Foundations - The Science beneath the Art: Geological Underpinnings to Iconic Canadian Landscapes

by Travis Lutley, Collections Technician, Art Department

Back to Behind the Scenes

In May 2010, Calgary welcomed thousands of members of the Earth Science community during the GeoCanada 2010 conference. Visitors and locals alike were treated to a free public exhibition on Stephen Avenue during the conference, designed to bring together the two worlds of earth science and art.

The Canadian landscape is stunning, diverse and incredibly varied. Its beauty has been captured by countless artists, whose work has inspired millions and in some cases, is instantly recognizable world-wide. Some of these same landscapes have also been carefully scrutinized by geoscientists. Whether with an artist's paintbrush or a geologist's chart, both endeavors have sought to understand landscape and its relationship and value to our lives. Foundations — The Science beneath the Art: Geological Underpinnings to Iconic Canadian Landscapes presents a side-by-side comparison of an artist's and a geologist's interpretation of the same landscape scene.

Carl Rungius, On Yukon Waters (On The Lakeshore), 1907, Collection of Glenbow Museum

Glenbow was approached by Dr. Jeff Packard and Ian Young from the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences to select a variety of art works from various collections around the country. The final selections range from historical drawings and paintings to contemporary photographs and prints. Each work illustrates the artist's unique approach to landscape representation, and the project as a whole exemplifies the variety found within this artistic tradition. This project arouses an interest in both art and geology by bridging these seemingly divergent camps in a provocative new way.

Foundations — The Science Beneath the Art: Geological Underpinnings to Iconic Canadian Landscapes will be on display in two venues, at the GeoCanada 2010 Conference venue itself and with free-standing displays along Stephen Avenue from May 9 to 14, 2010.

Foundations — The Science Beneath the Art was generously sponsored by Talisman Energy Inc.

Repatriation ceremony of Sam Steele's personal papers and miltary artifacts

Robert Hood, Expedition Crossing Lake Prosperous, May 30, 1820, Collection of Glenbow Museum


130 9th Ave S.E.
Calgary, AB T2G 0P3

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 12pm - 5pm


Help more people experience art and culture at Glenbow.

Donate Now

Charitable Number
Glenbow Alberta Institute 107435695 RR0001


Sign up to receive Glenbow news and updates.


© Glenbow, 130 - 9th Avenue S.E., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 0P3 -