Our permanent exhibitions allow our visitors to go back in time and explore the stories of Western Canada and travel the world with our international galleries all in one day.
Historical Art from the Glenbow Collection
This unique collection of western North American art celebrates the Great Plains and the mountainous areas of the continent and reflects Calgary's unique vantage point as a gateway to the Rocky Mountain parks.
Guest curator Roger Boulet (curator of Glenbow’s 2009 exhibition Vistas: Artists on the Canadian Pacific Railway) has chosen to emphasize works that focus on the prairies and the West, highlighting their narrative and traditional values and deep vernacular roots in Alberta culture and social history.
From images that depict the age of exploration in North America (before Confederation), to vast grassy plains inhabited by buffalo and the transformation of southern Alberta in the early 1900s by massive irrigation projects and agriculture, this exhibition features artwork by some of the most revered artists represented in Glenbow's historical collection, including Paul Kane, Carl Rungius Cornelius Krieghoff, Frances Ann Hopkins, Thomas Mower Martin and Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Côté.
from the Glenbow Collection
This exhibition showcases works of art from the modernist era, from the early 20th century up to 1980. To highlight the wide array of subjects and approaches of Canadian artists, this exhibition is dynamically arranged into thematic groups. It features over 80 works of art in styles which range from realism to abstraction.
Although this exciting exhibition represents modern artists from all regions of Canada, the largest number of artists is from Western Canada including Emily Carr, Jack Shadbolt, Illingworth Kerr, Marion Nicoll, Maxwell Bates, Takao Tanabe, Ted Godwin, Otto Rogers, Lemoine FitzGerald, Katie Ohe, Harry Kiyooka, H.G. Glyde as well as Walter J. Phillips and Sybil Andrews.
Many Faces, Many Paths: Art of Asia
Glenbow's Asian Gallery, Many Faces, Many Paths: Art of Asia, includes more than 80 superb sculptures from Asia, some of which have been loaned and most of which have been gifted by the Bumper Development Corporation Ltd. of Calgary. Glenbow is especially pleased to be the steward of this outstanding collection because it gives the museum an unusual opportunity to represent the splendid artistic heritage of the growing population of Asian Canadians in our city and province. The Asian Gallery is an integral part of Glenbow's effort not only to bridge cultures while building awareness of the diverse communities of Canada but also to make Calgary the home of some of the world's most accomplished works of art.
A free audio guide is available for this exhibition. Please see the Visitors Services desk to sign out an audio guide.
› Visit the Many Faces, Many Paths web exhibit.
› Also see the Bumper Collection web exhibit.
Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta
Mavericks presents the story of Southern Alberta in a dynamic and compelling way. Unlike a traditional history exhibition that lists dates, names, and events, Glenbow will provide visitors with an experience of what it means to be Albertan. The dynamic gallery tells our province's history through the stories of 48 mavericks – adventurous, hard-working and spirited men and women. This gallery sees the old “book on a wall” text panels replaced with interactive technology. Glenbow has also rolled
dusty old cases away and replaced them with new hands-on environments built to recapture the maverick spirit that shaped, and continues to shape, Alberta.
A free multimedia handheld guide, the Mavericks Navigator, is available for this exhibition. Please see the Multimedia Handheld Guide desk on the 3rd floor.
› Visit the Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta web exhibit.
Niitsitapiisinni: Our Way of Life
The Blackfoot Gallery
Journey through the Blackfoot Gallery: Niitsitapiisinni: Our Way of Life. Uncover the traditions, values, and history of these people, who have lived for thousands of years in the northwestern plains of Alberta and Montana. The Blackfoot share their story through interactive displays and artifacts and through a circular narrative path that guides visitors through Nitsitapii history. This innovative permanent gallery, the culmination of 10 years of collaboration and friendship, showcases artifacts from Glenbow's world-renowned Blackfoot collections.
› Visit the Niitsitapiisinni: Our Way of Life web exhibit.
Native Cultures from the Four Directions
Discover the stories of Canada's first inhabitants. From the northern beauty of Inuit carvings to the intricacy of Plains quillwork and distinctive designs created by Northwest Coast Peoples, enjoy an authentic glimpse into the diversity of First Peoples' traditional culture.
Treasures of the Mineral World
Glenbow's mineralogy exhibition, Treasures of the Mineral World, offers a colourful glimpse into the depth and diversity found in the mineral world. The gallery is a popular stop for geologists, rock hounds, and visitors of all ages. You can see minerals that glow in the dark, find out what Fool's Gold really is, look at a piece of the earth's oldest rock, or just enjoy the sheer natural beauty of rock crystals in every colour of the rainbow.
Where Symbols Meet
A Celebration of West African Achievement
Where Symbols Meet: A Celebration of West African Achievement explores how achievement is recognized and rewarded in five major cultural groups from over a dozen West African countries.
In addition to an orientation area which offers an introduction to the land and peoples of West Africa, the exhibition is divided into four major sections: Community, Diviners, Rulers, and Artists.
A Global Journey Through Five Centuries
Almost every society has engaged in warfare at some time during its history. Warriors: A Global Journey Through Five Centuries compares cultural approaches to war and to the people who do the fighting. First Nations of the Plains, Maoris, Samurai, Medieval Europeans, and contemporary society are featured in this eclectic and stimulating presentation.