Saturday, September 17, 2016

Glenbow's Annora Brown collection now searchable online

Snippet of "Annora Brown" from Glenbow Museum online collection search

Glenbow Museum - We are delighted to announce that thanks to a donation and fundraising effort by Joyce Sasse, Glenbow has been able to digitize 260 Annora Brown artworks from Glenbow's collection. This digitization project adds to our ongoing effort to make Glenbow’s collection more widely accessible and available for study and reference by the public.

Annora Brown

“As a young person working in Waterton Park in the late ‘50s, I was smitten by Annora Brown’s paintings. For the first time I saw images that were about my South Alberta world – the landscapes, the Blackfoot People and the wild flowers,” says Sasse. “So much of it, while beautifully stored at the Glenbow, was not available for public viewing. Now, with the photographing and digitizing of this collection, we can again see and celebrate the great contribution made by this quiet, shy woman from Fort Macleod.”

Joyce Sasse
Annora Brown was born near Red Deer, Alberta in 1899 and grew up in Fort Macleod. Her father was a member of the North Western Mounted Police and her mother was one of Fort MacLeod’s first schoolteachers. Following in her mother's footsteps, Annora also became a teacher, but after four years she chose to attend the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Her teachers, among others, were Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald. In 1929, she began teaching at Mount Royal College in Calgary, but decided to return to Fort MacLeod in 1931, where she did field work for the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta, in the area of art and handicrafts. From 1945 to 1950, Brown taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts. In 1954, she published Old Man's Garden, a book in which Brown recorded legends and stories of the flora of the Old Man River, Waterton Lakes National Park, and other areas of Southern Alberta. She also illustrated children's books. Brown was inspired by the surroundings where she grew up - the countryside around Fort MacLeod and its people. The flowers and plants of the Fort MacLeod area were one of Brown's favourite subjects. She had extensive knowledge of Alberta's flowers, as she traveled throughout the province, taking long hikes to study different flowers in full bloom. In 1957, the Glenbow Foundation commissioned Brown to paint 200 pictures of different Alberta wildflowers. It took her three years to complete this assignment, since so many admirers bought pieces; in the end, she completed 500 pieces.**

Images from Glenbow's art collection, including the works of Annora Brown, can be searched by visiting

For more on the Annora Brown Project click here or visit

** Annora Brown, Annora Brown, Sketches From Life, Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers Ltd., 1981 (1st

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