Skip to main content

SS Keenora Picture Frame

Curated Submission
Grand Rapids, Manitoba
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
16.4 x 12.7
Materials & techniques
Leather (caribou or elk), cotton; Leatherwork, embroidery
Gift of Mrs. Percy J.F. Olmstead
Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library 841.00
This picture frame was cut from leather and delicately embroidered with buttonhole stitching by an unknown artisan from Grand Rapids, Manitoba. It was purchased in July 1934 by Mrs. Percy J.F. Olmstead, who travelled to Grand Rapids aboard the SS Keenora, one of the steamboats that offered scenic tours of the Red River and Lake Winnipeg. The ship's typical voyage was a week-long cruise departing from Selkirk with stops in Hecla, Gull Harbour, Pine Dock, Matheson Island, Berens River, and Warren Landing. These tours operated regularly from approximately 1930 until the Keenora was abandoned in 1966. The steamboat is now on permanent display at the Marine Museum of Manitoba, in Selkirk.
In the early 20th century, steamboat tours were the only comfortable way for tourists to visit remote communities in northern Manitoba. Economic opportunities were scarce in these small northern towns, particularly in indigenous communities, and the creation of souvenirs was one of the few reliable sources of income. This frame is a beautiful example of traditional First Nations craft from northern Manitoba adapted to appeal to the southern market. 
Submit a related artifact
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Pinterest Email More...

Main sponsors

  • Logo of the Imperial Oil Foundation with accompanying characteristic oval 'Esso' symbol.

Institutional partners