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A Woman's Work is Never Done

Curatorial Tour Video

Curated by 2020 Canada Summer Jobs interns Sharifa Riley & Emily (Jackson) Hodgson

    "For Home & Country," the motto of the longest standing women's organization in North America. Since its inception, members of the Women's Institute (WI) have been inspiring change in their communities through education and advocacy. The mission and vision of the organization rapidly spread worldwide, and rural women everywhere embraced the movement of a better future for their family, their country, and themselves. Today there are over one-thousand branches in 70 different countries.

    Over the years the WI has been at the forefront of multiple causes. Beginning with the overall goal of educating their members, they published hundreds of instruction booklets, teaching women how to complete household tasks and be a good role model for their children. Their work continued during both world wars, creating and gathering supplies for troops and for people in need. They developed educational curriculum and supported the construction of schools such as Brock University the Macdonald Institute at the University of Guelph. Their broad endeavors have expanded to economic, social, and environmental campaigns.

    The year 2022 marks the 125th celebration of the organization. A Woman's Work is Never Done embodies, and pays tribute to the achievements of the WI branches from its first location onward.

Curators Emily (Jackson) Hodgson & Sharifa Riley

Curators with four featured quilts in A Woman’s Work is Never Done

Curators install A Woman’s Work is Never Done

Curator Emily with one of the interactive elements of A Woman’s Work is Never Done

Curator Sharifa with A Woman’s Work is Never Done exhibit section on Emily Murphy and the Famous Five

Fashion at Edgemont

Curated by Curator Mara Benjamin

    Take a look in the mirror. What does your clothing say about you? Have you just come from work, still wearing your business attire? Are you in your comfortable weekend clothes for a relaxing day off? Did you take time this morning to think about what you wanted to tell the world through your outfit?

    Clothing has long served as a way to communicate identity. Each piece we select, whether intentional or not, tells those around us about who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. Just like yours, the clothing of the past can tell us a great deal about the lives of those who wore them. Exploring the mannequins on display throughout the museum, what can you learn about the clothing’s original owners? What might they learn from looking at you?

    The pieces displayed throughout the museum come from the Erland Lee (Museum) Home’s permanent collection. They have been donated by community members and the Lee family since the museum opened its doors in 1972. We thank those who have shared pieces of their family history with us and those who helped our Curator, Mara Benjamin, create this exhibit. We invite you to think about the questions presented with each display of clothing and share your photos and thoughts by tagging us on social media @ErlandLeeMuseum.

This outfit would be typical of an 1860's Home Maker of modest means.
This parlour would be the site of special functions, as can be seen in this example of a  mourning outfit from the turn of the 20th century and this wedding dress from 1907.
This horse riding outfit, which once belonged to Janet Lee, from the early 20th century can be see in contrast with the clothing worn by women in the 21st century.

The Lee Women and Education

Curated by 2023 Canada Summer Jobs Intern Jaclyn Gerberding

In this exhibit Jaclyn examines the impact, influence and contributions that the Lee family have made to education in Ontario.  From the funding and support of three rural schools, to introducing the Kindergarten program to the Wentworth area Jaclyn delves into what it was to be a woman seeking education in the 1800's in Upper Canada.

Follow the story of the Lee Women as they strove to educate generations of Canadians.


Janet was one of the first 5 women in Canada trained to teach Kindergarten



Explore the story of education and the Lee family through primaryt documents and family artifacts.


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