Rockwell Kent, Peace Oath, 1967. Collection of Glenbow.

From the Collection

Artist Christmas Cards


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.

An illustrated bird, snowflakes, and leaves surround a 'Happy Christmas' message
Alistair Bell, Untitled [Christmas card], date unknown. Collection of Glenbow.

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.

Fir trees covered in snow are in the foreground, closest to the viewer, while a lake and hill sit further back, with aurora borealis lights shining in the sky.
Henry Eric Bergman, Untitled [Northern Lights], 1926. Collection of Glenbow.

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.

Two illustrated angels with large wings play horns.
Henry George Glyde, Untitled [Christmas card], date unknown. Collection of Glenbow.

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.

'Best Wishes. Sylvia Hahn' is written on the front of this card. Bright stars shine in the sky with northern lights shining below them and over the snowy ground.
Sylvia Hahn, Starry Night, date unknown. Collection of Glenbow.

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.

An angel flies over a bright background, dropping snowflakes on a quiet town below.
Rockwell Kent, Peace Oath, 1967. Collection of Glenbow.

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.

The sun rises over Morley, with a large mountain the background and tepees in the foreground along with banners blowing in the wind.
Marion Nicoll, Untitled [Sundance at Morley], date unknown. Collection of Glenbow.

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.

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