Behind the Scenes

The Royal Ontario Museum is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.  Today (and tomorrow), they are offering free admission and two behind the scenes tours -- a chance to go into where the collections are stored and cared for and see some of the work.  It felt like the behind section was bigger than the front section.  In some places they had 10,000's or 100,000's object in the collection.  It was interesting to see the way some of the things were stored -- surround by acid free paper, cushioned by foam, flat in drawers, carefully wrapped up or hung from shelves. 

I didn't click the members link soon enough so all the advanced member tickets were gone and I had to line up in the non-ticket holders line.  The line started at the main doors and went along Bloor to University, turned the corner and went to the old main entrance -- or at least that's where I joined it at 9:30.  I think it ended up down by the Planetarium before the doors opened at 10.  Sketched on of the Guardian Lions while I was waiting.  Later I found a Greek pot with a really nice design on it.  

It was almost an hour later when I got inside.  Picked up tickets for both tours -- one at noon and one at 2:30. 

The first covered Epic Civilizations.  There was an Egyptian statue waiting on a trolley for some work in one spot.  It had foam blocks and a bungie cord seat belt to try to ensure it stayed where they wanted it.  The subway goes under the museum and you can sometimes feel the shaking. The textile section were preparing a collection of outfits for a new exhibit.  I'm looking forward to seeing that. 
A short break with a peek at the Greek and  Nubian (?) section and a little of the Oriental section then on to the Wild Wonders

There was someone to explain how they get the fossils out of the rocks and plaster jackets, lots of beautiful crystals and bug, insect, bird and butterfly collections to peak at.  One lady had a tube about 3 feet long containing one very large worm from South America.  It similar to our garden worms only much bigger -- No robin would be able to take that back to the nest to feed the little ones.

No photos or sketching was allowed.  In fact we weren't even allowed to take our purses and bags into the back area.  I knew the no purses part from the website but it covered waist pouches too. They provided bags to seal your possessions in while in the back area. 

 These bugs and butterfly are from the Stair of Wonders but similar to some of the samples they had on display

Before the first tour, I had a chance to see a hands on table in the Egypt section.  There was a Jackal head from a Canopic Jar.  It was much heavier than I expected it to be. 

A very interesting day.  I hope they don't wait another 100 years to let us take another peek behind the scenes.  Wtih free admission, the museum was really busy today.  It was nice to see.  


  1. Hi Helen that green butterfly is the same as the ones that fly around my garden it is around 6inches across but ours has all dark green on the bottom wings as well. we call it a birdwing butterfly. I live in Far North Queensland Australia. Cheers Glenda


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