From the 1920s until the 1940s, Laurence Hyde made wood engravings for illustrated books in which stories are told entirely in pictures. In stark black and white, Hyde's precise, stylized block prints are simple, elegant, and powerful. Discouraged by poor sales and critical and public indifference, he eventually abandoned printmaking.
Hyde's art was rediscovered in the early 1980s when Glenbow curator Patricia Ainslie was researching her 1984 seminal exhibition/book, Images of the Land. Struck by the extraordinarily high quality of his prints, she purchased a large number for Glenbow and organized an important retrospective exhibition with an accompanying catalogue. This led to a substantial donation by the artist. With 162 works, Glenbow Museum has the largest Hyde collection in Canada, which includes the drawings, studies, books, and wood engravings.