Kenneth R. Lister retired as Assistant Curator of Anthropology in the Department of World Cultures at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). His primary curatorial responsibilities included the Subarctic, Arctic, Great Lakes, and Northwest Coast ethnographic collections, the ROM’s collection of canoes and kayaks, and the collection of paintings and sketches by 19th century Irish/Canadian artist, Paul Kane.
Lister’s areas of research include archaeological fieldwork in the Hudson Bay Lowland of northern Ontario, ethnographic research among the Cree of northern Ontario and the Inuit of Baffin Island, and field studies relating to sites sketched by Paul Kane. The main focus of his work considers the role of cultural items within the context of traditional lives.
Based upon his Arctic research Lister curated the exhibitions “In the Time of the Kayak: Hunting in the Eastern Canadian Arctic” and “Tuugaaq: Ivory Sculptures from the Eastern Canadian Arctic.” He curated “Canada Collects: Treasures from Across the Nation” for the opening of the ROM’s 2007 expansion and he has curated seven exhibitions devoted to the work of Paul Kane including “Wilderness to Studio: Four Views of Paul Kane” and “The First Brush: Paul Kane and Infrared Reflectography.” Lister has published four books with a book of essays related to the ROM’s collections scheduled for publication next spring.