Active in the first half of the twentieth century, Carl Rungius established a reputation as the most important painter of big game and the first career wildlife artist in North America. An avid sportsman, Rungius spent more time in the wilderness than other artists. Direct observation in nature was necessary to enhance his knowledge of animals and their environment. Rungius painted both landscapes and wildlife. He situated animals in their natural environment - a practice that was new to painting in early twentieth century North America. His romanticised paintings represent an Eden-like world where the human imprint on the landscape is invisible.
In 1959, Glenbow founder Eric Harvie purchased the entire Rungius estate including paintings, sketches, photographs, personal belongings and mementos, and the entire contents of his Banff and New York studios. This huge collection of 1,404 items makes Glenbow Museum the premier research centre in the world for Rungius scholars.