The Museum contains a permanent collection of the art of British Columbia including an outstanding collection of nineteenth century Northwest Coast masks, one of Canada’s strongest Emily Carr collections, a selection of Vancouver’s celebrated photo-based art plus a gallery devoted to West Coast artist Edward J. Hughes.
The collection includes The Crazy Stair, a painting by Emily Carr which recently sold at auction for a record breaking $3.3 million. This price was the highest ever paid for an Emily Carr at auction, the highest for a work by a Canadian woman artist and the fourth most expensive work at an art auction in Canada.
In addition to the works from British Columbia the Museum displays up to three temporary exhibitions a year from leading museums around the world, creating an ever-changing display to delight locals and visitors alike.
Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection
Date: October 6, 2018 – January 28, 2019
Description: A selection of outstanding contemporary art by Indigenous Australian and Torres Strait Islander artists. Since the 1960s, artists from these communities have spearheaded a renaissance in the world’s oldest continuous artistic tradition, innovating within the idioms of visual languages that have developed over the course of millennia. While these dazzling paintings and beguiling sculptures often share formal characteristics with Western modern art, they represent conscientious efforts on the part of Aboriginal artists to share their culture with outsiders. Ancestral Modern will offer an opportunity for many Museum visitors to experience this extraordinary work for the first time. It includes innovators like Rover Thomas and Emily Kam Kngwarreye, who adapted materials and motifs traditionally used in ground painting, body painting, or the preparation of ritual objects in their works on canvas.
Tales of an Empty Cabin
Date: February 16, 2019 – April 29, 2019
Description: A combination of photographs, watercolours, AstroTurf collages and a site-specific installation. Joseph Tisiga was born in 1984 in Edmonton, Alberta and is a member of the Kaska Dene Nation. He is currently based in Whitehorse, Yukon. He studied at Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design and has been a finalist in the RBC Painting Competition (2009) and was longlisted for a Sobey Art Award (2011). His work was included in the recent Oh, Canada, an exhibition curated by Denise Markonish for MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts.
Artistry Revealed: Peter Whyte, Catherine Robb Whyte and Their Contemporaries
Date: May 11, 2019 – September 9, 2019
Description: A travelling exhibition that celebrates the legacy of Peter and Catharine Whyte 50 years after the foundation of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. Aspiring career artists from vastly differing backgrounds, Peter Whyte and Catharine Robb Whyte met at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and immersed themselves in the craft of fine art painting. Included along with Peter and Catharine’s work are paintings and drawings by artists who influenced their careers, touched their lives and with whom they painted. Through their art and associations, Peter and Catharine inspired interest in Banff and the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and encouraged a generation of nationally significant artists to paint the Canadian Rockies.