Past Exhibitions 2008-2009

In addition to our permanent art and artifact displays, Glenbow maintains an active exhibition program throughout the year. Exhibitions are often drawn from our collections. We also host travelling exhibitions from museums and art galleries around the world.

Joe Fafard
Organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada

March 14 - May 31, 2009

Joe Fafard, Smoothly She Shifted, 1986-87, repatinated 1996, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Joe Fafard. Photo: MMFA Brian Merrett. Over the past four decades Joe Fafard has created a body of work that has found a permanent place in people's hearts and minds. He is best known for his uncannily realistic and whimsical small portraits in clay of family, friends, artists and politicians and for his wonderful large-scale cows and horses in steel and bronze.

His work unifies such diverse aspects of our society as urban and rural, French and English, east and west, elite and popular. Regionally rooted yet universal, Fafard's art has always advanced hand in hand with a serious engagement in the concerns of our community life.

This retrospective exhibition is based on two major guidelines: to show the development of the artist's work and to marvel at its variety. There is development in the materials used - plaster, clay, bronze, steel; development of scale, from less-than-life-size to over-life-size (but never exactly life-size); and the development of themes from the immediate to the universal, from the perceived to the imagined, from the statement to the revelation. The variety in the exhibition ranges from very early work to large public commissions, from caricatures to portraits, from traditional to experimental, and from functional to monumental.

On another level, however, this retrospective has only one theme, and that is Joe's complete commitment to his vision.

Joe Fafard, Smoothly She Shifted, 1986-87, repatinated 1996, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Joe Fafard. Photo: MMFA Brian Merrett.

   MacKenzie Art GalleryNational Gallery of Canada

This project has been made possible in part through a contribution from the
Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.



March 14 – May 31, 2009

In conjunction with our feature exhibition, Joe Fafard, we presented the work of five ceramic sculptors from the Glenbow Museum art collection. The artists represented here were friends, colleagues and contemporaries of Fafard in Regina during a formative and exciting period for artists working in clay. They created a wide range of original and spirited, small-scale sculptural works which were witty, folksy and narrative with a decidedly quirky and playful sensibility. Enjoy Beug’s imaginative house, strangely decorated with all manner of objects from the natural world; Thauberger’s false-fronted and marvelous fantasy theatre; Cicansky’s delightful carrot patch growing incongruously from an armchair; Levine’s uncannily realistic faux leather bag and the zany antics of Gilhooly’s hilarious mythical “frog world.”


Elsewhere: Recent Paintings by Christine Cheung

May 1 – 31, 2009

Glenbow and the Asian Heritage Foundation of Southern Alberta presented a selection of recent works by Christine Cheung. Born and raised in Calgary, Cheung is a graduate from the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a recipient of the 2008 Alberta Lieutenant Governor Emerging Artist Award. In 2008, Cheung was awarded a production grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and travelled to Asia where she completed artist-in-residence programs at Red Gate Studios (Beijing) and Compeung (Thailand). These remarkable works from her recent trip are fresh and engaging studies that reflect a sense of place that is physical, emotional and imagined all at once.


Hutterite Traditions: Photographs by George Webber

February 14 to April 13, 2009

George Webber, Braiding Maria’s Hair, Little Bow Colony, 2000, Collection of Glenbow MuseumGet a glimpse inside the private world of Alberta’s Hutterites through George Webber’s prize-winning photographs and Glenbow’s outstanding historical collections. Webber’s exquisite photographs sensitively document the stark details of the Little Bow Colony’s last working months. Equally, the simple artifacts – garments, tools, and furniture – eloquently reflect the Hutterite values of spirituality, discipline and simplicity.

George Webber, Braiding Maria’s Hair, Little Bow Colony, 2000, Collection of Glenbow Museum


Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend

Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend

November 29 - February 22, 2009

Curated by Artoma, Hamburg, Germany and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

Image at right: Marilyn Monroe "Ballerina Sitting" 1954, New York City, Milton H. Greene ©2008 Joshua Greene

This exciting and fascinating exhibition brings together hundreds of images inspired by one of the most famous women of the twentieth century. It includes photographs of Marilyn Monroe in poses which have become iconic images of our time as well as many candid shots of the famous actress and singer from her days as Norma Jeane to the heyday of her spectacular fame as Marilyn Monroe, sex symbol and international sensation.

Some of these photographs were later used by artists in creative reiterations of the Monroe image such as the famous series by Andy Warhol who reworked the classic studio portrait of Marilyn by photographer Frank Powolny. Many contemporary artists from around the world have been seduced by the allure of this beautiful woman, who was so visible, so accessible and ultimately so unknowable. Her tragic death in 1962 at the age of 36 has enhanced her mythic status.

Marilyn Monroe: Life as a LegendMarilyn Monroe continues to inspire today, across generations, genders and nations. The contemporary art in this exhibit explores her image and its relationship to pop art and pop culture in photo- based art, multimedia works, paintings, sculptures and collages.

