It’s snowing like crazy again in Montreal – so if you want to do some urban sketching, you need to find something indoors. I’ve had the Redpath Museum on my list for a while now, so a snow day was all the excuse I needed to head down to the Mcgill Campus.
Turns out, this is an awesome little museum. Really fun place. Packed to the rafters with zoological, ethnographic and paleontological specimens.
The Redpath is the oldest purpose built museum in Canada, (build at the behest of a Sugar baron, one Peter Redpath), which dates it back to 1882. The structure is classified as ‘Greek Revival’ – but that sounds too dry. I’d call it ‘Victorian Ebulliance’ .
Something about the whimsical design of the building seems to have influenced the curators. The exhibits have an old-school cabinet of curiosities feel. Some of the collection makes little sense – such as a stranded Japanese suit of armor that’s sitting amongst the dinosaurs and stuffed wolves. But the randomness just makes it more fun. Like a carnival side show; but a Carnival of Science !
I particularly liked the raptors mounted on little perches around the windows. Drawing these birds against the blizzard outside was fun.
The stairs up to the gallery level are guarded by a taxidermy trio of African animals. I can only assume there’s no where else to put them. I liked the look of this Ibex watching you from the landing. I’m sure I’ll be heading back here for some more sketches soon. If just for the variety of skulls one could draw!