramic sherd, pipe and bone needle are displayed in the same case within the context of tracing Montreal’s history “from 1350 to today” and helps serve as “a testament to the men and women who shaped the city”. See “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex” (date of last access 5 November 2019). And Margaret Lindauer, “The Critical Museum Visitor” In New Museum Theory and Practice: An Introduction, (Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2007), p. 209. [20] A common historical event highlighted by “low art” includes the Great Peace of Montreal, 1701. The emphasis on the Great Peace is further related to the substantial amount of historical inaccuracies with regards to Indigenous and settler relations. For example, the museum highlights peace, but ignores the violence inflicted by settlers on Indigenous communities, their resistance to colonisation and the consequences of colonisation. “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [21] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [22] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [23] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [24] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [25] Lindauer, “The Critical Museum Visitor”, p. 207. [26] Lindauer, “The Critical Museum Visitor”, p. 207. And John S Long, and Richard J Preston, Together We Survive: Ethnographic Intuitions, Friendships, and Conversations, (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016) p. 113. [27] In this context, Indigenous objects are seen as exotic things to be taken and placed in curiosity cabinets. They are trophies of imperial possession and signs of contact with the “other”. It is also interesting that the painting was formerly called Officer’s Trophy Room. See Kathy Oberholtzer, “ ‘Just Hanging Around": James Bay Cree Bags,’ ” Papers of the Thirty-Fifth Algonquian Conference, (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 2004), p. 347. [28] Gilles Boetsch, and Pascal Blanchard, “From Cabinets of Curiosity to the ‘Hottentot Venus’,” Invention of Race: Scientific and Popular Representations, (New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 185-6. [29] For example, in a display called “Ancient Signs” antique Greek coins from 700 BCE are grouped with arrowheads from France, and in a display called “More Exotica” 17th century Japanese samurai armour is placed with a 20th century African mask. [30] This reflects the transition from curiosity cabinets and aesthetic arrangements to museums of ethnography that use scientific classification according to culture, geographic origin and purpose. [31] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [32] “At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [33] For example, the arrowheads mentioned above are only noted to be donated from the Musée des Confluences. [34] Anonymous, Didactic Panel: Denis Allison’s Collection [35] When I placed an inquiry about the Black Male Doll and its installation, I was told that “the exhibition is not on explaining each piece, but instead focussing on the collectors, the way they think and the passion that they have for collecting”. Emily Draicchio, to Ève Dumais, project manager of Into the Wonder Room exhibit at Pointe-à-Callière, Email 29 October 2019 [36] Just as owning a curiosity cabinet or an enslaved person elevated the status of the collector or owner, so did Into the Wonder Room for Pointe-à-Callière. [37] Joana Joachim,“ ‘Embodiment and Subjectivity’: Intersectional Black Feminist Curatorial Practices in Canada,” RACAR: revue d’art Canadienne/Canadian Art Review, vol. 43, no. 2 (2018), p. 38. [38] This is reflected in the permanent exhibitions that overly emphasise the Great Peace Treaty and the peaceful relationship between French settlers and Indigenous communities while largely ignoring traumatic history like residential schools. [39] Eva Mackey, “Introduction: Unsettling Differences: Origins, Methods, Frameworks,” The House of Difference: Cultural Politics and National Identity in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), p.1. [40] Nelson and Nelson., “Introduction,” p. 21 [41] My inclination is that it is made of papier-mâché and wood since it resembles strongly the papier-mâché and wooden black mammy doll manufactured during the late 1800s found at “19thC Black Americana Papier Mache & Wood Mammy Doll,” Stonegate Antiques, (date of last access 5 November 2019). [42] Garrett, Black Dolls, p. 23 and Debbie Andrews , “History of Papier Mache Dolls,” The PapierMache Resource, (date of last access 5 November 2019) http://www.papiermache.co.uk/articles/history-of-papier-mache-dolls/ [43] Although minstrelsy originated in American in the 1830s with tours that passed through Canada, Canada itself participated in blackface performances as early as the 1840s. See Cheryl Thompson, “ ‘Come One, Come All,’: Blackface Minstrelsy as a Canadian Tradition and Early Form of Popular Culture” Towards an African Canadian Art History: Art, Memory, and Resistance, eds. Charmain Nelson (Concord, Ontario: Captus Press, October 2018), pp.98-9. [44] Thompson, “Blackface Minstrelsy”, p.100. And Kenneth W. Goings, Mammy and Uncle Mose: Black Collectibles and American Stereotyping, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), p. 1. [45] Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies, p.14. And Kelebay “Race, Doll-Play” p. 90. [46] Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies, p.14. And Kelebay “Race, Doll-Play” p. 90. [47] Nelson, ed., “Introduction”, p. 5. [48] Nelson and Nelson, “Introduction,” p. 3. [49] Nelson and Nelson, “Introduction,” p. 3. [50] Turner notes that there is a limited amount of anti-black representations of young black male adults and that when they do exist, they are usually pictured in uniforms as potters, bellhops, butlers, drivers, etc. The Black Male Doll does not clearly relate to any of these uniforms. See Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies, p.19. And Carolyn Dean, “Boys and Girls and “Boys”: Popular Depictions of African‐American Children and Childlike Adults in the United States, 1850–1930,” Journal of American & Comparative Cultures, vol. 23, (2000) p. 17. [51] Natasha L. Henry, "Racial Segregation of Black People in Canada," The Canadian Encyclopedia, (date of last access 5 November 2019) https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/racial-segregation-of-black-people-in-canada. [52] Garrett, Black Dolls, p. 23 [53] The family who purchased the doll likely had a good income since $4.50 was worth a week of groceries in 1917. Evelyn Strahlendorf, “The Eaton Beauty Doll: ‘The Doll We Will Never Forget’,” Canadian Museum of History, (date of last access 5 November 2019) https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cpm/catalog/cat2101e.html and Garrett, Black Dolls, pp. 22-77. And “19thC Black Americana Papier Mache & Wood Mammy Doll,” (date of last access 5 November 2019) [54] Since the doll dates to the period of minstrelsy and segregation in Canada, black parents likely did not purchase or make anti-black dolls for their children, which would serve to rationalize their oppression. See Kelebay “Race, Doll-Play” p. 90. [55] This reflects a poor choice of curation done on the part of the museum and Allison since race science was used in the past to equate black people with the intelligence and physical characteristics of monkeys. [56] Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies, p.4. [57] Although Canada did not have segregation (Jim Crow) laws like in the United States, segregation did exist though it is often erased in Canada’s history along with blackface and slavery. See Henry, "Racial Segregation of Black People in Canada". [58] The most recent racist event that African-Canadians could speak on that received national attention could be the videos and photos of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in blackface and brownface. See Connor Garel, “Exploring the untold history of blackface in Canada,” Ryerson University, (date of last access 5 November 2019) https://www.ryerson.ca/news-events/news/2019/10/exploring-the-untold-history-of-blackface-in-canada/. For a list of other recent racist events that occurred in Canada see Nelson and Nelson, “Introduction,” pp. 15-7. [59] Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies, p.6. [60] David Pilgrim, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice, (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2015), p.16. [61] This usually follows the trope that slavery, blackface and segregation were racist institutions brought into Canada from America. As such, Canada is celebrated as without colonial history for helping slaves escape through the Underground Railroad while America is vilified. See Nelson and Nelson, “Introduction,” p.3. [62] Pilgrim Understanding Jim Crow, p. 16-7. [63] Shelley Ruth Butler and Erica Lehrer, "Introduction: Curatorial Dreaming," Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions (Montreal; Kingston; London; Chicago: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016), p.3.


