Fonds 114 - William McLennan fonds (private records)

Finding aid - William McLennan fonds (private records)

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

William McLennan fonds (private records)

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

114

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1984 (Creation)
    Creation
    William McLennan

Physical description area

Physical description

7 drawings. - 8 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1948 -)

Biographical history

William (Bill) McLennan was born in Vancouver on October 4, 1948. He received a degree in Arts and Merchandising from Vancouver City College and upon graduation, worked for the City of Vancouver, the MacMillan Planetarium, and Vancouver Centennial Museum, all in the area of exhibit and graphic design. In 1975, McLennan began to work at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) on a contract to photograph the presentation of the visible storage system. In 1976, he became a permanent staff member at the Museum.

His initial responsibilities included exhibit design, graphic design, photography, teaching, and research. In these capacities McLennan held the responsibility of photographing collections at various stages, as well as photographing events and the physical building and exhibition spaces. Being a designer entailed working with curators and artists on exhibits, designing labels, brochures and memorabilia sold in the gift shop. His teaching responsibilities included working with students who interned under his supervision during the school year, giving classes on photography and design to students taking museum studies courses and giving lectures of Northwest Coast painting and photography. In 1993 he began to curate exhibits, McLennan’s first exhibit as curator was The Transforming Image after his discovery through extensive research that infrared film could reveal Northwest coast paintings that had disappeared under the patina of age. In 2001 he officially became a curator/project manager in addition to continuing work in the graphic design department. In addition to these duties, McLennan performed contract work for various museums.

In 1979, McLennan won the Certificate of Design Excellence for exhibit design for Print Magazine Casebooks. In 1983, he received a Canada Council Grant, followed by a BC Heritage grant in 1984 and 85, to research the possibilities of using infrared film to reveal Northwest Coast paintings that had faded with time. This research was interrupted in 1986 when McLennan took a one-year leave of absence from the Museum to work for Expo ’86 as a member of the exhibits team. In 1987, he received a planning and development grant from the Museums Assistance Program in order to develop his previous research on infrared painted images into an exhibit and book. This exhibit came to fruition in 1993 and was called ‘The Transforming Image’ from which a book was published by the same name which won the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Canadian Museums Association in 2001. He also received a Certificate of Merit from the British Columbia Historical Federation for this book.

McLennan was also the recipient of the President’s Service Award for Excellence from the University of British Columbia in 1995 and the British Columbia Museums Associations Award of Merit for “The Respect to Bill Reid Pole” in 2002.

In 2010, McLennan curated an exhibit displaying the works of Charles and Isabella Edenshaw titled ‘Signed Without Signature: Works by Charles and Isabella Edenshaw’. This exhibit used 3D imaging technology to show the patterns on 3D objects in a flat undistorted perspective.

McLennan retired from MOA on October 31, 2013.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of infrared photographs and drawings on mylar sheets relating to the project undertaken by William McLennan in 1984. He was assisted by Glen Wood and Lyle Wilson. The lifesized photographs are of Tsimshian houseboards in the Museum of Anthropology collection.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Records (photographs and drawings) were donated by William McLennan in December 1984 and assigned accession number MAN 1991-003. In 1987 the original wood drawings by Glen Wood were donated and given the accession number MAN 1991-002.

Arrangement

Records are rolled on mylar sheets and are numbered in order from the outer layer of the roll to the inner. MAN 1991-002-007, found on the outside layer of the roll, is the sole exception.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Although these records have been donated to the Museum of Anthropology, copyright remains with the creator, William McLennan.

Finding aids

See attached pdf document for item list.

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Accruals

General note

There is an extra photograph in this accession with no corresponding mylar drawing from accession MAN 1991-002. According to Mr. McLennan, this photograph simply did not reveal enough detail to warrant further attempts to reconstruct the image.

For more information on the project, refer to the “Case File - McLennan, William” held by the archivist

Physical description

7 mylar sheets, aprox. 5 meters by 1.5 meters, graphite pencil;
8 photographs, b&w ; 1.38m x 1.06m – 3.92m x 1.27m

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created December 8, 2015

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