Glenbow Museum to Become a New Kind of Art Museum

Currently, the Glenbow Museum is a little bit of art, a little bit of history, a mishmash of artifacts. It’s a little all over the place. Donna Livingstone, president and CEO, wants to change that. The Glenbow has slowly been rolling out a rebranding campaign (new logos and such) that…

Currently, the Glenbow Museum is a little bit of art, a little bit of history, a mishmash of artifacts. It’s a little all over the place.

Donna Livingstone, president and CEO, wants to change that. The Glenbow has slowly been rolling out a rebranding campaign (new logos and such) that is leading up to its big change of being more art focussed.

Its art collection – the largest in Canada west of Toronto – is already the most high profile aspect of the museum. Now it will get more attention, starting with a change in attitude.

Changes to the Glenbow

More room will be given to the Glenbow’s permanent art collection. Areas of the museum that focus on history will be reimagined with a new eye. It won’t be enough to just put out something old because it used to matter. Everything has to be relevant to today.

More areas of the museum will be made available for shorter exhibits that can be changed quickly and that make use of the items in the museum’s collection.

The Reasons for Change

This revamp comes in part because of public feedback and the overwhelming number of people whose recollection of the museum is from their Grade 5 field trip. For those people, it is likely that not much has changed: the building remains virtually unchanged from when it first opened 45 years ago. Temporary exhibitions put up 24 years ago still remain.

The Glenbow isn’t planning on moving and, as of yet, there is no plans for a major overhaul of the building – a Brutalist beauty in good repair. But there will be small changes hopefully leading to larger changes.

All of this is leading up to the Glenbow’s 50th anniversary in 2016. Hopefully more details will keep rolling out.

In the meantime, Made in Calgary: The 1990s and Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket open this weekend and are on display until May 4.

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