Art and Photography

Ring, D., G. Vanderhaeghe, and G. Meluk 1993
The Urban Prairie. Fifth House, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 160 pages.
AEU HSS N 6546 P7 R58 A catalogue for a travelling art exhibition that apparently visited Edmonton in early 1995 (I missed it). The dominant theme is western life, seen through the eyes of artists. Some of the paintings of winter scenes look as if they could have been done last winter. (01/Sep/1995).

Silversides, B. V. 1999
Looking West: Photographing the Canadian Prairies, 1858- 1957. Fifth House Ltd, Calgary, Alberta, Canada vi + 202 pages.
AEU HSS FC 3237 S55 This is a fascinating book. Most images are from the Saskatchewan Archives or the Glenbow Archives. Images are divided into categories under the following headings: The Land, The People, The Structures, Transportation, Agriculture, Above and Below. In the latter category are some early air photos and oblique views. These are interesting but would be even more interesting with a "then and now" comparison, showing how the land has changed through the last eighty years or so. The images are preceded by a lengthy introduction (pp. 1-30) setting them into historical and technological context. The essay traces the history of prairie photography from the mid-19th century on. Notes the role of Government projects and agencies (e.g., PFRA) in documenting landscapes, farming practices, etc. Highlights the role of the itinerant or small town photographer, often struggling to make a living, especially through 1920s and 1930s when this would have been seen as an unnecessary luxury. Describes the difficulties of taking, developing and printing photos (including dust and poor quality water that made chemical solutions problematic). Also includes an interesting discussion of the early days of aerial photography, often driven by needs to assess water courses and farmland. (22/Jul/2012).

Tillenius, C. 1998
Days of the Buffalo paintings by Clarence Tillenius. Trails of the Interlake Studio, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 48 pages.
A catalogue from the exhibition of the same name held at the Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, in 1993. Includes reproductions of 75 of his paintings, 16 in colour. With a foreword by P.H.R. Stepney and a Commentary essay (5 pages) by Ian S. Maclaren. Other animals are featured (including cougar, coyotes, wolves, lynx, deer, and moose) but the majority of the paintings concentrate on bison in their many moods and activities. Often the image is filled with a herd of bison. There are also some paintings of bison being hunted from horseback, likely as studies for the Red River Buffalo Hunt diorama in the Manitoba Museum (1970). Each painting is accompanied by a descriptive caption giving some additional information about the scene or incident portrayed. However, the captions don't say when each artwork was created. The collection spans many years of his career. (12/Apr/2012).

Tingley, K. 2011
The Last Best West: Glimpses of the Prairie Provinces from the Golden Age of Postcards. Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 57 pages.
A catalogue for the exhibition (held March 3 to June 24 2011) which I went to see. The catalogue is wonderfully produced and designed, with reproductions of the postcards, mostly in colour or sepia-tone or black-and-white, that is, the same colours as the originals. Occasionally shows part of the reverse side with some of the hand-written notes that the senders included. Most cards date from the first few decades of the 20th century. Arranged by theme: Canada's Golden West, Daily Life, Disasters, Education, Exhibitions and Parades, First Home, Industry and Commerce, Patriotic West, Winters, Ranching, Transportation, and Towns and a section each on the Rockies and Special Format cards (e.g., the ones that contain a strip of fold-outs). Informative descriptions and captions. Introduction by Merrill Distad outlines the history the postcard. Interesting book that's fun to look through. (14/Apr/2012).
Number of citations: 4
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This presentation has been compiled and is © 1998-2012 by
Alwynne B. Beaudoin (
Last updated September 2, 2012
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