Feb 26 2015 to Jan 17 2016


Horse power!


Exhibition - Musée de la civilisation

- Location -

Musée de la civilisation

85, rue Dalhousie
Quebec City (Québec) G1K 8R2
T. 418 643-2158
Toll-free 1 866 710-8031

Directions

Musée de la civilisation

Musée de la civilisation

85, rue Dalhousie
Quebec City (Québec) G1K 8R2
T. 418 643-2158
Toll-free 1 866 710-8031

Directions

- Date -

Feb 26 2015 to Jan 17 2016

- Fees -

Admission Fees

Adults (31+)$17
18 to 30 $11
12 to 17$6
11 and under$0
Families$36

MembersFree

view rates

Adults (31+)$17
18 to 30 $11
12 to 17$6
11 and under$0
Families$36

MembersFree

Horse power!

The Paul-Bienvenu Carriage Collection

Horse power!  is an invitation to discover these witnesses to a bygone era, where the horse's strength was indispensable for land transportation. The exhibition spotlights Québec coachmen's expertise and shows some horse-drawn carriages that once belonged to illustrious businessmen, politicians and merchants, among others.

The exhibition Horse power! highlights Paul Bienvenu's donation of horse-drawn carriages, one of the largest and most impressive donations received by Les Musées de la civilisation to date. It is an exhibition-tribute to this passionate collector who, over a 50-year period, created a collection recognized as the largest in North America. 

The exhibition explores the history of land transportation in the country over a period of nearly two hundred years (1770-1950) and recounts how Quebeckers adapted to the climate and geography here. It also features the history and know-how of Québec coachmen, several of whom became quite renowned, and highlights some historical ties connecting the collection to illustrious owners, businessmen, politicians and merchants.
 
The exhibition divides the carriages into two sections – sliding carriages and rolling carriages, framed by two huge murals depicting a summer scene and a winter scene.
 
Among the themes covered are:

  • The horse – pride
  • Chemin du Roy
  • Adaptation – following the seasons, winter and summer carriages
  • Races
  • The wheelwrights and coachmen of Québec 

A prestigious publication will accompany this exhibition.

Le Soleil and Fairmont le Château Frontenac

Alcoa is a partner in all Musée de la civilisation's exhibition programming.

Use Twitter to write and post a short story inspired by one of the following four installations of carriages and objects.

Combine Twitter with literature and you get...Twitterature! The contest is an invitation to write a short story on Twitter in as few words as possible, using 140 characters or less (punctuation and spaces included). You can also participate via the interactive stations in the exhibition.

To participate via Twitter:

  1. Write a story inspired by the carriages and the objects presented below, via your Twitter account.
     Use the hashtag associated with the carriage that inspired you so we can find your story. It will be added to the @mcqvoiture Twitter account and displayed on the interactive stations in the exhibition.
  2. Increase your chances of winning the contest by inviting your family and friends to vote for your story (in the exhibition hall or via Twitter @mcqvoiture)!
  3. Vote for your favourite stories via the Twitter account @mcqvoiture or the interactive stations in the exhibition: just click on the star!

Now read the following descriptions of the carriages and objects in the four installations and let your imagination get carried away!

Musées de la civilisation reserves the right to not post or remove messages it deems  racist, hateful, defamatory, insulting, or promotional in nature.

Stories written by visitors

You can read all published stories on the exhibition's Twitter account @mcqvoiture.

Vote for your favourite stories via the Twitter account @mcqvoiture or the interactive stations in the exhibition. To vote, just click on the star!

The four installations

#mcqvoiture1 : omnibus

Here is an example of a short story associated with this installation :

@jyfrechette Seated in the omnibus, the man in the top hat leaned forward to listen to the conversation between the goldfinch and the horse. #mcqvoiture1

Inspired by this installation? Post your story on Twitter using the hashtag #mcqvoiture1.

About this installation installation

Capucine omnibus
Built by Larivière
Montréal, Québec
Early 1900s
Wood, metal, glass, leather, textile
Musées de la civilisation, 2010-1450
Gift of Paul Bienvenu

Sober in style and suited to the Québec climate, this vehicle was intended for public and private transportation. It was custom-built for Sir Hugh Paton (1852-1942), a prosperous businessman who, in 1880, acquired an island in the Rivière des Prairies near Montréal that today carries his name. Paton is considered to have been one of the first collectors of horse-drawn vehicles in North America. While affluent horse owners might have owned several elegant carriages, Paton had acquired more than 75 by 1890. In order to assure their preservation, he purchased the most beautiful vehicles driven in Montréal. After his death, the island was sold, along with its carriages, to Angélina Berthiaum-Du Tremblay, a businesswoman in her own right and wife of Pamphile-Réal Du Tremblay, owner of La Presse, who would become their last holder. The Bienvenu Collection includes six horse-drawn vehicles from the original Paton collection.

This handsome omnibus is noteworthy for its rounded hard-top roof, extended by a capucine, or retractable hood, to protect the driver. Passengers entered through the back door. The omnibus could seat up to seven passengers. The wheels were banded with rubber instead of the usual metal, no doubt to offer better traction on streets lightly covered with snow. This innovation helped extend the use of wheeled vehicles.

