Title and statement of responsibility area
A Rare Flower: A Century of Cantonese Opera in Canada
General material designation
- Textual record
- Moving images
- Graphic material
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the subseries.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1979 - [1998?], predominant 1991 - 1993 (Creation)
- Elizabeth Lominska Johnson
Physical description area
- 2 m of textual records
- 7 video cassettes
- ca. 0.83 m of photographs
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Elizabeth Lominska Johnson was born in Ossining, New York in 1941. In 1963, she received a B.A. in Psychology from Bucknell University. After receiving this degree she travelled in Europe for a year. In 1965 she married Graham Johnson. In 1967, she received a M.A. in Anthropology from Cornell University. Subsequently Johnson moved to Hong Kong where she lived from 1968 to 1971. Johnson continued to study at Cornell and in 1976 she received a Ph.D. in Anthropology upon completion of her dissertation, "Households and Lineages in an Urban Chinese Village," which is a study of the effects of rapid urbanization upon kinship groups in a two-lineage Hakka village.
In 1974 and 1975 Elizabeth Lominska Johnson was engaged as the "Coordinator, China Resources Project," at the University of British Columbia (UBC). In this position she acted as a liaison between local schools and researchers focusing on China at UBC. In 1977, she was employed as a museum cataloguer on a part-time basis both by MacMillan Bloedel, and by the Museum of Anthropology (MOA). From 1978 to 1979, she was employed as the Public Programmes Coordinator by the Vancouver Museum and Planetarium Association, where she developed, implemented and supervised new courses, social events, and lectures. Since March 1979, she has been an employee of the Museum of Anthropology. Until August 1986, she was Curator of Collections. In this position Johnson was responsible for the intellectual and administrative control of artifacts in the museum’s collection through registration, conservation, loan procedures; development of policy and procedures, the planning a new textile storage system, providing collections information to the public and the creation of publications relating to the collection.
Since August of 1986, she held the position of Curator of Ethnology. Several of her responsibilities continued to the new position, including curatorial activities and development of policies and procedures. New responsibilities included: teaching the course "Museum Principles and Methods" in Anthropology as well as occasional courses in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the maintenance of collections documentation, maintenance and development of museum archives, managing public access to archives and supervising archival workers, appraising artifacts where required for accessioning or income tax receipts, maintaining financial records on the collections curating and coordinating exhibits, as well as taking on curatorial initiatives to develop and promote the East Asian collections in specific and the world-wide textile collection in general. In 1988, the responsibility for the MOA Archives was transferred to Johnson from Audrey Shane. Subsequently, in 1999 responsibility for the archives was transferred to the newly hired museum archivist.
Johnson’s work however was not restricted to the tasks required by her various positions at the museum. Johnson has also published works suitable for academic, museum and public audiences. These publications include exhibit catalogues, articles and book reviews. She has been active in community and professional associations, including: the Canadian Museums Association; the British Columbia Museums Association; the Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong Branch; the Association for Asian Studies; the Archives Association of British Columbia; the Textile Society of Hong Kong; and the Canadian Asian Studies Association. She has regularly attended and participated in conferences, where she has presented papers on such diverse topics as Chinese ethnology, textile conservation, museum studies, archives, the development of curatorial partnerships, visible storage, textiles, repatriation, and Cantonese opera. Apart from her involvement with conferences Johnson has also been an active participant in the academic and museum communities at an international level. Beginning in 1998, she was a grant application assessor for the University Grants Committee in Hong Kong. In the same year she also took on work as an external examiner for the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as well as taking on a position as an advisor to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Johnson was also highly involved in the local Vancouver community. From 1983 to 1995 she was a member of the Chinatown Historic Area Planning Committee in Vancouver. Beginning in 1998, she was also a member of the Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives Committee. In the fall of 2006 Johnson officially retired, though she continues to maintain her relationship with the Museum of Anthropology in a research capacity.
Scope and content
Subseries consists of records relating to the 1993 exhibit, "A Rare Flower: A Century of Cantonese Opera in Canada." The exhibit began with an acquisition of historic Chinese Opera costumes from the Jin Wah Sin Music Society. The exhibit was first installed at MOA from May 16 to Nov. 7 1992, in Gallery 5. Elizabeth Johnson was both curator and coordinator. It was also a travelling exhibit with five other venues in Canada. It reopened in MOA in 1995, and later travelled to the McCord Museum. Aspects of the exhibit have been on display at numerous venues, including Hong Kong and Ghuangzhou in a panel exhibit. Subseries contains agendas, articles, artifact lists, books, business cards, agreements, correspondence, drawings, evaluations, exhibit labels, expenses, internal forms (exhibit proposal forms), financial records, guidelines, grant applications, memoranda, minutes of meetings, museum exhibit diagrams, permission forms, photographs, notes, plans, policies, press releases, proposals, publications (books and magazines), publicity records, receipts, reports, reproductions of newspaper ads and articles, research notes, schedules, slides, speaking notes, surveys, transcripts of research interviews, handbills, drafts, visitor surveys and videos.
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script note
Predominately English, with Chinese and anglicized Cantonese. Also includes records in French.
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Some files in this subseries is restricted. Consult Archivist for details.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Generated finding aid
Related material can be found in the David Cunningham fonds.