Beyond New Brunswick–Canadian
The diverse group of over 3000 Canadian objects from outside New Brunswick contains many significant collections and individual gems. In the Fine Arts, there are paintings of both historical and artistic interest. The work of several noted Canadian artists is represented, including Cornelius Krieghoff, Robert Harris, James Wilson Morrice, Arthur Lismer, Maurice Cullen, John Lyman and Goodridge Roberts. During the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to national and regional programmes designed to promote Canadian contemporary art, the New Brunswick Museum acquired paintings by Dennis Burton, Ronald Bloore, Arthur McKay and Marcel Barbeau. A fine sculpture by Robert Murray was also added in this manner. In 1995, the collection was significantly enhanced through the acquisition of the Saint John Art Club Collection, which includes paintings by Frederick Marlett Bell-Smith, William Brymner, Clarence Gagnon, Helen Galloway NcNicoll and Marc Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté. The holdings of prints and drawings range from historical material to broad representation of modern and contemporary artists.
In the decorative arts, there are some fine examples of the work of Canadian silversmiths, as well as strength in ceramics and glassware. The NBM’s collection of ceramics made outside New Brunswick comprises approximately 250 pieces of functional objects made in Atlantic Canada during the late 20th century and acquired as part of the Dr. Astrid Brunner Ceramics Collection. Another significant component of this collection is a number of works by ceramists who have received the prestigious Saidye Bronfman Award. In addition there is a small, but representative, grouping of decorative pottery made by the Ecanada Art Pottery of Hamilton, Ontario, during the second quarter of the 20th century.
Among Canadian glassware, Nova Scotia pressed glass is most prominent, a fine collection of which was assembled by Dr. M. Ellen MacGillivray (1925-2006), acquired in 1996.
Aboriginal collections come from all over Canada. Noteworthy among these are the Henry Youle Hind Collection, the G. Eldon Merritt Collection and the Peters-Laing Collection. Henry Youle Hind (1823-1908) was a well-known geologist and explorer, who went on three major exploratory expeditions, two to the Canadian West (1857-1858) and one to Labrador (1861). His collection, acquired by the New Brunswick Museum in 1941, consists of artifacts collected during these expeditions. The Peters-Laing collection of mainly Northwest Coast basketry, woodenware, argillite and silver was donated in 1976 by Anna Marion Laing, a Saint John native who lived in Vancouver and traveled extensively. Gabriel Eldon Merritt (1888-1940) served as a missionary in the North, mainly at Coppermine and Bernard Harbour. His extensive collection comprises over 100 examples Innuinait costume, weapons and tools. Other donations of Aboriginal artifacts reflect the travels of New Brunswickers throughout Canada.
Canadian numismatics includes a wide range of coins, banknotes, tokens and medals, especially strong in banknotes by New Brunswick banks. Most medals were awarded to New Brunswickers for excellence and achievement in many fields.