American Goldfinch
Carduelis tristis
Musées de la civilisation, collection du Séminaire de Québec, 1995.2245

Top hat
London, England
Late 1800s
Silk, card, leather, metal
Musées de la civilisation, 2007-778

Return

#mcqvoiture2 : phaéton

Here is an example of a short story associated with this installation:

@pierrepaulpleau The phaeton traveller stumbled about in the fog, looking for his trunk. "I can't see a thing!" he cried out. "Where the devil is it?"

Inspired by this carriage? Post your story on Twitter using the hashtag #mcqvoiture2.

About this installation

Three-seat phaeton
Built by the Ledoux Carriage Co. (Bruno Ledoux)
Montréal, Québec
Late 1800s
Wood, metal, glass, leather, textile
Musées de la civilisation, 2010-1446
Gift of Paul Bienvenu

Paul Bienvenu purchased this exceptional three-seat phaeton—along with a number of other vehicles—from the collection of Herb J. O'Connell, one of the most important vehicle collectors in Canada. O'Connell had acquired the phaeton several decades earlier from its first owner, Ludger Gravel, a Montréal businessman specializing in carriage parts. The phaeton was originally commissioned from the manufacturer Bruno Ledoux.

Phaetons were functional vehicles for affluent owners. Also dubbed "station wagons", they were often used to carry travellers and their baggage to and from railway stations. This aesthetically refined model stands out for its wooden body, which still has the original varnish, as well as its three seats (two of which are placed vis-à-vis, or facing each other) and umbrella basket. Like many of the vehicles in the collection, this phaeton has its original nameplate on the back, identifying the carriage maker—a tradition maintained by car makers to this day.

Teddy bear
Produced by Steiff
Early 1900s
Fibres, metal, plastic
Musées de la civilisation, 99-639

Trunk
Produced by Louis Vuitton
Paris, France
Late 1800s
Wood, canvas, leather, metal
Musées de la civilisation, 91-341

This trunk belonged to Lewis Lawrence Reford. Trained as a physician, he was one of Canada's preeminent stamp collectors, and was considered an authority in the field from the 1920s through to his death in 1949.

Return

#mcqvoiture3 : traîneau

Here is an example of a short story associated with this installation:

@pierrepaulpleau A blizzard had covered the roads in snow. Blanche put on her fur cloak, took her gloves from her purse, and stepped into the sleigh.

Inspired by this installation? Post your story on Twitter using the hashtag #mcqvoiture3.

About this installation

Brougham sleigh
Built by the Ledoux Carriage Co. (Bruno Ledoux)
Montréal, Québec
Late 1800s
Wood, metal, glass, leather, textile, Bakelite
Musées de la civilisation, 2010-1633
Gift of Paul Bienvenu

This unique vehicle is among the last acquired by Paul Bienvenu. Its provenance and ownership are shrouded in mystery. Stylistically, the well-preserved brougham sleigh bears the hallmarks of its builder, Bruno Ledoux. The finely worked frame with its open runners and the quality craftsmanship of the body demanded the skill and mastery of this major Montréal manufacturer.

The sleigh is as elegant inside as out. Blue velvet upholstery covers the seats and all other surfaces for the comfort and safety of passengers. The vehicle is equipped with a beveled glass windshield. Two Bakelite receivers enabled the driver and passengers to communicate via telephone. This was a truly luxurious winter vehicle for well-heeled owners.

Glove
Leather, fibre
Musées de la civilisation, 87-2092
Gift of the Honourable Serge Joyal, P.C., O.C.,

Purse
Early 1900s
Metal
Musées de la civilisation, 94-2939
Gift of Danielle Chabot

Return

#mcqvoiture4 : coach

Here is an example of a short story associated with this installation:

@pierrepaulpleau While Fanny played with her doll, a sumptuous picnic was laid out on the blankets. "What a lovely Sunday!" thought the horse

Inspired by this installation? Post your story on Twitter using the hashtag #mcqvoiture4.

About this installation

Park drag coach
Built by Rothschild & fils
Paris, France
Late 1800s
Wood, metal, glass, leather, textile
Musées de la civilisation, 2010-1443
Gift of Paul Bienvenu

Four-in-hand driving, in which four horses are driven by a single driver, is a true sport for both the team and its owner. This type of vehicle was used for country and race track outings. At race meets, the coaches would be arrayed on the infield. Comfortably seated on the roof, owners and guests enjoyed an unbeatable view of the event. The coach was equipped with a picnic box containing all the essentials: silver cutlery, fine crystal, and china, not to mention sumptuous meals capably prepared by household staff. When placed on the carriage roof, the box served as a table. A second trunk in the back of the coach held metal ice boxes to keep food and beverages cool.

The complex design of this coach included an adapted braking system. A practical vehicle, it was decidedly luxurious as well with its leather-upholstered interior. Built in Paris, it was reportedly on display in a museum before it was acquired by Paul Bienvenu in New Mexico a number of years ago. The small monograms on the side doors have made it possible to trace the provenance of this vehicle and identify its first owner. The interlaced letters L and V refer to the count Louis-Adolphe de Louvencourt. Additional research is planned to uncover more of the vehicle's history.

Doll
About 1875
Porcelain, glaze, fibre, wool, cotton
Musées de la civilisation, 76-24

Picnic basket
England
About 1910
Wicker, wood, metal, plastic
Private collection

Phonograph
Produced by Coronet, Germany
Early 1900s
Metal, wood, felt
Musées de la civilisation, 89-639

 

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