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The Origin of Fan: Folding Form and Function

April 12, 2022 - December 11, 2022

Origin of the Fan Exhibit Banner. Three fans are pictured with white space bordering them: peacock fan, electric fan, ostrich fan
Banner Image: (left to right) Peacock Hand Fan, circa 1925, Guelph Museums 1982.55.8, Ostrich Feather Fan, not dated, Guelph Museums 1981.46.21, Koldaire Electric Fan, not dated, Guelph Museums 2006.20.14,

Drawing from our collection of over 80 fans and related photographs, postcards, and ephemera, this exhibition considers the local and global histories, technological innovation, and cultural significance of fans.

From palm leaves and flywhisks to folding and industrial fans, The Origin of Fan reflects the creativity and ingenuity of human invention over 5,000 years. Learn about fans as cross-cultural, sacred, and secular objects – and how the museum came to hold so many examples.


April 12, 2022
December 11, 2022
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Guelph Museums


Guelph Civic Museum
52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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