Old Montreal's museum of history and archaeology Pointe-à-Callière has scored something of a coup with the world premiere of an exhibition of 250 equestrian-themed items on loan from the private Émile Hermès Collection in Paris—yes, from the grandson of Hermès founder Thierry Hermès himself.
Titled Of Horses and Men — The Émile Hermès Collection, the exhibition produced by Pointe-à-Callière in collaboration with the French luxury fashion house will run May 20 through October 16. This is the first time that Hermès is opening up the collection to the public. Previously, the collection was privy only to a select few at Hermès' Parisian address on 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Associated with nobility, royalty and the bourgeoisie, the horse can be said to be a symbol of power and prestige. Even the Hermès logo famously depicts a Duc carriage with horse. When Hermès was first founded in 1837 as a harness and saddle manufacturer, it was during the height of horses at a time before automobiles took the place of horses. But Hermès truly started to really come into its own in the luxury artisanal scene, catering to a lucrative elite group, when Émile Hermès (pardon the pun) went on to take over the reins.
On show will be many personal items belonging to the horse enthusiast, which includes a majestic rocking horse his children played with as a toy. Paintings by the great masters, bronzes, engravings and drawings will also be on display.
Of course, there will be no lack of saddles, spurs and horse collars from all over the world, as the exhibition description professes to "take visitors along the horse’s trail... (and) straddle four continents, on a journey from Antiquity to the Renaissance to the 20th century."
Sounds like an adventure, then.