In Focus: Photographing the Alberta and Montana Frontier, 1870–1930
Organised and circulated by the
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta
September 17, 2011 to January 8, 2012
This exhibition contains historic views of the American and Canadian Western frontiers through the eyes of the camera lens. Although the West provided photographers with new subject matter of sweeping landscapes, impressive wildlife, and adventuresome lifestyles, it also presented challenges to the photographers who were fighting the elements of gusty winds and cold temperatures.
A variety of photographers, from military forces and government/private company personnel to survey teams and scientists, all with diverse interests, contributed to numerous documentary visual records of the “Wild West.” Through their efforts, photographers recorded historical details, promoted businesses, reported events, and helped create a romantic vision of the disappearing Western frontier. Difficult as it was, photography from this historical period was often informative and artistic.
In Focus: Photographing the Alberta and Montana Frontier, 1870–1930 is composed of thirty-two photographs from the Glenbow Museum collection that focus on images of Aboriginal portraits and lifestyles, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, cowboys, and ranching.
Cowboy Having a Meal, 1926
W.J. Oliver, Photographer, Calgary, Alberta
Glenbow Archives NB-H-16-452