Past Exhibits

An exhibition is a physical experience. Our goal is to create an experience that involves looking, listening, reading, touching, doing, making, watching, thinking and responding. In the panel to the left you'll find a list of past exhibits curated by Schneider Haus.

Painting with Thread: Reimagining Hand Embroidery

Sarah GodfreyOn exhibit September 26 to December 20, 2020

Imagine a world beyond the hoop! Hand embroidery is an art form stitchers across the world adore, including our artist in residence, Sarah Godfrey. Sarah's greatest passion is exploring what lies beyond the traditional hoop. While she enjoys creating beautiful wall hangings, her work experiments with different fabric choices and functional pieces like upcycling clothing. Come and get inspired! 

Schneider Haus Artist-in-Residence Sarah Godfrey explores embroidery as a marriage of illustration and fibre art. This exhibit demonstrates her love of nature, colour and whimsy in a collection of hoop art pieces, upcycled garments and paintings/drawings. 

Sarah provides a window into the artist’s process through videos of her technique.  The tools and family history that have led Sarah to become immersed in the worlds of hand embroidery and illustration will be showcased.

Sophie Drouin Fine Art Mosaics: Storytelling in Stone

Sophie Drouin Mosaic PieceOn exhibit Friday, May 24 to Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sophie Drouin is the 2019 Artist-in-Residence at Schneider Haus National Historic Site. This exhibit showcases her beautiful works of mosaic art. Sophie, an internationally recognized practitioner of this ancient art form, received training in Canada, Italy, France and the United States.

In her mosaic work, she aspires to convey weightlessness and fluidity, and her pieces at times seeming to defy gravity. Her extensive use of many types of stones in particular allows her to play with textures and contrast as well as colour tones and hues.

Pen and Ink: The Life and Art of Nancy-Lou Patterson

Pen and Ink ExhibitOn exhibit February 16 to May 5, 2019

Nancy-Lou Patterson was a professor, writer, curator, scholar, teacher, novelist, poet and champion of the local and Canadian arts community. This retrospective exhibit of her works, donated to the Schneider Haus collection, celebrates her contributions as an artist and patron to her community: the University of Waterloo, local churches, and as a former Folk Artist-in-Residence at Schneider Haus.

Image: Pen and ink drawing, by Nany-Lou Patterson, used for “A Great Many Tramps We Had Overnight” exhibit,
Schneider Haus, November 1989 to March 1990. 


On exhibit February 13 to April 24, 2016ANIMA ÜRBEM Exhibit

This exhibit featured visual media art by the 2016 Schneider Haus Folk Artist-

in-Residence, James Anthony Usas, who is an artist and filmmaker. 
360 tour of ANIMA ÜRBEM

The exhibit was divided into two sections. The upper gallery features historic photos curated by Usas. These historic photos are of massive fires that took place in Kitchener (Berlin) through the years and give a glimpse into the horror of fire and courage required to fight it. 

The lower gallery featured visual media art Usas created using photos taken during his urban explorations of Kitchener stormwater drainage tunnels located near Schneider Haus. The lower gallery also featured two films played in loop. House of the Gathering is an experimental film set in the year 1916 in Berlin (Kitchener) and was created using historic film footage combined with Usas's own photographs and video imagery. The second film is called ANIMA ÜRBEM that looks at the history of fire in Berlin (Kitchener).

Presented as a collection of films and still images drawn from regional history, urban exploration and personal reflection, ANIMA ÜRBEM dissolves collective memory into hypnotic fantasy offering a fragmented yet sublime wandering through fire and water.


Baggage - Carrying On Between Two Worlds

September 3, 2018exhibit photo

Schneider Haus National Historic Site and the Friends of Joseph Schneider Haus extend a warm welcome to Folk Artist-in-Residence Naomi Smith, a First Nations artisan and educator from Neyaashiinigmiing Ontario, who showcases historic beadwork and her own beadwork creations in this fabulous exhibit.