Works Cited


“At Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex,” Pointe-à-Callière Musée, (date of last access 5 November 2019) https://pacmusee.qc.ca/en/


“Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia” Ferries State University, (date of last access 5 November 2019) https://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/caricature/homepage.htm


“19thC Black Americana Papier Mache & Wood Mammy Doll,” Stonegate Antiques, (date of last access 5 November 2019) https://www.trocadero.com/stores/stonegate/items/837206/19thC-Americana-Papier-Mache-Wood-Mammy-Doll


“M974.81.17 | Doll,” McCord Collections and Research, (date of last access 5 November 2019) http://collections.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/M974.81.17?msg=1


Andrews, Debbie, “History of Papier Mache Dolls,” The PapierMache Resource, (date of last access 5 November 2019) http://www.papiermache.co.uk/articles/history-of-papier-mache-dolls/


Anonymous, Didactic Panel: Denis Allison’s Collection, Into the Wonder Room exhibit, Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal, Canada


Boetsch, Gilles and Pascal Blanchard, “From Cabinets of Curiosity to the ‘Hottentot Venus’,” Invention of Race: Scientific and Popular Representations, eds. Nicolas Bancel, Dominic


Richard David Thomas, and Thomas David, (New York: Routledge, 2014)


Butler, Shelley Ruth, and Erica Lehrer, "Introduction: Curatorial Dreaming," Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions (Montreal; Kingston; London; Chicago: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016)


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