Cultural Heritage Archive

Category: Museums

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

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Our Founders: Peter and Catharine

Far from the wild peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Catharine Robb and Peter Whyte met at the Boston Museum School of Fine Art in 1927. She was a Boston debutante. He was a member of one of Banff's pioneer families.  They married in 1930, and made Banff and the Canadian mountains their home. A studio was built one year later where they would live and paint the grandeur of their beloved mountains.

The Whytes often painted in the company of outstanding artists. Contemporaries Carl Rungius and Belmore Browne were influential with their ideas and use of colour. Catharine and Peter travelled extensively and continued to paint and draw through the 50s and 60s until Peter's death in 1966. Catharine then turned her concerns to the community, travel, skiing and conservation. Their interest in culture and understanding of philanthropy led to the development of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, first opened in 1968. Catharine remained involved until her death in 1979.

Rays of light and swirling clouds often form the focus in Catharine's sketches. Peter constructed obscure mountain views with somber mystic hues of blues, browns and greens. Together, their life's work provides for us a sense of place.


Museum Member: Free!
Adult $7
Student/65+ $4
Family $16
(2 Adults, 2 Children)
Children 6 and under are free
Archives & Library are free

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Banff Park Museum - National Historic Site of Canada

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Built in 1894, this was the first museum in Banff and included part of the house originally intended for the first Park Superintendent George A. Stewart. In 1903 it was replaced by a more sophisticated building designed by John Stocks, an engineer for the Territorial Government. Built in the rustic building tradition, it is the oldest natural history museum in Western Canada. The large central lantern is a distinctive feature of the building. From 1904 to 1937 a park zoo and aviary operated adjacent to the site in today’s Central Park.

Free for members of Friends of Banff National Park.

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