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Upcoming Events

Paul Litherland, B-Side Hans Rottenhammer, 2019, printed digital photograph on cotton rag paper. Courtesy of the artist
Jan 11 to Aug 9
Montreal-based photographer Paul Litherland offers unprecedented access to the little-seen “back sides” of paintings from the Agnes’s historical European collection in B-Side Agnes Etherington.
Godfrey Kneller, Portrait of a Man, 1722, oil on canvas. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 1991 (34-020.16) Photo: Bernard Clark
Jan 11 to Aug 9
In recognition of a number of spectacular acquisitions in recent years, From Tudor to Hanover: British Portraits, 1590–1800 investigates the evolution of the painted and printed portrait in Britain.
Emily Carr, Young and Old Trees, 1935, oil on paper, mounted on panel. Gift of Dr Max Stern in honour of Frances K. Smith, curator emeritus, 1983 (26-026)
Jan 11 to Aug 9
Face of the Sky turns its gaze upwards, tracking a longstanding artistic fascination.

Had there been Twitter in the summer of 1860, tweets in Kingston would have been about the upcoming visit of Queen Victoria’s son, the 18-year-old Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII. Kingston was one of several planned stops on the Prince’s tour of Canada and the United States. He and his entourage would arrive in Kingston on a steamer, which happened to be called the...

Had there been Twitter in the summer of 1860, tweets in Kingston would have been about the upcoming visit of Queen Victoria’s son, the 18-year-old Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII. Kingston was one of several planned stops on the Prince’s tour of Canada and the United States. He and his entourage would arrive in Kingston on a steamer, which happened to be called the Kingston, and they would be housed at two very fine homes: Mortonwood and Alwington House. The steamer carrying the Prince of Wales arrived in Kingston on September 4, 1860 and moored in the harbour as thousands of Kingstonians stood waiting to welcome the Prince. Those who had prepared the accommodations would have been particularly excited about the Prince’s arrival for they had re-furnished the residences. The new, elegant furniture had been built by talented inmates at the Kingston Penitentiary. One of the chairs that was made for the Prince’s visit is on display at Canada’s Penitentiary Museum in Kingston. Photo courtesy of Helen Cutts The most remarkable thing about the Royal visit is that the Prince never set foot in Kingston. He never saw the attractive furniture that the craftsmen at Kingston Penitentiary built. The story of the last-minute change of plans is rooted in religious and political issues. At the time, Kingston was known as the Derry of Canada – mirroring Derry in Ireland – because it was the centre of activities for both Protestants and Catholics in eastern Upper Canada.[1] Tensions were high between Protestants and Catholics as they competed for power and influence in both social and political spheres. Photo courtesy of Queen’s University Archives Protestants in Kingston were enthusiastic about the planned visit of the young Protestant Prince. Members of the Orange Order, a religious and political fraternal organization, set plans in motion to welcome the Prince: thousands would march in the city’s welcoming procession and 12 welcoming arches would be built, decorated with Orange slogans, symbols and the names of Orange martyrs. Catholics were outraged when they learned that the planning committee had agreed to allow the Orangemen to march in the procession. Vicar General Angus Macdonnell presided over a meeting at Regiopolis College that drew 1000 Catholics.[2] The view of participants was that the Orangemen’s stance was a form of aggression and they committed themselves to opposing the Orangemen’s plans by all legitimate means. The Catholics wrote to the Duke of Newcastle, who was in charge of the Royal Visit, to complain about the Orangemen’s political showmanship. In response, the Duke of Newcastle signalled clearly that the elaborate processions and displays of the Orange lodges would not be appropriate. City officials attempted to convince the Orangemen not to continue with their grand plans. However, on Tuesday September 4, 1860, thousands of Orangemen from 54 lodges gathered at Market Battery to greet the Prince as he arrived at the wharf in his steamer, the Kingston.[3] They wore their orange colours and carried banners. Photo courtesy of the Doug Rombough Collection, Arthur Child Heritage Museum The Duke of Newcastle, seeing this blatant display from the steamer, decided that the Kington would not dock in Kingston. While the ship was anchored in the harbour, Kingston’s mayor went aboard to speak with the Duke, hoping to persuade the Prince to come ashore for the festivities and the planned overnight stay, but his overture was unsuccessful. A letter penned by the Duke explained the Prince’s position by stating that the Crown rules over millions of Christians of every form and it would be inappropriate to acknowledge the symbols of one religious and political association, knowing that they were offensive to members of another creed.[4] The Prince of Wales at Niagara Falls, 1860. Library and Archives Canada On the afternoon of the second day, the steamer left Kingston and headed for its next planned stop, Belleville. That stop was also cancelled because of the Orangemen’s activities. The Prince could not afford to spark problems like those occurring in Ireland. His tour continued to the west, stopping at many towns and cities including Cobourg, London, Collingwood, Toronto and Niagara Falls. In Kingston, the new furniture produced by the prisoners was sent to auction. Photo courtesy of Helen Cutts If you’d like to see one of the chairs that was made for the Prince’s planned visit, you’ll be able to see it on the second floor of Canada’s Penitentiary Museum once the museum re-opens. Because of COVID -19, the museum is currently closed. Many more details about the Royal visit (or the non-visit in Kingston’s case) and the extensive political issues can be found in Ian Walter Radforth’s book, Royal Spectacle: The 1860 Visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the United States. [1] Royal Spectacle: The 1860 Visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the United States by Ian Walter Radforth, University of Toronto Press, 2004. page 165. [2] Ibid. page 170. [3] Ibid. page 178. [4] Ibid. page 185. Featured image taken by Francis Bedford, courtesy of the Royal Collection Helen Cutts, KAM Visitor in Residence, Writer

Welcome to the Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries & Historic Sites!

We are a not-for-profit professional network and collaborative resource hub supporting the Kingston region's cultural heritage sector. 

The Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites, otherwise known as KAM, first emerged 40 years ago as a community-initiated, professional support network to promote public awareness and increase engagement across Kingston’s cultural heritage sites through collective promotional and programming initiatives. KAM is also engaged in supporting its membership through the dissemination of information, sector best practices, and professional development opportunities.

Our members range from federally owned sites with professional staff, to sites which are member-owned and volunteer operated. Some operate seasonally; others are open year round.  Many have specialist collections that tell the stories and histories of our communities from local, regional and national perspectives. From its inception, KAM was driven by the ideal that by working collaboratively, despite differences in size, mandates and resources, cultural heritage sites and organizations could quite simply; do better together, improving practice and strengthening their connections within and across communities.

2020 marks our 40th anniversary and we have much to celebrate. As the professional network and resource hub within Kingston’s cultural heritage landscape, KAM is committed to facilitating a resilient, innovative and responsive cultural heritage sector within the Kingston and area community.

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