Museum of History Sketchcrawl



Last week was another Sketchcrawl date, and with weather still just a bit too crisp to be comfortable wandering outdoors, our little group headed off to another indoor venue…this time the  Museum of History (formerly known as the Museum of Civilization), just a short drive away on the opposite bank of the Ottawa River.

Originally the exhibits in this museum were housed in the beautiful Museum of Nature, but some years ago the Gov’t decided to spend some of the tax payer’s money on a fancy new-fangled super-cool architecturally-modern building to better display all the historical artifacts previously cramped into what I always felt was the less exciting side of the Museum of Nature.



The Grand Hall is the museum’s “piece de resistance”, with it’s spectacular wall of windows that soars to a height of 6 stories and highlights the magnificent totem poles exquisitely carved by the First Peoples of Canada’s Pacific Coast. I had never been to this museum before, so while the others spent a couple of hours parked in the Grand Hall sketching, I just did a couple of quick sketches then spent some time exploring the Native houses in behind the totems.


My quick ink sketches, with a bit of watercolour.

We got a wonderful seat for lunch in the cafeteria by another panoramic window wall that looked out on the iconic scene of Parliament Hill, so after lunch we spent another hour or so relaxing with our coffees and sketching the sunny view across the frozen river.


Matt, Maureen and Mari silhouetted while sketching.



Pencil sketch.

Though architecturally stunning and historically interesting, the Museum of History ultimately just doesn’t compare to the Museum of Nature with its exhibits of birds, mammals, marine life and dinosaurs. Still, I am really glad that I finally, after all these years of living so close, was able to get to this museum.


Our sketchbooks.

Hopefully our next Sketchcrawl date will be on a day that it’s warm enough to wander outside!

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