Although more difficult to get to than most Vancouver sights, the University of British Columbia's Anthropology musuem is in my opinion the single best museum in Vancouver. It features artifacts from the native cultures of the Pacific Northwest
On our first and thus far only visit to Vancouver in 2004 our first stop was a visit to the Museum of Anthropology. While here we walked through the exhibit areas and learned about the Haida people; there culture, beliefs and their way of living.
The pictures shown here (2 inside and 1 outside) show a sampling of the cultural artwork presented.
Located on the campus of UBC a bus ride from the centre of town is an absolute gem of a Museum. For a traveler from the UK the exhibits gave a fascination insight into the indigenous or 'First Nation' people inhabiting this part of the world.
Particularly impressive was the art, which shows a great sophistication in design and execution. The displays are very well presented and much of the work has been restored with the help of descendants of the original craftsmen who passed down their skills.
The Museum of Anthropology houses one of the world's finest displays of Northwest Coast First Nations art in a spectacular building overlooking mountains and sea. The museum is famous for the collections from around the world - including European ceramics, Asian textiles, Greek and Roman pottery, and African masks. The unique Visible Storage Galleries bring 14,000 objects to public view, and changing exhibits highlight contemporary and historical works by extraordinary indigenous artists.
To get a real taste of British Columbia's culture, you MUST visit this museum. Located in UBC, it offers a collection of northwest cast native people's art and you get a brochure in your own language when paying. The Great Hall, which is huge, you find totem poles, canoes and sculptures. One of my favourites ones are the cedar carved "The raven and the first men" located next to the Great Hall. There are permanent exhibitions of other countries' art.
The Museum of Anthropology at UBC is great for two groups of people: those who are absolutely fanatical about First Nations artwork, and those who have never been exposed to it before. I have to say that the museum pales in comparison to the First Peoples collection at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, and I would highly encourage people choosing between the two to select the RBCM. That being said, if you're not going to Victoria then you may want to check out this exhibit.
Located on the UBC campus, the MOA is a working museum in which research collections are on display to the general public. There is a huge assortment of First Nations tools and artwork in glass display cases with very little accompanying information. Sometimes you can't even figure out what you're looking at without remembering the item number, going over to a reference book and looking it up. There is a main gallery that features some totem poles and other large-scale carvings, and a few totems are scattered around the exterior of the building as well. An afterthought is the ceramics collection, featuring ceramic works primarily from Europe between 1500 and 1900.
Expect to spend an hour or two in the museum, max. There is no restaurant on site, but it's a university campus so fast-food outlets are never too far away!
I visited the museum with local VT members, Rena and Matt. The most interesting point for me was an estonished piece of art that represents a part of the mythology of the Native People of BC, The Raven. I was lucky to have Rena with me, who knows a lot about the history of the Native People of BC.
The Museum of Anthropology on the University of British Columbia's campus, should be on your must see list. It is not only a beautiful structure, but is filled with first nations art and culture, local carvers, some now dead, some currently living and very much on display.
Once in awhile they'll get carvers in, who set-up in the large room on the south/western end and spend weeks there creating a new piece. The grounds around this museum have much to see as well. So if you want to keep the money in your pocketbook for other things, you can spend some time exploring this site. The views are amazing, you'll see the local mountains over on the northshore, which at certain times of the year, will have some snow still on them. UBC campus is not far off, just a very short walk away, and there is plenty to see and do here also.
In my opinion, this is the most impressive museum in all of Vancouver. Located on the western-most point in Vancouver on UBC campus, the Museum of Anthropology's focus is primarily First Nations cultures from British Columbia, however, they also provide exhibits on other world cultures.
What makes the MOA unique is that it was the first museum in the world to fully incorporate visible storage. Every piece in the museum's storage is on display to the public, either in glass shelving units or in glass-encased drawers. Every item is catalogued so that you can look up information about each piece. It's quite overwhelming, but there isn't one piece in the MOA that's hidden from the public. You could easily spend days in the visible storage and not see everything.
If you are visiting British Columbia for the first time, a trip to the MOA will definitely benefit and will be an eye-opener to local indigenous cultures. Take a free guided tour, or walk around the museum at your leisure.
While the First Nations exhibit is the focal point of the gallery, there are alternate exhibits, such as the Koerners Ceramics Gallery featuring ceramics from the 15th century and up. There are also many temporary exhibits which can range in subject, from contemporary art to thousand year old artifacts.
Canadian architect Arthur Erickson designed the MOA in which the western glass walls allow gorgeous views of the mountains and water below, bringing to life the Pacific north-western culture the museum is famous for.
While the MOA is not located within walking distance of downtown, the MOA is worth going out of your way to visit. It's an easy 15 minute drive to the MOA from downtown, or it's a 30 minute bus ride. Simply take any bus heading to UBC. It's about a 10 minute walk to the MOA from the UBC bus loop.
The Museum of Anthropology at the UBC features and excellent collection of local native art including some fascinating modern pieaces. Taking a tour with a guide is a must to best appreciate the works. Afterwards you can browse the large collection of artifacts from other cultures around the world.
very interesting, lots of totem poles of all kind and other stuff
the main room is just great - all kind of stuff and smaller items are located in the rooms inside and they r mostly masks of all kind
go outside as well there is a yard with other totem poles
there is a student's discount
Here at the Museum of Anthropology you can learn a lot about the culture and the complex social and ceremonial life of the native people who lived in this area of British Columbia. You can really study the artistic traditions these people have and appreciate how beautiful these works of art are. The visible storage area of the museum has an incredible amount of objects it has collected from all around the world. You can actually open drawers to study the artifacts.
The Museum of Anthropology located at the University of British Columbia is definitely a must-see because it has large collections of archaeological material and ethnographic objects from around the world. However, I recommend this museum because it has a large collection of items from the aboriginal peoples of coastal British Columbia. Not only are there lots of totem poles, large and small, but you can see lots of other unique and magnificent sculptures and art works of the area. The admission is $9 for adults and $7 for students. However, the admission is free on Tuesdays from 5-9pm. Parking outside the museum is by using parking meters.
The Mueseum of Anthropology located on the campus of the UBC is a great educational day trip for anyone wanting to learn about the First Nations people, their culture and history.
The museum has gone to great lengths to preserve and document the history of local native tribes.
If it weren't for this exhibit I would not have learnt so much about the natural history of BC.
Take the guided gallery walk. These operate every few hours.
As at September 2003 the entry cost was $9 (if I remember correctly). There are free lockers to store bags while walking around.
The gift shop also has a number of items which are reasonably priced. Very suitable gifts
This was one of the highlights of our whole trip across Canada. Certainly one of the best museums that we have ever visited. And this despite it not having been on our (mental) list of things to see in Vancouver.
An excellent museum in all respects: the architecture is stunning, inspiring, and very effective; The First Nations collection is fascinating, beautiful, and thought provoking; the layout is spacious, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing. Pride of place rightfully goes to the beautiful carved sculpture depicting Raven discovering the first men in a clam shell by Bill Reid, which has its own purpose-designed gallery in the centre of the buidling.
It is well worth the small effort required to get out to this museum.