Sunday, July 25, 2010

150 Views of Swallowtail

The Grand Manan Museum has a wonderful retrospective display of images of Swallowtail light called "150 Views of Swallowtail." Anneke Gichuru, the curator of the Museum was asked last fall if a display of Swallowtail could be developed. She had already planned a display for the centre hall but was enthusiastic about a display in the Elmer Wilcox Room. In addition, the Visitor Information Centre would be moving and that room would be empty. A huge wall mural of Swallowtail Light adorns one wall and it made sense to include that room in the display.

Anneke talked about the display every where she went and was rewarded with a great variety of art work from photographs to hooked rugs to collages to beach glass window to dishes to tole to quilts. A large quilt was made by Hildred Ingersoll when she and her husband and family lived at Swallowtail. Grimmer was the last light keeper at Swallowtail. The quilt is made from the maple leaves from the flags that flew at Swallowtail. Initially she was doubtful that she would get 150 different objects but in the end, there could have been many more. She turned down several offers after the display was complete as more and more people heard about the display. As Anneke so keenly noted, there are not many buildings that could be photographed over and over and not be the exact image. The ever changing face of the peninsula from morning to evening, stormy to clear skies, throughout the seasons, keeps Swallowtail fresh. Iconic in its stature, the peninsula and light tower are a powerful force.

The brass fog bell from Swallowtail is also on the Museum property, sitting beside the front steps to the Deep Cove School House behind the Museum. The bell will be moved back to Swallowtail and become the centre piece of a tribute to the lightkeepers of Swallowtail Light in the near future.

150 Views of Swallowtail is certainly not something to be missed if you are on Grand Manan. The Grand Manan Museum is located in Grand Harbour. It is open most days with the exception of Sundays for a modest fee. The Museum has two floors, a reading room and also houses the Grand Manan Archives:

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