Image at right: After Andy Warhol, "Marilyn", published by Sunday B Morning, 1967/1978 Screenprint, © Andy Warhol Foundation



Some Like it Haute: The Costumes of Marilyn Monroe
Curated by Mary Rose, President of the American Costume Guild

November 29 - February 22, 2009

Gown worn as Elsie Marina, in The Prince and the Show GirlHere’s a rare chance to get a close look at some of Marilyn Monroe’s most famous costumes, plus sketches by her favourite studio designers. A strapless gown from How to Marry a Millionaire, a halter gown from Let’s Make Love, a replica of the ‘subway dress’ from The Seven Year Itch, and the risqué cocktail dress from Some Like It Hot are amongst the 11 featured costumes.

Costume sketches from designers such as William Travilla and Jean Louis include designs for The Misfits and River of No Return, a movie that used Alberta for its wild river shots.

A grouping of memorabilia, including Marilyn’s annotated script for There’s No Business Like Show Business and her Fox Studio director’s chair, are also featured.

The designs and costumes in this exhibit were made as much for Marilyn Monroe as for the characters she portrayed in her films, and the designs reflect one of Marilyn’s firm beliefs: “The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.”

Image: Gown worn as 'Elsie Marina' in The Prince and The Show Girl, 1957, Beatrice Dawson Costume Designer


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Of Christmas Past

November 21 - January 4, 2009 Christmas Postcard, ca. 1910-1912

Take a peek into Christmas Past and discover some of the delightful holiday treasures from Glenbow’s collections. Joyous Christmas music for the musician and the phonograph, essential things for the kitchen and table (including Rudolph jelly molds), whimsical and colourful ornaments for the Christmas tree, charming Christmas post cards and magazines from 1900 to 1950, a handpainted Nativity Crèche, and of course gifts. See what young Hugh received in the 1930s, or what the soldiers received from the royal family in 1914, or see who received an incredible train set in the 1950s.

These and many more gifts are arranged around several of Glenbow’s feather Christmas trees – yes feather! Pick a time when Glenbow will be hosting carolers and storytelling, and enjoy the Christmas season.

Image: Christmas Postcard, ca. 1910-1912, Glenbow Archives Christmas Card Collection


Jewels of the Jacket: The Medals of Sir Sam Steele

October 17 - January 12, 2009

Sir Sam SteeleSam Steele was one of Canada’s most famous military men of the 19th century. In the thick of the action for almost 50 years, Steele helped make history in western Canada from 1870-1918.

Steele’s force of character, his tenacity and his unshakable belief in law and order repeatedly put him in the front lines and in the news. A fearless North-West Mounted Police officer, Steele became a role model for the Mounted Police and for Canadian soldiers.  

Sam Steele’s life was dedicated to law and order, honour and duty, and grounded in a sense of equality and justice.  These are values that many Canadians still respect and admire today – is it any wonder we see Sam Steele as a hero? 

Glenbow’s preview exhibit introduces you to Steele’s adventures and features his incredible grouping of medals – jewels that summarize his amazing military career.  Glenbow is planning an in-depth exhibit to highlight more of the 200 piece collection in 2010.



Portrait of an Artist

October 16 - February 8, 2009

This contemporary art exhibit features new acquisitions to the collection of Glenbow Museum. See portraits of artists and portraits by artists, including a series of 100 paintings picturing Calgary artists, photos of 75 men called David, and more.

The exhibition includes work by Ron Moppett, Micah Lexier, Tom Hopkins, Chris Flodberg, Sarah Holtom and Jennifer Stead.

One Hundred Portraits of Calgary Artists by Sarah Jane Holtom is a dynamic composite portrait of a community of artists. Many are shown to great effect in their own homes or studios. But artists do not necessarily have to be seen in order to evoke a strong sense of their presence. Ron Moppett represents himself in an abstract, idiosyncratic and symbolic way while Chris Flodberg uses a vivid realistic style for his “self-portrait” in a painterly depiction of his living space. The immediacy, intimacy, ruffled messiness, youthfulness and brightness of his tiny room make a striking contrast to the monumental painting of Tom Hopkins who imagines his studio as a dark, vast, mysterious and exalted space. Another work with an autobiographical element is more conceptual in nature. Micah Lexier’s intriguing photographic portraits of seventy-five males named David is based on the artist’s own statistically estimated lifespan of 75 years.

One Hundred Calgary ArtistsIn the summer of 2006, Sarah Jane Holtom painted 100 portraits of Calgary artists over a period of three months, completing each spontaneous oil sketch in three hours. She chose the first three sitters, each of whom in turn chose three more artists and so on until the number 100 was reached. The result is an extraordinary collective portrait of a creative community at a particular place and time with its own unique web of relationships. Like a colourful tapestry made up of real people, these portraits are at once varied, quirky, humorous, expressive and charming.

Image: Sarah Jane Holtom, One Hundred Portraits of Calgary Artists

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

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