Glenbow's collection of almost 5000 drawings and 7000 prints can be traced to Eric Harvie who purchased hundreds of works by W.J. Phillips in 1960. Groundbreaking research and a series of original exhibitions at the Glenbow in the 1980s led to substantial donations of works by Margaret Shelton, Sybil Andrews, Laurence Hyde, H.G. Glyde, and the strategic purchase of works by many important Canadian printmakers.
In large part, the most significant turning point was Glenbow's 1984 landmark exhibition (and book) Images of the Land: Canadian Block Prints, 1919-1945. This enterprise was made possible by the collaboration of Calgary art collectors Peter and Shirley Savage and their extraordinarily comprehensive collection of twentieth century Canadian block prints. Over the next decade, their growing friendship with the Glenbow curator, and their rapport with the museum culminated in the 1995 donation of 742 block prints by 217 important Canadian artists. This was followed three years later by a donation of 337 prints by British and American artists. With the addition of the Savage collection, Glenbow Museum has one of the finest collections of modern Canadian prints in public trust in the country.