 Fire and Steel

On exhibit September 20 to December 24, 2017

Fire and Steel Exhibit

The 2017 Artist-in-Residence is Blacksmith Douglas Morlock who created the Fire and Steel exhibit that showcased the Blacksmith craft, with historical artifacts from the Schneider Haus collection and offers a look at the metal wares of  Berlin/Kitchener. From practical pieces such as utensils and latches, to the ornate designs of Betty Lamps and heart-shaped trivets, detail and craftsmanship is represented in this skilled trade.

This exhibit was supported by the Friends of Schneider Haus.    

 From Across Canada

On exhibit February 18 to April 23, 2017From Across Canada Exhibit

Built in 1816 by Joseph Schneider, the house is the oldest building in Kitchener. When the family home became a living history museum on July 1, 1981, part of its mandate was to collect and preserve the Germanic folk art tradition of the local community.

Throughout the years, this mandate expanded to include folk art from various cultures across the country.

The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board certifies artifacts as nationally significant in order that they remain protected within Canada, for all Canadians to enjoy. These artifacts are national treasures and cannot be sold or moved outside of the country.

Joseph Schneider Haus is home to several certified national collections.
The folk art collections of Joseph Schneider Haus contain the best in craftsmanship From Across Canada.


 Grand National Quilt Show - Oh! Canada Exhibit 

On exhibit May 7 to September 3, 2017 Grand National Quilt Show - Oh! Canada Exhibit

The Grand National for 2017 challenged quilters to create a work of quilt art that captures the essence of their part of Canada - its history, its geography, its cultural diversity, its traditions... reasons for celebrating 150 years of our glorious nation. 

Quilt Photo Artist Acknowledgements:

  1. Braided Channels - St. Elias, Yukon: Maria Oswald, Whitehorse, Yukon, 2017

  2. Caragana Keys by Jaynie Himsl, Weyburn, SK

  3. First Shoes by Birdie McLean, Edmonton, AB

2017 Grand National Quilt Show sponsors:

The GN Committee gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors for their support of the 2017 Grand National Quilt Show: OH! CANADA. 

Janome Canada
View the Janome Awards of Excellence 2003 - 2015

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc.

Waterloo County Quilters' Guild

Friends of the Grand National


Creative Sisters Quilt Studio


Schneider Haus National Historic Site

Friends of Schneider Haus

The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation 

Landmann Family Fund

Keepsakes - Ojibway Quillwork

September 3, 2018exhibit photo

An exhibit that featured a remarkable collection of quill-decorated birch boxes that showcase the artistry of the Ojibway.

Quillwork is a uniquely North American decorative art form that Ontario's Ojibway peoples have excelled at for centuries. Schneider Haus is pleased to present the exhibit Keepsakes - Ojibway Quillwork, featuring its collection of Ojibway quill-decorated birch bark boxes, collected by former University of Guelph professor, Dr. Kari Grimstad (1937-2012), during the years 1979 to 2000. This remarkable collection, depicting Ojibway stories, symbols, and spiritual beliefs, showcases the artistry of both known and unknown female quill artists from several Ojibway First Nations, including: 

M'Chigeeng First Nation (Manitoulin Island, Ontario)
Delia Beboning, Josette Debassige, Maime Migwans

Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation (Massey, Ontario)
Celina Abitong, Nancy Abitong, Irene Makadebin, Minn Toulouse

Saugeen First Nation (Southampton, Ontario)
Brenda Besito, Elizabeth Peters

Wasauksing First Nation (Parry Sound, Ontario)
Clara Baker, Bernadette Pangowish, Martha Partridge, Jane Pegahmagabow

Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation (Manitoulin Island, Ontario)
Rea Desmoulin, Rita Francis, Lima Jacko, Connie Pangorish, Jane Pangorish


Heartfelt: Form, Function & Frivolity
On exhibit September to December 24, 2014Heartfelt: Form, Function & Frivolity

This exhibit explored the work of fibre artist and 2014 Folk Artist-in-Residence Sue Firkser. From functional clothing and hollow form sculpture to decorative arts for the home, Sue's work with wool felting is sure to fascinate.

