Ranging from pieces Harvie acquired even before the establishment of the Glenbow Foundation in 1954 to the gift of that collection to the province of Alberta in 1966, A Singular Vision offers a truly unique body of works that is instrumental in telling the story of the Western experience.
Many of the same terms used to describe Lord Beaverbook apply to Glenbow founder Eric Harvie: tycoon, philanthropist and passionate art collector. However, the differences between the approaches of the two collectors is telling: Beaverbrook established his art collection with the aid of international art experts, while Harvie preferred to go it alone, personally vetting each acquisition. From individual pieces by Emily Carr or the entire contents of the studios of Walter Phillips and Carl Rungius, Harvie’s criteria for acquisitions was entirely focused on pieces dealing with Western Canada and the North.
In addition to showcasing the renowned artists mentioned above, A Singular Vision reaches deep into Glenbow’s collection, uncovering less-known yet remarkable works including plant studies commissioned by Harvie from Nora Brown and beautiful bird drawings and paintings by Archibald Thorburn and Alan Brooks.