June 16 — October 6, 2019
The Whyte Museum collects objects from the cultural roots of Banff and beyond to ensure relevance and future preservation. Each object is a story unto itself, bearing marks of the past and giving insights into the fundamentals of life in eras gone by. We preserve objects for future study by making history and culture accessible through exhibitions and interpretation, and to share knowledge and inspire future generations.
The donors of these objects are steadfast contributors to the museum collections and on-going programs. We are grateful to each and every one and thank you for the continued support.
Below are a few select donations currently in the exhibition.
David Foxcroft (1956-, Canadian)
David Foxcroft confesses to a magpie-like attraction to glittery objects and underlying tendencies to hoard. The quirkiness has been quintessential to his art form, and the resulting chaos essential for a composition to appear. Foxcroft explains how his brain involuntarily switches into a mode similar to a slow-motion movie and an arranged sequence of colour, content and structure abstraction is observed in the pandemonium. Like a large intricate jigsaw puzzle, the artist diligently positions, removes, pivots, and returns objects and fragments, maneuvering each until an obvious cohesiveness is divulged.
Nicholas Raffael de Grandmaison, RCA
(1892 – 1978, Canadian)
Nicholas was born in Russia on February 24, 1892, into a French and Russian family of noble descent, he was educated in Moscow and studied art, music, languages, history, cartography, and topography. At the age of 19 he entered the military and fought as a commissioned officer with Russia during the First World War. He was captured by the Germans and spent four years in a German prisoner of war camp.
He arrived in Canada in 1923 and would eventually marry Sonia (Sophia) Orest Dournovo on September 13, 1931 in Red Deer, Alberta. The artist and his family moved to Banff in 1940. Although de Grandmaison painted some of his portraits in oils, he preferred pastels and favoured a type of pastel paper imported from France.
In the 1950s, de Grandmaison realized that what he was doing was not only important to him as an artist but that he was preserving Alberta history. He began collecting information on his sitters by taking photographs, taking notes and recording oral histories.
Nicolas de Grandmaison lived most of his life in Calgary and Banff. He died in Calgary on March 23, 1978, and was buried on the Peigan Reserve.
Nicholas painted the above portrait of his daughter, Sonia Clair in 1951. Sonia Clair stated, "My father painted this portrait of me in 1951 when I was five years old. I return home from school to our Cave Avenue house and he asked me to sit for him."
This image was recently reproduced in the Russian Art Magazine Golden Palette Magazine, Issue No. 2 (15) 2016 on Nicholas de Grandmaison. A copy of this magazine is housed in the Whyte Museum Archives and Library.
Come by and check out the other wonderful donations we have received recently. This exhibition is only on until October 6, 2019!