Jump to content
FrancisMcN

HMS Mimi in Thomson ship model collection at the Art Gallery Ontario

Recommended Posts

I have been interested in making a model of the 40 ft armed motor launches Mimi or Toutou that fought the Germans on Lake Tanganyika in 1915 but only had a couple of photos and no plans until very recently learning that a builders model of Mimi is in the Thomson ship model collection at AGO in Toronto.  Sadly, being UK based my one time in Toronto was long ago and I am unlikely to be visiting again.

 

Have any of our Canadian fraternity had a chance to see this model and perhaps take some photos by any chance?  I have asked the museum if I can buy pictures but no reply so far.

Edited by FrancisMcN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alas, photography of models or exhibits is forbidden at the AGO. Whether or not they have 'official' photos of the models other than those in a book that they published is not known.

 

The other issue is that, even were photography allowed, it would be impossible to get a good photo through the glass as the lighting is dreadful in there! To even view the models for study, one needs an LED mini-light.

Edited by druxey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Druxy, I was just reviewing the AGO's website and they said that photography is allowed unless otherwise posted.  Me and the family are heading to Toronto this weekend for a sight seeing tour and I was hoping to get to the AGO to see the Thomson Collection.  I was also hoping to take a few hundred pictures of the models.  Do you know for certain that photography is not allowed in the collection room?

 

Francis. I might or might not get to the AGO. We have a full schedule that doesn't include the AGO however I may have some time on my own (the admiral and kids like taking advantage of the hotel pool but I don't).  If I do get there, and I'm allowed to take pictures, I will send you what I get.  No promises though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One is allowed to take photos of the gallery building. The Thomson Collection and other artworks (unless a very recent change has been instituted) are off-limits for photography. A phone call to the AGO might clarify the situation for you and prevent frustration. And remember that the lighting level in the gallery is very low, with a few poorly placed spotlights and all exhibits encased in glass. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible the museum took some photos of the model when it was logged into their collection? Perhaps the curators could be of assistance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worth asking, as I'm sure there are archival photos recording the holdings. Whether these are able to be released to you is another question, as I understand the bequest contains some pretty stringent directions. One is that every single piece in the Thomson Collection must be displayed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for the responses to date.  There is a book available with pictures of the ship model collection which I will get if no other solution is forthcoming but, as the photos will presumably be quite small, I am waiting to see whether AGO responds (2+ weeks and counting) to my request to buy shots of Mimi directly.

 

Worldway - many thanks for your potential offer and, if nothing else, if you do visit please see if the book (by Simon Stevens)is in the museum shop and actually has any useful shots of Mimi that would help making a model.  I should add that another UK modeller has already checked the Thornycroft archives without any luck in finding any plans so this model seems to be the best bet going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are in luck! Only about half the models in the collection are illustrated in the book, but there are three good colour images of Mimi on pages 148-149. One is starboard broadside, one is of the steering wheel and cockpit, and the third shows the starboard bow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One on one page, and two on the second page. They are a decent size to see all the detail. The other photos in the book are also inspirational. Worth having.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to update - I made contact with a very helpful member of AGO and am now looking to order prints based on the seven low resolution shots that were available and give me enough to make a pretty good reconstruction in 1/32nd scale.  I must say that the hull is very sleek and reminds me of the lines of a classic speedboat of the period

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you have success.  I didn't have the chance to get to the AGO but will look forward to that some day in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this collection still on display? I am in Toronto for work for a few days. Also, any other notable maritime exhibits or ships in the area? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the Thomson Collection is a permanent one in the basement level of the Art Gallery of Ontario. The lighting leaves a lot to be desired, so take a small fob LED light if you actually want to see anything! No photography allowed, unfortunately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Thompson collection was a lot bigger than I expected, very neat exhibit! I thought it was interesting to see some of the design choices the builder made, he didn't seem to care about scale when it came to planking, for example. It was surprising to see so much bone and ivory being used as well. In definitely glad I went. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had the book

 

STEPHENS, S. (2009): Ship Models. The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario.- 184 p., Toronto (Skylet Publishing/Art Gallery of Ontario).

 

for quite a few years now and it is an impressive collection. Unfortunately, when I visited the AGO in 2007, this collection was not on display yet.

 

Druxey, is it really correct, that not all of the models are listed in the book ? Is there a complete list of the models somewhere ? There is one builder's/contemporary model of a pre-1918 German torpedoboat in the collection and I am wondering now, whether there are other models of the Imperial German Navy.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not aware of a published catalog, but you might enquire of the AGO. There are over 100 models in the Collection, only of which a fraction are shown in the book. The amazing thing (in this day and age) is that they are ALL on display - one of the stipulations of the Thomson bequest. It's a very eclectic group, from early 'Navy Board' to modern merchant. Unfortunately the lighting in the gallery is abysmal. If you want to actually study the models, take an LCD mini flashlight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×