 Reflections of the Natural World
On exhibit February to April, 2015

Reflections of the Natural World

Meet Laurie Spieker, Folk Artist-in-Residence 2015. Laurie's life-long interest in glass followed a natural path.

Her youthful appreciation for glass moved her through stained glass and into the warm realm of fused and kiln-formed glass. Her current body of glass art is based on close observations of nature.

Often with camera in hand, she seeks the unnoticed and revels in closely examining the graphic grace and simplicity found in our natural world. 

 Still Standing
On exhibit July 1 to October 16, 2016

Still Standing

The year 2016 marked the 200th anniversary of the construction of Schneider Haus.

We celebrated with an exhibit that showed the techniques that were used to build the Haus, and how they have helped its survival in a constantly changing neighbourhood.

This exhibit showcased rare images, family artifacts, and insight into life at Schneider Haus, a lasting fixture in the downtown core of Kitchener, Ontario.

 The Barn Raising Project
On exhibit October 29 to December 24, 2016

The Barn Raising Project

Presented by the Huronia Branch of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild in collaboration with the Simcoe County Museum. Also on exhibit will be rugs from the Region of Waterloo Museums' collections.

The forty rugs that comprise The Barn Raising Project travelling exhibit illustrate the beauty of our rural landscapes across Canada, and share the stories of how these buildings have had an impact on the artists.

"The huge barns are a massive symbol of relentless hard work spanning years to clear land and build upon it, of storing the harvest to feed our families, and in coping with adversity and severe climate by being used to overwinter animals. Most importantly, barns are a symbol of community, for it is impossible to build a massive barn without the help of your neighbours. What we think of as our "community" has undergone change over the last century. It is no longer necessarily our physical neighbours but a patchwork of the communities that we choose to live in, including our rug hooking community."

Marie Turner
Huronia Branch of the
Ontario Hooking Craft Guild

Treasuring History - In Memory of the Blayneys
On exhibit September 20 to December 24, 2017 Treasuring History - In Memory of the Blayneys

Fred Blayney (1919-2017) and Dora Mae Nixon (1927-2015) married in 1953 and purchased a pharmacy in the City of Waterloo. Together, they enjoyed visiting museums and developed a love for antiques.

According to Fred, "finding two coverlets woven by an ancestor really sparked our interest in Canadian textiles. This ancestor, Great, Great Grandfather James Blayney, came to America in 1784. He was a teacher by profession, a weaver of textiles, a tanner and later a farmer. He taught school in Newark, Upper Canada [Niagara-on-the-Lake] in 1797. He and his family moved to Charlotteville Township, Norfolk County in 1816 where he continued weaving all types of textiles until his death in 1849."

The Blayneys were among the first to begin collecting Ontario-made furniture, glass, metals, textiles, and paintings. They attended auctions and antique shows, collecting items that reflected their eclectic tastes and wide-reaching interests.

Schneider Haus National Historic Site is grateful to Fred and Dora Mae for their foresight as collectors and for their generosity in donating to the museum throughout the years.

In total, the Blayneys donated over 120 artifacts to the Schneider Haus collection, including 15 jacquard coverlets that were certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board as a national treasure in 1994. Our exhibit, Treasuring History, highlights a sampling of those coverlets.


Trees of Life
On exhibit February to April, 2015Trees of Life

This exhibit celebrated the coming of spring, Trees are a symbol of renewal and regeneration. This exhibit draws on the Joseph Schneider Haus folk-art collection. 

The Bauman family was originally from Berks County, Pennsylvania, but Joseph was born near Waterloo and farmed outside of St. Jacobs.D. Bauman (1815-1889) drew this pear tree in 1879.

Several bookplates, family records, and pictorial drawings are attributed to Joseph.