Museum London is celebrating the life and work of our dear friend and colleague, Melanie Townsend. As Head of Exhibitions and Collections for fourteen years, Melanie made innumerable contributions to this institution. A display in our atrium highlights some of them.

The staff of Museum London and her friends across the Canadian art gallery world will always remember Melanie for her insightful and original curatorial work, and her deliciously dry sense of humour. She was an industrious, down-to-earth, and no-nonsense individual who developed some of our most popular and critically-acclaimed programs.

Before coming to London, Melanie worked at the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre. In July of 2004 she was appointed Curator of Contemporary Art at Museum London, becoming Head of Exhibitions and Collections the next year.

Melanie also supported our large material culture collection, acknowledging the importance of programming that honoured local history. Recognizing instances where gaps in our holdings could be filled, she donated several items of her own. More information on these objects can be read in the accompanying labels.

Melanie fought cancer for two years before passing away on December 19, 2018. We will miss her for her generosity as a mentor, her sense of fun, and her immense strength, both at work and during her illness. She is much-loved and we will not forget her.