Modern Literature & Culture Research Centre & Gallery

During World War II, Canadian war quilts, crafted by volunteer women and sent to Europe, became poignant symbols of solace amidst upheaval, especially for those affected by the Blitz. These quilts represent women's solidarity, resilience, and sacrifice on the homefront, with fabric, thread, and pattern narrating tales of patriotism, loss, and hope. Each stitch contributes to a collective narrative, revealing the intricate interplay of personal and political dynamics in Canadian history.

In 2023, the MLC received a significant gift of twenty quilts from the Canadian Red Cross Quilt Research Group in England, which played a pivotal role in collecting and safeguarding these quilts before their return to Canada. The MLC Research Centre now holds the world's largest collection of Canadian war quilts, comprising 20 rare artifacts.

The Arrival and Unboxing of Canadian War Quilts

 

Above: Glasgow Stuffed, Word War II Quilt, handmade, MLC Research Centre Archive, TMU. Gift of Maxine March, Canadian Red Cross Quilt Research Group, 2023.

 

Left: Victorian Fan, Word War II Quilt, handmade, 198 cm x 227 cm, MLC Research Centre Archive, TMU. Gift of Maxine March, Canadian Red Cross Quilt Research Group, 2023. Right: Kingston Nine Patch, Word War II Quilt, handmade, MLC Research Centre Archive, TMU. Gift of Maxine March, Canadian Red Cross Quilt Research Group, 2023. 

Read feature article “Threads of history: Repatriated quilts highlight Canadian women's war efforts

Recent News

Caitlin O’Keeffe joins MLC

Caitlin O’Keeffe joins MLC

At the MLC, Caitlin is excited to explore modernist women artists, the modernism archive and collection of modernist ephemera.

Cigdem Asatekin MacInnis joins MLC

Cigdem Asatekin MacInnis joins MLC

Cigdem joins the MLC and will be involved in research administration, exhibitions and events.

Amina Chaudhry joins MLC

Amina Chaudhry joins MLC

Amina assists Dr. Irene Gammel with her course ENG 710 Special Topics in Canadian Literature: Contemporary Life Writing.

Kristina Savitri Bhaun joins MLC

Kristina Savitri Bhaun joins MLC

The MLC welcomes Kristina, who is excited to be involved in the Telling COVID-19 Stories project.

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

MLC Themes

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

Amid the unprecedented social change of World War I, women renegotiated their identities by dramatically changing the way they engaged with the arts. But how did they do so? And how did everyday citizens engage with the war?

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

MLC Themes

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, considered by many to be the mother of Dada, was a daringly innovative poet and an early creator of junk sculpture. “The Baroness” was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances.

Modernism in the World

MLC Themes

Modernism in the World

Recent research has departed from the Euro-centric and national view of Modernism to include approaches and methods studying Modernism across national boundaries and across different art forms to include fashion, dance, performance, technology, and visual culture.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

MLC Themes

Lucy Maud Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery is perhaps Canada's most important literary export. She was prolific writer of over 500 short stories and poems, and twenty novels, including the beloved Anne of Green Gables.

Canadian Modernism

MLC Themes

Canadian Modernism

The works of numerous Canadian authors who lived during the modernist era may well constitute the most central and experimental articulation of Canadian modernism in prose, allowing authors to stage cross-cultural, controversial, and even conflicted identities.

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

MLC Themes

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

Life writing, including autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written or told by women and men whose political, literary or philosophical purposes are central to their lives, has become a standard tool for communication and the dissemination of information.