Mills Brothers' Snow White has new home at Museum of Natural History

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be on display as part of the museum's Holiday Village exhibit.

Display will be part of the museum's Holiday Village exhibit Nov. 18 - Jan. 3

The animatronic display will will be part of the Museum of Natural History's holiday village. 0:37

The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs animatronic display that graced the storefront at the now-shuttered Mills Brothers department store has a new home at the Museum of Natural History.

This year, and perhaps for many years to come, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as Prince Charming charging in on a horse will be on display as part of the museum's Holiday Village exhibit.

The public is invited to see it at the official opening ceremony on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The display was donated to the museum by the MacLellan family after the Mills Brothers store closed earlier this year.

"Jane MacLellan was a niece of Hugh Mills who originally acquired the display back in the late 1940s. He and his wife were travelling through Germany and they purchased it in the Black Forest and brought it back to Canada," said Martin Hubley, the curator of cultural history at the museum.

Holiday tradition

Hubley says the display was a holiday tradition at the Spring Garden Road store. (Diane Paquette/CBC)

"The appearance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Mills Brothers was sort of the wake-up call for everyone in Halifax that Christmas was officially coming. It always appeared just before the Santa Claus parade weekend," said Hubley.

"We'd like to try to keep that same tradition going and create the same sort of excitement," he said.

Hubley says the Snow White display will be part of a larger holiday-themed area in the museum that will re-create the concept of a winter street scene.  

The Snow White dolls will be displayed behind glass cabinets to give the idea of a storefront.

There will also be Christmas toys and cards as well as a huge backdrop of a Victorian Christmas scene.

"It's something the museum used to do — not so much a holiday village as a holiday display — and we want to get back into doing that," said Hubley.

"We'll try to do more of these kinds of small displays of cultural history objects, and the donation of the Snow White display ... gives us the opportunity to start the Christmas tradition anew here at the museum," he said.

The exhibit will be on display until Jan. 3.


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