One person’s discard may be seen by another as a treasure. With this in mind, the curatorial team has pulled together an eclectic array of objects that represent the vast abundance of items within the collection.
At a time when collecting in museums was less selective, items were often acquired with missing information about the maker, the date it was made, its origin, and how it came to be owned by the donor. From a museological perspective, these facts help form the objects whole story or merit and are now prerequisites in assessing a gift’s acceptance.
But wait – why is a wolverine-mangled tin can in the museum collection?
The wolverine can has an established and attention-grabbing provenance and the rationale for preserving it is known.
The Whyte Museum’s catalogue record reads:
In 1932, the food was taken into Skoki ski lodge in the fall by packhorse, and this lard tin, among other things, was stored in the lodge (or "Wolverine Cabin, named for this incident?). During the winter a wolverine broke in through the roof of the cabin leaving this lard tin as evidence of what had happened. Peter and Catharine Whyte were running Skoki at the time and discovered the tin in February of 1933. They kept the tin to display the results of a wolverine's strength.
Some of the objects displayed have a curious story, others not so much.
What objects do you think warrant being collected?