From the mid-19th century onwards, artists have travelled far across Canadian West to document what its landscape has to offer. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed in the 1880s, Canada became accessible from coast to coast. Many of young Canada’s top artists were given free passage on the railway in order to capture the newfound scenery, sharing a vision with the public of a rarely before seen terrain. By the mid twentieth century, the Group of Seven were seeking out the prairies and the mountains, and each found his own interpretation and connection with the land. As Western Canada developed, its own stock of formidable artists emerged. In the same generation as the Group of Seven, artists H.G. Glyde, W.J. Phillips, Marion Nicoll and Illingworth Kerr were at the forefront of the developing a community, and continued to foster its future as mentors and professors.
Over the course of 150 years, the landscape has both shifted and stayed the same. We can still look today to the grand mountains that these artist painted, but we can also look back in time to the developing towns, cities and landscapes that have grown and changed over the generations that have passed since they’ve been captured.