Artist Christmas cards are a true gem of Glenbow’s collection. They offer a glimpse into a more personal and whimsical side of artistic production – there is something quite touching and intimate about these tiny, hand-made pieces that were shared with friends and family at the holiday season.
Some of these cards have been donated by the artists themselves, while others make their way into our collection via donations of personal archives or by private collectors. Every December, we look forward to sharing a few of these uniquely beautiful cards.
Alistair Bell’s contemporary and dear friend, Group of Seven member Lawren Harris, was such a fan of his wood engravings that he commissioned Bell to design his Christmas cards from 1948 to 1964. This “Happy Christmas” card was gifted to Glenbow as part of a group of 20 artist Christmas cards.
Born in Germany, Henry Eric Bergman immigrated to Canada in 1913. Bergman’s training was in commercial art, but he later worked in pencil, watercolour, oil paint and colour wood block printing. However, as showcased in this beautiful Christmas card sent by the Bergman’s 1926, he is best known for his fine black and white wood engravings.
This delightful design by artist H.G. Glyde features a stylized angels. Glenbow is a major research centre for the work of H.G. Glyde as the artist’s estate donated a collection of 573 works to Glenbow in 1998.
Sylvia Hahn was a Canadian artist who worked as the head of the Art Department at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1934 to 1976. She was known for her mastery of many different artistic media, from metal work to mural painting. As evidenced by this idyllic Christmas scene, she was also clearly skilled in the art of linocut.
Rockwell Kent illustrated many beloved books and iconic political posters in his lifetime, including Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. He was a wildly accomplished artist, adventurer, author and outspoken socio-political activist. Kent’s work left a lasting legacy on the visual culture of book illustration—and we are honoured to have a few of his beautiful illustrations (like this one) as part of our collection.
Calgary artists Marion and Jim Nicoll are among the most influential figures in the history of the arts in Calgary. Marion is recognized as one of the first abstract painters in Alberta and had a long career as an instructor at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (now the Alberta University of the Arts). Jim was a civil engineer, and though he worked for many years for the Canadian Pacific Railway and J.O.G. Sanderson, his first love was always art.